CaydaSo excited for this, cu@ for sure!
Unsolicited flight advice below:
For those inexperienced with flying: keep in mind that flight booking prices will fluctuate. The general time window for booking the cheapest domestic flights is between 30-100 days beforehand. I tend to book around 50-70 days out, and it's always worked out well. I believe for international flights, you need to book much further in advance. I have no idea what the best time window is for those, though.
Basically, don't wait until the end of December/January to book flights, and you should be fine. You may be able to save like $100-$150 if you watch flight prices carefully, though. (I like to track my flight prices with Google Flights.)
Also, if you have to book a flight with a layover, a good rule of thumb is to give yourself at least an hour between flights. This is particularly important if you have a layover at a large, unfamiliar airport.
Doesn't look like lan is in the cards for me this year but here's more unsolicited flight advice, since I've done a lot of it:
Also on booking flights, if I remember properly they're often cheaper in the middle of the week, and use incognito! Sites will keep track of how often you look at flights with cookies and sometimes will bump prices if they know that - use incognito to get the actual, real price.
If it's your first time flying, show up an hour in advance at least for domestic flights and probably more for an immediate international flight, or a flight out of a major airport. It can take awhile to get through check-in and security.
If you're flying internationally, give yourself way more than an hour for a layover - customs can take forever and international flights are more prone to delays; besides, 99% of international airports will have stuff for you without leaving security. I had a decent 2ish? hour layover coming back to the US once, but because the flight was delayed before departure, we missed our connecting flight in DC by minutes. Don't be like me.