Over half of Americans are planning holiday travel for late-2022
Yahoo Finance’s Kerry Hannon outlines how American travelers are already planning their holiday travel, the best dates to fly, and how to find the best deals in airfare.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: Well, if you’re hoping to travel for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, you might want to book your flight as soon as possible. Yahoo Finance’s Kerry Hannon joins us now to break down the staggering cost of holiday travel this year. Kerry, as if we needed one more thing to worry about. Break down these numbers for us.
KERRY HANNON: Well, here we go. It’s up, up, and away. We talked to our friends over at Hopper, the travel app, and they have a new survey– a survey out this week that says, hey, guess what? The domestic fares are going to be up roughly 20% from 2019 and 40% from last year. International fares, roughly in that same market for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Christmas is going to be even more expensive. So you really need to start paying attention.
And, Rachelle, it’s the same reasons that we saw the issues earlier in the year. It’s this pent-up demand that people have spent two years not traveling to see family over the holidays. They’re, like, we’re going. I mean, Hopper found that more than 50% of people said they’re traveling this holiday. That’s it. They are not staying home. And so, you know, you have that pent-up demand.
The fuel prices are still high, and capacity is reduced on these airplanes. They have fewer flights. So it’s just your basic supply and demand. So this is not going away. I mean, next summer is when they expect to get back to full capacity. So, again, now time is of the essence to start looking at these fares. They’re still just slowly inches up right now.
And the folks at Hopper and others that I talked to say, really, the week of October 10, if you’re not booked by then, you’re going to start seeing them rapidly jumping up from there. So, you know, it’s your basic keep an eye out there. There’s lots of good tips that can help you move forward with this. But start paying attention if you’re looking to go somewhere.
DAVID BRIGGS: All right, you gave us tip number one, which is get on it early, which means right now. What else can we do to save some money on airfares?
KERRY HANNON: Yes, Dave. You got– be flexible, OK? This is classic advice, but you want to try to travel the week before or the week after the holiday. Don’t try to do it, right, those day or two before or right after. Though, in fact, Christmas Day or Christmas Eve or Thanksgiving Day, those are great days to fly. I mean, the fares are kind of low.
Set yourself on those price tractors– Google– price trackers. Google has a great flight, Google Flights tracks. Hopper has one. Scott’s has one. Get those alerts, and start looking right now. And so that if you get to that week of October 10 and you haven’t booked, you’re probably got to go with one of those.
But set those trackers. It’s good to download the app from the airline that you do choose because if you have a cancelation, this is where you can quickly rebook. They make it– they’ve worked very hard to get their technology souped up there a little bit.
Be patient. If you’re going to– give yourself extra time if you’ve got layovers. If you can have a one-hour or three-hour layover, you might consider the three just to build in that extra cushion. International travelers are going to find it a little tougher. So be patient there, too, because they’ve really had hiring issues even more for airport staff.
So I think those are some of the things. Use your points. My goodness, have you been hoarding your points? This is the time. If flight– with kind of high airfares, why not take advantage of using some of those points that you’ve kind of saved up?
And the final thing, Dave, I would say is, look around, OK? I live in Washington, DC. There are three or four airports within driving distance of my house. Look at all of them because you might find a better fare at a smaller airport or, conversely, the larger one. You don’t know. But there’s kind of no rhyme or reason, but really do your homework.
DAVID BRIGGS: We’ll do that. Kerry Hannon, thanks so much for being here. Have a wonderful weekend.