Traveling during the peak summer season is nearly impossible for families on a strict budget. This is especially true if you are flying to your favorite seasonal vacation destination. Airlines show no mercy on penny-pinching passengers and traditionally increase already high airfares during the summer months.
Fortunately, there are some ways you can save money when taking to the skies in the coming months. The trick is to remember key dates as set by major commercial carriers. For example, if you are traveling within the United States, airfares typically dip at the end of August, when airlines decide that summer travel is tapering off.
Travel experts say you can expect lower prices for cross-country flights beginning August 29th. That means if you are looking to fly from New York to Los Angeles this summer, consider waiting until most kids head back to school in order to score reduced rates. Likewise, experts recommend waiting until after September 3rd in order to secure lower fares on mid-haul flights (roughly 1,250 miles), such as Philadelphia to Dallas. Unfortunately, prices on popular short-haul flights, such as Los Angeles to San Francisco and Boston to New York, rarely fluctuate despite the seasons because of high demand.
However, there is good news if you are looking to jet-off to Europe for less. International flights drop in price at the end of summer. The following are dates to remember if you are looking to snag reasonable fares from the United States to popular European cities:
- August 20th: Frankfurt
- August 23rd: London
- August 26th: Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris, Rome
If you are a really frugal flyer consider booking an itinerary with a connection or two. Non-stop flights to Europe are very expensive. By adding a layover, you can save about 20% on your airfare. Finally, be sure to include a Saturday night stay, it could cost you as much as 40% or more for airfare if you make the mistake of leaving earlier.