If you plan to travel in May, June, July or August of 2017, there are certain days and dates to remember to save on airline tickets, but the number one tip to save works year-round: Always compare airfares. And don't miss the list of cheap summer destinations.
Cheapest Days to Fly for Summer
For U.S. domestic travel
- May 21 – Fares rise: Airfare jumps on this date as more expensive pre-summer pricing begins. Depart on or before May 20.
- June 15 – Fares rise: Prices jump again as the most expensive vacation fares appear. You can still save something by flying on or before June 14.
- Aug. 30 – Fares drop: Aug. 30 is the start of the less expensive fall airfare season. If you can delay your trip to late August, tickets will usually be cheaper.
For Europe/transatlantic travel
- May 12 – Fares rise: Peak-season for Europe gets underway so begin a trip May 11 or earlier.
- Aug. 21 – Fares drop: Fall pricing begins and fares come down.
For Asia travel
- May 15 – Fares rise: Prices jump for pre-summer season; fly May 14 or earlier.
- June 9 – Fares rise again: A more significant price hike begins; if possible, begin your trip by June 8.
- July 20 – Fares rise yet again: Another price hike.
- Aug. 7 – Fares drop: Summer prices drop somewhat.
- Aug. 20 – Fares drop: A more significant price-drop gets underway.
Finding Cheapest Deals for Summer
Fly the cheapest days: You can generally save any time of year by traveling on the cheapest dates. These are usually:
- In the U.S.: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday.
- In Europe and other international cities: Midweek days.
Compare airfare prices: You must compare airfares because no single airline always has the best ticket prices. If you don't compare, you might still get a deal but you might also pay way too much.
Consider connecting flights: Longer flights can often be cheaper if you include a stop, so always compare the price of non-stops and connecting flights.
Compare airports: If you live in a smaller city, compare prices from your hometown airport and prices from the nearest hub airport. Bigger often means cheaper which can make a longer drive to the airport worth it.
Cheap Destinations for Summer Travel
These are generally cheap destinations year-round and that doesn't change in June, July and August. Again, always compare prices to find the cheapest flights.
U.S. – Cheaper Cities
Europe – Cheaper Cities
What to Do for Summer Travel Now
- Shop for airfare now: Even if you're only traveling locally, you can shop for June tickets now. Not sure where to go? See the destination list below or find good deals to great cities from your town on the Getaway Map.
- Book events: Go online now to get tickets for museums, tours and other special events; popular attractions tend to sell-out fast in summer.
- Plan what bag to pack: Some airlines raise checked-baggage fees for peak-travel periods like June, July and August. Use a carry-on and save some money (except on some discount airlines that charge for all bags). But even if you have to pay, a carry-on is superior to other bags because it travels by your side so it can't get lost. Cram everything you need in a carry-on with this simple packing method.
All set? Good. Now go find a deal and have a wonderful summer.