Here in Acadiana travelers have a lot to be excited about. The construction on the expansion of the terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport is underway. I am hoping that will mean expanded service from our airport with even more airline choices in the future. But since that project won't be completed in time for the upcoming holiday travel season it's probably best that we move on to another plan this year.

My wife is a travel expert. We have traveled to Tahiti, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and even South America. Through all of that travel, we have learned a few things, especially about saving money on airfare.

If you have travel plans that will have you flying over a major holiday the number you'll want to remember is "21". That's the minimum number of days out from your trip when you are most likely to secure the seat you want on the flight you want at a price that won't require you to sell a kidney.

If you can book your plans sooner, as in right now, or if you can be flexible with your schedule around the holidays then you can save even more money.

The exception to the rule is Christmas travel. For the best airfare over Christmas and New Year's, you'll want to check out your favorite airline's website on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. That's usually when air carriers offer the best deals for sharing some sky time with Santa.

You can always book through online discount travel sites too. But, let me caution you about some of those "cheap tickets". Quite often they come with restrictions on refunds and flight changes. They also sometimes don't guarantee you a seat on the darn plane. I know, we've had it happen.

Our advice, read the fine print and book directly through the airline if you can. Many air carriers offer unpublished fares through their own sites that even the big travel clearinghouses can't touch.

Just remember there is no place like home for the holidays. Which is exactly why I want to spend Christmas in Jamaica this year.

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