DETROIT – If you don't plan ahead, it's easy for holiday travel to break your family budget. If you haven't noticed, these days early birds tend to grab the best prices and the best departure times. Or, if you like to fly direct to your destination, you might notice those direct flights start to fill up very quickly.
There is some hope for consumers who've waited until October to book travel, according to research from Orbitz.com. "We've identified this week until Oct. 12 as that sweet spot, that secret week to book your holiday airfare when you're going to find some of the cheapest deals on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's," said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor at Orbitz.com
So, if you're reading this before Oct. 12, start shopping. Other websites have said you can still score deals through the end of the month, but no doubt plane seats are filling up fast. If you can't save money on air fare, Tornatore says there could be some savings on hotels, especially if you can find a promo
Tornatore also says if you're just looking to take some time off, traveling the week after Thanksgiving or New Year's can lead to big savings.
More Money-Saving Travel Tricks
As you plan your holiday travel, be sure to use the travel tricks you use to save money all year long.
*Bundle air fare, hotel, and rental car to save the most money
*Use hotel loyalty programs to see if you can save money or receive extra perks
*Use travel websites to send alerts when fares fall
*Think about using a travel agent to navigate this busy time of year. They might have ideas you haven't thought about before.
Finally, Orbitz.com has a micro website to help you find the best times to travel and the best prices. For more information, click here.