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Where and When to Book the Cheapest 2024 Flights, According to New Data

Those itching to travel need to act fast before prices surge in coming weeks.

Spring is in full bloom, which means summer is just around the corner, and consequently, so is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. Adventure seekers are eager to dust off their suitcases and passports, splurge on new travel gear, and board a plane—but alas, you may also be wondering how to score cheap deals on airfare.

New data from Hopper indicates that budget-savvy travelers should act fast as airfare is expected to surge come May. Right now, domestic airfare is averaging $290 per round-trip ticket, which is lower than last year and pre-pandemic prices, according to the online booking website.

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"Lower prices on domestic routes come as seat capacity has fully surpassed pre-pandemic levels and demand for travel remains strong among American consumers. Airlines flew an estimated 88.3 million seats in March of this year, up 3.3 percent from last year and up 8.8 percent from this time in 2019," Hayley Berg, Hopper's chief economist, noted in the report.

That said, airfare is expected to peak at $315 per round-trip domestic ticket during the summer months and won't come back down until shoulder season, also known as off-peak season. Plane tickets will be at their most expensive in May and June, and average ticket prices aren't expected to dip below $300 until late July or possibly August.

However, vacationers will be happy to hear that international airfare is on the decline. "Airfare to international destinations continues to improve following two years of bloated prices due to quickly recovering demand, high fuel prices and supply constraints. Airfare to most major regions of the world has dropped compared to last year," said Berg.

Antilles, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania are cheaper to travel to than in 2023. Among those locales, the most affordable are Antilles, averaging $395 per round trip ticket (a 13 percent decrease from 2023), and Mexico and Central America, averaging $450 per round trip ticket (a 14 percent increase from 2023).

It's worth noting that flying to Canada is relatively cheaper, averaging $419 per round-trip ticket—albeit, tickets are seven percent more expensive than in 2023.

Interestingly enough, however, Osaka and Seoul are the top two trending destinations for international travel, despite tickets going for over $1,300. Nice, Edinburgh, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, and Ponta Delgada are other top trending destinations whose average round-trip ticket prices fall under $1,000.

As far as trending domestic destinations go, the cheapest include Miami, Durham, San Francisco, and Portland. Right now, passengers can fly round trip for under $300 on average.

So, if you're dreaming of white sandy beaches, eating copious amounts of pasta in Italy, visiting a bustling metropolis, or hiking the Great Wall of China, you'll want to book airfare before April ends.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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