How to Find the Cheapest Summer Flights

the cheapest summer flights
The best strategies for flying on a budget

If you’re planning to vacay on a budget this summer, you might experience some serious sticker shock when you start looking at plane tickets. Ouch! But don’t let flight prices ground you. With the right mix of strategy, flexibility, and impeccable timing, you can find the cheapest summer flights available—and have room left in your travel budget for an extra piña colada (or two!).

Ready to fly for less? Follow these tips, and it’ll be “bon voyage” on a budget!

  • Book early (or late)

    There’s a “sweet spot” when it comes to booking flights. Book too far out, and you’ll overpay. But book too close to your travel date, and prices skyrocket.

    For the cheapest summer flights, purchase your ticket about 3-4 months before your trip.

    That said, there are some pretty amazing last-minute deals to be found! It might not work if you’re traveling for a wedding or reunion (definite time and place), but if you’re in the mood to just go somewhere, you can find some awesomely cheap flights!

  • Avoid peak travel days

    Most people want to maximize their vacation time. And that means the majority of travelers are flying out on Friday after work or early Saturday, and coming back late on Sunday.

    Ticket prices reflect that, though, and those are usually the priciest flights.

    If you’re open to traveling mid-week, you can snag significant savings. Most booking websites have a “flexible dates” search feature, which will show you options for the cheapest flights available. Wednesday flight to Waikiki, anyone?

  • Be flexible with dates

    Summer has three big holidays: Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day. And that’s when everybody wants to travel, to make the most of their time off work.

    It’s a great plan… until you look at plane tickets. Because busy weeks = expensive flights.

    If you want the cheapest summer flights possible, avoid the busy holidays and pick other, less popular weeks for your vacation.
    ers and outlets while you’re traveling.

  • Compare airfares

    Before you book your flight, check out websites or apps such as Kayak, which compare airfares from different airlines to help you find the best flight.

    Even if you feel more comfortable booking directly from the airlines, fare comparison websites and apps can give you a better idea of which airlines offer cheaper flights to your location.

  • Sign up for the newsletters

    We’re not big fans of cluttered inboxes, but we definitely recommend subscribing to the newsletters from your favorite airlines and travel websites.

    These newsletters often feature fare alerts, price drops, and special promotions, so you can book your flights when prices are at their lowest.

  • Explore alternate airports

    Most major airports have smaller, less-known airports nearby. Think Sanford instead of Orlando or John Wayne instead of LAX. Check prices; it’s often cheaper to fly in and out of these alternate airports.

    Buuuuut be sure to factor in transportation costs, too, to make sure you’re really saving money. Booking the cheapest summer flights may not be worth it if you have to rent a car or pay for a long Uber ride to your destination city.

  • Consider one-way tickets

    When it comes to flights, you’ll find the biggest savings when you think outside the cabin, errrrr, box.

    Buying two one-way tickets on different airlines or from two different booking sites can be cheaper than buying a round-trip ticket. Be sure you consider all your options before you hit the “purchase” button.

  • Go undercover

    Well, not really. We’re buying airline tickets, not playing Clue!

    But some airlines and booking websites track search histories. If they see you looking at the same flights/travel dates, they might increase prices based on your perceived demand.

    So you guys: clear your browser cookies or go into incognito mode when you’re browsing for the cheapest summer flights!

Ready to plan that summer getaway? Use these strategies to find a flight that won’t leave your bank account gasping for air.

And if you’re looking for more ways to save on your summer travel, ship your stuff to your final destination with LugLess. For less than the price of the average checked bag, you can breeze through the airport, luggage-free and hassle-free. Just you and your airport piña colada! Hey, gotta start the vacation as soon as possible, right?