Everything you need to know about when to book, where to book, and when NOT to book
Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation recently released their 2017 Global Air Travel Outlook report. It indicates that 2017 could be “a banner year for travelers taking to the skies, with more options to fly to more destinations for lower prices.” So, if you were still trying to decide, the answer is yes, you should take a vacation this summer.
Research has been collected for years to let fliers know the cheapest day of the week to book, the cheapest day of the week to fly, the cheapest phase of the moon to fly, etc. And so far, summer 2017 flights are shaping up to be even less expensive than last summer’s flights. Before you get too excited and start booking a flight willy-nilly for any old day between June and September, consider this: Research done by CheapAir.com has pinpointed the single cheapest day to travel this summer as June 6.
Rest assured, if your grandmother’s 100th birthday is on June 6, there are still plenty of affordable times to fly. August and September will be cheaper than July, and the cheapest days to travel in those months are August 22 and September 12. It would be best to avoid July altogether—it is about 7 percent more expensive than August. Besides, you might accidentally book a flight for what has been discovered to be the most expensive day to travel this summer: July 9.
CheapAir.com’s findings have also pinpointed the cheapest days of the week to travel. Traveling on a Tuesday or Wednesday will save you approximately $60 on airfare, whereas Sundays are almost $30 pricier than any other day of the week. Sundays aren’t all bad, though. The 2017 Global Air Travel Outlook report found that Sundays are the best day to book your flight. In addition, they recommend booking your flight more than 21 days in advance to get the best price.
Now that airline science has taken care of every question you’ve ever had about the best time to book and the best time to fly, there is just the very small task of narrowing down where you’d like to travel—from a nearly infinite number of choices. If you’re like me, you’ll choose by selecting “anywhere” for destination and going with the cheapest appealing option (#Oslo2017). That’s one route, but if you’d like slightly more agency—while still getting a good deal—there’s still hope for you. Prices on flights to Europe are way down for summer 2017, up to 42 percent cheaper than last summer. European destinations in France (Paris), Italy (Rome), Spain (Barcelona and Madrid), the Czech Republic (Prague), and Iceland (Reykjavik) are down 20–30 percent. You can even get to Zurich, Switzerland, for 42 percent less than you could last summer. (But before you get too excited about your Swiss adventure, be aware that Forbes named Zurich the No. 1 most expensive city in the world.)
A surprising find by travel experts is that Africa may be the best travel bargain of 2017. Thanks to new airline routes and developing infrastructure, round-trip flights are down 11 percent. Travel experts recommend Morocco, Mozambique, and destinations in South Africa as some of the most affordable places to visit in the world.
The key takeaway here? Book your June 6 flight to Mozambique on a Sunday—and get it done by May 14 at the latest.