Summer flights can be affordable if you do your research and plan ahead. Spring is well underway and, on good days, it’s easy to picture sunny summer days on the horizon. That means it’s time to get thinking about booking your summer getaway. If that summer getaway involves summer flights then you should know which times are best or most affordable to fly. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know.
Recently, my good friend Margarita Ibbott and I booked a flight to Alabama for a travel blogging conference. My organized travel companion was on top of the searches and hunted at length in order to find a good deal. We booked the flights about 7-8 weeks out for travel. That is the optimum lead time to book before you fly. The best deals are often to be had in that interval prior to travel. So, if you have a conference or a family trip this summer, count backwards by 8 weeks now and get hunting for your summer flights.
If you are planning a family trip, a solo adventure or a couples romantic trip on a budget and you are bent on a summer getaway you would do well to remember not to travel during a holiday. Holidays, like Canada Day if you live in Canada, or Victoria Day, and days like The Fourth of July, if you are going to the USA, are all off limits. (unless you like to waste money) You will pay the maximum prices on those days so don’t get caught.
But there are just as many times in the summer when you can hit an amazing deal. You have to know how to shop and when to book your flights too. We have had many successful trips in June, July and August. We took our honeymoon in late June and travel in June was a great option then. That was over 20 years ago now, but some of the guidelines for saving on summer travel still apply.
The Start of Summer
Pick a time before school is out, if you can. The earlier the better for that summer getaway. Any time before June 10th is good for saving. June 6 is one of the least expensive days to travel. OH, and did you know that Tuesday or Wednesday are the best days of the week to fly if you are a budget conscious traveller. Saturdays and Sundays are the worst days to travel, as in the most expensive. No big shock there. Sometimes they are also the only days you can travel, but if you can avoid weekend summer flights then do your best.
Once you hit the last two weeks of June, after the 20th, you will start to pay higher prices all around, including with major car rental companies, airlines, and buses. Even gas prices start to creep higher.
Here’s what you need to know about July flights – don’t do them if you can help it. Flights in July can be ridiculously expensive. Everyone is off school, and teachers also want to travel in summer months, so this means prices go up. You might be able to offset that by scoring a deal on a family resort style vacation to the Caribbean. These types of vacations – all inclusive for instance to Dominican Republic can be extremely cheap in July. But there’s reason for that. Sometimes that’s rainy season, or hurricane season. Often the weather in July in the Caribbean is hotter than you can even begin to imagine.
If you must travel in July, then please note that July 9 can be one of the most expensive days of the summer to fly, so avoid that day.. Stick with Tuesdays and Wednesdays this month too. AVOID Sundays in July if you are trying to save money this summer.
Overall, August can be hit and miss. If you can wait to plan your summer vacation, then late August might net you a decent deal on your destination. August can be a good month to save money on summer flights and a few other travel related products and services. Hotel rates start to go down, weekly beach house rentals do as well, but that can be towards end of August.
There’s a lull here that can be a sweet spot for travel of all kinds. If you can wait until after the Labour Day weekend you might find it is worth your while. There are many areas where the weather is still gorgeous in September. Even cottages come down dramatically in price after the last long weekend of the summer.
One day can sometimes make a big difference price-wise for summer flights, so do your research. Set up a price alert on a search engine like Flight Network or Kayak and keep watch on your prices. Then book quickly when the price decreases. Avoid July if you can and opt for early June or mid to late September.