How to Book Cheap Flights for Summer 2021 Travel
As the vaccine continues to roll out, travelers are becoming more confident about booking travel, but they’re still looking for certainty, so they’re cautious about which destinations to choose.
Currently, there’s a huge increase in bookings for Sep-Nov 2021. Not everyone is looking for bargains though, as people want to be able to travel where they want to go.
Interestingly, according to an in-depth Skyscanner report that was recently released,
"39% of consumers are planning trips for longer than 14 days, with 'extended holidays' (56%) and 'visiting friends and family' (52%) the top reasons."
That percentage of people planning long trips is FAR higher than what we'd normally see around this time of year, and it points towards a lot of pent-up demand, which is understandable considering the extended lockdowns many parts of the world have been experiencing. For example, in the UK, they were locked down (all shops apart from supermarkets, restaurants, entertainment and most services were closed) from January through mid-April 2021!
It’s also interesting to note that the reasons why some people are still put off from booking any travel, according to the same SkyScanner study:
"40% of consumers polled said that quarantine is the biggest deterrent for booking international travel, followed by testing (28%) and there being too many restrictions (27%)"
To get up to the minute accurate information about what the entry restrictions are for various countries around the world, here's a great resource.
www.TravelRestrictions.com has up to date information on entry requirements
Airlines, hotels, cruise lines and car rental companies are all desperate for travel to resume asap, so the incentives and low prices will continue until at least mid-summer, my guess is around July, but we'll likely see further widespread sales in September and again in November.
The best time for you to book your Summer travel is now, in May. If you're worried you may have missed the boat, relax. It’s definitely not too late to make bookings unless you have zero flexibility on your dates or destinations.
The cheapest times to fly in the Summer vary according to the destination. Some cities are cheaper at the weekends, others are cheaper during the week. The peak prices for some are in July, for others it's August. Bear in mind too that some destinations are actually cheaper in the summer months, because the temperature is extremely hot - that includes popular places like Hawaii, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, and Miami.
The 'Advanced Calendar’ view in Google Flights (a very handy free tool) allows you to look at flight prices 60 days ahead or behind the dates you enter, so you easily monitor the price fluctuations. (We did a tutorial video on how to use this feature of Google flights - you can watch it here: https://www.travelproshow.com/blog/How-to-Find-Cheap-Flights-las-vegas)
The 'price graph' view in Google Flights lets you see prices for 60 days around your search, and shows how prices are fluctuating over time. In this example, there is a $200 price difference.
Airlines are offering particularly good deals on travel packages right now, that means a bundle of air/hotel and sometimes car rental. Often these package offers are either cheaper than the airfare alone, or sometimes just a few dollars more, making them phenomenal value!
To find the best package deals, I recommend first searching your preferred airlines. Links to packages from the most popular airlines are listed below:
Also, register for promotional emails from those airlines so you’ll be the first to know about any sales. Alternatively, you can use tools like Google Flights or Kayak.com to focus on finding the best flight deals.
A bonus tip for you.... If you're planning a trip with young kids that involves a long-haul flight, consider investing in one of these ingenious suitcases that turns into a bed that works with any economy class seat. Genius, right!? It's available from Jet
This is a very strange time, isn't it? Most of us expected travel to resume earlier than it has, but the pandemic just keeps extending and surprising us all. Right now, the future is still uncertain, but vaccines are enabling many people to step out for the first time and travel with more confidence, which is good news for the entire travel industry.
For more information on this topic, here's another helpful article.
What are your thoughts about traveling in the Summer and Fall of 2021? Are you nervous, or do you feel confident because of the vaccine? Are you planning to travel somewhere new, or somewhere familiar? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below...