Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, and it’s here already-can you believe it? Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about booking a fab vacation this summer while saving big on airfare.
It’s CheapAir’s fourth year compiling the Summer Flight Trends Report that breaks down the whole summer calendar so you can see which dates are the best value for vacation planning. It takes the guesswork right out of your vacation-planning process and helps you choose the best summer flight deals at the right time! We’ve tracked 11,000 airfares for flights each day between June 1 and September 21 to discover the best days to fly. We recently took a second look at the data and are pleased to report that the good deals are still there for summer travel. Here’s a quick update, by month:
Tuesday, June 14 is now the least expensive day of the month to travel, with Tuesdays and Wednesday air travel still scoring the best fares overall. If you fly on a Wednesday instead of a Sunday, you’ll still save an average of $75. In fact, three of the most expensive days of the month to travel are on Sundays.
No surprises here. July is still the priciest month to travel this summer. You can save more by traveling on either a Tuesday or Wednesday instead of Sunday – for a total savings of $82 on average. This year, the 4th of July falls on a Monday, so the possibility of a long weekend has many travelers booking flights over the 4th long weekend, driving flight prices sky high as a result. Get your flights booked now if you plan to travel over the long weekend because the fares are going to continue to rise. If the prices are giving you sticker shock, don’t fret. Travel on the 4th is a very good value as are Tuesday the 5th and Wednesday the 6th (both dates offer some of the best fares of the month). Think outside the long weekend box, and you could score yourself a few days of inexpensive rest after all!
If you’re planning an August getaway – good for you! August is still a great value and will save you on average $46 per airline ticket over flights in July. But don’t wait too long to book – as we get closer to the end of summer, these flights will get more expensive. Buy now!
Why don’t you make an end-of-summer vacay the new tradition? Prices are so good you’ll really want to splash out on a trip to remember. In fact, September 20 is still the least expensive day of the month to fly.
Insider Tips for Summer Travel
#1 – Make Tuesdays and Wednesdays Your Go-To Travel Days
One simple way to capture some savings is to just avoid the weekend. The airlines have a pricing structure in place that sells the same seat at a wide variety of fares, taking into account demand and historical patterns. Weekends are typically more expensive, never more so than in summer. On average, our summer flight data indicates that flying on a Wednesday is $63 cheaper than flying on a Sunday. That may not seem significant until you start examining the typical family vacation. A family of four will save $250 on average for their summer vacation flights just by flying on a Wednesday. Imagine what else you could do with the extra cash you’re saving!
#2 Flexibility Is Key
Whether it’s having a bit of leeway with your travel dates, willingness to split your ticket onto two airlines, flying into an alternative airport (sometimes the smaller, regional airports have better deals), or forgoing the Fourth of July festivities in favor of a less-popular set of dates – simply staying flexible will save you money. Then once you find a good fare and lock it down you can avoid post-purchase worry if you buy with CheapAir.com. We have a feature called Price Drop Payback that protects your ticket up to $100 should the price drop after you purchase it. Easy peasy!
#3 Late Summer Is the New Black
The best fares for Summer 2016 can definitely be found in August and September. Of course, the most inexpensive airfares tend to be available with some advance purchase, in what we call the “prime booking window.” Generally, we advise consumers to purchase their tickets around 54 days in advance. This is just a guideline, however, not a hard-and-fast rule. In the summer, lots of people are traveling to warm-weather and/or family-friendly destinations. And that’s when you have to break the rules and just book early!