SEATTLE, Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- New data released
today by Expedia® indicates holiday travel planning is underway and
the top choices for Thanksgiving and Christmas escapes are sunny
beachside destinations across Mexico, the southern U.S. and the Caribbean. Mountaintop getaways to
Utah and Colorado are also shaping up to be popular for
travelers this holiday season. While many of these destinations are
already seeing strong demand, it's important to know that it's not
too late to book.
"Whether you're hoping to spend your holidays on the sand or on
a ski slope, the best way to find a great value just requires a bit
of flexibility in terms of your travel dates and taking advantage
of the savings that are out there," says Christie Hudson, senior PR manager for Brand
Expedia. "For example, members save 10% or more just by booking on
the Expedia app, which is a great way to get more bang for your
buck during the holiday season."
Expedia breaks down the best times to travel, where to go and
how to save on everything from flights to hotels, and car rentals.
Plus, tried and true tips for ensuring holiday travels go
Holiday Trip Planning Tips
- Flight booking tips: Booking holiday airfare is all
about timing. While booking well in advance can yield savings,
often it's just as important to be flexible with travel dates to
avoid the busiest travel days. According to Expedia data, the most
expensive travel dates around the holidays are the Wednesday before
Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) and
Thursday, Dec. 23. And for those
planning a post-Christmas trip, avoid departing on Tuesday, Dec. 28. Here's when to fly:
- Historically, shifting departure dates to the week before or
after each holiday will yield savings. For example, departing on or
before Nov. 19 in 2019 resulted in a
savings of nearly 15 percent compared to departing the day before
Thanksgiving. For Christmas, departing between Dec. 13-17 could save travelers more than 10
percent. Traveling on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day also often
results in cheaper fares.
- Consider a trip in between the holidays: Currently, prices for
domestic flights in early December (from the 6-17) are around 15-20
percent cheaper than they were for the same timeframe in 2019.
- Start the year off right: The week between Christmas and New
Year's Day is a very popular travel week and prices often reflect
that. A more budget-friendly itinerary would be to depart on New
Year's Eve and spend the first week of the year on vacation.
- Getting the best value on accommodations: It's no secret
that average daily lodging rates have gone up since travel began to
recover earlier in the year, and the trend is likely to continue
into the busy holiday season. Current demand data shows prices are
generally lower during the Thanksgiving holiday compared to the
week of Christmas. For popular resort destinations in Mexico or the Caribbean such as Cancun or Punta
Cana, for example, those savings could amount to around
$70 or more per night.
- Car rental: For travelers in need of a car during their
holiday trips, pricing trends reveal that now is a great time to
lock it in. Average rates per day for the holiday time periods are
currently trending downward, but as pricing can fluctuate there's
no guarantee how long these rates will last. Filter for options
that allow "free cancellation" or "pay at pick up" to score even
more flexibility when planning ahead.
- Budget-friendly destinations: City destinations like
New York, San Francisco and Boston continue to offer up some the best
deals around in terms of hotel prices, with savings for the
holidays ranging from 10-35 percent compared to 2019. But if a
beach escape is preferred, the winter months are a great time to
go, with many warm-weather destinations like Miami, Orange
County and Myrtle Beach
offering better rates compared to the summer months.
Beach destinations are always a favorite for the holidays and
2021 sees this trend going strong. The bottom line for travelers:
if any of these hotspots sound appealing, be sure to firm up travel
plans soon for the best options and availability.
Maya, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Mexico
5. Punta Cana,
8. Salt Lake
Maya, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Mexico
5. Punta Cana,
6. Kansas City,
7. Salt Lake
8. Palm Beach
9. Rapid City –
Mount Rushmore, S.D.
Not all travelers are heading to their normal vacation spots,
however. Looking at which destinations are seeing the biggest jumps
in terms of search interest for Thanksgiving and Christmas proves
some travelers are thinking outside the box. From an ecotourism
mecca in Costa Rica to the ski
slopes of Colorado, these trending
destinations clearly have a lot to entice holiday travelers.
1. St. Croix,
U.S. Virgin Islands
2. Salt Lake
4. Estes Park,
5. Park City,
3. Estes Park,
6. Salt Lake
9. San Miguel
de Allende, Mexico
10. Ocean City,
Flexibility is key for holiday and winter travel.
- Book refundable stays on Expedia by filtering for "free
cancellation" or "reserve now, pay later" and select the refundable
- Try to avoid restrictive or non-refundable airfare. Expedia
makes it easy to compare fares during the booking process by
highlighting what is or isn't included with the ticket, such as
seat selection, checked baggage or whether changes are permitted.
Paying a bit more for flexibility can bring peace of mind, which is
especially valuable during the holidays.
- Take direct flights and avoid taking the last flight of the day
whenever possible during the winter months to reduce the chances of
missed connections or delays due to cancelled flights or winter
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 restrictions and requirements for
airlines, hotels and destinations. Some hotels require proof of
vaccination while others might require a negative test result from
an approved list of providers. Travelers can use the Expedia
COVID-19 travel advisor to find more information about travel
advisories and health and safety guidelines.
Notes to Editors:
Traveler wellbeing is our priority. Expedia understands how the
global impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect
travelers everywhere, as well as the importance of abiding by
government restrictions and practicing social distancing. Travelers
can visit the Expedia COVID-19 travel resource page for information
to make informed travel decisions.
Expedia.com® is one of the world's largest full-service travel
sites, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book
travel. Expedia.com (https://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims
to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top
vacation destinations, affordable airfare, hotel deals, car
rentals, destination weddings, cruise deals and in-destination
activities, attractions, services and travel apps.
© 2021 Expedia, Inc., an Expedia Group company. All rights
reserved. Expedia and the Airplane logo are trademarks of Expedia,
Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are
the property of their respective owners. CST# 2029030-50.
Flight pricing based on demand on Expedia.com from
Average daily lodging and car rental rates based on
Expedia.com demand for the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas
Top destinations based on fastest-growing lodging demand on
Expedia.com for the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas 2021
compared to the same time periods in 2019.
Trending destinations are those seeing the biggest spike in
search interest for Thanksgiving and Christmas 2021 compared with
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