5 ways to get best travel deals

Rising fuel prices and a reviving economy are pushing prices up. Here are five new strategies to get an affordable vacation.

Book really early
Book really early
Planes are packed to the gills these days, and that means airlines don't have to compete hard to fill seats.

It used to be enough to start checking fares two months ahead of your travel dates; now you need about three months' lead time, says Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com.

Keep tabs on prices via a site like Airfarewatchdog.com or FareCompare.com so you'll know a deal when you see one.

By Amy Chen @Money - Last updated May 03 2012: 4:18 PM ET
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