Scoring a deep discount on last-minute airfare is every procrastinator’s dream. But even early birds can rejoice when patience pays off—literally—in savings on their plane tickets. Orbitz just posted some great last-minute fare reductions on cross-country air travel, now through December 7th. I found a roundtrip JFK–SFO nonstop flight on Alaska Airlines for only $258, a savings of almost $100 compared to the average ticket price, and an especially great deal during the busy pre-holiday season. In addition to flights from New York City and San Francisco, look for reduced fares from Los Angeles and Boston, too.

In addition to aggregators like Orbitz, I’ve found some amazing bargains from‘s weekly Top 20 newsletter. Case in point: rooms at the W San Francisco, one of my favorite places to stay in the city, for $159—normally a standard room is about twice that price. (If you’re hitting the Big Apple this fall, a similar deal applies at the original W Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, too—enter the rate code LTOTZOCT.)

So where do you go for the best travel deals and discounts? If you’ve got a go-to spot for travel deals, or just got a great discount on your trip this fall, I want to know! Here’s to a merry and economical end to 2009.