Can You Get a Deal on Summer Airfare?

Summer airfare deals can be as elusive as the sun you want shining on your vacation. So what's the secret to getting the best price?

The Associated Press asked Expedia to look at historical travel data and come up with some pointers.

Expedia analyst Daniel Kissin said a lot has to do with timing, whether you should book early or wait.

Based on an analysis of ticket prices over the last four years, Expedia found that the best time to book for the Fourth of July weekend, for instance, was between one and two months in advance.

However, those looking to save on Labor Day weekend travel, based on trends for the past three years, can do best waiting to book their ticket 3 or 4 weeks in advance.

Expedia also found that even as airlines trim fleets and raise fares, there are still last-minute bargains, especially to more expensive destinations.

Tickets to Hawaii, for instance, may be cheaper if you wait. Kissin told AP the reason is people tend to plan their trips to Hawaii well in advance and the airlines know this. So if flights aren't full a couple of weeks before departure, they'll discount.

The same goes for international flights to Europe, Asia and other hot spots, he said.

Expedia also said it's best to book you air and hotel together as a means of savings, a spokesman telling AP that booking separately is one of the "biggest money-losing mistakes" travelers make.

Photo, skyseeker, flickr
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