If you haven't bought airline tickets for Thanksgiving yet, get searching. Travel planning websites say airfares drop around Labor Day -- and those who wait until October or November could pay a lot more for their Turkey Day getaway.
It's also a time when bargain hunters planning year-end and winter vacations could score discounts on hotels, ski lift tickets and tours.
Airfares: Consider booking your airfare now. Travel booking website Hipmunk says fliers save about $140 if they purchase before Labor Day, which is Monday.
Travel search engine Skyscanner says in a statement the cost of flights plunges about 8.3% this week, "giving you the best opportunity to save some cash on your airfare." Not a bad idea to be scoping out Christmas travel dates for the same reason.
Hotels: Bargain hunters could find some sweet deals on fall and winter travel if they choose to go the week before Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas. Hotel Week L.A. from Nov. 29 to Dec. 14 is a good place to start to find room discounts at top Southern California hotels.
Hipmunk says travelers can save about $50 on a hotel stay around Thanksgiving if they wait to book until November. In this case, procrastination pays off because hotels often lower prices to fill empty rooms around the holidays.
Everything else: Many ski resorts have lift tickets at low prices for early shoppers. Mammoth Mountain, for example, is charging $200 for three days of skiing or boarding -- a $63 savings over last season -- for people who purchase by Sunday.
Train travel operator Vacations by Rail offers those who book a 2015 tour in the United States or Canada by Oct. 31 to choose their own perk: a hotel stay before or after their trip, or a free connecting rail ticket. (Minimum tour price per person: $1,000.)
Trafalgar tour operator, based in Anaheim, offers a preview of its 2015 European vacations that early birds can book at 2014 rates, with the added bonus that if a trip price goes down, they'll refund the difference. Take an additional 10% off for an early payment discount. Travelers must book by Sept. 24 to get the deal.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times