This Is When to Book Your Thanksgiving Trip, According to Google Flights

Plus, three new features to help you make sure you’re getting the best deals on holiday travel this year.

This Is When to Book Your Thanksgiving Trip, According to Google Flights

Traveling for Thanksgiving? You’re going to want to book your flights earlier than you’d think.

Photo by Gerrie van der Walt on Unsplash

Even though it’s still summer, it’s already time to start thinking about booking your Thanksgiving flights, according to new data from Google.

After analyzing flights from Thanksgiving 2017, Google determined that fares start to increase about 75 days out from Thanksgiving. So, whether you’re going back home or to your in-laws or to an entirely new destination to celebrate Thanksgiving, you’re going to want to book your flights by early September to get the best deal. From then on, prices go up another 10 percent each month after that and hit their peak seven days before departure.

Google’s research also revealed that while the Wednesday before Thanksgiving may still be one of the busiest days of the year to travel in the United States, it’s not necessarily the most expensive. In fact, Google says the day you come home is what affects the price of your ticket the most. To save the most money, it’s worth adding a few vacation days to the end of your trip and returning on Tuesday, November 27, or Wednesday, November 28.
Google also introduced three new features to make deals more transparent while searching for flights and hotels on its site.

Price Insights

Starting on August 27, all U.S.-based flight searches for late November travel dates will include a new Thanksgiving Price Insights feature that will appear below your search results. By letting you know whether the fare you’re looking at is higher or lower than usual, you’ll be able to determine if you’re spending too much money and adjust your travel dates accordingly to find a better price.

The hotel search function is also getting a similar treatment, but isn’t restricted to just Thanksgiving travel. For example, in the search for hotels in Barcelona this December (below), you can see not only how the price has fluctuated recently, but also that it is $38 less than similar hotels in Barcelona.

An example of Google’s new mobile Hotel Price Insights feature

An example of Google’s new mobile Hotel Price Insights feature

Courtesy of Google

Deals in Explore

If you’re more of a spontaneous traveler who is always looking for great flight deals anytime of the year, Google Flights’ new Deals in Explore feature is for you. Pulling data from historical flight prices, Google Flights search results on mobile and desktop now also include how much cheaper a flight is than usual.

For example, a recent search for a week-long trip in October from New York to anywhere in the United States revealed $374 round-trip flights to Jackson, Wyoming ($162 less than usual), $179 round-trip flights to Los Angeles ($98 less than usual), and $291 round-trip flights to Moab, Utah (a whopping $247 less than usual).

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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