Data from Travel Company Hipmunk Reveals When to Buy to Maximize Savings
SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 16, 2014) — Christmas is still months away, but to get the best deals, now is the time to think about Christmas travel. Hipmunk evaluated historical travel data and found that a fast and easy way to save nearly $150 on Christmas travel is to book airfare in October, but make hotel reservations in December.
Hipmunk found that Christmas flight rates increase rapidly the longer travelers wait to book. On average, early birds who booked in October spent $430 while those who booked in December spent $508—a difference of almost $80. Of all October bookers, those who purchased tickets during the first week of the month got the best deal. They spent an average of $398, which is $110 less than the average spent by latecomers in December.
“Travelers often think the earlier they buy airfare, the more they’ll save,” said Chris Slowe, chief data scientist at Hipmunk. “But our historical flight data consistently tells us that buying flights too early can be as bad as buying too late. The key is to know when prices will begin to steadily rise and then buy before that threshold.”
But for hotels, it’s the opposite. Hotel prices tend to decrease as the holiday approaches. Last year, travelers who booked from August through October spent about $200 per night. Latecomers who waited to reserve their hotels in December saved $60 per night by securing an average room rate of $145.
Haven’t booked your flight home for the December holidays? We analyzed historical data and discovered that airfare prices will increase even more after Cyber Monday! Travelers looking to book holiday airfare should book before Cyber Monday on December 2nd , in order to save up to 46% on flights.
Airfare for Christmas travel (December 22-29) in 2012 increased dramatically as the holiday approached. Travelers who booked between December 3-9 paid up to 22 percent more ($651 rather than $532 per ticket), and those who booked on or after December 10 paid up to 46 percent more ($775 rather than $532 per ticket). Here is a chart which shows the average price increases between November 26th – December 16th.
The longer you wait, the more you can expect to pay. Go to Hipmunk to book your flight today!
The holidays are around the corner, and it happens to be the busiest time to travel. We analyzed our database, and found that the best time to book airfare for the December holidays is the week leading up to Veteran’s Day. If you book holiday travel before November 11th, Veteran’s Day, you could pay an average of $266 less than those who wait until December to book.
Airfare for Christmas travel (December 22-29) in 2012 increased dramatically as the holiday approached. Travelers who booked between December 3-9 paid up to 28 percent more ($651 rather than $509 per ticket), and those who booked on or after December 10 paid up to 52 percent more ($775 rather than $509 per ticket). Compared to these prices, travelers booking the week of November 5-11 can avoid the price increases in December and save up to $266.
Here’s a helpful graph to show the average price increases based on 2012 data:
Based on this information, we recommend that if you’re thinking of traveling for Christmas, avoid procrastinating and book flights as soon as possible, so you can get the best airfare deals. Here are some additional tips if you’re thinking of traveling for the holidays:
- Find a place to stay for the whole family. A fun option for families who want to stay together during the holidays is booking a home rental for the whole family. Hipmunk makes it easy by showing users options for home rentals from Airbnb and HomeAway alongside hotels.
- Take the train. If you’re traveling a short distance, consider taking Amtrak between cities to save money and avoid crowded airports and long security lines. Hipmunk displays Amtrak trains 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. Go on a road trip or score a last-minute hotel deal with Hipmunk’s Tonight Deals feature, which allows users to save up to 60% off last-minute hotel bookings.
Beat the rush, save money, and book your holiday trip now by visiting www.hipmunk.com!