By Expedia Team, on November 16, 2022

These Pro Airfare Hacks Could Save You Hundreds This Holiday Season 

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… Okay, so that might be a bit of wishful thinking on our part. But even though it’s only November, now is the time to plan your end-of-year travel. In fact, booking ahead could save you some serious cash and help you beat the holiday crowds. We sat down with Christie Hudson, head of Expedia Public Relations for North America, for her insider tips. 

Book airfare on a Sunday to save up to 15% 

When you book your hotel travel matters. Travelers who book on Sundays instead of Fridays tend to save, on average, around 5% on domestic flights and 15% on international flights, according to Expedia data.  

Be flexible 

With so many of us having missed spending holidays with our families for two or more years, the 2022 holiday season is expected to be a big one for travel. But Hudson has some good news: 

“The 2022 holiday season is gearing up to be a busy one for air travel, and average airfare prices are sitting above 2019 levels, so it’s a good idea to book early. But in addition to booking ahead, Expedia data also reveals that travelers can save 20-30% just by being flexible with their travel dates. 

One option is to travel on the holiday itself – you’ll generally get a better deal and there will be fewer crowds. Currently, average ticket prices for flights on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are lower than the averages for other days during the holiday period.” 

Pick your Thanksgiving travel dates carefully 

Rather spend Thanksgiving Day feasting on turkey than nibbling on airplane snacks? Not a problem. Hudson has tips to help you save. 

Trade airplane snacks for a Thanksgiving feast

“If you want to save on your Thanksgiving airfare, depart on Monday, November 21 instead of Saturday, November 19 or Sunday, November 20. The weekend is the most expensive time to start your Thanksgiving-week trip. Average ticket prices for Monday, November 21 are more than 30% lower than Saturday November 19, and nearly 15% cheaper than Wednesday November 23. 

Friday, November 25 is the cheapest return date, followed by Monday, November 28. Flying home on one of those days, instead of Sunday, November 27, could save you between 5% and 10% on your return fare.” 

Want to ditch the crowds? Hudson says the busiest Thanksgiving travel days are expected to be Wednesday November 23 and Saturday November 19.

Consider these dates for your Christmas travel 

Depart on Monday, December 19 to save on your Christmas airfare

Dreaming of getting the whole family together for Christmas? Hudson has advice for that holiday, as well. 

“If you want to save on your Christmas airfare, depart on Monday, December 19 or Tuesday, December 20, when average ticket prices are around 20% lower than on Saturday, December 17 – currently the most expensive day in the period to fly. Thursday, December 22 is currently the second most expensive day, based on Expedia data. 

The busiest days to fly are expected to be Thursday, December 22, closely followed by Saturday, December 17.” 

Meet the family somewhere else with fares under $450 

For Thanksgiving, New York City averages $370 per person round trip

Not surprisingly, where you go can make a big difference to the cost of your flights. Rather than fly to grandparents’ or other relatives’ homes, consider having them meet you somewhere else altogether. Hudson shares some of her top picks for great-value return fares, all averaging under $450 round trip over the holidays.  

“For Thanksgiving, check out San Diego (average $410 per person round trip), New York City (average $370 per person round trip), Austin, TX (average $380 per person round trip), Mexico City, Mexico (average $430 per person round trip), and Vancouver, Canada (average $280 per person round trip),” she says.  

For Christmas, Hudson suggests you “think about Los Angeles, CA (average $405 per person round trip), Nashville, TN (average $375 per person round trip), Orange County, CA (average $445 per person round trip), Charleston, SC (average $400 per person round trip), and San Antonio, TX (average $405 per person round trip).” 

In terms of trending destinations, if you’re wondering where everyone else is headed, Hudson says look no further than one of Mexico’s most popular destinations. “Cancun is looking like a real hotspot for the 2022 holidays. It’s currently the fourth most popular destination for Thanksgiving and the most popular destination during the Christmas period.”   

Ready to take off? Book your flights soon on Expedia