Do: Travel at the start or the end of the summer to save the most money. For international trips, you'll save over 17% by waiting until the end of the summer.
Don't: Plan your vacation for Fourth of July weekend because you'll pay nearly a 15% premium.
Do: Fly mid-week to save about 12% on domestic trips.
Don't: Fly on the weekend because you'll pay as much as $81 more for international trips.
Do: Buy your flight at least three weeks in advance for domestic trips and two months in advance for international trips.
Don't: Wait for a last-minute flight deal. Booking a last minute international trip will cost you over $100 more.
How much to pay
Summer is the most popular travel season so it can be expensive to travel. Fortunately, we found that this will be the cheapest summer for air travel in nearly seven years. We're projecting leisure travelers will pay about $233 for domestic airfare in July and $216 in August. There are a few ways you can pay even less on airfare this summer. At Hopper, we receive over two billion flight prices a day and have an archive of over one trillion flight prices. We used that data to identify some money-saving tips.
When to fly
Travel at the start or the end of the summer to save the most money. For international trips, you'll save over 17% by waiting until the end of the summer.
Figure 1: Current domestic round-trip prices for summer 2016
Figure 2: Current international round-trip prices for summer 2016
The days of the week you travel can also have a big impact on the cost of your plane ticket. Try to avoid flying on the weekend if you can because it will cost you nearly $81. Flying out on a Tuesday or Wednesday will save you about 12% on domestic trips.
Figure 3: Average prices by day of the week for domestic trips in summer 2016
Figure 4: Average prices by day of the week for international trips in summer 2016
When to buy
Prices for domestic summer travel are cheapest 1-2 months before travel. Try to book your fight at least three weeks in advance. Round-trip prices for international trips are cheapest 2-3 months in advance this summer. Prices typically rise steadily from then until the travel date. If you're not sure exactly which day to book your flight, the Hopper app will provide you with a price prediction and monitor prices for you so you'll know exactly when to book.
Figure 5: Advance purchase curve for domestic trips in summer 2016
Figure 5: Advance purchase curve for international trips in summer 2016
Where to go
If you're flexible, consider one of the following destinations. Table 1 shows the best domestic flight deals for summer 2016.
Table 1: Best Domestic Flight Deals for Summer 2016
Table 2: International flight trends for summer 2016
Summer Travel Infographic