Summer’s the time for a getaway – with or without the kids. Now, let’s make it cheap (or at least, cheaper); here are some days and dates to keep in mind. Bottom line – The best deals are available when most people don’t want to travel. Bonus – There are fewer crowds at the airport.
by Rick Seaney
First, let’s look at some cheaper dates to consider and then some specific cheaper days.
Cheaper Dates to Fly – U.S.
The following is true for most routes, but there is always some variation which is why my mantra for airfare shoppers is always compare airfares.
• May 16: This is the last day to begin a trip and pay the cheaper spring fares. Starting May 17, higher pre-summer ticket prices kick-in so depart before then.
• June 9: This is the last day to take advantage of better fares before the peak summer season gets underway. Remember, you only have to depart by this date, you don’t have to complete the trip.
• Aug. 1: Starting on this date, you’ll see a slight drop for weekday airfare but not for weekend flights.
• Aug. 23: Delaying a getaway can really pay off; Aug. 23 marks the start of most U.S. airlines’ cheaper fall season. Prices will typically drop across-the-board.
Cheaper Dates to Fly – Europe
The best dates for Continental getaways mirror the best U.S. dates.
• May 16: This is the final day to take advantage of cheaper spring fares. Beginning May 17, prices will rise as Europe’s most expensive season begins.
• Aug. 23: Prices will dive, and then watch for another drop in mid to late-October.
Cheaper Dates to Fly – Asia
• May 31: This is the last day for the cheaper fares of the pre-summer season.
• Aug. 1: Look for a small price drop on this date.
• Aug. 23: Look for a bigger price drop on this date.
• Sept. 12: There may be another small price drop, but it will vary by airline.
Cheaper Days to Fly – U.S. and International
In general, flying on weekdays is cheaper than flying on weekends, but there are three specific days that are generally the cheapest for U.S. flights: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
This might be a good time to wean yourself away from the idea of a getaway being a strictly Friday to Sunday affair. Try taking off on a Tuesday and returning on Saturday, or travel just one ‘cheaper day’ and you’ll still reap half the savings.
Find more of Rick Seaney’s Magic Dates to Fly in 2016 at farecompare.com/travel-advice/magic-dates-cheapest-days-to-fly-in-2016.
Rick Seaney is a travel expert and CEO of FareCompare | Farecompare.com