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Holiday Travel: 6 Tips to Cheap Flights for You, Cheap Flights for Family

Published by Rick Seaney on November 11, 2019

Holiday lights on trees

Sometimes it’s difficult to find decent airfare deals during peak holiday travel periods like Thanksgiving in the U.S. or Christmas and New Year’s in much of the world. Is it possible to get together with family or friends without busting the holiday travel budget? Yes. Check out these six tips find cheap flights for you and cheap flights for family. You'll cut holiday travel costs and maybe even cut down on stress.

1. Compare airfares

All shoppers should compare airfares before booking flights, for the simple reason that no airline always has the best deal on every single route (and this is true for airlines around the world). Maybe your favorite carrier normally has lots of deals, but prices can and do change without notice. For example, a competing airline may suddenly offer a  much cheaper ticket to your destination, but if you don't compare fares, you'll never know about it. And comparing fares is easy and so fast, so you have no excuses.

2. Be a flexible flyer

If possible, be flexible when it comes to creating a travel itinerary. Try to begin and end your journey on one of the cheapest days to fly. For U.S. flights, that usually means taking off and returning on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. In other parts of the world, weekday flights are usually cheaper than weekends. Another method is to use a deal-finding tool like the Getaway Map that searches for the cheapest itineraries during specific time-frames.

3. Choose the right airport

Travelers in London or Tokyo or New York or Los Angeles or another mega-city often have a choice of airports, so be sure to check prices from all of them in case one has a better deal than another. But what if your hometown airport isn't a big hub? Check prices to the biggest airport near you; it might mean a longer driver to the airport, maybe two or three hours,  but the savings could be worth it.

4. Book now

Holiday periods are popular times to fly and demand is high so prices are, too. Unfortunately, prices often keep rising, at least a few dollars a day, as the holidays get closer. Bottom line: Don't delay your ticket purchase or you could be hit with a hefty procrastination fee!

5. Security

Travelers in the U.S. should consider joining the PreCheck program which makes for a much faster experience, thanks to a dedicated security line at the checkpoints (it costs $85 but is good for five years). For those in other countries, several nations have similar fast-track security programs worth investigating.

6. Give the gift of travel

If you can’t fly to family and friends during the holidays, and they can’t come to you, how about giving the gift of travel so you can all get together – after the holidays? Maybe take a trip to a fun destination! Tip: Don’t buy a gift card; you can just state your intentions in a card to friends/family. Then, use the shopping tips above to get the best deal for all of you. By the way, January and February and very cheap times to fly within the U.S. and much of the world.

Happy holiday travels to all.

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