What is your favorite part of traveling? All the expenses right? Of course that’s your favorite part! Excuse me while I go find someone who agrees with this… Well, no luck finding anyone. No one looks forward to the expenses associated with travel, especially airfare. But don’t worry, there is good news! According to Hopper, an airfare prediction app, “domestic airfare prices will drop in the beginning of August and stay at an average of $248 until November!” If you’ve been putting off purchasing holiday travel tickets, you could be in luck.
Pre-holiday, your best months to purchase are August and October, when the prices are forecast at $245. And if you’re planning to travel over spring break, buy your tickets in December, when prices are expected to be at an average of $241—a full 12.5 percent drop from July. Though fall prices are usually, on average, lower than those in the summertime, this year’s expected autumn rates would be the lowest the market has seen in four years. According to Hopper, the app has consistently predicted airfare trends within a single percentage point since beginning to release price indices in April.
Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at Hopper, says “the decreases are driven by lower fuel prices, which account for a third of expenses for a typical airline; the entrance of low-cost carriers like Frontier, Southwest, and JetBlue into different markets; and the unbundling of services, which might mean you’re paying more in add-ons than you were for the all-inclusive flight three years ago.”
If you’re planning on traveling with the whole family, Surry recommends purchasing tickets more than a month in advance for the best prices and availability. Make sure you do your homework. It might seem great to fly from Boston to Orlando for $249, but you could be missing out on the best deal if you have to pay for two additional checked suitcases filled with all the gifts from the grandparents.
Though Hopper only calculates price indices for domestic fights, Surry says August is a good time to travel internationally, as well. With the exchange rate in favor of the U.S. dollar, you can finally take that European vacation you’ve been dreaming of at a dream price.
If you’re planning on taking a trip within the next few months, make sure to hop on buying those tickets soon. It’s the WISE thing to do! Stay Wise! (References: realsimple.com, Liz Steelman)