It's usually a good idea to start your search in September for
holiday travel if you want to get a good price. But you'll need to
do more than simply book months in advance to get the best
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For example, Airfarewatchdog.com founder George Hobica says that
the prices on some routes that he recently checked were
astronomical. Flights from New York City to Florida destinations
for a December 23 through January 1 trip were $1,000. "I don't
think anyone is going to pay that much, so diligent shopping over
the next few weeks will pay off," Hobica says. When booking
flights, use these strategies to get the best deal:
The best day to book flights is Tuesday
because that's when sales are released. Usually the cheapest days
to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, but that's not always
the case for holiday travel -- especially considering that the
Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a peak travel day. So use a
flexible search option, such as the ones at
. For Christmas, consider planning a family gathering the first two
weeks of December or right after the New Year because those are the
cheapest times to travel.
Being flexible about which airport you fly into
also can help you save money, Hobica says. And if you were planning
on renting a car anyway, driving an hour or so to get from the
alternate airport to your final destination probably is worth it.
(If you weren't going to rent a car but will need to if you fly
into an alternate airport, make sure the cost of the rental doesn't
match or exceed the cost of flying directly to your
keep an eye on your fare after you buy
because most airlines and online travel agencies will give you a
rebate -- usually in travel credits or vouchers -- if your flight's
price drops below what you paid.
will send you alerts if the price drops on a flight you've booked.
Be aware, though, that some airlines can charge hefty fees for
re-booking your flight. If the fee outweighs your rebate, it's not
worth it to make a change.
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