How to Get the Best Holiday Travel Deals

by Ryan Guina

The holiday season is rapidly approaching, but there is still time to get a good deal on airline tickets. The key is knowing where to look and when to buy.

Buy your tickets early

Generally speaking, the earlier you buy your tickets, the better. However, the recent drop in fuel prices has trickled down to airline tickets as well, so you may be able to find better prices on airfare now than you would have been able to find only a few weeks ago. But selection is dwindling, so if you want to travel somewhere for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, do it now while there is still availability. With Thanksgiving only 3 weeks away, now is the time to act.

Be flexible with travel dates and locations

Save money with holiday travel deals

Planning can help you save a lot of money on holiday travel.

Flying on certain days of the week can be more expensive than flying on other days (Tuesday-Thursday is usually cheaper than Friday-Monday). Play around with your itinerary and you may be able to save a substantial amount of money. The same thing goes for traveling to or from an alternate airport. I’ve driven 3 hours to an airport before because the price difference (including gas and parking) was over $200 cheaper for a single ticket. It never hurts to look into alternate destinations.

Search for Ticket Deals

Sometimes the best deals can be found on the airline’s website, but I have often had better luck using discount travel outlets such as Expedia,, Travelocity, and Priceline. One of the nice features about Priceline is the Name Your Own Price option, where users can bid lower prices for airline tickets. Here is more information about how to get the best deal with Priceline. Another way to get good deals is to buy vacation packages including airfare and a rental car or hotel.

Search all of these discount travel brokers at the same time with Kayak. is a free website that inputs your search criteria into most major discount travel brokers at the same time – reducing the amount of effort and time on your end. It’s a great service to try!

Watch out for airline fees

Airlines have become notorious in recent years for the fees they add to ticket prices and travel arrangements. It is next to impossible to travel on the airlines and not get saddled with a few fees here and there. Your best weapon against airline fees is knowledge – the better prepared you are to avoid them, the easier it is. Oh, and even though fuel prices have dropped by 50% in the last two months, that pesky fuel surcharge is still alive and kicking on many airlines.

Don’t hesitate when you find a great deal

If you have firm travel plans and you find a great deal – snap it up! Airlines are known to change prices often – sometimes even several times a day.

The holiday season is stressful enough without worrying about ticket prices

Saving money on your airline tickets will give you one less thing to stress about this holiday season. Take your time and find a good deal. Then kick back and enjoy the holiday season the way it should be enjoyed – with friends and family.

Image credit: caribb

Published or updated November 14, 2012.
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