7 On Your Side talks to an expert for tips on summer travel that won't break the bank

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Monday, May 22, 2023
From Morning Edition: How to save on summer travel
This is the first full summer with no COVID flight restriction and no vaccine requirements, which means demand is soaring for flights. Nina Pineda has details.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- This is the first full summer with no COVID flight restrictions and no vaccine requirements, which means demand is soaring for flights.

But there are fewer seats as air carriers, especially international airlines are still not operating at capacity. High demand and low supply mean high prices.

So how can you take off without breaking the bank? 7 On Your Side Reporter Nina Pineda talks to some travel experts to give you the best travel tips for this summer.

Travel app Hopper's lead economist Hayley Berg shared that the surging prices for international travel to Europe from the U.S. are at a five-year high. The same can be seen for destinations in Asia, you'll shell out close to $2,000 just for coach!

"You are going to be paying the highest fares you've paid in five to seven years," Berg said.

International airfare from New York City is currently averaging $1,030 round-trip, about a 40% increase from last year, but domestic flights from the city dropped 20% lower than last summer with an average $275 round-trip cost.

"If you haven't booked your August vacation you should book now," Berg said. "Prices are going to be volatile for the next two weeks or so and then from there only increase."

Look for fare sales, like Hopper's flash pop-up that expires this weekend. You can score discounts on travel to popular U.S. cities like Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando, but expect to pay up to 50% more for hotel stays.

U.S. hotels are averaging about $237 per night.

But you can save by flying out midweek, flights departing on Tuesday or Wednesday are about $56 cheaper.

Also, consider a vacation in an off-peak month like September in what's called "shoulder season." Tough for families with school-age kids but you'll shave a lot off your bottom line.

"Everyone wants to go in June July, August," Berg said. "Weather is still great in top destinations there's going to be fewer crowds."

To avoid the headache of a summer meltdown of delays and cancellations like we've seen recently book a flight that departs before 8 a.m.

"Getting up early pays off if you take the first flight you are significantly less likely to be delayed or canceled," Berg said.

She also advised considering adding trip insurance for your investment or protection against travel disruption.

"Trip protection is much more targeted so that if you experience a long delay at the airport or a cancellation," Berg said. "And you're not going to end up out of pocket."

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