Holiday Deals for '09

Q. When will it be cheapest for travel over the Christmas holiday period? Will fares come down between now and then?

A.  We're finding that the magic dates are leaving on December 22 and returning on December 28 at present, although that's not a hard and fast rule. Also, traveling on December 25 and January 1 are usually cheaper than other days. Last year at this time, the usual roster of travel pundits predicted that if you didn't buy your Christmas travel now, you'd be out of luck. And fares did look like they were trending upward. But then a couple of weeks before the holiday we noticed that fares on some routes fell off a cliff. So you just never know.