For Holiday Flights, Think Christmas Before Thanksgiving

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(ABC News)–Thinking about Thanksgiving flights? Turns out you can put the Turkey Day plans on the back burner. It’s time to book Christmas.

Historical data just released by Hopper, the airfare prediction app, shows that on average the best time to book a flight for Christmas is 80 days before departure. That’s this week. “In fact, there have been major fare sales for Christmas flights this week and prices are now 12 percent below last year’s prices,” according to Hopper’s Holiday Travel Index.

Domestic Christmas flights are currently $304 round-trip. For every day closer to Christmas, average round-trip holiday airfare goes up about $1.50. Over the course of 80 days, that adds up to $120.

Travelers who want to go on vacation over the December holidays have a bit more time to book hotels. According to TripAdvisor’s new “best time to book” holiday report, the best prices for U.S. hotels for the last two weeks of the year are found in November. The best deals in Europe are found way back in March, but TripAdvisor claims there are last-minute deals to be found and advises waiting until the last half of November to book.

And those Turkey Day flights we said you can put on the back burner? You can, but book before Halloween, Hopper said. Domestic Thanksgiving flights are currently $323 round-trip. If you wait to book your flight until after Halloween, it will cost you about $1.50 per each day you wait, and then prices start rising about $6 per day in the last 10 days before departure.

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