Here’s How You Can Save Big on Thanksgiving Travel

Book flights early, reserve hotel rooms later for maximum savings, data says

Flickr/Jonathan Cohen

With Labor Day on everyone’s minds, it might seem silly to be finalizing plans and booking flights for Thanksgiving, but recently released data from the travel booking site Hipmunk shows now is the time to save big on flights.

Based on data from previous years Hipmunk determined that the best time to book Thanksgiving flights is just before Labor Day. To save big on hotel rooms, they say you should wait until November. And by following the above booking rules, travelers can save nearly $200.

According to the Hipmunk blog, the majority of those savings come from booking the flight at the right time.

Hipmunk found that Thanksgiving flight rates increase dramatically the longer travelers wait to book. On average, early birds who booked the week before Labor Day spent $424 on airfare, while those who booked during the week of Thanksgiving spent an average of $561—a difference of almost $140.

When it comes to hotel reservations, though, data says if you can wait it out you’ll see bigger savings. Last year, travelers who waited until November saved, on average, $50 over those who reserved their room in August.

Hipmunk’s data also highlighted the best days to fly. Unsurprisingly, Monday or Thanksgiving Day were the optimal days to fly out. They suggested returning Friday, but if you can wait until the following Monday, that would be a good option as well.

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