Travel saving tips - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Travel saving tips

November 8, 2005

By: Robbyn DeSpain

Albany- Thanksgiving is just over two weeks away and for millions of Americans, that means taking to the friendly skies.  If you are planning to fly, but have not purchased your ticket yet, you could be shelling out more than you planned. Thanksgiving is the most concentrated holiday travel time. If you haven't planned ahead and already purchased your airfare, you could be at the mercy of the airlines.

Travel agent Elizabeth Nichols with Albany Travel says there are still some ways that you might not go completely broke this Thanksgiving. For example, she says most people chose to travel for Thanksgiving on the Tuesday or Wednesday before and return home on the Sunday after. The flights on those days, if there are still any available to your destination will be the highest priced. Elizabeth says to try flying to your destination if possible on the Monday before Thanksgiving and returning home on the Saturday after, not Sunday. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is one of the least traveled days of the year. And,  if you still need to buy, buy now. The price goes up the longer you wait.

Elizabeth Nichols says, "For someone who needed to go at Thanksgiving particularly, some of the lesser fares need to be purchased at least 21 days or more ahead of time we've just about run out of time. Some of them 14, some of them 7, some of them even as little as 3. Each time that you shorten the time to purchase them, you've increased the price."

If you are still trying to decide whether to travel for Thanksgiving or Christmas, Elizabeth says you have a better chance at a cheaper rate for Christmas or even New Years because travel is not so concentrated.

When investigating your flights, don't always assume that driving to Atlanta and flying from there is your cheapest route. Elizabeth says you may be surprised at the price you can fly from Albany to Atlanta and beyond. Also, when buying special low priced airfare, you may be able to purchase two one-way tickets at a better price than a roundtrip ticket.

Here are a few other tips to ensure successful travel: Plan as far ahead as possible. Great planning equals the best possible price. Next, if you can, you need to purchase your tickets with a credit card. With the current financial troubles of some of the top carriers, this will better the chances of you getting your money back if your flight is cancelled or changed to an inconvenient time. Finally, you may want to consider travel insurance. All of the special reduced airfares are non-refundable and air travel insurance can make sure that you don't lose all of your money.

The price of travel insurance is based on the value of your airfare. It is offered just for the airfare, or you can purchase it to cover other items such as a cruise or a tour.

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