I hate even saying the word “holidays” but they’ll be here before we know it. If you’re traveling for the holidays, here are a few pointers on how to score the best airfare.

Book Now

If you’re like me and you just cringe when advertisers say the word Christmas before we’ve even bought our Halloween candy, but if you’re holding out for a last minute fare sale, you could be left out in the cold. Book early to get the best fares and best seats. Nonstop flights and flight plus hotel deals sell out quickly.

Be Flexible

You may be only looking for certain days, but open that up to a day before and a day after and you could save a ton. I got first class airfare for two when we flew on Wednesday. If you’re looking for a deal on the eve of a major holiday, though, good luck. Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve etc; can be quite expensive for airfare. If you’re willing to fly the day of you could save a bundle. That goes the same for the return trip. Flying home the Sunday after a major holiday can cost a ton. If you fly home Saturday or Monday can save you money, too. Also be flexible with your time. No one likes getting up at zero dark hundred, but flying early in the morning can save you time and money. As the day wears on, delays can pile up, adding to travel headaches for afternoon fliers.

Use the Internet to Your Advantage

Sure, most of us book our flights through the internet, but it’s a good idea to use it to your advantage. Sign up for email alerts for airfares for your specific route, but also open it up to regional airports close by the major hubs. Air Fare Watch Dog is a popular tracking website that can send you email alerts just for your specific route. There’s another website called Yapta that will keep an eye on your fare after you’ve booked and will let you know when your fare goes down so you can get a refund!

Travel Off Peak

Everything has a high season and a low season. Head for your getaway during off season times. Right now, travel and hotel to the Disney resorts is dirt cheap because the kids are in school. By the end of this month and early into next month, ski resorts will have some runs open so if you’re cool with having the run of a few runs instead of all of the runs, book now.

Travel During Dead Week

Dead week is the week after a major holiday, so if you’re OK with delaying seeing the in-laws for a week, you can save a ton. The week after Thanksgiving and the week after the week of Christmas and New Year’s, you’ll have your pick of fares and flights.