Pardon us if this seems obvious, but there are two days you should -- if you can help it -- never fly. EVER.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are the most expensive travel days of the entire year, notes airfare expert Rick Seaney in USA Today. They should be avoided at all costs.
Because the costs, it turns out, are huge: If you can avoid flying on that Wednesday and Sunday, you'll save an average of 30 to 50 percent on tickets, says Seaney.
And starting in October (which, by the way, is now), every day you delay booking Thanksgiving travel adds an average of five dollars to your fare. (During the rest of the year, ticket prices increase an average of 4.5 percent between the day you start looking for flights and the day you actually purchase one.)
But don't worry -- there is hope. Prices won't truly skyrocket until mid-October, says CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg. That's when Thanksgiving ticket costs will jump an estimated 17 percent.
And no matter when you book, avoiding those two treacherous days can save you big time. The Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the Monday after Thanksgiving are typically well-priced days to fly, notes the CheapAir Holiday Cheap Flights Index. So if your schedule has any kind of flexibility, you'll be fine(r).
Take a deep breath, find some loopholes in your timing, and remember to book your flights on Tuesday afternoons (ideally 54 days out) for the best overall deals. There's no reason to panic... unless you live in Florida.