The good news is that by using a little strategy, you can still find some travel deals — including for later this year.
“If you look at the cost of travel for earlier in the summer through the Memorial Day holiday till now, gosh, it’s shocking how expensive things have been,” money expert Clark Howard says. “But if you look a month from now, mid-August and later, prices are so much better. I’ve seen the trend and it’s your and my friend.”
When Is the Best Time To Find Late Summer and Fall Travel Deals?
Clark says now is the best time to find travel deals starting in mid-August, which is when many U.S. children are going back to school.
“This is the sweet spot now if you’re looking to book travel. As you look further into the fall corridor, it’s not the cheapest we’ve ever seen,” he adds, “but just so you know and remember, the price is not necessarily the price. It’s always great to reshop.”
How To Find Late Summer Travel Deals Right Now
Book Affordable Hotel Rooms
According to research data from accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers, the average occupancy rate for U.S. hotels is expected to be around 63.4%. That means that the vacancy rate will typically be more than 30% unless the hotel is packed for a large event. If that’s the case, you can expect room rates to increase.
“But what often happens most of the time is that on a typical night, as you get close to arrival, the prices go down,” Clark says.
Clark usually finds hotel deals by using aggregators sites like Hotwire and Priceline. Although the sites use an “opaque” pricing model, which allows you to see general information about the hotel but hides its name and exact location until after you’ve booked, Clark has found ways to take much of the guesswork out.
Search for Cheap Airfares Online
Clark also saves tons of money on travel by following his #1 Travel Rule:
“The key rule when you want to save money is you find a deal and then figure out why you want to go there, instead of picking a date and a destination and saying, ‘What’s the cheapest fare there?’”
Save on the Road
But whether you decide to rent or drive your own car, make sure you are strategic about where and when you stop for gas to save even more.
“The deals are not going to be true bargains, but much better than the brutal prices you’ve been seeing,” Clark says. “I’ve booked some incredibly cheap airfares recently. So there are opportunities for you to save and get back in the travel mode.”