Best Time to Buy, Best Time to Fly for Summer

If you need to know how to find cheap airfares and the best time to buy, and the best time to fly for summer travels, you've come to the right place. And don't miss the money-saving tips at the end.

Best Time to Buy for Summer

Best time to buy: Book plane tickets in the following shopping windows.

Domestic tickets: Book tickets starting around 3 to 3 ½ months before departure; complete purchase by 2 to 4 weeks before departure.

International tickets: Book tickets starting at 5 to 5 ½ months before departure; complete purchase by one month before departure.

Tip: Don't shop too early or you'll probably pay too much.

Best Time to Fly for Summer

Best dates to fly: Vacations fares start to rise in May.

May 16: Fly on this date or earlier to get late spring airfares, which are cheaper than summer.

June 22: Fly on this date or earlier to avoid peak summer fares, although travel in early June will cost about 20% than late spring fares.

Aug. 27: Fly on this date or after for lower fall prices (and these fares drop again in October).

Tip: The most expensive time to fly – peak summer season – is June 23 to Aug. 12. Then on Aug. 13 weekday fares drop a bit, followed by a big price decrease for fall travel starting Aug. 26. If you can wait to take your vacation in late August, you'll see you must fly in peak season, the following tips can still help you save money.

Cheapest Days to Fly

Some more helpful tips.

Fly the cheaper days: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays will generally be a little cheaper than other days (especially Fridays and Sundays) and this is true year-round.

Cheapest Routes

Fly cheaper routes: If you don’t mind adding a stop (or two) to your flight, good news: connecting flights can sometimes cost half the price of a nonstop. However, this is not always the case; in fact on some routes, nonstops are cheaper. But if you don’t mind a little inconvenience and a longer travel day, always compare prices for nonstops and connecting


Take time to compare: Don’t just buy a ticket because someone says it’s cheap, go to an airfare comparison search site and see for yourself if it’s the best deal. If you’re looking at U.S. flights, check Southwest’s website, too, because it’s the only airline that doesn’t provide its data to comparison sites.


Keep it light: The baggage police are usually out in force during popular travel periods like summer, looking for overweight luggage. Pack light because overweight bag fees can cost up to $200 or more.


Use a carry-on: Even if you have to pay a baggage fee for your carry-on, we think it's worth it since a bag that travels by your side is a bag that can't get lost. Do you want to arrive in Daytona only to learn your swimsuit is somewhere over Denver?

Still not sure where you want to go? Worldwide deals can always be found on the Getaway Map! And be sure to check out all the information on baggage fees in FareCompare’s Baggage Fee Chart to see associated costs for traveling this spring break. Safe travels!

The post Best Time to Buy, Best Time to Fly for Summer appeared first on FareCompare.

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