Holiday travel preparations may be both thrilling and stressful, particularly when it comes to booking flights during busy travel times like Christmas. A new option has been added to the well-known flight search engine Google Flights that may greatly simplify your vacation arrangements. Google tickets has identified the ideal window for booking tickets at the most affordable costs using historical data from US flights between 2018 and 2023.
According to the data, the prime time to secure the best deals for Christmas travel falls around 71 days prior to the departure date. This suggests that the magic booking period for flights to be taken between December 23 and December 25 is from October 13 to October 15. This insight comes as a part of Google Flights’ recently launched “cheapest time to book” feature, which aims to provide travelers with data-driven guidance for cost-effective flight bookings.
Notably, the recommendation for booking US-Europe flights follows a similar pattern. The analysis suggests that booking these transatlantic flights 72 days or more before departure could yield the most favorable prices. This recommendation is a significant shift from Google’s previous advice in 2022, which advised booking Christmas flights just 22 days prior to departure. For US-Europe flights, the optimal booking window has also expanded from 50 days to 72 days or more before takeoff.
Google Flights’ new feature supplements its existing travel insights tools, which indicate whether flight prices are above or below the average. Additionally, the platform is experimenting with a pilot program that offers price guarantees, promising to refund the difference if a fare drops after purchase.
With travel on the rise again, the US Travel Association forecasts a remarkable rebound in domestic trips for 2023, surpassing the pre-pandemic numbers of 2019. The World Tourism Organization echoes this sentiment, predicting that international tourist arrivals could reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels in the same year.
However, Google Flights’ insights aren’t without their critics. Environmental experts have criticized the platform for providing incomplete carbon footprint assessments of flights, masking the true environmental impact. Despite this, Google Flights’ endeavor to offer data-backed advice for budget-conscious travelers marks a step in the right direction.
As travelers gear up to embark on journeys post-pandemic, Google Flights’ “cheapest time to book” feature provides a valuable tool to navigate the complex world of airfare pricing, helping travelers find that elusive sweet spot for the most budget-friendly bookings.