First the bad news: Airfares are up across the board. There is, however, one notable exception: Toronto. Our neighbor to the north is actually less expensive to get to than it was this time last year; 3 percent less. Travel in April for shoulder-season prices.
Staying in-country this summer? August is the month to go, when prices drop compared to June and July. Travelers who can wait until September will find even bigger savings, as the average domestic airfare plummets to $269.97. And the added benefit of waiting a few weeks? The crowds disperse as school heads back into session.
If overcrowded flights and sweaty seatmates aren't appealing, consider skipping summer travel altogether. Fly instead in one of the less popular months to increase your odds of getting a little elbow room and some space to recline.
The study showed that only 5 percent of searchers were interested in flying in January, a mere 6 percent in February, and only 7 percent in September and October. April, November, and December each came in at 8 percent of search queries.
Another bonus to flying in the off-season? February and March had the lowest fares for international travel, hovering around a $950 average. But hold off on booking: 21 to 35 days ahead of departure offers the best rates.
Some destinations are growing in popularity faster than they're growing in price, and still make for excellent, and excellently priced, getaways.
In the U.S., Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, and Denver topped the list of popular destinations in 2012. Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, Tokyo, Mumbai, and Nashville each saw an increase in visitors in 2012, without the accompanying rate spike that usually accompanies such popularity.
The exception is London. That destination saw a nearly 30 percent increase in fares due to last summer's Olympics. While some of those price hikes will abate in 2013, the U.K. metropolis will always be a more expensive destination, and perfect for those off-season, less expensive (albeit colder) trips.