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When will I find the the best airfare for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays

Dear Editors,

When will I find the the best air fares for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays?


Dear Jimmie,

I would call this the million-dollar travel question! In all seriousness, it’s one that’s asked over and over again and while there’s no surefire way to guarantee that you’ll get the absolute lowest price by using these tips, there are some tried-and-true strategies that will help you find a deal.

First things first: When it comes to booking holiday travel, sooner is better than later. For Thanksgiving, I would be shopping no later than early-to-mid September. For Christmas, I would purchase before Thanksgiving, as most people won’t yet have moved their mindset from turkey to goose, and you’ll be ahead of the crowd.

Next, keep in mind fare sales for the holidays are very unlikely. The airlines know that they’re going to sell seats during peak travel times and there’s really no incentive to discount seats during those time periods. I would not advise holding out for a sale. In fact, you’ll probably start to see airlines advertise for cheap flights this fall very soon. Read the fine print, you’ll see there will be blackout dates around the holidays.

I also recommend that when you’re shopping for your ticket, you avoid the most popular of the peak travel dates. This would include the Wednesday before and the Sunday following Thanksgiving. Because these dates are the most popular, they are also going to be the most expensive. If you can depart for your destination the weekend prior to Thanksgiving and return either the Friday or Saturday following, you’re going to get a lower price.

Hope this all helps. In short, book soon and avoid the most popular dates to get the best prices. Wishing you an early Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Happy Travels,


Find me on Twitter @GSBrown

Editors’ Note: We’re here to help our fellow travelers, so if you have a travel question of your own, just ask! Each week, we’ll publish a response to our very favorite question from one of our readers. Need travel help now? Peruse Travelocity’s frequently asked questions.


Fall Airfare Deals (Travelocity)

Thanksgiving Travel: Seven Simple Steps for Savings (The Window Seat)

How Do I Get a Cheap Flight This Thanksgiving? (The Window Seat)



My name: Genevieve Shaw Brown. I also answer to Genny and Gen.

How I earn my keep: I work at Travelocity.

Greatest travel lesson learned: I travel for my job, but I've learned work is work, vacation is vacation, and it's best not to try and do both on one trip.

Fondest travel memory: There are so many... but a recent experience was being totally jet-lagged and waking up pre-dawn in Koh Samui, Thailand, and watching the sun rise with my husband on the beach. We talked about what all our friends and family were doing at that very same moment as the sun set back home in New York.

First thing I do in a new place: Peruse the local restaurants and map out my dining strategy for the duration of my trip. Dining strategy = eating at as many restaurants as humanly possible.

First thing I do when I get home: Put a push pin on the destination I just returned from on the map of the world that hangs on the wall above my couch.

Travel ambition: To cover that map completely in push pins.

My most beloved place in the whole world: Cockle Cove Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts.

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