Updated 11/11/2012 05:00 AM
Travel with Val: Holiday travel
While it's not even Halloween yet, you may want to consider making your holiday travel plans now, experts say. YNN's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
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You just purchased your pumpkin, so it must be time to start thinking about your holiday travel plans. Conventional wisdom has it that early birds get the best deals on flights for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"Nearly 40 percent of travelers have told us that they’ve already or will have booked their travel by the end of October," says Orbitz.com Senior Editor Jeanenne Tornatore.
But can a wait-and-see really pay off?
"We found last year and the year before that people who booked a couple of weeks before the holiday did get some bargains but got the worst possible flight times and the middle seats," says George Hobica of airfarewatchdog.com.
Hobica points out that scenario might not work well for families who want to sit together and keep on schedule.
If grandma is not expecting you to carve the turkey, however, fly on the holidays for the best airfares and fewest crowds. Depending on whom you ask, those airfares may be up or down.
"Well, looking at Orbitz.com bookings to date, we’re seeing that airfares on average Thanksgiving and Christmas are 5% less than they were last year over the holidays," says Tornatore.
"I don't see flights being cheaper this year than last year I think because of consolidation and fewer seats," Hobica notes.
Christmas and New Year's both fall on Tuesdays this year, so cast a wide net to avoid traveling on peak days.
"Those 4 a.m. wakeup calls are well worth it to get those first flights out of the day," recommends Tornatore.
Book with airlines such as Southwest and JetBlue that refund the entire difference in the form of a voucher if your fare drops between the time you buy it and fly it.
Any savings on flights though, might be lost on your hotel: A cost projected to be six to eight percent more this year.