(WLOX) - The sudden drop in temperature around the country is finally signaling the onset of winter and the holiday season-- the busiest travel season of the year.
Airlines for America reports a record 51 million people will fly out for the holidays this year, with an estimated 80,000 passengers daily.
Have no fear, this is what you can do to get ahead of the crowds.
The booking "sweet spot", as many airlines would call it, is between two to six months before takeoff. This window allows for modest rates and plenty of wiggle room for adjustments.
Hopper, an airfare forecasting company, states that Wednesdays or Thursdays are the best time of the week to catch price drops. Booking right before the weekend helps to avoid a spike in demand and expensive price hikes.
If you have a favorite airline, join their frequent-flyer program to get special perks like free checked bags, seat upgrades and reward points you can use for future flights.
For cheaper airfare, consider buying two one-way tickets instead of one roundtrip ticket. While this step take some extra research, you may save big bucks down the line.
One little known travel hack: Wear your heavy clothes on your trip, including bulky boots or puffy jackets. This will help you save on space and weight in your suitcase (and leaves more room for presents!)
Most importantly, as you head out, don't forget consider road and conditions so you can get to the airport on time.