Travel Is More Stressful than Filing Taxes or Visiting Dentist, But It’s Getting Better

Air Travel Is Stressful

Expedia published the results of a survey today, showing that air travel is a leading cause of stress for 55% of Americans. That makes it more stressful than filing taxes or visiting the dentist. The details come from Expedia’s 2024 Air Travel Hacks Report, which unpacks data-backed strategies for saving money and reducing stress.

“In terms of stress levels, booking your next flight shouldn’t be in the same ballpark as getting a cavity filled,” said Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group Brands public relations. “The good news is many of the things that contribute to travel stress are getting better”.

The report also found that average ticket prices remain nearly flat compared to last year and flight cancellation rates have improved (1.7% of flights compared to 4.1% in 2022). These are positive trends for travelers that cited finding a good deal (61%) and worrying about disruptions (28%) as big contributors to stress.

Travel Hacks

The survey provides a lot of details about the best times to book domestic and international flights, and also the best day and month to travel.

Hacks from this year’s report include:

  • The booking sweet spot just got sweeter:
    • Domestic airfare should be booked 28 days before departure; travelers saved up to 24% compared to those who booked at the last minute, surpassing the 10% savings travelers saw on average in 2022.
    • International airfare should be booked around 60 days out (and no more than four months out) for optimal availability and savings (around 10% on average). Last year, the sweet spot was closer to six months out.
  • Sunday remains the cheapest day of the week to book flights, while Fridays are most expensive. On average, travelers saved up to 13%.2
  • Fly before 3 p.m. to minimize the impact of delays and cancellations. Flights departing after 3 p.m. statistically have a 50% higher chance of being canceled than earlier flights.3
  • There’s officially no bad time to book, with Expedia’s Price Drop Protection: More than a quarter (28%) of U.S. travelers continue checking ticket prices even after they’ve booked, but this new product issues a refund if the price of the ticket drops on Expedia after booking.

You can see the full details here.

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