With summer officially just around the corner, many travelers are scrambling to plan vacations.
According to data from flight aggregator Skyscanner, 61% of Americans are planning to travel this summer — but 69% of those still haven’t booked their trips.
Many travelers are putting off booking their trips because of high prices.
The cost of travel has skyrocketed this summer. For example, airfare costs are up more than 30% in the summer of 2023 compared to the summer of 2022. The average price of a hotel room is also up 54% compared to last year.
Travelers planning a summer trip may be faced with sticker shock at the cost of their vacation this year. It may seem like there’s no way to avoid high prices, but there are still a few things you can do to get a good deal on your summer vacation.
If you’re looking for ways to save money on travel this summer, here are five essential tips to follow:
1. Stay Closer To Home
Flights to the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean remain much cheaper than flights to Europe, with less inflation in price compared to last summer.
According to the travel booking platform Hopper, the average cost of round-trip airfare within the United States is still under $400 this summer. Additionally, domestic airfare is only inflated by 5% to 11%, compared to airfare to Europe which is inflated by as much as 50% compared to last summer.
This makes staying closer to home a great way to save money on your summer vacation.
2. Travel Later In The Summer
Data from Skyscanner has shown that flights for later in the summer are less expensive than flights during June and July. Traveling during August or early September can save you some money.
If you have your heart set on Europe, September may also be one of the best times to travel. You can take advantage of lower airfare compared to the peak summer months, and as the off-season begins, you’ll enjoy lower crowds and lower prices overall.
Late summer is also a great time to visit many popular U.S. travel destinations, such as Orlando — the middle of August through September is one of the cheapest and least crowded times to visit Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando.
3. Be Flexible With Dates
Another way to save money on your summer vacation is to be flexible with your travel dates.
While this isn’t possible for everyone, travelers who are able to be flexible with travel dates will enjoy better deals. If you can fly mid-week, you’ll save a lot of money.
According to Thrifty Traveler, flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are the cheapest. Travelers flying on these days can save as much as 20% on airfare.
4. Consider Off-Peak Destinations
One way to save money on your summer vacation is to visit destinations experiencing their off-season.
While the summer months of June, July, and August are high seasons for many destinations in North America and Europe, this time of year is the off-season for popular destinations like Argentina and New Zealand.
You can find better deals traveling during off-peak times, and you’ll experience lower crowds.
5. Find Last-Minute Deals
Finally, one of the best ways to save money on your summer vacation this year is to find last-minute deals. You should not wait until the last minute to book a trip to a popular destination this year because of the very real possibility that hotels, flights, and rental cars may be sold out completely.
But for some destinations, you can find great last-minute deals using a website like Hotwire, which offers steep discounts on hotels, flights, rental cars, and vacation packages.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com