September is a key month for penny pinchers. NBC 7 reporter Consumer Bob says savvy parents are already booking flights to bring their college students home and make plans for family vacations.
Shelley Stapley just dropped off her son for college in Idaho but before she left, she bought an airline ticket.
The ticket was for his return flight just before Christmas.
Shelley says she's learned from her two older daughters that the best time to buy tickets for the holidays for college students is when you drop them off in September.
Former travel agent Allan Gundy agrees.
"It is never too soon to plan your trip for the holidays," said Gundy with the Automobile Club.
He says the longer you wait to buy those tickets, the less choice you'll have and the more you will pay.
"More likely you'll find that the routing they will have will be extremely undesirable," said Gundy, "and it can take them a long time to get home."
Jen Duche with STA Travel which specializes in student travel says parents should be asking their children now for their holiday schedule.
"We know when Thanksgiving and Christmas come up," said Duche, "but see when their final breaks are and start looking into the air fare as soon as they can."
There are reports that the major airlines will fly fewer planes this year, that will lead to a higher demand closer to the holiday season. When demand goes up so do air fares.
"Don't wait as fares will probably only increase," said Alloan Gundy.
Early airline shoppers will also have more choice. Now is the time to find better flight times, non-stop flights and avoid airports that often see winter travel problems like New York and Chicago.
Shelley Stapley says she just want to know her son has a airline ticket and she won't be scrambling to get him home while many parents will be fighting for last minute flights.