Eight million Americans already have made hotel reservations for the end-of-year holiday season, and 6 million have bought airline tickets, according to a Bankrate survey released Wednesday.

But the best deals on airfare probably won’t come until fall. Bankrate, citing information from Hopper, an airfare tracker, said ticket prices typically are lowest in early October and remain stable through Halloween.

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Based on the survey, an estimated 31 million American adults plan to fly during the holiday season, and 35 million expect to stay in a hotel or some form of overnight lodging. Some 23 percent of those who plan to travel have reserved lodging, and 20 percent have made air reservations.

About 1 in 7 travelers won't complete their plans until December, the survey indicated.

Bankrate noted that many travelers will make use of bonus points from credit card purchases to defray the cost, and some may take advantage of an extra credit-card signup bonus. "This is basically free money," said Bankrate analyst Robin Saks Frankel. "The best current offers are worth up to $1,000 in free travel just for signing up for the card. You can also get other perks like free checked bags, airport lounge access, Global Entry and TSA PreCheck."

The nationwide telephone survey from Aug. 3 to 6 of 1,002 adults was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates.

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