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In August, Hipmunk put out when it thought travelers should be booking their flights home for Thanksgiving and the December holidays. Now, Hopper, a company that uses data to predict flight and hotel prices and notifies people when it’s the best time to book, has its own holiday travel recommendations. The company analyzed its historical flight archive to figure out when you should buy and fly, the routes with the most and fewest price changes and the top 10 destinations for both Thanksgiving and the December holidays.
With the holidays approaching faster than you probably imagine, it’s definitely time to start planning. Hopper found that Thanksgiving flight prices will change an average of 102 times between now and November 22, and December holiday flight prices will change 152 times by the end of the year. These prices could fluctuate even more if you’re heading to a popular destination, like Los Angeles, New York and Orlando. If there’s anything you take away from this data, book your Thanksgiving and December holiday travel plans before Halloween
Similar to Hipmunk’s data, Hopper found that flying on Thanksgiving Day saves you the most money, however, if you’d rather not spend the holiday traveling, the next cheapest departure date is November 19. Hopper’s analysis found that Thanksgiving flight prices have dropped nearly 28% since August and round-trip domestic flights are averaging around $288 right now. Hopper also found that you can find the best flight deals in late September and remain steady through October. Prices are likely to increase around $2 per day between 15-25 days before departure and will go up as much as $6 per day in the final two weeks. The company recommends booking your Thanksgiving travel plans before the week of Halloween because prices will begin to increase again in November.
While you have some time before booking your Thanksgiving flights, you should try to lock in your December holiday travel plans before your Thanksgiving ones. Domestic round-trip flight prices for the December holidays are currently averaging around $320 — that’s 15% less than this time last year. The cheapest time to fly around Christmas is Tuesday, December 18, and returning on Thursday, December 27. In 2017, booking around mid-October gave travelers the best deals and prices rise more steadily than Thanksgiving flights. The flights you’re looking at could increase to $3 per day if you wait to book 15-25 days before departure and will rise to $4 per day if you book within two weeks before you leave.
Hopper’s travel app is another way to track airfare and hotel prices, and the app recently developed a new feature that sends users push notifications if the prices of their selected flight drop.
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