With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we all have good food, family and football (ahem, "Cake Boss" marathon) on our minds -- but thoughts of holiday travel also can turn to dread of overcrowded airports and overpriced airfare. Use these quick tips for booking your Thanksgiving flight to avoid the crowds and save money:
Be flexible with your travel dates
If you’re flying this Thanksgiving consider adjusting the dates of your trip: depart either the weekend before or on Thanksgiving Day and return home several days after the holiday weekend. By allowing flexibility with your travel dates you’ll find the best prices and avoid the crowds at the airport.
The cheapest days to fly this Thanksgiving will be Tuesday, Nov. 13; Wednesday, Nov. 14; Saturday, Nov. 17; Thursday, Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving); Friday, Nov. 23; Wednesday, Nov. 28.
For more details, including the full calendar of best dates to fly, visit Travelzoo SuperSearch.
Consider a nearby airport
Using regional airports may help you save money and there is even a chance they’ll be less crowded on your travel dates. Living in the Bay Area I always check fares departing from both San Francisco and Oakland. It is always best to compare fares if you have two convenient airports in your area.
Do your research
Follow deal providers like Travelzoo on Twitter and Facebook to get immediate insight when fares drop. But don't rely solely on published sales -- search websites yourself to find unadvertised low fares. Check both OTA websites like Orbitz and Travelocity, as well as airline sites like American and United to find the best deal.
Jump 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.
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. Now you can save your energy for that second helping of mashed potatoes.