Weren’t able to squeeze in a summer vacation this year? Take solace and start looking toward autumn. Travel prices will drop 40% in the early weeks of fall, according to data from Hopper, the deal-finding site and app.
Americans have been spending significantly more for their summer vacations than they did in pre-pandemic 2019, as prices soared for every component of a trip — gas, airfare, hotels, restaurants and more.
Fortunately, travelers are beginning to see relief coming this month. Domestic airfare will drop to $286 roundtrip later in August, down 25% compared to the $400 peak price for summer airfare in May, according to Hopper’s travel index.
Post-Labor Day prices are going to be even cheaper. Domestic airfare for travel in September and October will cost travelers $238 roundtrip on average. That’s down 37% — $142 cheaper — than summer prices and even 3% lower than 2019 prices.
Looking further afield, international airfare is more of a mixed bag. Airfares for travel in September and October have dropped to an average of $754 roundtrip, down 19% — and a whopping $179 cheaper — from summer prices, but that’s still 17% higher than in 2019.
To get the best price for domestic flights, Hopper recommends booking at least three to six weeks in advance. For international travel, lock down flights at least four weeks in advance of departure.
Some popular West Coast destinations are seeing the biggest price drops for fall compared to peak summer prices. Average roundtrip airfare to San Diego is at $252 roundtrip, down a whopping $230 from the peak of summer. Flights to Portland, Oregon, are averaging $314 roundtrip for September and October, which is down $218 from summer prices. And getting to Salt Lake City this fall will cost, on average, $242 roundtrip, down $201 from early summer.
Here are more tips from Hopper on booking fall travel:
- Monitor prices so you can recognize when airfares begin to drop. On the Hopper app, plug in your destination and your travel dates, and you’ll get notified when a good deal pops up.
- Don’t wait until the last minute. For September travel, book by the middle of August for the best deals. Prices will be at their lowest between three and six weeks prior to your trip.
- Leave midweek. If you can fly on Tuesday or Wednesday, you can usually save at least $35 per ticket, according to Hopper. Also, know that weekend hotel stays are significantly more expensive than weekday stays. In 2022, Friday night stays have been the most expensive.
- Protect your investment by adding trip protection to your booking. With Hopper’s Flight Disruption Guarantee, for example, you can instantly rebook of your flight is delayed or canceled, or if you miss a connection.
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