Expedia looked at data from 2016 and discovered that a whopping 85 percent of travelers missed out on low airfare for holiday travel by booking too late. “Timing is a big factor in getting a good deal on airfare,” said Sarah Gavin, vice president of global communications for Expedia in a statement. “People typically know pretty far in advance whether they’re going to travel for the holidays, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on prices months out.”
According to Lonely Planet, the best time to book flights for Thanksgiving is to buy tickets 61 to 90 days in advance, which can save travelers 10 percent on flights. In other words, if you’re dreaming of skipping out on the November chill and making the most of your holiday time off, it’s recommended to book your Thanksgiving trip before September 23rd. Those who choose to wait and book flights after September 23rd will end up paying, on average, 20 percent more says Expedia.
Similarly, for Christmas time flights are best booked 14 to 20 days in advance. Booking early for Christmas can save travelers up to 5 percent versus paying 15 percent more for last minute tickets.
According to Expedia’s data, the most cost effective destinations to visit this holiday season—in terms of flight prices—are: Spain, Greece, the Netherlands, France, China, South Korea and India.