It could be cheaper to fly abroad than domestically this Thanksgiving. Here’s why.


It could be cheaper to take an international trip this Thanksgiving holiday than to fly much shorter distances within the U.S. 

For example, it will cost roughly the same amount — $476 — to travel from New York to Reykjavik, Iceland, as it would to fly from New York to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to Kayak, an online travel agency and flight search database.

Travelers could also hop on a flight from Los Angeles to Lima, Peru, for the same cost as flying from LA to Chicago. Flights from Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Miami and Washington, D.C., to Germany, Columbia, Croatia, Mexico, Spain and other countries are also roughly the same price as some domestic flights within the U.S. 

One reason for cheaper International fares: the congestion at U.S. airports and hordes of passengers traveling for Turkey Day. 

“Certainly over that time period, the demand for domestic travel increases as Americans are traveling to see family and friends for the holiday,” said Matt Clarke, senior vice president of marketing at Kayak.

The trip prices reflect searches for average economy airfares for round-trip flights from the top origin cities between May and September over the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.  


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Although air travel has recovered from their pandemic lows, domestic air travel has picked up faster compared to international trips. 

“Many international destinations have been slower to come back. But as travel restrictions have eased and as travelers have gotten more comfortable, demand for international is increasing,” Clarke said.

Domestic flights are 39% more expensive on average compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to Kayak. International ticket prices are up 28%, compared to the same time period in 2019. 

“This is a good opportunity for Americans interested in traveling abroad to get a good bang for their buck. It is good from a value perspective,” Clarke said.

Americans traveling to Europe will certainly see their dollar go farther, given its soaring value against the Euro and the British Pound. The British currency plunged this week, sliding against the dollar to reach an all-time low of just under $1.04; by Friday, it had recovered to $1.09, according to Oanda. One Euro is now worth 97 cents.

“Americans will have additional buying power once they get to their destination versus in years past,” Clarke said. “It’s an especially good opportunity for the budget traveler.” 



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