As you know, the good folks at liligo.com are sponsoring the blog this month, and they’ve put together a post on Thanksgiving travel for me to share with you. Read below, and please do visit liligo.com. When you support one of my sponsors, you’re supporting the blog.
The Thanksgiving holiday is almost here and millions of Americans are set to take to the skies, traveling home and away over the long weekend. Taking a look at searches made on liligo.com by thousands of travelers, we’ve put together a guide to this year’s Thanksgiving travel trends: from last minute flights to the most popular destinations.
What Is The Cost Of Booking A Last Minute Flight?
If you’re considering booking a last minute flight for Thanksgiving, you’re not alone: searches made on liligo.com for the Thanksgiving holiday period are increasing the closer we get to the holiday period. In fact, the most searches were made on November 10 and show no signs of slowing down just yet.
It’s no secret that traveling around Thanksgiving means you’re going to end up paying a premium on your flight tickets. Taking a look at some popular routes, there’s been little change in the average flight price for Thanksgiving travel over the last month – suggesting that booking last minute doesn’t necessarily mean paying significantly more for your flights.
For example, the average price of a one way flight from New York to Orlando over the Thanksgiving holiday would have cost $156.39 had you bought it on September 2; on November 14, that same route was priced at $154 (for travel on November 23). This is indicative of the general trend for a number of routes departing New York, traveling to cities including Dallas and Chicago.
Flexible on your travel dates? Booking to fly on November 22 will save you big compared with the higher flight prices seen on November 23.
While we’re not recommending waiting until the last minute, if you’ve left booking your Thanksgiving flights until a week before the holiday, that doesn’t have to mean you’re going to end up paying top dollar.
All that being said, there’s nothing to be gained by waiting to book those flights. With demand increasing for Thanksgiving travel, there’s little chance of a price drop in the short space between now and the holiday. Holding out for a better deal, no matter how tempting it may be, may not be the best approach.
So, it looks like last minute trips are on our mind, but where are travelers intending to go this year?
Domestic Travel Is A Key Trend
When looking to where the most popular Thanksgiving destinations are, domestic travel is the key trend this year with the entire top 20 most popular destinations comprised of cities within the US.
The majority of travelers will be heading to Orlando, New York (attractions such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade no doubt a big draw), and Las Vegas for the holiday weekend. Warmer climes are also attracting travelers: aside from Orlando taking the top spot for most popular destination, Miami and Fort Lauderdale are also in the top 10 suggesting that Florida will see a high level of inbound traffic this year.
The top ten Thanksgiving destinations this year are:
- New York
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- Fort Lauderdale
Top Tip: If you’re hoping to grab a last minute bargain, looking for alternative destinations could save you money on your trip. With demand persisting for Thanksgiving flights, these popular cities will continue to command a premium. Check out less popular destinations for a Thanksgiving bargain.
When Should You Travel?
Comparing three popular travel dates (November 22, 23 and 24), it looks like November 23 is going to be a busy day for air travel, as the majority of travelers (45%) plan to fly on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Just over half that number are set to travel on Thanksgiving itself, with 24% planning a flight on the 24th. 31.2% of travelers will jet off on November 22. So, if timing allows, planning your travel to avoid the 23rd will pay off with fewer crowds and shorter lines.
New York is the most popular point of departure (and features heavily as a popular destination as well) meaning that airports such as LaGuardia, Newark and JFK will see increased footfall during the week of Thanksgiving.
Top Tip: Create a liligo.com fare alert and you’ll be kept up to date with any price changes to the fare of your chosen route.
[Disclaimer: All prices found on liligo.com are correct at the time of writing. All images via Shutterstock.]