We've heard from a lot of frustrated travelers who can't find a decent fare home for Thanksgiving. And whenever we ask what days they're looking to travel, they typically answer Wednesday through Sunday. That's when our face falls and we belly-sob into the keyboard, because if there's one thing we harp on incessantly here at AFWD (and really, there are lots of things, but this one is a biggie), it's the importance of being flexible with your travel dates. And that goes double during the holidays. Everyone wants to depart after work on Wednesday Nov. 25 and return the following Sunday Nov. 29. That's why the airlines jack up the fares on these dates, and around these dates.

But hey, don't get discouraged. And puhleeez don't buy into the holiday-fare-panic-piece that the newspapers run every year telling you that fares between, say, Chicago and New York are $540 and you should buy immediately. Sure, holiday fares will always be a little higher than the norm, but if fares are too high and no one is buying, the airlines will lower them. And that's exactly what we're seeing this year.

For example, we've been monitoring holiday fares between Orlando and New York. A few weeks ago, this fare was between $400 and $500. And sure enough, the "experts" advised folks to buy now or else. Not to wag our we-told-you-so finger, but we had a hunch that these fares wouldn't sell, and counseled people to keep on shopping around. And today? We found Orlando to New York for just $237 round-trip, including all taxes, leaving Wednesday the 25th and returning Sunday the 29th. How about that, huh? Not bad!

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