Your best bets for cheaper rates (and for more elbow room) are during times when classes are in session, says Budget Travel deputy editor Robert Firpo-Cappiello. To avoid high fares, time your travel for the periods a week or two before or after school breaks and holidays — like the weeks between New Year’s and Martin Luther King weekend and the weeks before or after, but not including Memorial Day weekend in May. Or book in mid-September or October (traditionally cheaper months) or the weeks before Thanksgiving.
Focus on Fall (or Winter, for World Travel)
In an analysis of over a billion search queries from 2012, Kayak found the cheapest month for domestic travel is September, when average fares drop to $296.97. (January and October were the next cheapest at $305-$310 on average.) The best times for bargain hunters traveling internationally: February and March, when fares average around $950. But, don’t worry. Even if you’re planning to book a summer vacation — when average rates are typically higher — you can still save big, depending on when you book your flights, your lodging, your rental car, and more. Keep reading for more tips on how.