SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 22, 2013) - Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year, is fast approaching and with it come rising airfare prices. This year, the travel search site Hipmunk tapped its database and found that the best times to book Thanksgiving airfare are during the weeks leading up to Labor Day. Hipmunk discovered those who book holiday travel early could save as much as $200, depending on the month and date of booking.
Using historical flight search data, Hipmunk observed that Thanksgiving airfare prices are already up almost 10 percent over the same time last year. Data demonstrates that the longer travelers wait to book their holiday travel, the more they could end up paying. According to Hipmunk, airfare for Thanksgiving 2012 travel (November 21-25) increased exponentially as the holiday approached with travelers who waited just one month after Labor Day to book paid on average $502.77 -- a 35 percent price increase; those who booked just weeks prior to Thanksgiving found themselves paying almost 60 percent more.
Hipmunk is advising would-be Thanksgiving travelers to avoid procrastinating and book their flights as soon as possible. For travelers booking the week prior to Thanksgiving, that delay in planning could cost travelers more than $200 per ticket.
"Every year, the holidays sneak up on us. Travelers are left scrambling for last-minute tickets, which can be expensive and have inconvenient departure times, arrival times, or unwanted layovers," said Dr. Chris Slowe, Chief Scientist at Hipmunk. "By booking early, travelers can save themselves the headache and find more affordable and convenient options for their holiday travel."
To make the most of your Thanksgiving trip, Hipmunk recommends keeping the following tips in mind:
- Avoid traveling on the busiest days. By avoiding travel on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or the Sunday after, you'll avoid the crowds at the airport and save money. Try flying in Monday or Tuesday for a more cost-effective flight and more time with the family.
- Find a place to stay for the whole family. Many travelers stay with family over the holidays, making this time of year a great time to find deals on hotel stays. Alternatively, families can forgo the hassle of booking a hotel and opt for more flexible travel accommodations with rentals through Airbnb and HomeAway.
- Take the train. If you're traveling a short distance, consider taking Amtrak between cities to further lower costs and avoid crowded airports and long security lines. Hipmunk displays Amtrak in-line with flights so you always see the best and most affordable options.
- Embrace the experience. If flying isn't in the plans this year, take time to explore your hometown, city, or surrounding area. Chase an adventure, go on a road trip or score a last-minute hotel deal with Hipmunk's Tonight Only mobile feature during a spontaneous trip or staycation.
Hipmunk is the fastest, easiest way to plan travel. The site and mobile apps save you time by comparing top travel sites so you don't have to. The unique display makes it easy to visually compare results to choose what's best for you. Hipmunk offers the most comprehensive travel search, bringing in more travel options from commercial flights to trains to charter flights and more accommodations from large hotels to home and apartment rentals through Airbnb and HomeAway.