PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- You're already up to your elbows in pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin beers, pop-up costume shops and Candy Corn Oreos. Exactly how much longer do you think you'll have to buy those Thanksgiving or Christmas airline tickets for less than the price of your first car?If you're even entertaining the idea of flying somewhere for Thanksgiving dinner, you're out of time to procrastinate. According to Rick Seaney, analyst and CEO for travel website FareCompare, roughly two months out is the best time to shop for both holiday airfares and desired flight times. As the days pass, it's going to get a lot tougher to find a low-cost fare or a non-redeye flight without arriving or departing on Thanksgiving Day itself. We don't care how early it seems or if your summer vacation just ended, and neither do the airlines. Holiday travel surcharges, shrinking capacity and a narrow travel window all help jack up prices while reducing alternatives for slow-footed folks such as yourself. Want to track down some early holiday presents? Start with your plane ticket. We took our annual spin with the folks from TripAdvisor's SmarterTravel ( TRIP), Priceline ( PCLN) and found that not only are you cutting it close this far out, but you may have waited just a bit too late. Here are five reasons why:
3. Bargains are still costly There are still lower fares out there, but they're on some of the least-convenient days on the calendar. FareCompare notes that the best days to fly during Thanksgiving week are Monday, Nov. 25, and Thanksgiving Day itself -- Nov. 28. Saturday, Nov. 30, is still a viable return date, but if you can hold out until Monday, Dec. 2, that's likely your best bet. It's nearly impossible to avoid the major airlines' $10 to $35 holiday surcharges during December, but if you can fly out on Monday, Dec. 16, and wrap up your vacation by New Year's Eve, there may be a bargain out there for you. Just be careful with that bag of travel tricks you use during the year, as ... JBLU) and Southwest ( LUV) to avoid baggage fees and consider springing for early boarding or extra legroom if you think it will cut down on the holiday hassle. Consider flying on the holiday itself, if possible. Not only are fares comparatively cheap, but the terminals are emptier and easier to navigate and flights will still get you there in time for dinner. -- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.