The Best Day of the Year to Book Summer Travel
Dreaming of warmer weather travel plans? New data reveals the exact date to turn those dreams into reality to save the most money on flights.
It’s never too early to start thinking about your summer vacation—and a new study proves that planning ahead could (literally) pay off, particularly when it comes to airfare. According to Hipmunk’s analysis of summer travel data from 2018, the best—and cheapest—day to book flights is April 23.
Researchers found that people who purchased their airfare during the week of April 20, specifically on April 23, saved an average of 15 percent on flights for Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends. After that date, which is about six weeks before summer’s kick-off weekend, the price of flights increases until it hits a peak in late June. Then, those rates dip briefly in July until they go up again in late August.
But if you aren’t ready to commit to travel plans or if you can’t afford airfare right now (thanks Tax Day!), there are other ways to save money. Like avoiding popular travel days—the Fridays before holiday weekends are notoriously the most expensive—and purchasing your flights as far in advance as possible. “If all else fails, our data shows that travelers should book domestic summer flights three weeks prior to their departure date,” Hipmunk spokesperson Kelly Soderlund told CNBC.
And as for which day of the week is best for booking, there’s no clear winner. A similar study by CheapAir.com (which also found that a flight’s “prime booking window” is at least three weeks in advance) revealed that “the average fares purchased each day were virtually identical.” So whether you book on Sunday morning or Wednesday night won’t make a difference in your fare.
Not sure where you want to go yet? Consider one of these top 15 summer travel destinations according to experts. Or soak up some sun at one of the country’s 25 best beaches.