Fall Shoulder Season Travel Guide

Domestic airfare for fall down 37% compared to peak summer airfare.

Hayley Berg - Aug. 9, 2022

For travelers who skipped the summer crowds, fall travel will offer significantly lower prices and incredible deals to bucket list destinations. Demand for flights and hotel stays slows each August as Americans head back to school and work after a summer of vacations. As demand slows, airlines and hotels drop prices in an effort to drive bookings and reservations during this slower period. This low price period between peak summer months and expensive holiday travel season is called the fall shoulder season, and offers budget conscious travelers incredible deals!

Top Deals this Fall

  • Flights: Airfare to San Diego, California, Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah has dropped more than $200 since the peak earlier this summer! For international travelers, airfare to Grenada, the Philippines and Bali, Indonesia has dropped by $460 or more per ticket compared to this summer. 

  • Hotels: Hotel stays in Maui, Hawaii have dropped by $365 per night since summer, along with rates in Pensacola Beach, Florida (-$135/night) and Nashville, Tennessee (-$122 night). Travelers headed internationally will save $265 per night off hotels in Turks and Caicos and $136/night off hotels in Mykonos, Greece!

Domestic airfare down 37% compared to peak summer airfare

Round trip airfare to domestic destinations this September and October will cost travelers $238 per ticket on average, down $142 from airfare this summer, and down 3% compared to 2019. International airfare has also dropped in the last few months, with fall trips averaging $754 per ticket, down $179 from this summer, but remaining 17% higher than 2019 levels.

Fall
Fall Airfare Forecast

When to Book Flights for Fall

For those planning to travel domestically in September, plan to book by the middle of August for the best deals, while October travelers can expect to book in the next 6 weeks. Prices will be lowest 3-6 weeks before your trip departure date, rising rapidly in the last 3 weeks before departure. International travelers should plan to book ~4 weeks ahead of their trip, and expect the best prices between now and a month before departure this fall.

The best way to get a deal this fall is to start monitoring price on the Hopper app now. We’ll notify you when it’s the best time to buy to save you even more on fall travel!

Fall 2022 Biggest Steals & Deals

Airfare to San Diego, California, Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah has dropped more than $200 since the peak earlier this summer! For international travelers, airfare to Grenada, the Philippines and Bali, Indonesia has dropped by $460 or more per ticket compared to this summer. 

Domestic
Domestic Fall Deals
International
International Fall Deals

Hotel Nightly Rates

Americans are currently paying $171 per night for a hotel stay, nearly the same nightly rate in the first week of August in 2019 of $170. Current average rates are lower than their summer peak in June of $193 per night. The average nightly rate for a hotel stay will decrease slightly throughout the month of August to $165 per night before rising for Labor Day Weekend to a peak of $204 average nightly rate. Currently, prices are expected to remain at higher than normal levels into the fall shoulder season and through the holidays. Hotel rates in October, November, and December are all more expensive than 2019.

Hotel
Hotel Price Forecast

Weekend stays are significantly more expensive than weekday stays. Historically, Saturday night stays are the most expensive. In 2022, Friday night stays have been the most expensive. If your travel plans allow for flexibility, try to avoid staying over the weekend in order to save on your stay.

Hotel
Hotel prices by check-in day

Prices for hotel stays typically decrease as the check-in day comes closer. Most searches are close to the check-in date. Only 10% of searches for domestic hotel stays are more than three months in advance of check-in and 72% of searches occur within a month before the check-in date. Hotels price their remaining inventory more competitively as check in becomes closer. Those who search a week before their trip save about 12% on average on their hotel stay compared to those who shopped more than a month before.

Some destinations make sense to book in advance. Vacation getaway destinations are often fully booked. Even in the fall shoulder season, travelers plan earlier in advance to destinations like Hawaii than other destinations. If you want to travel to a specific vacation destination, then you should book in advance rather than wait as prices do not decrease near the check-in day as other cities do.

Fall 2022 Best Deals for Hotel Stays

Hotel stays in Maui, Hawaii have dropped by $365 per night since summer, along with rates in Pensacola Beach, Florida (-$135/night) and Nashville, Tennessee (-$122 night). Travelers headed internationally will save $265 per night off hotels in Turks and Caicos and $136/night off hotels in Mykonos, Greece!

Domestic
Domestic Hotel Deals
International
International Hotel Deals

Fall Travel Booking Tips:

  1. Start tracking prices now: Download a price monitoring tool like the Hopper app, plug in your destination & dates you want to travel and you’ll receive real-time notifications right to your phone telling when to book for the best deals this fall.

  2. Book at least ~3 weeks in advance: For those planning to travel domestically in September, plan to book flights and hotels by the middle of August for the best deals. Travelers planning trips in October should plan to book in the next 6 weeks. Prices will be the lowest 3-6 weeks before your trip, rising rapidly in the last 3 weeks leading up to departure date. International travelers should plan to book ~4 weeks ahead of their trip, and expect the best prices between now and a month before departure this fall.

  3. Fly mid-week: If you can depart mid-week (Tuesday or Wednesday) you can save over $35 per ticket, just by avoiding peak days. The more flexible you are with your travel dates, the better. Check Hopper’s Deals Calendar which will tell you the cheapest and most expensive days to fly.

  4. Check-in during the week: Weekend stays are significantly more expensive than weekday stays. Historically, Saturday night stays were the most expensive. However, in 2022, Friday night stays have been the most expensive. If your travel plans allow for flexibility, try to avoid staying over the weekend in order to save on your stay.

  5. Add Trip Protection: With delays and cancellation rates up this summer, ensure your fall trip goes smoothly. Always consider adding trip protection like Hopper’s Flight Disruption Guarantee to your travel plans. By adding trip protection to your booking, if you’re delayed, miss a connection or your flight is canceled, you can instantly rebook your flight on any carrier directly in the Hopper app. We also recommend taking the first flight out to avoid being impacted by flight delays or cancellations earlier in the day.

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