It’s that time of year again. The holidays are a joyous occasion – meant to be spent alongside family and friends, either relaxing by the fireplace or eating until your belly protests (or both, we don’t blame you). But for others, the arrival of Thanksgiving can also spell out disaster. If you’ve ever taken a flight to visit your loved ones during the holidays, you most definitely understand. This year, avoid the unnecessary stress by following these tips, courtesy of Smarter Travel:
1. Book Your Flight Early
Although it’s a little late for this first tip, prepare yourself in advance for next year by booking your tickets early – as close to Labor Day as possible. According to Hipmunk, flyers who did so spent an average of $424 on airfare, compared to $561 for those who booked during the week of Thanksgiving. If you’re about booking early, consider using Priceline, which allows you to rebook your flight (or refund the difference) if you find it for cheaper.
2….But Wait On Hotels
Although waiting until the last minute is a no-no for flights, it might be a good idea for hotel reservations. Based on data from November of last year, travelers saved an average of $50 more than those who reserved earlier.
3. Utilize the Internet
Prices can jump around and easily vary on different websites, so it doesn’t hurt to compare. To find the best deal, set up a price alert for your chosen holiday route in order to be notified of any changes. It also helps to book a flight directly through an airline’s website in order to save a few bucks.
4. Cheapest Days To Fly
This might be a given, but fights are generally more expensive during Fridays and Sundays – especially during the holidays. Try to avoid the busiest days by flying on the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving and after. Alternatively, you can also travel on the holiday, although at a sacrifice of family time .
5. Avoid Connections
Always opt for a nonstop flight when possible, since every connection increases the chances that your flight will be delayed. If you absolutely have to make a connection, make sure to leave some extra time to prepare for the worse and fly through airports in warmer states to avoid snowstorms, and the likes.