4 ways to save big on holiday travel: Expedia CEO

Navigating holiday travel season: Expedia CEO
Navigating holiday travel season: Expedia CEO

With the Thanksgiving travel season behind us and the Christmas rush nearly upon us, Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of travel site Expedia, said Wednesday there's still time to get great deals on airfares, even at this late date.

"Some of the savings that the airline companies are finding in fuel they're passing over to consumers," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box," with hotels also costing 2 percent to 4 percent less during the Christmas and New Year's weeks compared to last year.

Here are four ways to save, according to Khosrowshahi.

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1. Travel flexibility best way to save

The best way to save money on airfares is being flexible on travel, said Khosrowshahi. "Avoid traveling the day before Christmas or the day after Christmas. For example, if you can travel the Monday after New Year's week you can save a lot of money."

He said passengers can save 15 to 20 percent by flying into the second airports that surround big cities.

"If you're looking to fly to LA. Look to fly to Long Beach as well. It's a small airport. Actually security lines can be much shorter," he continued. "If you're flying to Chicago, look for fares into Midway; same thing about New York and LaGuardia."

2. Book on Tuesday or Wednesday nights

Another way to find savings is booking on Tuesday or Wednesday nights, Khosrowshahi said. "Often the airlines change their fares. So that's when some of the revenue management kicks in. You might see some better fares out there."

3. Bundle air, hotel, and even rental cars

Khosrowshahi said an "almost guaranteed" vacation saving strategy is to book airfares and hotels together.

"It's kind of like getting your Internet bundle. If you're buying phone service and cable service together you get a discount," he explained. "If you buy your airfare with a hotel, or air and a car, or hotel or car you can ... get some special deals."

Savings at resort destinations like Mexico could run between $600 and $800 using this method, he said.

4. Free miles vs. buying your ticket

For travelers who have lots of frequent flier miles, Khosrowshahi said it's not always best to use them right away.

"Look for a penny a mile. If you're getting basically a penny a mile you're getting a good deal," he said. "If it's less than that, you might want to consider saving up and paying cash, and saving up those miles for another event."

Using frequent flier miles for an upgrade to business class or first class can also be quite cost effective, he added.