Buy Domestic Airfare ASAP Before It Increases Again

Book now or forever (or at least for a few months) hold your peace

August 9, 2023 2:45 pm
Airplane taking off at sunrise
It's been a busy summer for travel, but the fall season offers some relief
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If you’ve traveled at all this summer, you’ve probably experienced busy airports, tons of crowds (especially in European destinations) and steep prices, depending on your travel days. But it seems like relief is nigh as the summer season starts to wrap and kids head back to school. According to a travel report from Hopper, the price of a domestic flight is expected to drop 2% in August for an average of $267.  

“We’re expecting the cost of domestic airfare to level off this August,” Hayley Berg, the lead economist at Hopper, told Travel + Leisure. “For those looking to book an upcoming trip, the early fall ‘shoulder season’ can often be one of the cheapest times of the year to travel and you’ll experience less crowds as kids head back to school.”

That’s certainly good news if you want to travel within the United States. Prices are down 11% compared to both this time in 2022 and 2019. According to Hopper, people are booking fall trips to cities like Orlando, Miami, Las Vegas, Boston and Los Angeles. As for international destinations, Cancun is currently the most popular with a flight average of $288 round trip.

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But, sadly, the prices of most international flights remain steep. “Long-haul international airfares will not see the same relief [and] destinations across Europe and Asia will remain higher than 2019 prices as we head into the fall,” Berg added. Post-pandemic demand for international travel means that airfare to Europe is 7% higher than before the pandemic, and the average cost of a flight to Asia is a whopping 59% higher (which I can certainly attest to, as I’ve been searching for an affordable flight to Thailand in January). 

But the good news is that there are a lot of U.S. destinations worth visiting, and even hotel prices are down to an average of $183 a night (they were more than $200 at the height of summer). But if you want to get that fall getaway in, you have to act now — prices are expected to rise again in November and December for holiday travel.


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