Thanksgiving 2018 is less than two months away and if you haven't already done so, now is the time to purchase your airline tickets - especially if you are traveling to notoriously busy locations like Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Houston or any other major city. Think the waiting game (meaning waiting until the last possible minute to get last minute airfares) pans out for Thanksgiving Travel? Think again.

According to Google's Travel team, the best time to purchase Thanksgiving airline tickets is in August. By October, generally speaking, airline tickets soar by 80 to 90 percent with little to no chance of seeing any type of price decrease.

And, considering on average over 50 million Americans travel 50 miles or more from home for the Thanksgiving holiday, it's truly a case of supply and demand. The point? Buy earlier, not later.

Making Holiday Travel A Bit Easier With Planning

During the holidays, planning ahead is best, but it's not too late to get tickets for where you are going this upcoming holiday season. One of your best defenses is to use sites that compare prices for you, and a recommended site is, it is unbiased and it allows the user to control everything from preferred flight times to class of service.

Thinking of using frequent flier points for free travel or upgrades? Better read the fine print. With the exception of the highest level frequent flier members, most holiday travel times, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks are usually blackout dates.

So, be prepared to pay out of pocket.

Another factor you may want to consider while booking your Thanksgiving flights is that the Wednesday right before Thanksgiving and the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving is the heaviest travel days. This will mean extra long waits in lines at airports from checking-in to security checkpoints.

Packing tips

Once you have your tickets bought, you might want to consider how much luggage you are taking with you. If you plan on taking any carry-on luggage, it is important to remember the TSA’s “3-1-1” rules which are found below:

  • Each passenger may carry liquids, gels, and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in carry-on bags
  • Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels, and aerosols in checked bags

Pack smart.

Not only will it save you aggravation in the long run, but it will help speed you and your fellow travelers through security which will be appreciated by all.

Finally, keep alert during Thanksgiving travel, it's a prime time for crowds and thieves thrive in these conditions. Watch your belongings and never ask anyone else to "keep an eye" on it for you.