If you want to travel to Europe during the summer (when, admittedly, everyone else wants to travel to Europe) you definitely can’t procrastinate. “Prices typically rise through the spring and peak in June as summer arrives,” Hopper’s data science team determined. And if you plan on traveling during a summer holiday — Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day — the best fares can typically be found at least three weeks in advance of your departure.
money. Make sure you buy round trip tickets and if you
The sheer size of the United States means that temperatures are going to vary widely throughout the four seasons, and you’ll want to keep your destination and the time of year in mind as you pack for your trip. If you’re visiting the Midwest or Northeast during the winter, make sure you bring along warm outwear, including gloves, scarves and hats, because temperatures can easily drop below zero. Temperatures in the south are more moderate at this time of year, and you should be able to get away with packing a lighter jacket to layer with a sweater. Those traveling to Denver or other Rocky Mountain states should consider a mix of clothing as 70 degree temperatures on one day can easily turn into a blizzard overnight.
Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. No matter how often you fly, you should be signed up for the airline’s reward program. I stick to US-based airlines since they are involved in all the major alliances and you can earn miles on their partner flights. For example, if I fly Singapore Airlines, I can earn United Airlines miles because they are partners. Likewise, if I fly Air France, it’s credited to my Delta rewards account.
If you are going to fly when everyone is flying, then you’re ticket is going to cost more. Try to be flexible with your dates. If you are dead-set on visiting Paris, go to Paris in the spring or fall when fewer people visit and airfares are cheaper. But if you want to go in the middle of August? You’re out of luck. Hawaii over Christmas? Good luck!
Keep your dates flexible. Many airlines have specific requirements for a minimum and maximum total number of days to be spent in a location in order to get the best deal. For the cheapest flights, stay for a minimum of 2 nights and a maximum of 30. Try to stay at your destination over a weekend, as flights that bookend a Saturday night are cheaper than those that lack a Saturday stay.
You can sign up for an airline rewards card that earns points with a particular airline, or a more general travel rewards card that lets you redeem points across a variety of airlines. As a beginner card, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You can earn up to 60,000 in bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after your account opening. That's worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and more than enough for a domestic flight. There's also no foreign transaction fees, so it's the perfect all-rounder travel credit card. You can compare this card with other top credit cards.