You might think that shopping for your planned Europe summer trip in January is just too early. While it’s tricky to say with 100% accuracy exactly when you should buy, our Europe Summer Flights data indicates that the early shopper may have an advantage. After all, leisure travel is on trend to continue to be popular. If we use the 2022 summer prices for Europe as a gauge for where prices may go, you’re better off shopping (and possibly booking) quite early. Here are some factors to consider.

1. The dollar’s strength against the Euro

It’s not a small deal that the dollar finally reached parity against the Euro late last year. It’s slipped a bit, but still goes almost as far as it did in the second half of 2022. If our currency holds strong, we can expect robust spending power across the continent for the summer months. This is driving more vacationers to consider Europe, when in the past the exchange rate has kept some Americans from taking the leap.

2. Americans travel to Europe in the summer

The summer months in Europe see the biggest influx of Americans year over year. College students, backpackers and families capitalizing on summer break make the journey more in June and July than at any other time of year. This fact alone, means that projected flight costs to top European gateways are expected to be 25% more than they were last year. Buy early to get the best options for seats!

3. Summer flights to Europe are already expected to be more expensive than other destinations

When you take a look at our Europe summer flights page, you can use the calendar view to determine the best days of the summer to book a cheap flight. And it’s clear that (for most of the summer), there’s not really “cheap” options at all. Instead, you can clearly see that it is a choice between mostly expensive and less expensive flights. Compared to the domestic flight calendars for the summer months you can see that Europe flights are at a premium. Don’t wait – you’ll wait to shop early to maximize your chances at getting a more reasonable price.

4. The airlines are still in recovery mode

Even though things are definitely looking up for the airlines at this point, there are still more limited itineraries being offered due to staffing challenges for pilots and flight crews. These challenges mean that the airlines can’t meet the demand for flights as easily as they used to do. Because there is limited flight inventory for Europe summer trip plans, you can expect flight prices to remain high in those busy summer months. Look for gateways you might not normally consider. For example, Portugal, Spain and Ireland often offer better prices than do Paris, Rome and London in the summer months.

5. Payment options can be your friend

In this somewhat costly environment for summer Europe flights, CheapAir.com offers a monthly payment option with our lending partner, Affirm. This option to “fly now and pay later” may make that sticker shock a bit more palatable. Read more about monthly payments.

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