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Thanksgiving Travel 2013 Top 5: Book Early, Be Flexible

"We've seen people booking earlier than ever before, almost 20% more than this time last year," Cuddy says. "It might feel like it's too early, but this is the busiest travel holiday we've got, and I think more and more people are getting conscious of locking something in. People shouldn't wait for a better deal — Thanksgiving is going to come sooner than you think."

2.) Stay flexible with travel dates and airports.

"If you are restricted to departing on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and returning the Sunday or Monday after Thanksgiving, you're set up for the most expensive travel parameters," Goldman says.

Travelers who have a little "wiggle room" and can return on a Saturday or later in the week after Thanksgiving will find a lot more choice in how much they spend on a fare, she says. For travelers who may have a late dinner planned on Thanksgiving, it may be smart to consider traveling on Thanksgiving morning or Thanksgiving Day.

"Thanksgiving Day is a great time to fly because everyone wants to be where they are going. If you can get to your celebration later that night by flying that morning, chances are good that you will snag a good fare," she says. "This may be tough if you have to go cross country, but a very early flight could still get you in in time for dinner."

For travelers who may have enough flexibility to head to their celebration the weekend before Thanksgiving, the cheapest day to book a return trip is Friday, Nov. 29, Cuddy says. If that doesn't work for you, Saturday the 30th or Wednesday, Dec. 4, are also more affordable options.

Read More:   holidays
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