For the best airline fares, be flexible with travel dates,...

For the best airline fares, be flexible with travel dates, experts urge. Credit:

As you put away the trick-or-treat goodies,  get serious about booking travel for the November and December holidays.

Whether it's for fun, family or both, you can still lock in some pretty good prices, says Jaime Freedman, publisher of the Top 20 Deals Newsletter for, a researcher and publisher of travel deals.

Family visit: If your destination is locked in, be flexible with travel dates. Freedman just found a $300 round-trip flight for her brother, leaving Los Angeles for New York first thing Thanksgiving morning, a $500 savings over more highly traveled departure days. Or consider celebrating holidays on the weekends before or after the official day.

Vacation: Look for deals on cruises, as some lines are looking to fill unsold year-end inventory, says Freedman. Other than over New Year's, cruises can be especially budget-friendly as they bundle the costs of accommodations, meals and entertainment. Also, for "fun in the sun," think of Aruba. Among the deals Freedman found was one resort offering rooms at $159 a night over Thanksgiving. She's also seeing holiday discounts in big cities, such as a San Francisco hotel for $89 a night and a four-star Chicago hotel for $99 -- both at half off the regular rate.

Europe: "This is a great time to go to Europe," she says, where there's no Thanksgiving travel rush. For instance, TravelZoo is reporting great prices for packages at luxury hotels in Ireland, with departures from Kennedy Airport.


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