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Flight rates are skyrocketing and here’s how to save money on travel

This Article Reprinted by permission from Nerd Wallet.

After years of changing and compromising plans, many travelers are finally ready to go on a real vacation this summer. But here’s the catch: Prices are skyrocketing due to declining demand for limited availability.

According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average flight rate in April is up 33% compared to 2021, and prices are only accelerating.

While airline prices and hotel prices are now high during the high epidemic, they are nothing compared to rental car prices, which have risen since last summer. According to BLS, car rental prices are up by a staggering 70% in April compared to pre-April 2019 rates. Airline prices have their own jumps. Flight rates have risen significantly over the past two months, though the majority of the last two years have been below pre-epidemic levels.

Anyone searching for summer travel doesn’t need to dig deeper into the data to know it’s expensive. As we saw in May, a Google Flight search for a round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Rome showed a single date of less than $ 1,000 in June and July.

So, what should budget-conscious travelers do?

Read: With skyrocketing gas prices and inflation, should you take a vacation or ‘stay’?

If you can, wait an extra month or two

If summer travel seems to break your budget, consider extending your vacation for a month or more.

“Flight rates generally drop in September and October compared to the Greek summer months,” Healy Berg, chief economist at travel booking platform Hopper, said in an email.

Berg cited a major reason for this drop in demand, with students returning to school, citing an important caveat: Traveling in the off-peak seasons only works for those with a flexible schedule to take advantage of the cost savings.

Even so, from mid-August to the end of the year, prices will drop from their July highs.

“Prices have gone up all weekend this summer compared to 2019, but at least prices have risen in August,” Berg said.

And in fact, when we searched in May, most round-trip rates from Los Angeles to Rome were less than $ 1,000 in August and September.

Track prices, they can be cold

Prices for summer are one thing, but travel costs this year are driving unprecedented demand, restricted supply and rampant global inflation.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, jet fuel prices are up more than 30 years in late April. While the effects of higher fuel prices are usually not immediately reflected in flight rates, by the time you read this, summer flight costs may be even higher.

Yes, prices can go up in the summer, making $ 1,000 tickets to Italy a worthy deal. But, more often than not, they cool in late summer and early fall because the combination of these unique elements is similar to what is common.

See also: The national average of gas has reached $ 5 a gallon, says AAA and GasBuddy – and be prepared to keep the number rising

Control a strong dollar, choose places wisely

A bright spot in the frustrating travel landscape: The US dollar is currently strong against many foreign currencies. For example, as of this writing, the value of a dollar has increased from 0.94 euros to 0.82 euros in May 2021. It may not seem like much, but it does have ripple effects on every aspect of the travel budget, from hotel rooms to train tickets to food.

But be careful: this effect is not uniform. For example, the dollar is actually weaker against the Mexican peso than it was at the beginning of the epidemic. And while the dollar is particularly strong against the Japanese yen, travel to Japan (and many other countries) is more restrictive.

You may like it: How to choose the best seat on the plane

If you want to travel this summer

Everyone wants to travel this summer, which is part of the reason why prices skyrocket. Important: Prices usually drop significantly in August and early fall. So if you can postpone your holiday for a month or two, you’ll be able to save it while remaining in your budget.

Check: Here are 7 radar places worthy of a stop on a California road trip

There is no guarantee that prices will behave itself this year, but historical trends and long-haul travel demand could mean more reasonable prices this fall.

More from NerdWallet

Sam Kemmis writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @sambutdif.

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