@travelandleisure

You can buy a present for yourself with all the money you save.

Would you rather get a root canal or put together a living room’s worth of IKEA furniture than think about booking holiday travel arrangements? We feel you. With all the pieces to put together and the high likelihood that one false move could have it all come crashing down faster than a Jenga tower, the pressure is enough to make you feel like you’re negotiating a UN hostage crisis.

WATCH: Travel Etiquette Rules You Need to Know

Next to hibernating for the entire months of November and December, we found the best strategies for not only finalizing the logistics but saving money too. Here are mistakes to avoid.

Not Setting a Price Alert

If you’re reading this piece in October, we have some bad news. This is typically the month that prices defy Newton’s Laws of Motion to go up and often don’t come back down. The best way to combat this is to set a Google Flight Alert as early as possible. If you’re willing to be flexible with your possible arrival and departure days and times, you can end up saving a good chunk of cash. If you’re working a short timetable, try using the Hopper app. It will send alerts straight to your phone so you can act fast.

Not Optimizing Your Seat

Have you ever been stuck at the back of the plane watching minutes tick by as your 45-minute layover suddenly becomes a 5-minute Olympic sprint across four concourses? In that moment would you be willing to pay between $25 to $75 to be closer to the plane door? If the answer is yes, take a moment to look for a better seat. The price tag might be worth the headache of missing your connection.

Being Loyal to One Airline

If you have a special status with an airline and know how to use those perks to your advantage, loyalty can be rewarding. But if you aren’t collecting Skymiles or don’t fly very often, it might be worth checking out deals on Southwest, Spirit, or even regional airlines. They offer tickets at varying levels of desperation. If you just need to get from point A to point B and don’t plan on bringing more than a small carry-on’s worth of baggage, you can save big time.

Excluding Thanksgiving or Christmas Day

While this might not jive with everyone’s family traditions, flying on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day is not only less expensive, it also doesn’t risk a pile-up of delays and cancellations.