If you felt that booking holiday airfare was especially taxing to your wallet this year, it’s possible you weren’t imagining it. According to new data by Travelocity, fares were indeed higher this year than last—by a full 9% for domestic flights and 6% for international tickets on average. But there’s a silver lining: the most popular routes are becoming more affordable, as flights connecting major airports—like New York’s JFK and Chicago’s O’Hare—are proving to be cheaper than last year’s average, even during the holiday rush.
And if you’re still undecided about where to spend Christmas, consider this: the greatest savings come by booking a flight that leaves on the 23rd or 24th and returns later in the same week.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team.