7th annual report from Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) provides tips for saving money on travel
Today Expedia® released its seventh annual report in partnership with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) revealing travel hacks including the best time to book airfare, when to travel and other tips to help travelers navigate booking a vacation in 2022. The insights arrive just in time, as research conducted by the online travel brand found that one in five Americans are seeking savings tips and more than a third (38%) are willing to be flexible with their travel plans in order to save money on their next trip.*
Flight booking tips
Based on data from ARC's massive online global airline sales database, average ticket prices for flights (ATPs) hit their lowest levels of the last 12 months during December 2020 and January 2021. Since then, ATPs have steadily risen and are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. ATPs specifically for international flights have also grown but remain on average 35 percent lower compared to 2019.1
With ATPs leveling off, the key to cost savings in 2022 comes down to knowing what day to book, how far in advance and what day to travel.
Optimal Booking Window2
Ideal day of the week to book3
- Domestic flights prices usually start to increase 21 days before departure, while prices for international flights start to increase 28 days before. The sweet spot to book a domestic flight is between 28 – 35 days in advance, while international flights should be booked three to four months in advance for the lowest prices.
Ideal day of the week to travel4
- The ideal day to book a flight is Sunday, not Friday. For domestic flights this can save travelers around five percent, and for international flights the savings are nearly 10 percent.
Best month to travel5
- The ideal day to start a domestic trip is Friday, not Monday. This will yield savings of more than 15 percent.
- For international flights, the cheapest day to start the trip is on a Thursday, not Tuesday, to save more than five percent.
- In summary, for both domestic and international flights, it is generally cheaper to start the trip during the latter half of the week (Wednesday through Saturday) compared with the first half (Sunday through Tuesday).
Travelers planning their 2022 trips can also unlock huge savings by being flexible and choosing the right month to travel:
Splurge and go premium6
- For domestic flights, the ideal month to depart is January when travelers can save more than 10 percent versus traveling in June.
- For international flights, August is the ideal month, where travelers can save almost 20 percent, versus traveling in December.
Tickets in premium economy have never been cheaper. In 2021, premium economy ATPs cost almost 290 percent more than economy tickets, whereas in 2020 they were 365 percent more expensive. Pre-pandemic, in 2019 average prices for a premium economy ticket were a whopping 430 percent more expensive than economy. For the quarter of Americans (26%) wanting to upgrade their flight if they can afford it*, there has never been a better time than now.
Tips for saving on accommodations
While domestic lodging rates dropped in 2020, throughout 2021 prices rose due to the high demand for domestic travel and remain slightly higher compared to 20197
Based on Expedia data, here are some simple tips to unlock savings on accommodation:
Ideal day of the week to book and stay8
Down-star to save
- For domestic holidays, the lowest average daily rate (ADR) for accommodation tends to occur on Mondays where travelers could save more than 15 percent versus booking and staying on the most expensive day, which is Friday.
- For international trips, book and stay on a Tuesday not on a Thursday to save nearly 10 percent.
Travelers can stretch their dollars further by choosing a lower star-rated hotel. Travelers can save almost 45 percent on average, by simply opting for a 4-star property over a 5-star, while down-starring to a 3-star from a 4-star can save travelers around 30 percent.7
Car Rental Tips9
Road trips and drivable destinations are expected to maintain their popularity into the coming year, so Expedia crunched the data to help road warriors obtain some savings.
Flexibility is a solid investment7
- The best day to book a car is on a Saturday for domestic trips and Sunday for international car hires.
- Meanwhile, a Monday pick-up tends to be the cheapest for domestic bookings, while Tuesday is best for international trips.
As unpredictability associated with the pandemic remains, flexibility will remain a priority for travelers. Refundable lodging rates are around 15 percent more than non-refundable and allow travelers to make changes to their trip or cancel without penalty before a specified date.
*This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm. The survey was conducted online from August 27th–September 6, 2021, across North and South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels. The study was conducted among 12,000 respondents across 12 countries, amongst adults who are planning domestic or international travel in the next 18 months.
1 Price development information is based is on average round-trip ticket prices for January through August for 2021 & average round-trip ticket prices for January through December for 2020 and 2019, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
2 Best time to book recommendation is based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through August for 2021 & average round-trip ticket prices for January through December for 2020, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
3 Best day of the week to book recommendation is based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through August 2021, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
4 Best day of the week to depart recommendation is based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through August for 2021, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
5 Best month to depart recommendation is based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through December for 2019, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
6 Information is based on average premium and economy round-trip ticket prices for January through August for 2021 & for January through December 2020 and 2019, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database for 2021.
7 Based on lodging demand on Expedia.com for travel between Jan. 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021, and compared to the same timeframe in 2020 and 2019.
8 Based on lodging demand on Expedia.com for travel between Jan. 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021
9 Based on demand on Expedia.com for travel between Jan. 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021
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