This blog post was updated on April 5, 2019.

Summer is a popular season for leisure travel, given that the kids are on school break (and some parents are, too). But because many of us like to go on vacation in the summer, that can make it harder to snag good airline deals. If you wait too long and fail to plan ahead, you could end up paying the price. Around 38% of Baby Boomers say they travel to relax and rejuvenate, while 57% say they travel to see friends and family. But if you want to make sure you get your much-deserved R and R this summer (regardless of your age bracket!), make sure to pay attention to the time you need to book your cheap flights.

Friendship Freedom Beach Summer Holiday Concept

To avoid the summer rush and higher flight prices, you can save money on cheap flights by planning vacations in late August and early September. If you book far enough in advance, you can find some great airline deals in August and September in particular.

In this post, we’ll share our insider tips on booking flights for late summer and early fall.

If you’re traveling in August…

Try to travel toward the very end of the month. Early-to-mid-August is still peak season, so ticket fares are generally going to be on the high side. But on August 27 or 28, you should start to see some good deals. That’s the start of the fall season for domestic carriers. So if you can put off your vacation ’til the tail-end of summer, it might be well worth the wait.

If you’re traveling in September…

You should book early and be prepared to pay a bit more. Though the fall season technically starts right around this time, you will still be flying through busier airports (with potentially higher prices) during early fall. Aim to book at least three weeks in advance for domestic trips — or if you can delay your vacay even more (say, until October), you might see some more affordable options.

Landscape of natural sea beach on small island, Activity happy couple traveler, Poda island, Andaman sea, Krabi, Travel Thailand

If you’re traveling for Labor Day…

You aren’t alone! Americans love to use the first three-day weekend of the fall (the first Monday of September) to travel. Many people also use a day of vacation time, either the Tuesday after Labor Day or the Friday before, to get a four-day weekend. You should book tickets for Labor Day travel 21 to 90 days in advance.

If you’re planning an international trip in August or September…

Remember that international flight prices start to drop around September 10, one week after Labor Day. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule depending on your destination. If you’re visiting Greece, for instance, the busy season stretches through late-October. Regardless of your destination, you will need to plan ahead to get the best prices. To get cheap flights to Europe or Asia, book August and September flights at least two to four months in advance.

Traveling during the summertime is a must for many families, but pushing your travel dates to August, September, or even October can help you save money — as long as you book early. And if you’re looking for the cheapest flights to any destination, use CheapOair’s flight comparison tools to get the best airline deals on the web.

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