We all know planning ahead pays off, and where summer travel is concerned, the time to strike — and save — is now.
Hipmunk recently crunched the numbers on when to book your summer airfare to save the most money, and the results are in: The best time to book your summer flights is during the week of April 23.
The average weekly booking price this week for departures and arrivals in June, July and August runs $279, whereas prices peak the week of June 18 at $316. In other words, booking now can help you save up to 12 percent.
For the prime (and costly) summer holidays, book your Memorial Day weekend flight now to save up to 16 percent off peak prices.
And if you’re flying for July 4th, book this week for savings up to 14 percent. Planning early can save you money and headaches — 8 percent of all summer air travel is timed around Independence Day, so you’ll be fighting some stiff competition if you wait too long.
If your summer travel schedule is flexible, avoid Sunday, June 10, which is predicted to be the most expensive day to fly with average ticket prices at $386. You’ll fare better with a late-summer getaway — the least expensive day to fly in the U.S. is Saturday, August 25, at an average ticket price of $224.
Passport-ready with nowhere to go? Deals are abundant for trips to Hamburg, Germany, and Fukuoka, Japan, because of new flight routes. Traveler demand to visit Singapore is up, but ticket prices are down by 30 percent compared to last year. Time to live out your own “Crazy Rich Asians” storyline?
The least expensive day to fly in the U.S. is Saturday, August 25.
On the other hand, summer flights from the U.S. to Europe are 2 percent more expensive this year compared to last.
Other analyses have recommended booking 70 days in advance to get the best prices on summer airfare in the U.S, or even as far out as four months. One thing that the numbers from multiple sources proves? Spontaneity does not a budget traveler make. Book no less than three weeks out for your summer flights — unless you’re willing to pay up.