A few months ago, the team over at Google Flights released an eye-opening report with five years’ worth of historical airfare data, looking for reliable patterns. The data is from April to August of 2022 and in that period, they found searches for “cheapest airline tickets” surged more than 240% in the U.S. During this same period, the top-searched questions related to air travel included “when is the best time to book a flight?” and “how to find cheap flights?” Here’s more information about the best times to book flights.

There was a lot of information and data points in the post. So much so, it might have been difficult to remember. Since we’re now approaching Google Flights’ sweet spot for buying tickets for summer travel, I thought I would remind you that you better start locking for those summer airfares soon if you haven’t already done so.

If you’re traveling domestically, it’s not as urgent, as Google says this about domestic summer trips beginning in July or August: “Prices have been lower 14-44 days before departure, and the lowest average prices are usually 21 days out.” 21 days from today is only March 30 so you have time, however …

If you’re flying from the U.S. to Europe, you’re pushing the limits. Google says the best deals to Europe from the U.S. “were usually found 129 days before departure and prices tend to be lower anywhere between 50 and 179 days out.” 129 days from today is July 15. 179 days from today is September 4. But don’t sweat it if you were planning on a June trip as 50 days from today is only April 28.

If you’re planning on traveling this summer, you better start securing or at least monitoring airfares and accommodations, if you haven’t already. All signs point to a record year in terms of European travel and here’s just one example according to Travel Weekly and Virtuoso: “Summer 2023 is already showing signs of breaking all records,” says Kayla D. Zeigler, owner of Destination Europe LLC, a Virtuoso Agency in Columbus, Ohio. “The demand is tenfold from 2022. I think we are in for a very busy summer season in Europe and the U.K. I think 2023 could even be stronger than pre-pandemic.”

If you’ve read my article on 17 ways to find cheap flights, then you know I always recommend setting fare alerts before and after purchasing plane tickets. They’re easy to do, free, and can save you a lot of money. Here’s how and why to set a fare alert even after you buy your tickets.

This summer, we’re going to see numbers, in terms of travelers heading to Europe and around the U.S., that surpass pre-pandemic (2019). If you want to be one of them and not overpay considerably or get stuck in a terrible seat, then now is the time to start planning.


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