High costs are keeping many Americans from summer vacation.
A recent Bankrate survey found that millions of Americans aren’t planning on using their vacation days because they can’t afford a trip. Choosing the right day to travel, however, can lighten the financial burden of summer travel substantially.
If you plan to pay for your trip with points and miles, you may find better award availability if you skip over summer holiday weekends and the busiest travel days. And even if you plan to pay in cash, choosing travel days wisely can help you reduce costs.
A recent report from Hipmunk notes that the Friday before each of the summer holidays (Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day weekend) is the most expensive day to fly by $100 or more. Also, departing on any Thursday during summer break is more expensive than departing on the least expensive day of the week, which is Tuesday. Flying on Tuesday will save you 7 percent vs. Thursday, the most expensive departure day, Hipmunk says.
Historically, the most expensive day to fly during the entire summer is the Monday during the third week of July, which falls on July 15 this year.
Hopper’s Consumer Airfare Index for May 2019 sheds even more light on this summer’s priciest travel dates. First, they predict that in May consumers would see a 6.8 percent increase in round-trip flight prices vs. April within the U.S. due to seasonal demand. On the flip side, they note that prices for airfare are still lower than they were two years ago.
More good news: While Hopper researchers also report that airfare prices should continue to rise in June, then start to fall from July through October.
Also be aware that where you travel can make a big difference in what you’ll pay — even if you wind up traveling during a very busy time. Hopper came up with a list of the top 10 domestic and international destinations to watch this summer for the best airfare deals. Consider these spots if you have some flexibility in your travel plans.
This story was originally published on Bankrate. Create an account on Bankrate today to get your free credit report along with expert advice to improve your score. Plus, set your financial goals to personalize your dashboard with resources to help you reach them.