SEATTLE - Today Expedia® released its seventh annual report in partnership with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) revealing travel hacks including the best time to book airfare, when to travel and other tips to help travelers navigate booking a vacation in 2022. The insights arrive just in time, as research conducted by the online travel brand found that one in five Americans are seeking savings tips and more than a third (38%) are willing to be flexible with their travel plans in order to save money on their next trip.*
Flight booking tips
Based on data from ARC's massive online global airline sales database, average ticket prices for flights (ATPs) hit their lowest levels of the last 12 months during December 2020 and January 2021. Since then, ATPs have steadily risen and are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. ATPs specifically for international flights have also grown but remain on average 35 percent lower compared to 2019.1
With ATPs leveling off, the key to cost savings in 2022 comes down to knowing what day to book, how far in advance and what day to travel.
Optimal Booking Window2
- Domestic flights prices usually start to increase 21 days before departure, while prices for international flights start to increase 28 days before. The sweet spot to book a domestic flight is between 28 – 35 days in advance, while international flights should be booked three to four months in advance for the lowest prices.
Ideal day of the week to book3
- The ideal day to book a flight is Sunday, not Friday. For domestic flights this can save travelers around five percent, and for international flights the savings are nearly 10 percent.
Ideal day of the week to travel4
- The ideal day to start a domestic trip is Friday, not Monday. This will yield savings of more than 15 percent.
- For international flights, the cheapest day to start the trip is on a Thursday, not Tuesday, to save more than five percent.
- In summary, for both domestic and international flights, it is generally cheaper to start the trip during the latter half of the week (Wednesday through Saturday) compared with the first half (Sunday through Tuesday).
Best month to travel5
Travelers planning their 2022 trips can also unlock huge savings by being flexible and choosing the right month to travel:
- For domestic flights, the ideal month to depart is January when travelers can save more than 10 percent versus traveling in June.
- For international flights, August is the ideal month, where travelers can save almost 20 percent, versus traveling in December.
Splurge and go premium6
Tickets in premium economy have never been cheaper. In 2021, premium economy ATPs cost almost 290 percent more than economy tickets, whereas in 2020 they were 365 percent more expensive. Pre-pandemic, in 2019 average prices for a premium economy ticket were a whopping 430 percent more expensive than economy. For the quarter of Americans (26%) wanting to upgrade their flight if they can afford it*, there has never been a better time than now.
Tips for saving on accommodations
While domestic lodging rates dropped in 2020, throughout 2021 prices rose due to the high demand for domestic travel and remain slightly higher compared to 20197.
Based on Expedia data, here are some simple tips to unlock savings on accommodation:
Ideal day of the week to book and stay8
- For domestic holidays, the lowest average daily rate (ADR) for accommodation tends to occur on Mondays where travelers could save more than 15 percent versus booking and staying on the most expensive day, which is Friday.
- For international trips, book and stay on a Tuesday not on a Thursday to save nearly 10 percent.
Down-star to save
Travelers can stretch their dollars further by choosing a lower star-rated hotel. Travelers can save almost 45 percent on average, by simply opting for a 4-star property over a 5-star, while down-starring to a 3-star from a 4-star can save travelers around 30 percent.7
Car Rental Tips9
Road trips and drivable destinations are expected to maintain their popularity into the coming year, so Expedia crunched the data to help road warriors obtain some savings.
- The best day to book a car is on a Saturday for domestic trips and Sunday for international car hires.
- Meanwhile, a Monday pick-up tends to be the cheapest for domestic bookings, while Tuesday is best for international trips.
Flexibility is a solid investment7
As unpredictability associated with the pandemic remains, flexibility will remain a priority for travelers. Refundable lodging rates are around 15 percent more than non-refundable and allow travelers to make changes to their trip or cancel without penalty before a specified date.
Bundle and save10
Travelers can unlock deeper discounts by simply booking their flight and hotel together with Expedia, rather than booking separately. On average, U.S. travelers can save up to 10 percent by bundling their flight and hotel together in one transaction.
Loyalty pays off
When it comes to booking travel, membership has its privileges. By signing up for Expedia Rewards, travelers will receive benefits as soon as they join, including access to member-only prices and earning Expedia points on every trip. Silver and Gold members who book Expedia VIP Access hotels can also score extra perks such as room upgrades or spa credits, where available.
Additionally, travelers who shop with the Expedia Mobile App will not only have the ultimate travel companion at their fingertips but can also unlock up to 10 percent savings with mobile-exclusive hotel deals, as well as earn double Expedia Rewards points on every App booking. Travelers will also benefit from helpful alerts on their travel itineraries.
"Every year, the Expedia ARC report serves as the ultimate cheat sheet for saving on travel," said Chandreyi Davis, vice president of brand marketing for Brand Expedia. "It offers an insider view that not only empowers travelers to make sound decisions but also lets them get more value out of every trip. At Expedia, our hope is that in 2022 these tips will help travelers go big and plan incredible trips."
It is important to stay up to date with the latest government and travel advisories. For the latest information, Expedia's new COVID-19 Travel Advisory tool helps travelers search for travel advisories around the world, including regulations for destinations, and safety and health guidelines, or visit Expedia's COVID-19 Travel Guide.
About Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC)
An industry leader in air travel intelligence and omnichannel retailing, ARC provides platforms, tools and insights that help the global travel community connect, grow and thrive. ARC enables the diverse retailing strategies of its customers by providing flexible settlement solutions, innovative technology and access to the world's most comprehensive air transaction dataset. In 2019, ARC managed more than $97.4 billion in transactions between airlines and travel agencies, representing more than 302 million passenger trips. For more information, please visit www.arccorp.com.
Data sources*This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm. The survey was conducted online from August 27th–September 6, 2021, across North and South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels. The study was conducted among 12,000 respondents across 12 countries, amongst adults who are planning domestic or international travel in the next 18 months.
1 Price development information is based is on average round-trip ticket prices for January through August for 2021 & average round-trip ticket prices for January through December for 2020 and 2019, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
2 Best time to book recommendation is based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through August for 2021 & average round-trip ticket prices for January through December for 2020, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
3 Best day of the week to book recommendation is based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through August 2021, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
4 Best day of the week to depart recommendation is based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through August for 2021, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
5 Best month to depart recommendation is based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through December for 2019, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
6 Information is based on average premium and economy round-trip ticket prices for January through August for 2021 & for January through December 2020 and 2019, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database for 2021.
7 Based on lodging demand on Expedia.com for travel between Jan. 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021, and compared to the same timeframe in 2020 and 2019.
8 Based on lodging demand on Expedia.com for travel between Jan. 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021
9 Based on demand on Expedia.com for travel between Jan. 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 202110 Based on the average savings for package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from 1 January – 31 June 2021. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages
About Expedia Group
Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) companies power travel for everyone, everywhere through our global platform. Driven by the core belief that travel is a force for good, we help people experience the world in new ways and build lasting connections. We provide industry-leading technology solutions to fuel partner growth and success, while facilitating memorable experiences for travelers. Our organization is made up of four pillars: Expedia Services, focused on the group's platform and technical strategy; Expedia Marketplace, centered on product and technology offerings across the organization; Expedia Brands, housing all our consumer brands; and Expedia for Business, consisting of business-to-business solutions and relationships throughout the travel ecosystem. The Expedia Group family of brands includes: Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, trivago®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, CarRentals.com™, and Expedia Cruises™.