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It's about time to book a flight for summer travel-- here's why planning ahead can save vacation money

Experts say the sweet spot is one to three months out.
Large Commercial Airliner Coming In To Land
Posted at 2:37 PM, Mar 27, 2024

It may feel ahead of schedule, but early spring is the sweet spot for finding deals on much-anticipated summer vacations.

For domestic flights, NerdWallet recommends booking one to three months out. So, for a July trip, you're looking at booking sometime between April and June.

"We do see occasional fare sales now for summer, so this could be a good time to jump on those special deals," said NerdWallet travel expert Sally French.

French said let the internet do the work for you by setting a price alert with your favorite flight tracker – whether it's Google Flights, Hopper, Kayak, or a similar platform.

"You can make a pretty informed decision," French said. "If you're seeing that fares are lower than average, that's probably a good indication that you should book."

It is well worth tracking airfare. The travel deal site CheapAir.com found that after going live, fares change an average of 49 times and change by an average of $98 each time.

French said travelers should also have more flexibility this summer with airlines posting more robust schedules.

"Delta, for example, said that they're offering their largest transatlantic schedule ever this year," she said. "With more schedules, means more options, more options mean typically lower prices."

Vacationers may also find savings simply by choosing a different travel day. French said flying home on a Tuesday is probably less expensive than on a busy Sunday.

"Sometimes extending your trip by an extra day or two can save you hundreds of dollars in airfare," she said.

NerdWallet found Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly in the U.S., and airfare on a Tuesday is about 24 percent less than peak prices on a Sunday.