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Online travel site Ctrip is giving all travelers who book by November 21 and fly between December 1 and December 31 the chance to win prizes via their "Are You Going to Be a Grinch?" prize lottery. Truth be told, we're not fans of Ctrip here at the Talking Travel desk, but many people are, so, there it is.

Now is a good time to buy tickets to the US for Christmas. Yours truly just bought Beijing to Newark, NJ roundtrip for USD 945, on United Airlines. That's pretty good, especially for the holiday period. West Coast fares seem to be somewhat higher, more like USD 1,100.

It's also a good time to buy tickets for Spring Festival/Chinese New Year, which starts on February 18 the first day of the new year is February 19, but the biggest celebration is always the night before. However, airfares are already in the range of "that's ridiculous" to "NFW." Roundtrip to San Francisco on United is about USD 2,000; New York is about USD 1,700. The same flight to San Francisco on Korean Air is quite a bit less, about USD 1,300. Beijing to Bangkok on Korean Air is about RMB 5,300, and comparable on Cathay Pacific.

We know of what we speak when we suggest things like booking your next trip as soon as the previous one is over, and time-shifting your dates to save a lot of hassle and money.

Photo: Wikimedia

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