Texas Travel

Holiday Trip Timeline

By Natalie Gempel 10.10.16

Maybe you’ve been fantasizing about your holiday travel plans for weeks or even months. So why wait to book that long-awaited vacation, especially when it could cost you?

Depending on who you ask, the best time to make reservations could be weeks before or months in advance. We did some digging to discover the truth about vacation bookings to help guide you in making that holiday daydream a reality. 

Flights: Follow the 50-day rule

Studies have shown that the best time to book your flight is about 50 days before travel. Using a fare-price calendar online can help pinpoint the optimal day to book, as well as the best day to travel. When the time to book comes, compare prices across different websites to get the best deal.

Want the inside scoop? Experts recommend erasing your browser cookies before making your reservation and searching flights first thing in the morning to prevent hikes in fare.

Accommodations: At least one month out 

You shouldn’t reserve hotel rooms until a month before your trip. At this point, prices for empty rooms have been cut, and you’re not likely to find a better deal further in advance. If you’re willing to roll the dice, some hotels offer incredible rates to the last-minute booker — but this is especially risky during busy holiday weekends.

Privately owned, short-term home or apartment rentals can give your family more space without breaking the bank, but these types of lodgings need to be booked further in advance than hotels. If you’re going the Airbnb route, make reservations as soon as your travel plans are confirmed.

Rental car: Two weeks before

Book your rental car at least two weeks before your trip — if you are traveling on a busy weekend, secure it further ahead of time. To save time and money, consider combining your rental car with your hotel or flight in a travel package. And remember to take advantage of the car rental discounts available through Texas Farm Bureau member benefits. Members have access to discounts from Avis, National, Hertz, Enterprise, and Alamo.

Airport arrivals: Plan ahead

Airports are at their most chaotic during the holidays, but a little planning can make a world of difference for your travel experience. Checking in for your flight online lets you skip the ticket counter. Cut down on your time even more by packing light in a carry-on — you won’t have to endure long waits at baggage claim or spend money on checked bag fees.

Well-thought-out planning makes for stress-free travel, even during the busiest season.

Before you head out on your holiday vacation, schedule a 360 Review® with your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent so that you have piece of mind that you and your family, as well as your belongings, are protected.