Should You Book Holiday Travel Now or Wait for Prices To (Maybe) Drop?

anyaberkut / Getty Images/iStockphoto

anyaberkut / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Since it’s the busiest time of year, arranging travel plans for the holiday season takes more care than an ordinary vacation. And as any traveler knows, it can be a hassle to secure a good flight at a low price. That’s why it’s crucial to book your flights at the right time (and that’s often well before the holidays).

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GOBankingRates asked travel and booking experts when they think the best time to book your holiday flights is. Here’s what they said.

Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

Book a Flight ASAP — Within Your Budget

Book a flight as soon as you find a price that fits your budget. Given how unpredictable travel prices are with COVID and inflation, too much hesitation might mess up your plans.

“Search for flights and reserve your tickets as soon as the pricing is right,” said Jenny Ly, founder at Wanderly. “It may be worth booking your tickets as soon as you can, even though September is typically the greatest period to find cheap holiday airline tickets.”

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Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Check Prices Regularly — Not Just in September

Because of fluctuating prices, it’s better to hunt for a lower price regularly than it is to wait until September. Robert Alexander, president of the National Limousine Association, said, “Don’t wait for prices to drop [in September] because there’s no way to know for certain what the state of the travel industry will be later this year.”

Hunting for the right price will be your best bet to finding a great deal. That means you’ll have to monitor prices regularly

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How to get a hotel room cheaper than the best price online

Here’s my spending philosophy: If you can get something a bit cheaper, it’s worth a little effort.

Of course, I like tools that do the hard work for me, too. Tap or click for an online shopping helper to find discounts that work.

There are digital tricks that can make travel easier, safer and more affordable, too. Tap or click for five smart tech tips you should read before you hit the road this summer.

When saving on hotel rooms, the sites that claim to have the best possible deal aren’t always the way to go. Sometimes, you can do better on your own. My son just used the tips below to get a hotel room for $80 cheaper than the lowest price online.

Don’t book through a travel site

When you’re looking for a hotel, travel discount sites like Kayak, Expedia or Hotels.com are good places to start — but don’t book there. Once you find the lowest available price at the hotel you want to visit, call the hotel’s reservation desk.

Many hotels will meet or beat the best internet rate when you book with them. They’d much rather skip the commission to the travel site and book your stay directly. The hotel might even throw in a free upgrade like a nicer room or complimentary breakfast.

If you’re not having any luck with the first person who answers, respectfully ask to speak to the sales manager.

This is the best time to book a hotel room

If it’s feasible, wait until the day you need the hotel room to book it. The later in the day, the better. After 4 p.m., hotels know the odds of selling a room are pretty slim, so you’re more likely to get an even lower rate. On average, the

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