• Why now is the time to book your Thanksgiving trip


    If you are planning family travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, don't wait to book your flight. Many vacationers don't realize the savings they could receive from simply planning ahead, especially when it's summertime and no one wants to think about the drabber weather on its way.

    Book now and save
    Data from online travel company, Hipmunk, reveals that travelers can save up to $200 if they purchase their Thanksgiving airfare before Labor Day. The 2013 data analysis showed that, on average, those who booked their flight the week before Labor Day bought tickets for around $424, while those who waited until the week of Thanksgiving spent about $561. This is a significant increase from the average amount spent during the fourth quarter of 2013, at $383, according to The Department of Transportation.

    However, contrary to what the airfare data showed, the Hipmunk study also reported that it's best to wait until the last minute to spend on hotel reservations, for travelers that booked accommodation in August last year paid approximately $177. Those who waited until November, however, spent an average of $131, saving almost $50.

    Timing is key
    Dr. Chris Slowe, chief scientist at Hipmunk, said that timing is a key aspect to a successful holiday trip.

    "Knowing when to purchase airfare at the lowest price or which day of the week to fly to avoid crowds will help take the agony out of the holiday travel experience," Dr. Slowe told Hipmunk.

    Hipmunk also suggests flying out the Monday before Thanksgiving, or even on the holiday itself if possible, and then coming home the Friday after. This will save you and your traveling companions from the crowds and inconveniences usually associated with holiday travel, for Hipmunk's analysis shows that 62 percent of flyers departed the Tuesday or Wednesday before the holiday and 88 percent returned the Saturday or Sunday after the holiday.

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