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It’s important to book your holiday travel early. We typically recommend beginning your airfare search three to six months ahead of the fall and winter holidays. In other words, start planning today for the busy Thanksgiving and Christmas travel season if you want a shot at the best prices, flight times, and seats.
Other smart strategies:
Consider flying on a less-traveled day. It’s a near-certainty that the most expensive days to travel around Thanksgiving are the day before the holiday and the following Sunday; for Christmas, beware of December 23, 26, 30, and January 2.
Traveling on the day of the holiday itself usually affords a few bargains and less-crowded flights, but the risk lies in weather delays: You may snag a decent fare, but if there’s a storm you could end up spending your holiday at the airport.