When Summer/Peak Vacation Fares Rise and Fall – Dates to Remember

If you’ll be traveling anytime from May through August, there are certain dates to remember to save on airline tickets. Act fast! The best deals must be purchased a month in advance, and a price jump is just about a month away.

Fares Rise & Fall for Vacation, Holiday, Summer 

For U.S. travel

  • May 17 – Fares rise: Airfare jumps on this date as more expensive pre-summer pricing begins. If you can depart on or before May 16, you will likely save some money.
  • June 10 – Fares rise: Prices jump again as the most expensive vacation fares take over. You can still save something by beginning a trip on or before June 9.
  • Aug. 23 – Fare fall: Prices drop he first day of the less expensive fall season begins, at least as far as the airlines are concerned. If you can wait, you will save.

For Europe travel

  • May 17 – Fares rise: Peak-season for Europe gets underway so begin a trip May 16 or sooner if possible. 
  • Aug. 23 – Fares fall: Fall pricing begins, and fares drop for the season.

For Asia travel

  • May 1 – Fares rise: Prices jump or pre-holiday season, so April 30 is the last day to fly in the cheaper off-peak period.
  • June 1 – Fares rise: A more significant price hike begins June 1 so if possible, begin trip by May 31.
  • Aug. 1 – Fares drop: Summer prices drop slightly.
  • Aug. 23 – Fares drop: A more significant price drop gets underway.

Not sure when fares rise and fall?

If your vacation plans are at all flexible, when shopping compare fares for your target dates and also the days around them; when you see a rise or fall in fares, move your itinerary accordingly.

You can also save no matter what time of year you fly by traveling on the cheapest dates, which are usually:

  • In the United States: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday.
  • In Europe and other international cities: Usually midweek days.

5 Reasons to Shop for Vacation/Holiday Now

1. Prime shopping window: Even if you’re only traveling locally, you can still shop for June now. The prime shopping period for the cheapest flights for summer starts now.

2. Reserve tickets for must-see events: Check out the Eventurist app to find gorgeous cities around the world with once-in-a-lifetime events; you’ll want to get them now before they’re sold out.

3. Find tickets before they’re not-so-cheap: Plane tickets for June, July and August do not drop in price because of the demand for them.

4. There’s still time to plan a cheap vacation schedule: Before everyone else in the office goes running to the boss with days-off requests, figure out when you want to travel and get your request in first. Tip: Weekday travel will usually offer cheaper flights.

5. Plenty of time to get that new carry-on: And it doesn’t have to be expensive; one of my employees recently boasted about a good-looking bag from Ross ($17) but you can find them in all sizes and prices from luxury boutiques to discount chains.

Where to Go

These are generally cheap destinations though it can vary depending where you are. Tip: Always compare prices to find the cheapest flights.

U.S. Cheaper Cities

Europe Cheaper Cities

If this isn’t what you want but you need more inspiration, try Eventurist.

When to Shop

Yes, procrastination can be expensive but you can also pay too much if you buy too soon. Find the best deals in these airline ticket shopping windows.

  • For U.S. travel: Shop about 3 months to 1 month before departure.
  • For international travel: Shop about 5 months to 2 months before departure.

More Tips to Cheapest Flights for Summer

Let’s cut more costs.

Compare airfare prices: This is a must, because no single airline always has the best ticket prices. If you don’t compare, you might still get a deal – or you might pay way too much. Why risk it?

Consider connecting flights: Longer flights can be cheaper if you include a stop so always compare the price of non-stops and connecting flights. FareCompare makes this real easy when you search for fares: See the little box for non-stops? Don’t click it. Now you can compare all your options.

Compare airports: If you live in a smaller city, compare prices from your hometown airport and prices from the nearest hub airport. Again, if you can endure the inconvenience of a longer drive to the airport, you could save money.

Avoid fees: Look up you airline’s baggage fees before you fly. Fees can and do change without notice but here’s what we can tell you:

  • Checked-bags: Most U.S. carriers charge for all checked-bags on domestic flights (Southwest being the notable exception).
  • Carry-on bags: Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit all charge a fee for  carry-ons as do many discounters in Europe and other parts of the world.
  • International travel: On most trans-Atlantic flights, passengers are allowed one free checked-bag.

Tip: When possible, pack light and use a carry-on. It can  save on baggage fees. It can also save your sanity because airlines occasionally lose  checked-bags.

All set? Good. Now find a deal – and have a wonderful June, July and August.



Updated: April 13, 2016