Since most adults don't get a set week off for spring break, your springtime trips might be taken on a whim more often than with months of planning. While it's always fun to go on an impromptu getaway, that method of traveling isn't always all that fun for your bank account. Hopper, an app that analyzes plane ticket prices and alerts travelers when they should buy, does have a few tips for how to save on airfare when taking last minute trips this spring.
For its Spring Break 2019 Index, Hopper analyzed historical flight pricing data and identified tips for how to save money booking flights this spring. According to its findings, roundtrip flights for domestic spring break getaways are going for an average of about $335. International spring break travel, on the other hand, are averaging about $448 roundtrip.
In addition to calculating the average cost of roundtrip travel this spring, the app also discovered the sweet spot for when to purchase plane tickets for last-minute trips. If possible, you should try to book flights two weeks ahead of departure. In other words, try not to make your last-minute trip too last-minute. "Booking less than two weeks before departure will cost you 10% (an average of $33 domestically and $44 internationally)," Hopper explains in its Spring Break 2019 Index. While this does mean a little planning should go into it, that's still less than a month so we feel like the phrase "on a whim" still applies.
Booking two weeks ahead of departure isn't the only way to save on airfare this spring. Hopper found that for domestic travel, departing on a Tuesday is the cheapest option and could save you up to 19% or an average of $63. The next most affordable departure day is Wednesday with savings of 17%. If you can't make either of those days work for your schedule, though, domestic travelers should try to avoid departing on Friday because that will cost a 19% premium. Saturday is a smarter option, as Saturday flights are 7% less expensive than Friday ones.
For those who are traveling out of the country this spring, your best bet is to book departure flights on Wednesday. Hopper found that Wednesday is the least expensive day of the week to travel internationally. Hump day will offer average savings of 8% or $35 on airfare. Tuesday and Thursday are also fairly cheap options, as they are both within 2% of Wednesday average prices. International travelers should also try to avoid departing on the weekend. Friday departure flights will cost you approximately 8% more than leaving on Wednesday, and Saturday and Sunday aren’t much better.