Sing it with me and Bing Crosby -- you'll be home for Christmas (and Thanksgiving). Whether you're headed back to the town you grew up in, or taking an exotic vacation, don't get ripped off by airlines. Even this close to the holidays, there are ways to nab inexpensive flights to get you where you want to go.
“Airfares in general are down this year,” Cheapflights.com editor Melisse Hinkle told USA Today. “And, while the Sunday after Thanksgiving is still in high demand, travel seems to be spreading out more across the holiday week and weekend.”
Here are eight tips for finding cheap flights:
Choose your dates wisely. CheapAir found the best days to fly for Thanksgiving were Nov. 23-24 and Nov. 26-27, while the worst were Nov. 25 and Nov. 29. For Christmas and New Years, try Dec. 22-25 or Dec. 29-Jan. 1, avoiding Dec. 18-20 and Jan. 2-3.
Check alternate airports. Depending on where you live, there may be multiple hubs within driving distance. If you're in New York City, try flying out of Newark, New Jersey. If you're headed to Mobile, Alabama, look for flights into Pensacola, Florida. Use this site to see how far away area airports are from each other.
Skip the nonstop. If you can afford a brief layover, it may help you afford your ticket. Check this site for a ranking of the best airports to kill time in (for the record: London's Heathrow, San Francisco International and Vancouver International are all good).
Book sooner rather than later. Prices go up about $5 a day, according to USA Today. Do it now.
Let your bags fly for free. Don't pay high fees to check your luggage. Choose an airline without baggage fees, such as Southwest.
Keep an eye on social media. Certain companies like Jet Blue will push out limited-time-only promotions on Twitter or Facebook before revealing them elsewhere. Sign up for phone notifications on corporate accounts so you're the first to spot their discounts.
Use your miles. Some airlines accept miles, or points, instead of dollars if you're a frequent customer. Keep track of them using AwardWallet, and remember, you don't have to fly in order to rack up rewards. ThePointsGuy notes you can accrue points by going to certain spas, patronizing certain florists and even donating to charity.