According to data from Hotwire.com, the cost of Christmas travel (as compared to last year) is up. Specifically, hotel prices are currently up 22 percent, Air prices for the top 20 US markets are currently up six percent and car prices are up one percent.
If you haven’t already solidified your Christmas travel plans, you’ll probably end up paying more than the average increase.
Now would be a good time to focus on New Year’s Eve.
If you’re traveling domestically, early December is the best time to book your travel. Booking flights two weeks out is optimal, say the experts at Kayak.com. Average fares were found to be as low as $409.
Europe-bound revelers have probably missed the sweet-spot for booking travel to Europe, but you still have some time if you’re headed to the Caribbean. According to Kayak, booking 4 to 21 days prior to departure date will yield the best rates.
Anyone traveling during the holiday season can probably use a refresher on holiday travel best practices. Here are a few tips from Promotionalcodes.com:
Pack more power: Bring a charging case or a portable battery charger for your phone, so that you can charge your device on the fly.
Tap an app: Use travel based apps like GateGuru, which lets you know which in-airport food options are available or FlightStatus, which lets you check to make sure your plane is on time. Whatever your travel sore spot, there’s likely an app to address it.
Pack like a pro: Try to fit your belongings in a carry-on bag. This usually means rolling your clothes up instead of folding them, in order to minimize surface area. If you are traveling as a family, try to pack as many belongings in as few suitcases as possible.
E is for easy: Check-in for your flight and obtain an electronic boarding pass from your smartphone. This will save you crucial time in a situation where it is at a premium, but you will no longer have to worry about misplacing your boarding pass. Editor’s Note: You cannot do this if you are checking in multiple travelers on the same reservation.
Track your bag: Who wants to lose their luggage? Put a GPS tracker in with your clothes and keep track of the location of your luggage the whole flight to ensure that it doesn’t end up in suitcase purgatory.