NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Fall starts on Monday, and now’s the time to start booking if you plan to fly for the holidays.
CBS2’s Cindy Hsu has some tips to get the best travel deals.
According to AAA, next Wednesday, Sept. 25, is the best time to start booking air travel for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, reports CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.
Most travelers book their flights between then and Oct. 27.
Travel expert Michaela Guzy says some people get great deals by waiting, but it’s risky.
“There are still last-minute deals to be had seven to 13 days out but you’re running the risk of the flight might not be there,” said Guzy. “If you do get the deal on the flight, is there a hotel for you to stay in?”
Experts say Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to buy your airline tickets and also the best days to fly. Sundays are the most expensive to fly. If you’re looking for rock bottom prices, travel on the actual holiday.
“I find the best deals are 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas to fly,” said Guzy. “It’s a good time to fly and honestly the airports are so much less stressful during that time.”
While technology has made booking travel a lot easier, experts say you need to go old school for the best deals.
“Most people watching this interview will make their reservations online, the biggest mistake they can make because what they don’t realize is only 52% of all the available inventory is online,” said CBS New Travel Editor Peter Greenberg. “You need to pick up the phone and talk to a human being. That applies to a hotel and airline, a cruise line, even a rental car company.”
Also sign up for airfare alerts on travel websites and apps. You plug in your location and timing, and they’ll send you alerts when deals pop up.
Another money saver is to look at both round-trip and one-way flights. Sometimes you’ll get a better deal booking two one-way flights versus a round trip.