With fuel costs at record highs, which is bad news for road-trippers and air passengers alike, many travelers are rethinking their summer trip plans and contemplating how they might be able to avoid expensive long-haul flights while still getting to enjoy a satisfying destination.
To answer that question, the analysts at travel comparison site Hopper researched and assembled the ultimate guide on ways to save money on your summer travel without missing out on the aspects of travel you were most looking forward to.
Summer Travel Costs
The average price of airfare for U.S. domestic travel this summer for consumers booking in April is about $344, an increase of over 20 percent in comparison to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. The price of an international flight to Europe, Mexico or Central America is sitting slightly above 2019 levels, and airfare is currently costing travelers about $881 to Europe and around $458 to Mexico and Central America. Summer travel from the U.S. to Canada is roughly 19 percent dearer this year than in 2019 and, on average, will cost passengers about $387 roundtrip.
How To Save This Summer
Hopper offers a few recommendations for savvy travelers on how to root out great deals, even amid rising travel prices.
1) Use a price-monitoring tool (like Hopper) to receive real-time notifications when the best deals and lowest pricing is available to your destination.
2) Be flexible with your dates, staying open to departing a day earlier or returning a day later than you’d planned, as this will sometimes make a significant difference in your trip’s price.
3) Consider destinations closer to home. To accompany this advice, Hopper put together a “Go here, not there” guide to help consumers save money while still getting the kind of experience they’re seeking.
With roundtrip airfare to Italy’s iconic wine-producing region of Tuscany averaging over $1,100 this summer, budget-conscious travelers might consider visiting beautiful wine-producing regions that are closer to home, including Napa and Sonoma Counties, other spots along California’s Central Coast like Paso Robles or a bit further north in Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Scuba Diving along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef may be a bucket-list item for underwater enthusiasts, but with roundtrip airfare to the ‘Land Down Under’ priced at over $2,000 for flights from June through August, it may be worth looking elsewhere. There are some astonishing and exotic dive sites here in Western Hemisphere that could cost you up to 70 percent less than a trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Instead, perhaps head to the Galapagos Islands to dive off of the coast of Floreana, an island formed over 1.5 million years ago, or explore the Great Blue Hole in Belize, the largest underwater sinkhole on Earth.
European Old World Charm
Travelers keen to experience the Old World charm and historic places of Europe will find that roundtrip tickets to major hub cities like Paris and Rome will run them over $920 this summer, with airfare to Paris up by more than 20 percent over summer 2019. Much of the same type of Old World charm and historic architecture can also be experienced more affordably in destinations closer to home. Head to Quebec City or Montreal for French influences; view Spanish colonial architecture in the U.S.’ oldest town, St. Augustine, or immerse yourself in the distinctive mixture of French, African and American cultures found in New Orleans. Selecting one of these alternative destinations this summer can save you $500 or more per roundtrip ticket.
Those seeking sun, sand and surf alongside an active nightlife scene typically flock to Spain’s island of Ibiza for white-sand beaches, epic nightclubs, dancing and live music. But, this summer, travelers might consider trading in a big-ticket trip to Ibiza for a visit to Miami or Tulum, where they’ll find incredible white-sand beaches during the day and exciting nightlife options for only a fraction of the price. A trip to Tulum via Cancun will cost you about half as much as one to the Spanish party island, while opting for Miami will save you nearly 75 percent.