During the past few years, travel companies have dubbed August 23 "Cheap Flight Day," as this is around the time when airlines drop their fares. But it's not like there's a magic day to fly cheaper — it's more of a transition to off-peak travel season.
"As summer quickly comes to a close, so does the busiest time of the year for travel," Sanjay Hathiramani, global SVP of supplier relations for CheapOair, said in a statement. "Kids are back to school, the weather starts to cool down, and people are gearing up for the holidays. As the demand for airfare decreases, so do the fares."
Hathiramani says that fares will continue to stay low until Thanksgiving. The time window between now and the start of the holidays is ideal for "purchasing long-haul and international flights, as those will yield more bargains over shorter, domestic flights," Hathiramani told PopSugar.
On average, prices will drop about 30% for international travel and 14% for domestic travel, according to CheapOair. The biggest price decreases for international destinations are on tickets to Spain, with potential savings of over $250 on flights to Madrid and over $200 on flights to Barcelona. Asian cities like Manila, Philippines; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Bangkok, Thailand are also seeing price decreases of about a third, with savings of over $250 or even $300.
When it comes to domestic flights, it's a great time to visit Los Angeles, as you could save about 27% or over $50. You could also save 10-15% on flights to Chicago; Seattle; Minneapolis; Portland, OR; San Diego; Nashville; and Boston.
Cheapflights.com, another travel site, has calculated that the end of August is generally the cheapest time for summer travel. The site found some direct-flight, roundtrip deals you could take advantage of now: Fort Lauderdale to Chicago, departing August 26 and returning August 31, for under $115; Dallas-Fort Worth to L.A., departing August 30 and returning September 3, for under $125; Boston to Orlando, departing August 29 and returning September 5, for under $150.
Amanda Festa, Cheapflights.com editor, recommends traveling between late September and early November for the best overall fares. She adds that shopping around for the best travel deals is easier than you might think.
"Don't fear buyer’s remorse: Do be aware that, by U.S. law, airlines must offer you the chance to hold a price or cancel a purchase on any non-refundable ticket bought at least seven days in advance for a 24-hour period," she says. "Most airlines fulfill that by letting you cancel a qualifying purchase in the first 24 hours. This gives you a chance to check back the next day to make sure you didn't just miss a price drop as well as the opportunity to keep shopping just in case you can score an even better deal."