Travel

Pack your bags: Fall is a great time for air travel deals

One expert said prices for domestic trips have dropped around 25%

NBC Universal, Inc.

The kids are headed back to school and Halloween decorations are in the stores, sure signs that summer is winding down.

The end of the summer season also brings plummeting air fares, and some people will be able to snag themselves a deal.

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Once kids are back in school and fall sports ramp up,  a lot of people no longer have the flexibility to take a trip.  That’s the annual “end of summer slump” for air travel. 

If the school schedule doesn’t impact you, now is the time to book a bargain trip to take in the next couple of months.

Travel right now is actually the best time of the year to be booking a vacation, whether it's in the U.S. or one of those bucket list trips abroad,” said Hayley Berg, lead economist for the mobile travel app Hopper. “Fares for domestic trips have dropped by about 25% to many top destinations compared to what you would have paid in July. We're seeing airfare to Europe down to about $700, round trip, down from over $1,400  per ticket this summer. So if you can travel in September and October, these are the best prices we're going to see for the rest of the year.”

If September and October don’t work for you, consider getting away during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Berg said that’s another period when they typically see lower fares, especially to international destinations, because not many people are planning vacations during that holidays.

And if you know what trip you’re interested in, Hopper will monitor it for you and will send you a notification when it’s a good time to book to ensure that you get the best price available. 

Berg said you should plan to have airline tickets booked for both Thanksgiving and Christmas travel by October 15 to get the best prices.

So you’ve got roughly six to seven weeks to make plans, find a good fare and get it done.

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