Expect to Pay More for Hotels This Holiday Season — but Here's Where You Can Save

Data from Priceline shows trends prices, locations, and more for the 2021 holiday season.

Travelers should expect to pay more this year to stay at a hotel over Christmas and New Year's than they did even before the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from Priceline shared with Travel + Leisure.

The average daily hotel rate for Dec. 17 through Jan. 1 has increased by 15% compared to the same time period in 2019, according to the company. And it has increased even more for New Year's Eve through Jan. 2 specifically with a 17% bump compared to 2019.

People viewing the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center at dusk, New York, NY,
Barry Winiker/Getty Images

However, there is some good news for travelers as flight prices remain down. The average round trip ticket for the Christmas and New Year's holidays costs $450, a decrease of 16% compared to 2019.

"While travel prices have largely rebounded to, and in some cases above, 2019 levels, consumers can still find good flight deals for their holiday travel," Christina Bennett, the head of communications at Priceline, told T+L.

The most affordable place to fly for Christmas and New Year's is New York City where round trip tickets are coming in at $312, according to the company. That's followed by Las Vegas and Fort Lauderdale.

While New York is a cheaper place to fly into, don't expect a deal on a hotel as the city doesn't even crack the top 10 destinations for the most inexpensive hotel stays.

Despite the need to splurge on a place to stay, Bennett said it is a good time to head to the Big Apple with the city planning to welcome back crowds to see the New Year's Eve Times Square ball drop.

But travelers in search of a cheaper hotel, those looking for a holiday trip should check out Sin City where rooms are averaging $130 per night for the holiday period.

Beyond Vegas, Pigeon Forge in Tennessee (where Dollywood is located) took the second spot on the list for inexpensive holiday hotel rooms, followed by Washington D.C.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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