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Traveling during the holidays? Book flights now

If you're a person who flies budget airlines, you can save up to $120 round trip for a family of four if you buy your tickets in-person at the counter.

INDIANAPOLIS — If your holiday plans include getting on a plane, experts say now is the time to buy.

Willis Orlando with Scott's Cheap Flights said before you book, understand what you're buying.

Change fees

First, look at flight change fees.

"If you're going to book and you see that rock bottom fair? Try that next class up, and you're probably going to have wave change fees," Orlando said.

Flight insurance

Next, read the flight insurance small print.

Don't pay extra money for what the airline might already cover. Make sure that what you are concerned about is included in the policy.

"You don't want to pay an extra fee for a policy that will be of no use," Orlando said.

And know your rights. If the airline changes your flight time typically by 2 or more hours, or adds a stop, you're entitled to a refund, not a voucher.

Customers are also entitled to a refund if they cancel a flight within 24 hours of buying it. The flight just needs to depart in the U.S.

Use vouchers

As for saving money, double check that you don't have unused vouchers.

If you're a person who flies budget airlines including Frontier, Spirit or Allegiant, you can save up to $120 round trip for a family of four if you buy your tickets in-person at the counter instead of online. Before taking a trip to the airport, make sure the ticket counter is open. Ticket counters are usually open two hours prior to a departure, so check that day's schedule.

Other tips

Be sure to set alerts on price tracking apps like Google Flights and Hopper. That way, you're notified if there is a price drop.

Some destinations may also require a negative COVID test. Confirm what type of test is required by checking the state's website, or the Department of State's site if the trip is international.

"You can direct yourself to the embassy in the country where you're heading," Orlando said.

Check your destination's requirements periodically, as COVID-19 rules are fluid.

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