Experts believe this holiday season will see travel near or at pre-pandemic levels, meaning you need to do some careful planning in order to save money.
Laurie Garrow, a Transportation Systems Engineer with Georgia Tech, said you need to plan your entire trip door-to-door. That means looking at the cost of getting to the airport, parking, and how you’ll get around once you’ve reached your destination.
“You really want to look at your whole trip, the airfare as well as the car rental as well as the hotel,” Garrow said. “So if you see one go down, I might say buy now because there is so much volatility right now.”
Avoid flying on peak days like the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Garrow says prices can swing hundreds of dollars from one day to the next.
“Sometimes bookings come in overnight so prices go up and sometimes bookings evaporate and prices go down,” she said. “It’s worthwhile looking at airline prices every day or at least a couple of times a week.”
Saving money is important but there are also ways of saving time. Garrow suggests you apply for TSA pre-check that can get you through the security line faster. Even if you have a domestic flight, you can reach your gate from the international terminal at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson.
“Going through the check points in the international terminal tends to get fewer people than in the domestic terminals,” Garrow added.
The key is to plan early and be flexible.