We know that people will be traveling this summer in droves. We also know that travel costs are going to be expensive. Flights, hotels and car rental costs are up this year. There are a number of reasons for this – not least of which is an unprecedented volatile airfare landscape.
How can I make sure I get a cheap summer flight?
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees this year. We do know you can mitigate some of the high prices. To get the best deals available, you should be as flexible as you can and shop early and often. Here are a few more tips to use to put yourself in the best position.
Fly mid-week instead of the weekend
Most Americans like to utilize the weekend for their vacation time. That’s fine, but there’s almost always better value on flights if you can fly mid-week. So even though it might sound good to save your vacation days and just travel on a Friday or Sunday, you can usually save at least a few bucks, and often save quite a bit if you book a Tuesday or Wednesday flight. Consult the calendars on the CheapAir.com Summer flights page to see what we mean. The best deals all summer can be found mid-week.
Consider the first or last flight of the day
The earliest flights often offer the best value. A lot of people don’t like getting up at the crack of dawn, so those flights often save the traveler a few bucks. As a bonus, the earliest flights are also usually those that leave on time. More about that here.
Late night (or red-eye) flights are also less popular, so also tend to be priced lower. Remember that flying very early or very late also mean less people at the airport. It’s a great option for people interested in avoiding the crowds.
Do an apples to apples comparison when flight shopping
If you book direct with the airlines, you won’t see the variety of flights we offer on CheapAir.com and you can’t mix and match to get the lowest fare available. When you book a flight with us, we’ll show you every possible outbound flight and every possible return. For example, you might find that booking United makes sense to get you to your destination, but Frontier makes sense on the return. Our easy, transparent flight search also shows you everything included on your ticket.
Price Drop Payback gives you a little peace of mind with flight pricing
No other company offers the Price Drop Payback guarantee we do up front. If you book a flight with CheapAir, you get a little built-in insurance. Should a fare go down after you purchased flights, we will cover the difference up to $100. Why is this important? Well, if we advise you to buy early to get the best deal, that allows you a bit of peace of mind. It’s not likely to happen if you’re traveling to popular destinations this summer, but you’re covered if it does.
Monthly Payments can take the sting out of a more expensive trip
What if you did everything right and still ended up with a pricey ticket? Unfortunately, that’s going to occur this summer – for a lot of people. You can take the edge off that sticker shock by paying with Monthly Payments. We partner with Affirm to bring travelers an easy and affordable way to pay for flights and hotels over time – so you’re not out of pocket up front for the most expensive part of your trip. And you don’t even have to have a credit card to qualify.
How can I save on hotels and car rentals this summer?
Again, the best line of defense will be to mount a solid offense. You should start shopping for hotels and cars in tandem with your flight search. A lot of times people put off the hotel and car rental search until after they’ve secured their flights. Don’t do this! We’re hearing from some passengers that they’ve been able to find cheap flights, but the exorbitant cost of a hotel stay and/or car rental makes the whole trip much more expensive than they’d hoped. You should be planning to search early and often for hotel stays as well as car rentals – to make sure you can, in fact, book a reasonably-priced room and car.
We hope these tips help you with planning for your trip. Be sure to check out our Europe Summer Flights page as well, for more detailed information specific to our friends across the Atlantic. And as always, happy travels!