SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Gas prices continue to go down nationwide, however, other strains on the travel industry is projecting to drive up travel costs this holiday season.

Experts at AAA say airfare is currently pretty reasonable for this time of year, but it’s never too late to plan ahead for holiday travel, and hopefully also cut some costs.

“We recommend working with a travel advisor who could look at different airports for you to fly into that might be a little smaller, but it’ll get you closer to your destination where you can save in some cases,” said Chuck Nardozza, a representative for AAA Northeast.

New data is indicating that travelers should brace now for those holiday travel prices. Airfare is expected to be at an all time high, reaching pre-pandemic levels.

  • For Thanksgiving, the average cost for domestic airfare will be around $350, with international round trips averaging $795. That’s just over a 20% increase since 2019.
  • For Christmas, which is on a weekend this year, round-trip tickets will cost more compared to 2019, averaging $463. International travel is predicted to be up by nearly 30%, which may average near $1,300.

The busiest and most expensive travel days during the holiday typically fall on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the days leading up to Christmas. Travel experts say to book your trip as soon as possible, and as we get closer to the holiday season, prices will likely keep going up. Travel insurance is encouraged as well, just in case.