7 Ways to Get the Cheapest Airfare This Summer
Life + Money

7 Ways to Get the Cheapest Airfare This Summer

© Luke MacGregor / Reuters

Good news for summer travelers: Airline tickets are cheaper than they’ve been in years.

According to the airfare predictions site Hopper, airfares will rise as usual over the busy summer travel season, but prices overall will be lower than last year. Prices for domestic tickers are expected to top out in June at about $250, roughly 9 percent less than last year’s summer peak.

Related: Top 10 Weekend Getaways for Summer 2016

Prices are lower this year thanks to historically low oil prices, which are now about 60 percent less than in mid-2014.

Ticket Prices

Average domestic consumer airfare prices through March 2016, with 6-month forecast. Source: Hopper

But even with less expensive airfares, summer travel can be hard on the wallet. The travel site Cheapair used its fare data to create a summer travel calendar that pinpoints the best days to save money on flights.

Related: 10 Hottest International Destinations for Summer 2016

Here are some key takeaways from Cheapair’s report:

1. Fly on these specific days. Trying booking your flights on the least expensive days for each summer month: June 1, July 26, August 31 and September 20.

2. Don’t travel on Sundays. Avoid flying on a Sunday, since it’s the most expensive day of the week. Switching to Monday will save you about $20 on average.

3. Fly on a Wednesday or a Tuesday. Flying on a Wednesday or a Tuesday will save you an average of $77 compared to flying on a Sunday. 

4. Vacation in September. Not only will you avoid the crowds in the off-season, but September is the cheapest month of the summer for airfare.

5. Book in advance. If you’re planning to travel over a summer holiday such as Memorial Day Weekend or the Fourth of July, book as soon as possible. Airfare will definitely still be expensive, but buying in advance helps your chances of getting a good price.

6. Fly on July 4. Even though Independence Day is a particularly expensive weekend for travel, flying on July 4 itself will save you money.

7. Buy your ticket during prime booking time. The optimal time to purchase your ticket is between 21 and 112 days before your trip. Ideally, book 54 days in advance.