[Rick Seaney is the CEO and cofounder of FareCompare, and a columnist for Investopedia. The views expressed by columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Investopedia.]

Are you a Thanksgiving procrastinator? You are if you don’t have tickets to get to Grandma’s house yet. But take this quiz to see what it really means.

1. What will procrastination cost me?

A.) It’s not as bad as they say, probably just a few bucks; it’s still October, right?

B.) You’ll pay on average an extra $2 per day – increasing every day – for the rest of the month. Starting November, that doubles. But that’s an average price; last year, some paid an extra $7 or more per day.

The correct answer is B. The solution is to buy your ticket now.

2. Are there any routes that don’t see huge spikes?

A.) No; deal with it.

B.) Yes. Generally speaking, flights of roughly 90 minutes or less between two large, hub-type airports will not see the huge airfare price hikes smaller cities will deal with. If you’re flying between, say, Los Angeles and San Francisco – or Dallas and Houston – it won’t be exactly cheap, but it won’t be terribly painful, either.

The correct answer is B.

3. Should I fly a Thanksgiving itinerary of Wednesday to Sunday?

A.) Yes; these are the most popular days to fly, which mean they’re the cheapest days to fly.

B.) Absolutely not. Airlines know most people want to fly Wednesday-Sunday and price accordingly – in other words, airlines will charge as much as possible. Pick other days to fly (or at least one other day) and you’ll almost always cuts costs significantly.

The correct answer is B. Tip: Look for a tool that can guide you to the cheapest days to fly (and my site has one); it’s a great way to save. For more, see Airline Ticket Prices: What a Difference a Day Makes.

4. Are there any other simple ways to save a little money on a Thanksgiving flight?

A.) Yes, if you’re flying one of the ultra-discount airlines (like Spirit or Frontier), bring some food from home and an empty water bottle to fill at an airport water station (once you’re past security). This will save you at least ten bucks, maybe more.

B) Yes, use a carry-on instead of a checked bag; on most airlines that’ll save you a $50 fee.

The correct answer is A and B. Hey, every little bit helps, right? And be sure you don't bring The 9 Things You Should Never Pack.



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