Monday, October 11, 2010

Start Buying Holiday Tickets, Right Now

Where does the time go? We’re barely into Autumn and the smart money is already telling us to buy our Christmas and Thanksgiving travel tickets RIGHT NOW?

It makes sense. Prices are going up, as they usually do. The crush of holiday travelers and returning college students will peak in a way as to swamp those of us who delay getting arrangements done.

More, has some good tips:

* Begin benchmarking fares as early as possible so you’ll know a good price when you see it. If you haven’t already started, don’t delay.
* Steer clear of peak travel days such as the day before Thanksgiving and the last day of the holiday’s weekend.
* Be in the know when sales come out: The sale match generally gets lit by one of the low-cost carriers on Tuesday, and by the following morning, competitors have jumped into the fray and created what we call a full-out fare war.
* Be flexible and check fares from nearby airports as well.
* Check out our previous installment on holiday airfare searches

Weather.Com (which offers a lot more than the weather) has its own list of tips, headed by:

* It is easier to get travel and accommodation reservations if you book early. With some airlines and hotels, early booking may even qualify you for a discount.
* Plan to arrive at the airport or station at least two hours early. The holiday season means everyone is traveling, which means traffic jams and long lines; giving yourself this margin will pay off in reduced stress, and may mean the difference between a missed flight and one caught in plenty of time.
* Travel light. Taking public transportation or trying to hail a cab is very difficult at the best of times when lugging around heavy suitcases; holiday crowds increase the difficulty.Go to the link for more.

Most of these ideas are simply common sense — in uncommonly short supply when the press of the holiday madness lands on us like a meteor. Get ready now, is the key thing.

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