In collaboration with the Airlines Reporting Corporation, Expedia narrowed down the best days and times for booking flights, traveling in general and what’s best to splurge on in the upcoming year.
Here’s what you’ll need to know before you plan your next vacation.
Hacks for booking flights
Expedia recommends travelers buy plane tickets weeks in advance. The best time to book a domestic flight is between 28 and 38 days before departure. International flights, on the other hand, should be booked three to four months in advance if you’re looking to get the best rate possible.
Travelers might be able to maximize their savings if they book their flight on a Sunday, according to Expedia. The company said travelers who do this typically save around 5% on domestic flights and 10% on international flights.
When it comes down to actual departure days, leaving on a Monday tends to save domestic travelers more than 15%. Thursdays tend to save international travelers more than 5%.
If you’re open to restricting your travel to the time of year when you can save the most money, Expedia says domestic travelers could save up to 10% if they book a flight in January. International travelers could save nearly 20% if they book a flight in August.
Hacks for saving on hotels
Just like flight bookings, time plays a factor in hotel rates. According to Expedia, booking a domestic hotel on a Monday could result in a discount that’s more than 15%. Booking an international hotel on a Tuesday could result in a discount that’s nearly 10%.
If further savings are desired, Expedia says it could be worthwhile to look at hotels that aren’t five stars. For example, Expedia reports that travelers saved nearly 45% on average when they chose a four-star property over a five-star one. Similarly, the travel company says travelers who chose a three-star property over a four-star property saved around 30%.
While the monetary savings sound promising, don’t forget to check travel reviews and refund terms before you commit to booking an accommodation.
Hacks for travel spending
Bundling your travel bookings usually results in significant savings, which could include flights, hotels and car rentals. According to Expedia’s internal data, U.S. travelers have saved up to 10% on average when they bundled flights and hotels in one transaction.
The travel company also says recommends opting for refundable travel arrangements over non-refundable ones for the flexibility it offers. Expedia cited the ongoing coronavirus pandemic’s "unpredictability" as a reason for seeking added security. Refundable travel plans reportedly cost around 15% more than non-refundable plans.
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At this point in time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends unvaccinated groups to avoid unessential travel due to the state of the COVID-19 pandemic. If travel can’t be avoided, the health agency urges unvaccinated groups to take precautions, including protective mask wear, social distancing and frequent handwashing.
Many of these precautions are suggested to vaccinated travelers as well in high-traffic public spaces. Check the local mandates for any location you plan to visit.