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Finding Cheap Flights for Thanksgiving

Whenever I start making my Thanksgiving travel plans, images of Steve Martin trying make it home in time for turkey in the movie "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" flash through my mind. While hilarious to watch on the screen, there’s no reason your travel plans need to be as tricky to arrange. Here are a couple quick tips for finding your Thanksgiving airfare and saving yourself some money and stress:

  • Travel during off-peak times: Consider an early morning flight on Thanksgiving Day. Or, if you can spare the time, if pays to extend your trip a little longer -- arrive the weekend before and return home several days after the holiday to enjoy significant savings and some extra family-time. As you'd expect, the priciest and busiest travel days will be the Wednesday before and Sunday after the holiday.
  • Compare, Compare, Compare: Along with being flexible on your travel days, remember to compare multiple sites to find the best price. Don't rely on published sale fares -- search websites yourself to find unadvertised low fares. Check fares available on online travel agents like Orbitz and Expedia, as well as airline websites such as American and United, to get a complete view of your options.
  • Consider a nearby airport: Utilizing regional airports may help you save money and there is even a chance they’ll be less crowded on your travel dates. Departing out of LA? Try Long Beach. Going to New York City? Try Long Island.
  • Book early and don't snooze on a good fare: The best fares are based on availability, so book quickly if you find one. Not only will you grab the low price while it is still available but you'll save yourself stress by getting plans in place well ahead of the holiday.

By doing a little extra research, being flexible, and booking your Thanksgiving flights as soon as you’ve nailed down your travel plans you’ll find the best deal for your trip. For more details, including a daily fares calendar, visit SuperSearch and see the cheapest days to fly during November.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, San Francisco
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
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Haifa Sweeny