CBS2-Header-Logo WFAN 1010WINS WCBS tiny WLNYLogo

News

Holiday Travel: 5 Tips For Finding & Booking Cheap Airfare For The Holidays

Holiday travelers at LaGuardia Airport on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Holiday travelers at LaGuardia Airport on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up
NYC Breakfast

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Are you ready to relax into fall?

If you’re planning a trip, don’t rest yet. Christmas and the holiday travel season is now three months away, meaning this is the time to book your holiday travel plans.

More: The 5 Best Shops, Hidden Gems & Ways To Kill Time At La Guardia Airport

CBS News Travel editor Peter Greenberg appeared on CBS This Morning to share his tips and tricks for saving money on flights and hotels this season.

#1 Book Your Travel Early

Normally the best time to book flights is 45 days before your trip, but this year you’ll want to book even earlier. Airlines have cut back on flights, planes, and seating capacity. It’s best to to book is 6 weeks in advance – that’s right now.

#2: Pick up the phone

Think the best place to find deals is online? Think again. Call the airline’s 1-800 number or have a conversation with a travel agent. Only the tickets that are designated for online sale are available online. Interacting with a real person may lead to finding a better deal. The best time to call? 11 p.m.

#3 Choose smart flights

The best flights to take are typically the ones departing first thing in the morning. Skies are most congested in the afternoons, and delays are more likely as the day goes on. When taking an early flight, the plane usually has been waiting for you on the tarmac since the night before, so there won’t be residual delays.

#4: Call your intended hotel directly

The 1-800 numbers for hotel reservations are usually manned by clearinghouse staff who don’t have the power to negotiate, nor do they have the most up-to-date information. Instead, call the hotel directly and ask for the hotel manager or director of sales. Ask about added items and possible discounts.

#5: Use a travel agent

Yes, travel agents are still in business. And what’s more, the profession has changed wit the times: Travel agents have learned to specialize. If you decide to go on a cruise or on an adventure vacation, go to a travel agent that specializes in it. They can book deals that you can’t.

Here are some additional pointers for traveling, even after you’ve arrived at your hotel:

  • Dress nice & act nice – no matter who you are, you’re not going to get what you want if you’re wearing sweatpants.
  • Ask for what you want – ask for an upgrade, a late checkout, a key to the concierge.
  • Be wary of online discount sites.
  • Join loyalty clubs.
  • Get a good travel agents. Yes, they’re still in business. They’re not that expensive – and it’s worth any little premium you may pay.