Advertising When to Book Holiday Travel for Family Reunions

BY Rachel Cagle
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When it comes to booking airfare, common sense says to plan ahead in order to get the best deals. This is especially true for the holiday season, when many Americans are rushing to book flights to get to their family reunions. But the sweet spot for flights can vary, with seasonality, travel dates and other factors all influencing price.

Each year, Expedia​.com aims to take the guess work out of holiday/​family reunion travel by analyzing thousands of holiday bookings to determine the optimal time to book and save. Tips include:

  • Traveling on the holiday itself often yields the cheapest rates
  • Book at least two weeks to a month ahead of your family reunion trip
  • Avoid starting your trip on the Saturday before the holiday — this was consistently the most expensive day to fly

Holiday/​Family Reunion Airfare Booking Tips


  • Cheapest Time to Buy: October 29 — November 13
    • Booking two weeks to a month in advance of family reunion travel saved travelers more than 5%.
    • Those who booked 91+ days out and less than one week out paid the most, with last-​minute bookers paying more than 20% above average.
  • Best Time to Fly:
    • For the cheapest rates, start your trip on Thanksgiving Day — last year travelers who departed on Thanksgiving paid about $100 less than those who departed the Saturday prior to the holiday.
    • If traveling on the holiday is a no-​go, your second cheapest options will be starting your trip on Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.
    • Data confirms the busiest travel day leading up to the holiday is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.


  • Cheapest Time to Buy: November 23 — December 9
    • Booking their family reunion flights during this window saved travelers around 15%, so aim to book at least two weeks to a month in advance of travel.
    • While last-​minute bookers payed around 2% more than average, early birds who booked 91+ days out paid around 15% more than the average holiday traveler.
  • Best Time to Fly:
    • The cheapest day to fly was Christmas Eve, with travelers paying around $100 less than those who started their family reunion trip on the Saturday prior to the holiday.
    • If traveling on Christmas Eve or day isn't an option, aim to start your trip on the 23rd.
    • Data confirms the busiest travel day leading up to Christmas is shaping up to be December 21st.

Frequent Flyers are heavily motivated by deals. According to AudienceSCAN, last year, 62.7% of Frequent Flyers were driven to action by direct mail ads/​coupons and 51.3% were motivated by ads they found on daily deals sites such as Groupon. Within the last month, 54.4% went looking for coupons and discount codes online. Additionally, 76.9% of these travelers agree that emails containing coupons/​discount codes are their favorite type of email to receive from a business, and 55.6% were driven to action by email ads last year.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on airline services and hotels and motels, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.