NEW YORK (NBC News) A new Orbitz Travel survey finds if you’re planning to travel around or between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year you’ll be joined by nearly three quarters of your fellow Americans.
Low airfares are one reason congestion will be worse at airports. They’re up to 12-percent cheaper than last year if you book now.
Orbitz Senior Editor Jeanenne Tornatore says booking by the end of October gets you the most desirable flights, and advises the real cheap flights are the first of the day.
“The 5:30-6am flights are the first ones out,” she says. “They’re typically less expensive and they’re typically more on time than the flights later in the day.”
She also says avoid flying the wednesday before and sunday after thanksgiving if you can.
You save even more by flying on the actual holiday.
Christmas is on a Sunday this year, so flying anytime the week before will be at a premium.
Here’s what you need to know to get the best deals:
Book Thanksgiving before Halloween — and winter holidays 80 days beforehand
Although this is still the priciest season of the year, the good news for potential Thanksgiving travelers is that flight prices are down 7.8 percent from last year, according to airfare prediction app Hopper.
A current domestic round-trip flight will set you back an average of $323, and although prices won’t change much during the month of October, mark Halloween on the calendar as your booking deadline. Each day the clock ticks past October 31 will cost you an estimated $1.50 per day on flight prices, then $6 per day in the last 10 days before Turkey Day.
And if you’re the ultimate frugal traveler? Thanksgiving day itself is the cheapest day to travel. A close second? Leaving Monday, November 21 and returning Friday, November 25, which could save you 20 percent compared to the most popular travel days.