January may be the cheapest month to fly, but the best time to buy your flights for June, July, and August is the first week of May, according to a recent study by Hipmunk. Researchers analyzed round trip booking prices in 2016 to determine that buying during this time could save travelers up to 33 percent on flights.
Although data indicates that more than 50 percent of travelers book within 30 days of their outgoing flight, Hipmunk suggests booking sooner rather than later to get the best ticket price. And since summer travel rates in the U.S. are up 8 percent compared to 2016, you’ll want to heed the expert advice.
Travelers planning a Memorial Day trip can save up to 11 percent by purchasing tickets during the first week of May. Looking even further ahead, those who book during this time frame can save up to 7 percent on a Fourth of July getaway and up to 31 percent on a Labor Day trip.
Hipmunk also observed flight searches through April 15, 2017 to determine this summer’s most popular destinations and the average booking prices for each locale. Las Vegas, Orlando, and Seattle topped the list as the most popular domestic summer destinations, while London, Paris and Rome topped the list of most popular international cities to explore.
If you book early enough, the average airfares to Las Vegas, Orlando, and Seattle all fall below $275. And those hoping to check an international destination off of their list may consider Vancouver or Cancun, both of which have average round trip ticket prices of less than $460.