Big Data for escaping the cold
February 1, 2015 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Kayak has analyzed a billion travel searches to produce the Travel Hacker Guide, which includes the most up-and-coming beaches and destinations. For North Americans, they found that you want to book Caribbean trips 2-4 weeks ahead, and European trips 6 months ahead. There is also a nifty map showing you how much it costs to get to various destinations. The New York Times has an interview about the report. Another analysis of a different data set found that US domestic tickets are best bought 57 days out, and the best day to shop for fares is Sunday. Data outside the US is less available, but at least one paper has found that it is better to buy in the afternoon, and that 3-6 weeks is the right window.
posted by blahblahblah (7 comments total) 86 users marked this as a favorite
Man, I was going to book my Norway trip last week and didn't get round to it, now I am over the 6 months. I will make my SO sit down while it is still Sunday. However, this doesn't seem to include Narvik airport so I will write it off for all future use now.
posted by biffa at 9:26 AM on February 1, 2015

The problem with buying international airfare 6 months out is that the airlines change their schedules so frequently that you rarely end up with the times you originally booked. I've had very comfortable connections become nerve-wracking stressfests thanks to that sort of thing. I try not to do more than 3 months out now - I feel like the fares are still reasonable and the schedules seem more stable at that point.
posted by something something at 9:58 AM on February 1, 2015

I keep seeing TripIt Pro come up as a travel planner that will alert someone if a purchased fare has been lowered in price (and help obtain a refund in case of price changes)... has anyone tried it?
posted by raihan_ at 11:19 AM on February 1, 2015

I've obtained two refunds using TripIt Pro. Both were in the double-digits (the flights were inexpensive to begin with) and somewhat manually intensive to get, but ultimately worth it and have paid the price of the service.
posted by bbuda at 12:00 PM on February 1, 2015

Top 10 popular beaches and #4 is Nantucket ? I know the limericks, but really ? C'mon, that's about 100% bogus. How much did the Nantucket tourist board bribe Kayak for that ?
posted by k5.user at 7:22 AM on February 2, 2015

You know, I've been a TripIt Pro user for years and was unaware of that feature. Either I've never gotten such alerts, or I've ignored them, not realizing what they were (though I think it's the former). I still like TripIt Pro.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:29 PM on February 2, 2015

k5.user: "Top 10 popular beaches and #4 is Nantucket ? I know the limericks, but really ? C'mon, that's about 100% bogus. How much did the Nantucket tourist board bribe Kayak for that ?"

They actually explained this in the NYT interview:
How do you explain your most popular beaches, which range from Grenada to Nantucket?

Instead of looking at popular beaches, we looked at trending destinations to see what was up and coming. It was surprising that the No. 1 was Grenada. It seems to us that people are starting to discover the “Spice Island.” Also in some of the other destinations, you get a sense that people are looking for something unique. Turks and Caicos is an example of a destination that has come into the mainstream though years ago you wouldn’t think of going.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:55 PM on February 2, 2015

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