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From when to book to where to go, we've got you covered.

Erika Owen
October 26, 2015

Holiday travel is nearly upon us—cue collective panic—but the thought of battling the sea of harried travelers doesn't have to induce nightmares. Kayak has released their annual Holiday Travel Hacker guide, shining light on the best destinations and travel tips, broken down by holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve). Ahead, a few takeaways from the report worth noting before you dive head first into holiday planning:

Top Ten Holiday Escapes

Sometimes a foreign holiday is just what the doctor ordered. Looking to get away? Kayak names the top places to visit, according to the greatest drop in airfare: Hong Kong, Taipei, Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, Tokyo, Bangkok, Manila, Belize City, Cleveland, and Bogota. Hong Kong, for example, is expected to have a whopping 29 percent decrease in airfare over other holiday seasons.

Top 10 New Year's Eve Trending Destinations

Dubai tops the list for for the hottest destinations to greet the new year in, followed by Cartagena, Barcelona, Reykjavik, Tokyo, Atlanta, Santiago, Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, and Vancouver, respectively. How'd they figure it out? These are the Kayak searches that have seen the greatest increase in popularity since last year. 

Thanksgiving Travel Tips

If you're traveling this Thanksgiving, Kayak shares that the best time to book your airfare is at least two weeks out. Leaving on a Thursday and returning on a Friday will also save you the most money, in terms of airfare. All in all, expect to pay around $383 (on average) for a round-trip in North America.

Christmas Travel Tips

Like with Thanksgiving, you can get away with planning Christmas travel a little last-minute—Kayak shares that at least one-three weeks out is best. You'll save the most on airfare by departing on a Thursday and returning on a Saturday. Round-trip tickets to Africa will average $1,921, but expect to pay an average of $615 if you're jetting off to the Caribbean.

New Year's Eve Travel Tips

Start the new year off right: on vacation. While North America offers the cheapest airfare (averaging $415 round-trip), you can get a ticket to South America for $842—in other words, ring in the New Year on the beach! If you're traveling within North America, depart on a Wednesday and return on a Friday for the best deals—and try to book at least two-four weeks in advance.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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