George Hobica, founder of airfare comparison site Airfarewatchdog.com, has already booked his vacation trip. The key, he says, is to track bookings and be ready to cancel and rebook if prices drop.
Because most airlines waived change fees for most tickets during the pandemic, fliers can cancel any existing reservations and receive a credit that they can then use toward a future ticket purchase. (This tip doesn’t apply to low-cost carriers, such as Spirit Airlines, which tend to charge penalties for any changes, so read the fare rules before you shop.)
“Be sure to keep checking after you book, because prices can go down and you can get a no-fee refund credit,” Hobica says, adding that the cheapest fares tend to be after the Thanksgiving rush until around mid- December.
Reschedule your vacation
For travelers looking to celebrate in new ways, the holiday months offer unexpected bargains.
Thanksgiving is “the hidden and best week of the year for international travel,” says Keyes. “Domestic fares are inflated, but for international travel, it’s actually a low-season week.”
During the last two months of the year, thrifty travelers can listen to reggae-style Jingle Bells in the Caribbean or catch the holiday lights in London.
“If you can travel the first two weeks of November, before December 17 or after January 4, you can find fares often 50 percent lower than during the holiday weeks,” says Rob Stern, a consultant in Raleigh, North Carolina. , who runs RobPlansYourTrip. .com. “Some travelers who don’t celebrate Christmas will be taking cruises from December 17 to 24 at surprisingly low fares.”
Elaine Glusac writes the Frugal Traveler column for New York Times and is a Chicago-based national parks enthusiast
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