Let’s be honest: as much fun as traveling It can be a hassle, from canceled flights For long TSA lines. After a busy holiday season, even more Most likely travel The last thing on your mind. But if you want to save money, it’s all about your planning game. On January 17, travel companies Vrbo and Expedia revealed key dates you should keep in mind when booking flights, vacation rentals, and hotels to avoid overpaying or missing out on your booking window. If you’re a spontaneous traveler, planning can make the difference between securing your dream vacation home or having to pay exorbitant amounts for a hotel. Here’s when you should book to smoothly sail through your 2023 travel bucket list.
Have you ever checked flights but waited too long to book and now it’s twice the price? I know I have. It dampens your vacation when that $80 flight is now $160. To prevent this from happening, Vrbo and Expedia have set eight deadlines by which you must secure your flights and vacation rentals to save big time and big bucks.
It may seem like booking your flight months in advance, but it is one of the best ways to secure your spot. “All of these dates are two weeks earlier than they have been in years past,” Melanie Fish, Expedia Group’s head of brand public relations, said in a Jan. 17 press release. “Those two weeks can make or break a coveted mountain cabin for a spring break ski trip or a seaside cabin for the annual summer vacation.”
When to book rentals during busy travel seasons
Vrbo is known for its private rentals that are made up of entire homes, rather than shared with other travelers. They have rentals all over the world from unique stays to beach villas and ski lodges. For a wider range of rentals and price points to choose from, Vrbo recommends travelers book for the following dates:
- spring break: Book 30 January
- Memorial Day weekendBook before April 6th
- summer: Book by April 17th
- Fourth of July weekend: Book by May 10th
- Work weekend: Book before July 14th
- Thanksgiving: October 6 book
- Ski season: Book no later than October 16th
- winter breakBook before November 3
When to book flights During busy travel seasons
exist Lots of hacks to snag cheap flights, but one of the best ways to save is to book early. According to Expedia, the best time to book domestic flights is a month in advance of your trip, and up to six months in advance for international flights. It can save you 10% on fares, according to Expedia’s 2023 Air Travel Hacks report. You can also use the Expedia app’s price tracking and forecasting feature to check if you’re getting the best flights possible.
Similar to rentals, you must book for the same dates to secure your seats at the best rate. The key dates to note are July 4th and Thanksgiving, according to Expedia. On the Fourth of July, Expedia suggests avoiding travel on the Friday before the holiday and instead, traveling on the Sunday or Monday before the holiday. For Thanksgiving, the “ideal” is to start booking early in September for the November holiday.
When to book hotels during busy travel seasons
Unlike vacation rentals and airfare, hotels don’t have a set “book by” date, according to Hotels.com. However, if you’re looking for accommodations for events where you know the hotels will be in high demand (like a music festival or sporting event), you should look to confirm your reservation for a month or longer, according to a Hotels.com spokesperson. If it seems too early, you can filter for “fully refundable” hotels to find properties with flexible cancellation policies so you aren’t tied down when you change plans.