Thinking about Traveling for the Winter Holidays?

There may still be time!
It's holiday time and our thoughts turn to family and friends and the inevitable questions of where and when to get together. If you’ve waited this long to decide, you might be considered a bit of a procrastinator, but there still may be time to pull it off.  Just so you know for next year’s plans, the optimum time to book flights for Christmas travel would have been October 8th. According to Orbitz, that’s when prices were 5% below average for the time period, and they then rose slowly to more average holiday prices by Oct. 28th. So what’s a procrastinator to do now? 

Getting There

  • At this late date it might be easier to drive rather than fly, particularly if family members live fairly close together. 
  • Consider holding your holiday get together a week or two earlier, or later than the actual holiday.  The holiday window is approximately December 21st-January 6th. If you can do it, try getting together before the 21st and after January 6th. This may not work for some families, of course, but if you are flexible it will certainly help to avoid the the stress of flying during the holidays, save you a lot of money and could start a new holiday tradition.
  • There may not be any cheap days to fly during the holidays, but there are days the airlines designate for cheaper flights. You certainly are not going to get a good rate the day before the holiday itself, and there’s a great chance there will be no availability on those days. Because both Christmas and New Year's are on Thursday this year, a Sunday departure is not a good bet either. A better bet is to travel on the day of the holiday. Traditionally, flights on the holiday are less expensive.
  • Be sure to check all airlines for flights at this time of year and look for special air sales. An American Airlines Europe fare sale is running right now that features travel dates from December to spring with blackout dates of December 17th-24th. Amazingly, it includes discounted fares the week of Christmas. 

Staying There

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that has a timeshare week scheduled for this holiday season, or maybe you thought ahead and exchanged for this time early, but if not: 
  • Be flexible in your choice of destinations and be willing to try a new place.
  • Check exchange sites like RCI, Interval International, and Dial-An-Exchange for last minute exchanges and unsold inventory.
  • Rental sites such as and are also options to consider.
It’s worth a little effort to get all your family and friends together and who knows, this could turn out to be your best holiday ever. Happy Holidays!

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