Travel When School’s in Session
Your best bets for cheaper rates (and for more elbow room) are during times when classes are in session, says Budget Travel deputy editor Robert Firpo-Cappiello. To avoid high fares, time your travel for the periods a week or two before or after school breaks and holidays — like the weeks between New Year’s and Martin Luther King weekend and the weeks before or after, but not including Memorial Day weekend in May. Or book in mid-September or October (traditionally cheaper months) or the weeks before Thanksgiving.
Focus on Fall (or Winter, for World Travel)
In an analysis of over a billion search queries from 2012, Kayak found the cheapest month for domestic travel is September, when average fares drop to $296.97. (January and October were the next cheapest at $305-$310 on average.) The best times for bargain hunters traveling internationally: February and March, when fares average around $950. But, don’t worry. Even if you’re planning to book a summer vacation — when average rates are typically higher — you can still save big, depending on when you book your flights, your lodging, your rental car, and more.