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Best time to get lowest airfare for Thanksgiving and Christmas travel

Best time to get lowest airfare for Thanksgiving and Christmas travel
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Fall is here, and you know what that means? That's right, before you know it the holidays will be upon us.

Like every year, many people will be traveling over the holidays. Whether your children or grandchildren are coming home from college for a long Thanksgiving weekend, or you are traveling across the country to spend time with the in-laws over Christmas, there's a good chance that you're going to book a flight.

Since millions of Americans will be traveling during the holidays, it's extremely important to plan ahead so you can find the best deals.

Booking holiday travel at the wrong time could end up costing you big time. It's a mistake that you don't want to make.

That's why we're going to tell you some tricks of the trade to find the best prices on holiday airfare.

(Bonus: Click here to learn how to get the absolute lowest prices on hotels too.)

Secret formula to calculate airfare pricing

Knowing when to buy your holiday airfare is key to getting the best value. Before we get into the timing of your purchase, let's discuss the secret formula that airlines don't want you to know about. Calculating your trip's cost with this formula will show if you're getting a good deal.

According to the Adobe Digital Index, "To determine whether the price you’re seeing for any domestic round-trip airfare is a good deal, multiply the round-trip miles (airport to airport) by $.032, and add $230 to get the average price. For international round-trip airfare, multiply the round-trip miles by $.08 and add $200." If your answer is less than your plane ticket, then you might be paying more than average.

For example, it's 1,710 miles from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Miami International Airport (MIA), so the round-trip miles would be 3,420. Using the formula, (3,420 x $.032) + $230 = $339.44, this is your target price.

According to a quick Google Flights search, a round-trip ticket leaving DEN the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and returning the Tuesday after could be as little as $256. (If you return one day later, you could get it for $182.) Going with the formula, this would be a great deal.

(Tip within a tip: Click here to learn how to use Google Flights.)

Image: Example of round-trip flight from DEN to MIA using Google Flights.

Now that you know how to calculate the average cost for airfare to compare it against prices you're about to pay, you need to know when it's the best time to book your flight. Keep reading and we'll give you all the details.

Next page: Find out when to book holiday airfare for at the lowest price
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