Now that you can (hopefully) retire the snow shovel for the season and the school year is almost complete, it time to start thinking about where you’ll travel this summer. More importantly, how are you going to reach your travel destination and when is the best time book your Summer 2018 flights?
To help you find the answers to these questions, Hipmunk has crunched the numbers to help you decide how soon you need to book your flight so you don’t have to sell your firstborn or find an alternate vacation destination.
Book Your Flight In April For The Best Summer Flight Prices
The average plane ticket costs 4% more than it did this time last year if you tried booking a summer flight from January 1 to April 14. This isn’t true for all routes, but booking in April can be your best option if you want to get the lowest fare possible. And don’t forget what you can and can not bring on the airplane, and also here’s a post with 55 great American cities to visit in the summer.
More specifically, you need to book your flight by April 23, 2018, if you plan on traveling over the Memorial Day or July 4th holidays. Booking by April 23 can save you up to 18% on the average price or $279 per ticket.
Waiting until mid-June to book a flight can mean your ticket can increase 12%.
Even if you can’t book by April 23rd, make sure you book your flight at least three weeks in advance. Close-in bookings can cost 14% more unless you’re willing to fly a red-eye flight or have long layovers.
Avoid These Summer Travel Dates
There are two travel dates you should try to avoid: June 10 and July 4th weekend.
July 4th is the busiest travel weekend of the summer as 8% of all summer bookings take place over this holiday. Although the 4th falls on a Wednesday this year, June 29 and June 30th (Friday and Saturday) are the two busiest travel dates for the holiday weekend this year.
What’s the most expensive travel day of the summer?
The answer might surprise but it’s June 10th when the average flight costs $386! This is most likely because most schools begin summer vacation at this time and families with summer fever are finally free to hit the road.
The Cheapest Summer Day is August 25th
If you have flexible travel plans, try waiting until the Saturday, August 25th, to travel as the average ticket price is $224. Many schools go back into session so there’ll be fewer people traveling. And, you’ll still avoid the Labor Day weekend surge too.
Try These Affordable Flight Routes
Singapore is one of the cheapest flight routes this summer as ticket prices are down about 30%. To save some cash, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Airlines to book an award flight.
Besides Singapore, you might also check out these destinations:
- Hamburg, Germany
- Fukuoka, Japan
If you decide to fly to Europe, ticket prices are only up 2% this year compared to the 4% average.
These routes to Europe and Singapore are more affordable because additional routes have recently been added. Even though demand is up, airlines are trying to attract interest in the new routes, and you can benefit by paying less for these select routes.
Ticket prices will only continue to climb as summer approaches. Besides booking as early as possible, keep your eye on travel dates and destinations to quickly spot a bargain.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.