HOUSTON -

The start of the holiday travel season will start soon and according to priceline.com, the average national airfare is trending about 3 percent higher than last year.

Consumer expert Amy Davis found several online travel sites that can help travelers save money on airfare if you take the time to shop for the best ticket deals.

Airfarewatchdog.com does a great job sorting through deals and sending out alerts. According to Kiplinger the online site actually has people lurking on airline web sites to watch for fare sales and then alerts users. Many airline sales start on Tuesday and those who watch ticket prices recommend travelers check for deals on Wednesday.

The Bing Travel online site is popular for a price predictor that can advise you whether fares are rising, holding steady, dropping and whether you should buy now or wait.

According to its website, Bing Travel gets results directly from multiple sites, suppliers, and agencies. When you find the flight you want, Bing Travel sends the buyer to book it on the supplier's site.

If your travel plans are flexible, Kayak is a good tool for finding the cheapest airfare available. The site will search for the best deals three days before and three days after your ideal travel date. Kayak recommends finding low fares by booking 21 days in advance, searching their site with the flexible dates option to find the best prices, and shopping for flights at alternative airports.

For overseas travel, whichbudget.com searches flights from 203 countries and 1,704 airports, according to its website. You can enter a start and end point and the website will suggest deals on regional airlines to lower the cost of long distance flights.

Yapta e-mail alerts let you know when prices drop and when to buy to save money on airfare. Also according to its website, if the price of your flight drops below what you paid. Yapta helps you get a refund for the difference.

Most travel websites also offer apps you can download to send real time alerts to your phone about ticket deals.

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