Thanksgiving Travel: 5 Painful Truths

The cheapest fares are found on Thanksgiving Day.

You know how you want to be on the couchin your PJs, sipping coffee and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday morning? So does everyone else. That's why the airports will be packed on Wednesday night and look like ghost towns on Thursday morning. That's also the reason fares will peak the Tuesday and Wednesday before the holiday and drop on Thanksgiving Day. If your flight is taking you from east to west, you may be able to take advantage of the time change and still get to your destination fairly early on Thanksgiving Day. Or, you could ask grandma to DVR the parade and serve dinner a little later this year.

Alternatively, you could use up those vacation days and leave the Monday before Thanksgiving, Seaney said traveling on this day or the holiday itself will save fliers between 15 and 20 percent.

It's going to cost you more than it did last year.

According to FareCompare, prices for Thanksgiving airfare are slightly higher than they were last year. While the price you pay is closely tied to the distance traveled, expect to pay about $425 on long-haul flights, $300 and up for medium-haul and $120 plus for shorter-haul routes.

The increase, said Seaney, can be attributed to a handful of domestic airfare hikes earlier this year and the airlines assumption that demand will be high over the Thanksgiving holiday.

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