What Thanksgiving, Christmas travel could cost you this year

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Even more consumers are planning to travel over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays after two years of coronavirus concerns.

More than half of consumers are planning getaways for at least one of the big holidays. Booking early will be vital to getting the best deals, especially given the fact that travelers will face the most expensive airfare prices in recent years, according to travel site Hopper.  

"Significant factors including jet fuel prices, fewer flights scheduled and two years of pent-up holiday travel demand will combine this year to drive Thanksgiving and Christmas airfares to their highest in the last 5 years," Hopper reported. 

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The travel site broke down the costs expected for both Thanksgiving and Christmas travel including hotels and car rentals. Here is what you should expect to pay. 

Airfare 

Thanksgiving 

Hopper projected that the majority of travelers will pay an average of $350 for a domestic round trip flight, which is 43% higher than last year and 22% higher than in 2019. According to Hopper data, fares for Thanksgiving have fallen 9% after peaking in August at over $400 on average for a round trip. Hopper expects fares will remain at its current level until mid to late October. 

Travelers walk through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, July 2, 2022.  (Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

International tickets will cost an average of $795 per round trip ticket, which is up 41% compared to last year and up 25% compared to pre-pandemic times, according to Hopper. 

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Christmas 

Tickets for domestic flights will cost an average of $463 per ticket as of mid-September, according to Hopper. That is 39% higher on average compared to last year and 31% higher on average compared to 2019. 

For international airfare, the average for a round trip ticket increased to $1,300, according to Hopper. That is up 26% compared to 2019 and up 20% compared to 2018. 

Hotels

Thanksgiving  

According to Hopper data, an average night stay will cost $189, which is up 13% from last year’s average rate. 

The Saturday after Thanksgiving will be the most expensive night to stay with rates averaging $212, Hopper said. 

Restaurant in a resort hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii.  (istock / iStock)

Travelers who book a hotel stay from Thanksgiving Day through the weekend should expect to dole out $567 on average for a three stay night and $779 on average for a four night stay.

Christmas 

An average night stay will cost $218 throughout the holiday, which is an increase of 32% from last year, according to Hopper data. 

However, the days leading up to Christmas Eve will cost more than $230 on average per night through the following week, according to Hopper. 

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Travelers usually plan on taking off at least a week during this time, which means those who stay from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Eve will likely get an average bill to the tune of $2,177.  

Rental cars

Car rentals, according to Hopper, are already averaging $60 per day for Thanksgiving, and most travelers book car rentals for at least five days. 

Avis logo is seen on a paring in Poland on July 19, 2022.  (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Prices for car rentals throughout the Christmas holiday are averaging $53 per day, according to Hopper. Travelers will typically rent cars for 7 days during this holiday, according to the outlet. 

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"Typically, booking at the last minute will get travelers the best deal on car rentals. However, with lower supply of rental vehicles in the market and a busy holiday season ahead, waiting until the last minute could mean there are no vehicles left to book," Hopper said. 

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