What Thanksgiving, Christmas travel could cost you this year

Even more consumers are planning to travel during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays after two years of worries about the coronavirus.

More than half of consumers are planning getaways for at least one of the major holidays. Booking early will be vital to get the best deals, especially given the fact that travelers will be facing the most expensive airfares in recent years, according to travel site Hopper.

“Important factors, including jet fuel prices, fewer scheduled flights and two years of pent-up holiday travel demand, will combine this year to drive Thanksgiving and Christmas airfares to record highs in the last 5 years,” Hopper reported.

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The travel site broke down the expected costs for Thanksgiving and Christmas trips, including hotels and rental cars. Here’s what you should expect to pay.

Air tickets

Thanksgiving Day

Hopper predicted that most travelers will pay an average of $350 for a round-trip domestic flight, which is 43% higher than last year and 22% higher than in 2019. According to Hopper data, fares for Thanksgiving are down 9% after peaking in August at over $400 on average for a round trip. Hopper expects prices to remain at current levels until mid-to-late October.

Travelers walk through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, July 2, 2022. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

International tickets will cost an average of $795 per round trip, which is 41% from last year and 25% from pre-pandemic times, according to Hopper.

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Christmas

Tickets for domestic flights will cost an average of $463 per ticket as of mid-September, according to Hopper. This is 39% higher on average compared to last year and 31% higher on average compared to 2019.

For international airfare, the average for a round-trip ticket rose to $1,300, according to Hopper. This is 26% compared to 2019 and 20% compared to 2018.

hotel

Thanksgiving Day

According to Hopper data, an average night’s stay will cost $189, which is 13% more than last year’s average rate.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving will be the most expensive night to stay with average prices at $212, Hopper said.

Luxury restaurant at the Resort Hotel

Restaurant at a resort hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. (istock / iStock)

Travelers booking a hotel stay from Thanksgiving through the weekend should expect to pay an average of $567 for a three-night stay and an average of $779 for a four-night stay.

Christmas

An average night’s stay will cost $218 throughout the holiday, which is a 32% increase from last year, according to Hopper data.

However, the days leading up to Christmas Eve will average more than $230 per night over the next week, according to Hopper.

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Travelers typically plan to leave at least a week during this time, meaning those staying between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are likely to receive an average bill of $2,177.

Car rental

Car rentals, according to Hopper, are already averaging $60 a day for Thanksgiving, and most travelers book rental cars for at least five days.

Car rental companies

The Avis logo is seen on a partition in Poland on July 19, 2022. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Prices for car rentals throughout the Christmas holiday average $53 per day, according to Hopper. Travelers usually rent cars for 7 days during this holiday, according to departure.

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“Typically, booking at the last minute will provide travelers with the best deal on car rentals. However, with the lowest rental car supply on the market and a busy holiday season ahead, waiting until the last minute can mean there are no vehicles left to reserve,” Hopper said.

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