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Holiday flying

Traveling for the holidays? Here's some advice from the travel mavens at that can help you save money and cut down on hassles.

Planes are less full on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day than on the day before or after, so try to travel on the actual holiday if you can.

Dec. 29, which falls midweek this year on a Wednesday, is also listed by as a "best bet" if you must travel during peak season. In contrast, Dec. 18 through 23, Dec. 26 through 28, Dec. 30 and Jan. 2 are likely to be the most crowded and expensive dates for travel over the holidays.

If you're not tied to the actual holidays but just want an early winter getaway, plan your trip between Dec. 1 and 16 or after Jan. 3 for the cheapest airfares.

If you're looking for a hotel during Christmas and New Year's, you may be pleasantly surprised, according to Business travel is down at that time of year and many leisure travelers stay with families, so occupancy is low in many big-city hotels, which means deals abound.

Finally, shop around. When multiple airports serve the same destination, airlines frequently charge more to fly into one than the other. But if you're leaving your car at the airport while you're away, remember to compare parking prices too so you don't lose the money you save on airfare by spending it on parking.

Craft museum

The art and work of studio furniture maker Garry Knox Bennett and his wife Sylvia are featured in the inaugural exhibition at the new San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, which opened its doors on Oct. 23.

The Bennett exhibit, called "Dovetailing Art and Life," includes Gary Bennett's handcrafted pieces as well as paintings, sculpture and objets d'art that he and his wife collected, from 19th century benches to a 1931 bronze sculpture.

The new museum, which will be free of charge through the end of the year, will showcase crafts and designs from artists around the world in a variety of media including wood, clay, fiber, metal and glass.

The museum is located at 550 Sutter St. near Union Square, Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; until 7 p.m. on Thursdays; and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Associated Press