Planning on hitting the air to see family and friends this holiday season?  So are a lot of people.  With the pandemic keeping us home bound the last 2 years, a large number of people all over the world are back in the airports headed to destinations all over the world.  Airfare is on the rise.

Sadly, we've missed the real sweet spot to book a flight for the Thanksgiving holiday.  However, not all is lost.  Cruising travel sites, I found some great information for anyone planning to fly over the holidays, and it won't cost an arm and a leg.  Just an arm, but hey, if that gives you more room in your seat.  Just sayin'.

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Tips from the experts

I checked Travel and Leisure, Lonely Planet and Silive.

Be flexible in your travel days.  When searching for flights, check prices for other days AROUND when you wanted to travel.

They say the cheapest days to travel for Thanksgiving this holiday season are Monday, November 21 and Thanksgiving Day.  (Thanksgiving Day flights SOUND harsh, until you compare it to the sounds of your entire family fighting over politics or football the whole day. Makes getting there just in time for dinner a little better, doesn't it?)  Heading home Black Friday is estimated to save around $175.  The most expensive days are the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving,.

Book your flight first.  That way, you're not locked into anything like hotels when you find a cheaper flight. A lot of airlines are offering free cancellation now and are much more flexible

Take the early morning flight option.  More flights are cancelled as the day progresses, they SAY. I'm just saying I had a 7 am flight from Boston, and they cancelled that thing by 4 am. Later I found out United is number one or two for cancellations.

Advice from me

I had the best luck with hotels and airfare by using Priceline to book my Boston trip.  Keep in mind, I needed to get there as soon as I could, meaning I had to cut corners everywhere, so I took some of their deals.

For airline tickets, I did find the best price on Priceline. Again, I was looking at price, not comfort.  It took me nearly a month to find a low price from Great Falls to Boston, and I left my travel dates open.  I had already put money aside for the tickets, so I grabbed them the second I saw the low price.

Lesson learned:  Yes, I got there and it wasn't all THAT bad, but as god is my witness, I will NEVER fly the long leg of an East Coast trip in ANYTHING but business or first class ever ever ever again.  On my way home, I'd gladly have given someone my CAR to get out of coach.

For hotels, if you have no preference on hotel, go with the Express Deals on Priceline.  Both of the hotels I stayed at in Boston I got for a much cheaper price than if I'd have gone to their site to book, or just booked on Priceline with the individual hotel.  It's a blind buy that's non-refundable. They tell you 3 hotels that it could be.  They don't reveal which one until you buy it. I got a 5 star hotel for less than $250 a night.  Normally, the price is between $600-$700.  You can also find coupon codes to take additional money off of express deals if you're willing to dig on the web for them.  I was and it saved me an additional $100. I'd do it again in a heart-beat.



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