OMAHA – With higher prices, holiday travelers are booking earlier this year and the Auto Club Group is encouraging vacationers to do so for the best combination of price and availability.
According to a release from AAA, the summer travel season has come to an end, but Nebraskans are already beginning to lock in their plans for the holidays.
When AAA fielded a travel survey in the summer, a quarter (25%) of Nebraska travelers had plans to take a trip during the holidays. Of those, 2-in-5 (41%) said they would book earlier than in years past, due to higher travel prices.
According to the survey, almost half (47%) of Thanksgiving travelers will finalize plans by the end of the month. Meanwhile, over 2-in-5 (42%) of Christmas travelers will finalize plans by the end of October.
When asked when would Thanksgiving travel plans would be finalized:
- 12% before September
- 35% September
- 27% October
- 26% November
- 0% unsure
When asked when would Christmas travel plans would be finalized:
- 10% before September
- 21% September
- 11% October
- 36% November
- 19% December
- 3% unsure
Travelers expecting to fly this Thanksgiving should start locking in those plans now as airline staffing shortages have resulted in fewer flights and higher prices. With the holidays approaching, airfares are likely to get even more expensive as flights fill up. AAA advice is simple, to book early which will increase the odds of finding the flight you want at a competitive price.
Three-in-five (57%) of travelers plan to take at least one flight during the holiday season. Of those not planning a flight, 38% say it’s because their destination is close enough that a flight is not required. The second-largest share (30%) blame the cost of airfare being higher than last year. Meanwhile, 15% are concerned about delayed or canceled flights and 13% are still worried about contracting COVID-19 on a plane.
AAA Traveling Tips:
When it comes to booking a flight, make sure to book early for the best combination of availability and price; book a direct flight that leaves early in the morning as afternoon and evening flights are more susceptible to delays/cancellations due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances and connecting flights multiply the risk of something going wrong; consider traveling a day or two earlier than planned as even if you face delays, you are still likely to arrive on time and if your flight has connections, build in a couple hours in between flights this way, if your first flight is delayed, you are less likely to miss your second one.
AAA officials state with all the unpredictability with air travel, more and more passengers opt for travel insurance. Travel Insurance is such a valuable resource for air travelers, because it provides financial benefits for lost or delayed luggage, flight cancellations and even flight delays of as little as three hours.
According to AAA’s survey, 38% of Nebraskans are more likely to purchase travel insurance now than before the pandemic began.
AAA will release their Thanksgiving Travel Forecast in early November.