Right Now Is the Best Time to Grab Summer Flight Deals

Did you know that booking your summer flight well in advance can reduce the average cost of airfare by 15%? Or that a different set of rules applies when seeking summertime flight deals, compared to other times of the year? Understanding the best time to purchase tickets and choose travel dates can bring big savings.

During most of the year, grabbing a last-minute flight deal is an enticing prospect. Excluding statutory holidays, there might be great short-notice deals, too. However, these opportunities are a lot less common in the summer months. Although it is possible to to grab last-minute bargains in summer, those short-notice deals are scarce in June, July, and August. Instead, summertime flights usually continue to increase in price the longer you wait to book.

According to experts at CNN Travel, the sweet spot for purchasing tickets is 21 to 60 days ahead of your planned travel day. This means that the best time to book your summer getaway will probably be mid-May. While it might not pay to book too far in advance, the likelihood of getting a cheaper fare by waiting until the last minute—in summertime, at least—is not great.

The Best Times to Book – And the Times to Avoid

Search travel flight tickets on Agoda app.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / I AM NIKOM

There are some peak travel days you will want to avoid when seeking a deal. The busiest period is often the last week in June, when flight costs skyrocket in anticipation of the July 4th weekend, and flights can increase by as much as 40%. The cheapest time to travel during the summer break is no surprise – it is usually far more affordable to travel during the last week in August compared to any other time in summer.

After studying the data from the last few summers, an Expedia report found that travellers flying in late August can save up to $140 on airfare. Expedia’s report also has some unusual ways to cut costs and minimize hassle. For example, booking your flight departure on a Tuesday typically saves travellers up to 15% on the fare. The findings from Expedia also state that if you want to reduce the risk of your flight being late or cancelled, book flights that depart prior to 3 pm.

Booking Early-Morning Flights Is a Safer Bet

Scenic dawn with a fog at the airport.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dushlik

Early flights are usually a safer bet for several reasons. Flying conditions are typically better in the early hours, for one. Plus, aeroplanes assigned to early flights are often parked overnight, waiting and ready to go at the airport. Lastly, delays or cancelations become compounded throughout the day, making the delays longer as the day draws on.

Another way savvy summertime travelers save money is by looking at one-way flight options instead of only searching for roundtrip flights. In an interview with Scott Keyes, a flight expert at Going (a flight deal subscription service), Keyes reported that many travelers lose out by not considering the one-way flight options. “There are times when one airline might have the cheapest outbound flight, and a different airline might have the cheapest return flight,” Scott Keyes explains, “So you can just book a one-way outbound and a one-way return and not be paying an inflated price.”

Summing up the Summer Travel Deals

Sea plane approaching the Maldives
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sven Hansche

If you know the best times to book your flights, the best times to fly, and the places to tease out a deal, you can reduce the chances of delays – while still getting the best deal on your trip. Regarding summertime travel, it will probably be best if you book in advance rather than hoping for a last-minute deal. According to experts like Condé Nast Traveler, the consensus is that if you want to lock in a flight at the best price, then don’t delay any further.

Richard Weninger

Author: Richard Weninger


Richard Weninger is a Freelance writer with an extensive background in broadcast journalism and travel writing. He is a published author of both guidebooks and fiction novels. Richard is also an outspoken advocate for environmental causes and animal rights, with a passion for hiking and exploring

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