Don't leave it too late to book your Thanksgiving flights

Airlines will soon start to jack their prices up.
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It's more than two months away but now is the time to start thinking about your travel preparations for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving weekend is one of, if not the, busiest traveling period of the year, and taking a plane to visit family can cost you a bucket.

Which is why you don't want to leave it too late, with USA Today reporting this week that airlines have already started increasing their prices for certain journeys, with more hikes on the way.

The best time to book a Thanksgiving flight has already passed according to Skyscanner – but only just. The week of Sept. 4th is when the best deals are available.

A return domestic flight during this week costs, on average, around $300.

Read more from The Tip Jar: Is there a best time to book flights?

But opinion differs on the subject, with SmarterTravel saying you still have a few weeks left to get some good deals, noting prices bottom out around six weeks before Thanksgiving (early October) before ratcheting up thereafter.

But the difference between booking 5-6 weeks out and booking now is negligible, SmarterTravel says, so you can book now knowing that the price probably won't drop too much afterwards.

Based on bookings made so far through Skyscanner, the most popular destination this Thanksgiving among Americans is Cancun, ahead of New York, Orlando, London and Paris.

When should I fly?

The cheapest day to fly is Thanksgiving Day itself, USA Today notes, with a booking potentially costing hundreds of dollars less if you're willing to take off on the Thursday.

At the moment the difference between flying from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on the Wednesday compared to Thanksgiving isn't huge.

A Spirit airlines flight from MSP to Chicago costs $181 if you fly Wednesday, Nov. 22-Sunday, Nov. 26, but is $20 cheaper if you leave on Thanksgiving Day.

Similarly, you can get to San Francisco and back Wednesday-Sunday for $402 with United, or fly a day later for slightly cheaper with Delta for $373.

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