The post below was originally published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on April 12, 2016 by Kelly Soderland.
Gas prices are down, the temperature is heating up, and travelers are inevitably looking to take advantage of both this summer.
In fact, with all the sunny news about oil prices you may be itching to plan an escape of your own. But summer is three whole months long, airfare is usually priced at a premium, and there tends to be a lot of confusion for travelers around the optimal purchase date to obtain the best deal. Indeed, the most asked travel advice questionposed to Hipmunk Navigators concerns the best time to purchase a ticket.
As of March 31, 2016, overall domestic summer airfare (flights departing and returning during June, July, or August), is down from a median price of $330 to $286.
Similarly, flights from the US to major European countries – Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland – follow the same trend: travelers this summer are paying about 15 percent less than last year, from a median price of $1331 to $1129.
And those savings seem to translate into a higher proportion of people planning longer getaways: In 2015, 46 percent of summer vacations that involved flights lasted four days or fewer, while just 33 percent lasted between seven and 10 days.
In 2016, however, 40 percent are four days or fewer, while 38 percent are between seven and 10 days, indicating a shift towards longer vacations.
To ensure that the hardest decision you’ll have to make this summer season is which umbrella drink you’ll order, Hipmunk analyzed its historical booking data