If you haven’t already, it’s time to schedule your holiday travels as summer gives way to autumn. Flights around the holidays can be expensive, but with enough organization and flexibility, it is feasible to get inexpensive Thanksgiving flights.
Details you need to know around Thanksgiving travel
Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Thursday, November 23 of this year.
The optimal time to seek for low-cost flights is two months to six months in advance for international travel and one month to three months in advance for domestic travel during typical years. If at all feasible, you should make your reservations for Thanksgiving and other high-demand months such as summer, spring break, Christmas, and New Year’s well in advance. This is also the case if your travel dates are not changeable.
The closer it comes to Thanksgiving, the less likely it is that you will be able to get a low-cost flight, and this is especially true if your travel dates and location are set in stone. As early as early September, the opportunity for purchasing inexpensive flights for Thanksgiving (and even for Christmas and New Year’s) is quickly closing.
You should also anticipate a spike in pricing approximately three weeks before Thanksgiving, once you get to that point in time
This is partly attributable to the fact that demand has outpaced supply on a number of different routes. The capacity of airlines was increased fairly fast, particularly on a large number of routes focused on leisure travel; nonetheless, even if demand for travel has increased, it is still lower than it was before the epidemic.
This results in a significant number of empty seats on airplanes, and airlines are engaged in a fierce battle to fill those seats.
When compared to other holidays, Thanksgiving tends to be something of an outlier when it comes to business transactions with other countries. Domestic travel that includes visits to family members at the same time may be rather pricey, so it is important to have a plan in place before you embark on such an adventure (e.g. start watching prices as early as possible).
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a cheap flight to another country, this time of year may actually be one of the greatest times of the year to do it. The tens of millions of passengers who only fly within their own country are not considered to be engaged in international travel. Domestically, it’s a bountiful period for airlines, but globally, they’re experiencing a drought. How can airlines ensure that every seat on their flights to popular destinations like Paris, Cancun, and Barcelona is filled? Reduce the price of the ticket.
Midway through December is when you’ll see a substantial increase in the cost of international flights due to the Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel periods. But even in late November, airlines still have to find ways to encourage people to travel internationally. When it comes to scheduling, the week of Thanksgiving is one of the most favorable times to take a trip. The majority of students are given at least a five-day weekend off from school, and some even get the entire week off. Numerous other places of employment do the same thing.
Also, the timing is favorable at your destination, which is especially relevant if your journey will take you across the Atlantic. One of the most convenient places to fly to for the Thanksgiving holiday is Europe. Late in the month of November is when most of Europe’s Christmas markets open their doors. Also, the weather is still very much in a bearable range during the autumn. One further advantage is that late November is typically a less busy time at most international places. It’s not just airfares that are cheaper; it’s hotels, vehicle rentals, and activities as well.
Remember to pay attention to this
Airlines have a lot of tickets to sell. Because of this, places will have less people visiting them, costs will be cheaper, and you will have a much better chance of finding an affordable overseas offer.
Particularly on particular airlines, passengers may see an increased frequency of cancellations, queues, and delays
Businesses operating in the travel and hospitality industries, from airlines and airports to car rental offices, hotels, and restaurants, are struggling with labor shortages. As a result, you should generally anticipate some delays and long lineups wherever you go throughout your travels. Some airlines have already started cutting back on flights through the fall and early winter based on lagging demand, which means you may see your scheduled travel change (and remember, if the airline dramatically adjusts your itinerary, you can request a full refund) (and remember, if the airline significantly alters your schedule, you can get a full refund).
When making reservations, using certain credit cards can provide you with additional safety
There are several credit cards that offer travel protections that can cover you in the event that your trip is interrupted or canceled. This is especially true for credit cards that offer travel advantages. They will pay for items such as replacement clothing in the event that your luggage is lost or delayed, hotel accommodations or vehicle rentals in the event that your trip is canceled or delayed, and even a replacement flight if necessary.
The prices of hotels and auto rentals have decreased or reverted to their typical levels
The price of renting a car skyrocketed over the summer due to the rapid recovery of the travel industry and the efforts of car rental companies to make up after selling off their fleets in 2020.
Demand for automobile rentals has drastically decreased as a result of the end of the summer vacation season and the majority of children’s return to school. When you factor in the fact that rental businesses have spent the past few months rebuilding their inventory, you can see that pricing for rentals have returned to where they were before the pandemic. Even for Thanksgiving, prices are relatively reasonable (Christmas and New Year’s typically have rates that are two or three times more than normal, but this is something that occurs every year).
Even though this year will be different from other years, there are still some pointers that are applicable at all times. Here are some of our additional suggestions for traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, all of which are applicable in any year.
How to locate discounted flights for the Thanksgiving holiday
- Always make your reservations before the21,14, or 7-day marks.
- If you absolutely need to book a ticket for Thanksgiving at the last minute, here is a strategy to prevent the inevitable price increases that will occur.
- When you buy a plane ticket, the “fine print” on the back of the ticket will tell you, among other things, how much the flight will cost. These guidelines are referred to as “fare regulations,” and tickets are grouped together in a variety of “fare buckets.” One of the most typical components of fare rules is the advance purchase restriction, which stipulates that a specific fare bucket will only be made available if it is booked a certain amount of time in advance (for example, 21 days or more before departure).
Furthermore typical are requirements for a 7-day or 14-day advance purchase
- There is a simple explanation for why airlines implement advance purchase requirements: leisure travelers have a tendency to book their flights in advance, while business travelers have a tendency to book their flights later. Because business travelers typically do not care about the cost of their flight (since their employer is paying for it), airlines intentionally raise the prices of the types of tickets that business travelers purchase, including last-minute reservations, in order to ensure that they make as much profit as possible from these customers.
- This indicates that the price of a ticket will normally increase 21 days, 14 days, and 7 days before the departure date (though of course, this is not the only period that the price could rise). If you’ve been keeping an eye on a fare and it’s been somewhat consistent, you should try to book your trip before these benchmarks by setting an alarm for them. The chances of the price going up on these days are high.
Keep your date options open
If you are trying to find flights to visit family for Thanksgiving, you will have a much better chance of snagging a deal if you are able to pad your travel dates so that you are not departing the day before Thanksgiving and returning home the Sunday after Thanksgiving, as these are two of the busiest travel days of the year. If you are able to avoid flying on these days, you will have a much better chance of finding an affordable flight.
Consider flying to your destination earlier in the week, when the majority of people are still at work, or flying back home later in the week following your trip, if you want to avoid the crowds. If you are unable to take extra time off from work, you should try to fly at a time when the majority of people do not want to. For example, the majority of people begin their Thanksgiving celebrations on Thursday afternoon, so flights that arrive later in the day are typically cheaper than those that arrive in the morning.
If you aren’t going to be spending the holiday with family but rather planning a much-needed trip abroad, you might want to consider departing on Thanksgiving day, which is when airfare is normally at its lowest, then returning in the middle of the week the following week.
Will you be taking a vacation? Maintain some degree of adaptability in regard to your destination.
Don’t give a damn about where you end up? We usually recommend utilizing Google Flights as a starting point for your search so that you can identify the dates and locations that provide the best deals.
Consider using other airports whenever possible
Increase the scope of your search to include airports that are within a reasonable driving distance. If you are travelling to New York City, for instance, it is possible that flying into Newark, or even Philadelphia, will result in cheaper tickets than flying into JFK or LaGuardia.
If the location you wish to attend is a hub, you should look into purchasing tickets from hidden city
Examining different ticket possibilities that could involve you making a connection in the hub that you’re trying to get to is one approach to beat the system and save money on airline travel. It is possible that a flight from San Francisco to Nashville with a layover in Atlanta will be less expensive than a flight from San Francisco directly to Atlanta; however, if your ultimate goal is to arrive in Atlanta, you should choose the flight that departs from San Francisco rather than the flight that arrives there. Please keep in mind that if you miss one leg of a hidden-city flight, the rest of your ticket will be canceled; therefore, you should either book two separate one-way tickets or skip the flight only on the return leg of your journey.
If you are travelling internationally, your primary concern should be finding the most cost-effective way to cross the ocean.
It’s possible that this will need you to book a round-trip flight to a big hub like Paris or London, followed by a second round-trip flight on a low-cost regional carrier to get you to your ultimate destination (or taking the train, bus, or ferry).
Where to spend Thanksgiving in 2023 and why you should go there
There are a lot of wonderful destinations to visit for Thanksgiving, and you may pick one that is close to home or one that is on the other side of the world.
The best times to travel for Thanksgiving in 2023 is before Thanksgiving, and early Thursday morning or late Thursday night.