In the 90s, the worst thing about holiday travel was realizing you left your son at home by himself while you were traveling to Paris. In 2022, the worst thing is paying for that flight. With inflation, staffing shortages, and fuel costs the way they are, there’s no way the McCallisters could afford to fly fifteen people to Paris for Christmas.

With 2020 and 2021 seeing a sizeable, understandable dip in holiday travel, it’s roaring back this year to possibly most travelers ever. According to travel site Hopper, this demand has driven domestic airline ticket prices up 43% from last year, averaging $350 per ticket. If you’re flying out of Albany for Thanksgiving, here are Hopper’s travel tips that will save you $100s.

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Average Thanksgiving holiday flight costs for the last five years

Prices only climb once you’re a month out from flights, especially for the holidays. If you haven’t booked your Thanksgiving flights, don’t put it off any longer or you’ll be paying 15%-18% more. Go ahead and look at Christmas, too.

Book These Dates

A hand circling a date on a calendar

The day before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest and most expensive travel days of the year, since most people get that Wednesday off from work. Save money flying in by booking the Sunday or Monday before.

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When you’re heading back, Hopper says you can cut your visit short and leave on Black Friday for a rare weekending deal that will save most Americans an average of $175. Flying on Saturday or Sunday after is going to take a huge tab – Hopper says most round-trip seats are going for more than $500 now. If you can wait until the Tuesday or Wednesday after Thanksgiving, you’ll save $220-$270.

Albany International Trends

A Google Flights Price Calendar for Albany, NY to Chicago, IL in 2022
ALB to Chicago via Google Flights

I tested Hopper’s advice against flights out of Albany International on Google Flights. I used a major Thanksgiving destination, Chicago, as my hypothetical holiday home. From my search on Tuesday, November 1, Albany to Chicago flights were actually lower the whole weekend before, only climbing on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A Google Flights Price Calendar for Chicago, IL to Albany, NY in 2022
Chicago to ALB via Google Flights

Headed back to Albany from Chicago, Hopper’s predictions line up completely. Friday offers a price dip, followed by a weekend surge, then lowers to normal end of year fares by the Tuesday after.

Think Of NYC

People boarding an Amtrak train
Getty Images

This isn’t from Hopper, but I’ve found this “Hub Rule” to often be true. If you value your money over your time, you can always take Amtrak from Albany/Rensselaer to the City and fly out from there.


As a major international hub, tickets will often be considerably cheaper to more destinations than from a regional airport like Albany International. The prices really aren’t awful out of ALB, but depending on your destination, a few extra hours and an Amtrak fare could save you some cash.

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