The Travel Factory Blog
It's getting close to holiday time and we always get the question, “When is the best time to travel”, and I usually answer, “Whenever you want to go!!!”. Then their real question comes out, “no, when is the best price or what day is the best day to get the best price”. In this day and time, those are hard questions to answer in precise and definite terms.
Generally speaking, September and October are probably the best months to plan for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. I generally suggest earlier if you can, and especially if you are wanting to use your points or airline awards to pay for the trip. The inventory for available seats for that time of the year is severely limited, so often 6-8 months ahead is often too late.
The airlines have discounted fares that are offered if you make reservations 30 days before travel, 21, 14, or 7 days before travel. The fewer days before travel the higher the ticket price. And as in the award seats, the inventory for those seats are reduced at holiday time too.
When one decides to purchase a ticket, if they are flexible enough, very early or very late flights are often reduced and available. Also, traveling on certain days will occasionally be advantageous price-wise. With some carriers, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday are good days to consider for a better price.
We often get calls wanting us to price out a particular itinerary. So we go through the exercise and end up with a quote. The response is, “oh, I can get that flight for $50 less on-line”. And my response is, if that is the price you want to pay, give them your card and get that ticket in your pocket....but don't call us when you need some assistance before or after you go because we didn't sell you that ticket.
If you are booking hotels during the holiday season, be prepared to pay a higher price there too, especially if you are going to New York or Las Vegas. They know you are coming and they price their rooms accordingly to suit them; in other words, there are generally no discounts or promotions during those holiday times. Again, availability is critical, so it's important to book those hotels in advance to make sure you get a room. I booked a family going to New York to see the Thanksgiving parade this year, and they were smart enough to listen to their travel agent, and we made those reservations back before Christmas last year. They got what they wanted, but again, planning early paid off for them.
You would be surprised to know that cruising during the holidays is a big ticket item, and a very popular time. Again, the cruise lines know that families like to get together in this fashion at that time, so they adjust the prices to make the most money. Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving cruise reservations should be nailed down in February or March. That does not mean they might not have some space left by September or October, but if they do, the locations of the rooms will not be the best, and the price, even for those rooms are at a premium rate.
Just remember, it makes no difference when you want to travel, the experienced travel counselors at The Travel Factory will be more than happy to help with your travel plans, and we'll be available before, during, and after you return. After all, folks in the Big Country have been happy with our service for over 40 years, so let us help you turn your holiday dreams into reality. We are located at 4150 Southwest Drive between Rosas and Chick-Fil-A, or call at 698-1421. We love making your holidays HAPPY!!!!