Turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie may not be the things that spring to mind as you enjoy the August heat. However, it's definitely not too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving travel. In fact, many savvy travelers actually take advantage of the fact that the end of summer is a great time to leap at travel deals for the upcoming holiday season. The end of August is the perfect time to flip ahead to the November page on your calendar and start making some plans for when you want to hop on a plane to visit family or friends.
One important thing to remember is that you can book your Thanksgiving flight with rewards points you earned during the busy summer season if you're a member of JetBlue's TrueBlue program, the Delta SkyMiles program or another airline loyalty program without blackout dates.
When Is the Best Week to Book Thanksgiving Travel Plans?
The first week of September is the best time to book airfare for November if you're looking to get a great rate. This week is a sweet spot right in the middle of when people stop traveling for summer vacations and start thinking about booking holiday travel plans. Airlines often lower prices during September because people are more preoccupied with adjusting to the rhythm of a new school year and a new season than they are with booking airfare for the months ahead.
Taking time to get a head start with making your plans makes sense when you consider that more than 48 million people travel for Thanksgiving. About half of those travelers fly to their destinations. Booking a ticket early isn't just a matter of getting a good deal. You could potentially get shut out from getting a seat for the date and time you need if you put off booking your ticket until the last minute.
Can You Still Get a Deal Without Booking in September?
You might be concerned that making a commitment to specific holiday travel plans so early just isn't a convenient option. Trying to coordinate with other family members to figure out availability or waiting to find out if you can take days off from work can definitely complicate things.
The good news is you can still look forward to snagging a deal even if you can't book your flight by the first or second week in September. Travel deals actually stick around until about the first week in November. This means you have a few more weeks to sort out your plans before making a commitment.
Some things you can do right now to increase your chances of bagging a great deal include setting up price alerts to be notified when the price for a specific route drops; searching ticket options from airports that are slightly farther out of the way to see if you can get lower rates; and playing around with travel dates to see if adjusting your plans just slightly could save you some serious money.