'Tis the Season to Book Holiday Travel -- Savings Experiment

Budget Holiday Travel
Budget Holiday Travel

Traveling during the holidays can come at a premium, but using these tips can ensure that you'll get the lowest prices for flights during Christmas and New Year's.

First, try booking your flight before Dec. 18. This is generally when you can get the best prices on holiday fares. Specifically, Kayak reports that the cheapest rates have been posted on Dec. 12, 13, 16 and 17 in past years. After these dates, you're likely going to be paying a pretty penny for travel arrangements.

If you have to book later, try to avoid the two most expensive days to fly: the Sundays before Christmas and New Year's Eve. A good way to monitor fluctuating airfare prices is to use the "fare predictor" option on Kayak or Bing. This feature offers estimates on whether the price of a flight will rise or fall based on past data.

If you want a little bit of insurance on your fare, purchase "price protection." Sites like CheapAir.com offer this option so that travelers can get some money back in the event that they purchase a ticket and see a price drop before their date of travel. You won't get the money directly back, but the site will give you a travel voucher for the difference of up to $100 per ticket.

So, if you're planning on getting away for the holidays, keep these tips in mind as you search for fares. The more you save, the more you can spend on gifts for your loved ones.

Originally published