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It may be scorching outside, but it’s time to think ahead to fall travel planning.

Perri Ormont Blumberg
August 21, 2017

We’re Southerners. We think about Halloween decorations in June and our Christmas tablecloth in July. Planning ahead is in our blood. But beyond pressing our holiday linens and dusting off our electric Jack-O-Lanterns, there’s one more thing we should add to the summer to-do list: Booking our Thanksgiving flights.

According to Good Morning America, the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are the two most expensive days of the year to fly. This year, that will be Wednesday, November 22nd and Sunday, November 26th.

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What accounts for the skyrocketing prices? The overwhelming popularity of these travel days. As a result, ticket prices increase dramatically as airlines bump fares to match the high demand. If you can, avoid flying on those two days and try departing on Monday or Tuesday (November 20th and 21st) and returning on Saturday or Monday (November 25th and 27th). Counterintuitively, flying on Turkey Day could be your secret weapon to the cheapest ticket of the holiday weekend and early flights can help you beat the gravy boat to the table.

If you have to fly on Wednesday and Sunday, buy your tickets pronto. GMA notes that airfare goes up by an average of 50 to 75 cents a day now, then a $1.50 a day in September, followed by $2.50 a day in October. This can add up to an extra $200 or more per ticket. If you’re anything like us, we’d rather use that cash for a beautiful serving platter upgrade for the whole family to enjoy.