I love a good deal so it was very cool to see that KAYAK recently released their 2015 travel hacker guide which highlights not only popular and trending destinations, but it also reveals when the best time to book flights are.
I decided to dig deeper into the travel hacker guide so I reached out to David Solomito, Director of Brand Marketing at KAYAK and he shared with me some more in-depth findings from the guide.
What’s the one tip every traveller needs to know about?
The Caribbean is a great spot for a last-minute getaway. The lowest airfares were found 2-4 weeks out. Spontaneous travelers can also check out the Deals list on our Travel Hacker Guide to see the 10 destinations that saw the biggest drops in airfare overall, year-over-year. Lastly, Explore is a useful tool on KAYAK for travelers who are unsure of where to go within their preferred budget.
What’s a good value destination in North America?
In terms of its relative lower airfare compared to other top 10 destinations, our data shows Denver, Colorado has had historically lower airfare than other domestic destinations, with very little fluctuation year-over-year.
How about internationally, what’s worth a visit?
Milan saw its airfare prices drop an average of 13% compared to the previous year and is a great international deal destination, which may also explain its rise as a top trending destination. Other great international deal destinations include New Delhi with an 11% drop in average airfare and Guadalajara and Hong Kong, both seeing a 9% drop in average airfare. It’s important to keep in mind that a “deal” or “value” doesn’t mean “cheap” — so travelers should evaluate each destination based on their specific criteria.
Interesting to see Toronto and Montreal trending. Does the strong U.S. dollar have anything to do with that?
It’s likely — as is the relatively reasonable airfare to fly to those cities from North America. It’s not just about costs though as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have really been establishing themselves as both personal and business travel hubs. Toronto hosting the Pan Am Games this year will only peak interest further.
Are you surprised that the most popular destinations are all within the United States?
We should keep in mind that our analysis was conducted based on searches conducted from the US and Canada so it’s not really all that surprising given the cost and time barriers to leave the continent. New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Chicago are destinations that always seem to be at the top of traveler’s interest lists.
Hyderabad, India made the trending list, what’s going on there?
We’re always excited to see emerging destinations popping up on our Trending list. Hyderabad is gaining popularity for its growing tech community and vibrant nightlife (which often go hand-in-hand). Google, Facebook, Microsoft all have offices in this burgeoning city.
Based on the findings, what’s the easiest way to save on flights?
When to book is the most common question we’re asked so we looked closely at our data to determine the best time to book flights to get the best deals For flights within North America, we recommend booking 4-6 weeks in advance; for flights to and from Europe, look to book 6 months in advance; if you’re looking for warmer climates, the ideal booking window for the Caribbean is only 2-4 weeks before departure. Above all, if you see a deal you’re comfortable with, book it!
Any other surprises from the findings?
Even though Los Angeles wasn’t surprising as the No. 3 most popular destination in the United States and Canada, four of five of the most popular hotels there were actually located downtown, which shows us that an area that was once neglected is now a hot neighborhood in this stylish city.
As far as our list of trending beach destinations, it was surprising that Grenada came in at number one. It seems to us that people are starting to discover the “Spice Island” and are looking for a getaway that is a bit off the beaten path. Also in some of the other destinations, you get a sense that people are looking for something unique. Turks and Caicos is an example of a destination that has come into the mainstream.
Thanks again tp David Solomito, Director of Brand Marketing at KAYAK for taking the time to chat. With the travel hacker guide, it’s easy to get inspired for your next trip, but remember to factor in all the various expenses when deciding your next destination.