Now that summer is almost officially over, it's time to start planning the rest of the year. Just because the sun is setting doesn't mean that the fun is over. Now is the perfect time to start prepping for an awesome Thanksgiving trip in the fall. Whether you're headed home to see family or jet-setting with friends, here's when to book your Thanksgiving flights for 2019 — knowing the right time to buy tickets will make a huge difference if you're looking to save some cash.
Seasoned travelers know that booking a flight for the Thanksgiving travel season can be such a mind-boggling process. But, there's something to be thankful for this season: Expedia has revealed the best dates to book flights for the 2019 holiday season, based on data from 2018. In a September 2018 press release, John Morrey, SVP Brand Expedia, explained the reason behind releasing the data to the public: "We like to inform travelers of these sweet spots so they can book confidently and maximize their savings ahead of the holidays."
Mark your calendars, because according to the Aug. 27 press release, the cheapest time to buy for Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 28 this year, is between Oct. 29 and Nov. 13. This is a change from the brand's 2018 advice, which gave a window of Sept. 13 through Oct. 22, based on the 2017 data. Really, though, if you see a cheap flight for where you going, you should grab it as soon as possible.
Need a little more guidance? By booking two weeks to a month in advance of your flight, travelers saved more than 5%, per the release. You'll definitely want to get a head start on scouring for prime flights, because the data shows that last-minute bookers, or travelers who booked less than one week out, paid more than 20% above average. That's a hefty amount of extra cash to pay just because of holiday procrastination!
So, when's the best time to fly? It turns out it's actually Thanksgiving Day. If you've already committed to preparing the turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving Day celebrations, don't worry. You can still get a bargain deal by starting your trip on the Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, which are Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 this year, would be your second cheapest options. Since the holiday hustle at the airport is surely bound to be a struggle, you'll want to especially avoid traveling on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 20 for this year's holiday. Expedia's Data confirms that this is the busiest travel day leading up to the holiday.
There are a bunch of other things Expedia recommends to do in order to save on your holiday trip and make the most of Thanksgiving. One good tip to ensure a good deal is to set up price alerts and favorite the hotels you like on the Expedia website. This way, you can track any price changes and see when a hotel is offering the lowest rate. Don't forget you can always bundle your flight with a hotel on Expedia. By either booking your flight and hotel at the same time or adding a hotel later, travelers saved an average of up to $600! That's a whole lot of savings.
This totally proves that procrastinating when planning a trip isn't the greatest idea. Planning for a big holiday period like Thanksgiving requires tons of knowledge, strategy, and perseverance. But in the end, it'll totally be worth it to know that you got a killer deal.