Smart Shopper: How to find the cheapest plane tickets this holiday season

Smart Shopper

Tips for helping you score the best airfare this Thanksgiving and Christmas

If you’re planning on traveling for the holidays, it’s probably going to be expensive. CreditCard.com estimates that folks who fly this Thanksgiving will spend an average of $822 and around $1000 to fly for Christmas. However, there are ways experts say you can save on travel this Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This holiday season, around 60 million Americans are expected to fly to their destination. TSA data shows that the month of November has ranked twice in the top 10 busiest travel days ever. If you plan to fly, experts say now is the time to book your plane tickets. Prices will only increase toward the end of the year.

If you’re looking to save money, consider being flexible on your travel dates. Opting for early morning flights may help you save cash, and instead of flying over the weekend, check out flights on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, which tend to be cheaper days to travel. You can also consider traveling on Thanksgiving or Christmas day, where fares may also be cheaper.

Fare-tracking apps may also help you save. You can use sites like Hopper and Skyscanner to compare prices and set up alerts to notify you about ticket prices dropping. Hopper will alert you if a price is likely to go up or down.

Mix and matching may also be a way to save. Check for one-way deals. It may be cheaper to fly a different airline each way as opposed to buying a round trip ticket.

RELATED: Will I save more flying or driving for the holidays?

Keep an eye on travel sites having Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Be sure to do research ahead of time, so you have an idea of the deals different sites will be offering. Expedia will offer both Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals this month, which could save you hundreds of dollars on flights.

Finally, let’s say you find a great deal on a flight, but you can’t get in touch with your significant other fast enough — but you’re afraid the price will go up if you don’t go ahead and buy. You may want to consider going ahead and pulling the trigger on the ticket, as US airlines are required by the Department of Transportation to give a full refund without penalty within 24 hours if the reservation is made at least seven days in advance.

             
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