Airfare for fall European vacations can offer much better deals than going in the summer

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Europe's not the only plum, though

Flights to popular European destinations are up 29% overall compared to 2022 – and that’s only so far this year. Since summer is the peak travel season for Europe, costs could rise even more from June to August with average airfare running upwards of $1,000.

TravelWeekly says that Europe is proving so popular this year that even upscale travelers who haven't already booked could find themselves behind the 8-ball.

Is there a cure for those summertime blues? Yes. As ConsumerAffairs recently revealed, things like the “Goldilocks Window” and the “Greek Island Trick” can save summer travelers some serious cash if they're willing to work the system. 

But, we wondered what deals we could score if we pushed our European travel plans until fall – when the kids are back in school and flights and destinations are not as packed as they would be in June or July.

In-betweasons: the sweet spot for great fares

According to our sources at KAYAK, the “In-betweasons” – March and April, October and November – are the sweet spot for better fares over the peak time of May through September. KAYAK’s researchers shared data fare prices with ConsumerAffairs that, depending on the U.S.-Europe routes, showed savings of up to 45% if a traveler can wait until the calendar is flipped from September to October.

Examples that KAYAK listed for October vs. this July include Portland Ore., to Dublin Ireland for $576 in October vs. $1,053 in July; Chicago to Madrid for $527 vs. $1,127 in July; and Miami to Lisbon for $510 vs. $1,152 in July.

Oddly enough, the fare prices for some point-to-point destinations within the U.S. can actually go up in the fall, like New York to Austin, Phoenix, New Orleans, and Miami, or Los Angeles to Chicago. 

To give you an idea of the price dynamics from June to October, KAYAK’s researchers sent over these comparisons using New York and Los Angeles for the five most searched destinations both domestically and internationally: 

New York (flights originating in NYC)*

Top Domestic Destinations

June

October

Top International Destinations

June

October

Miami

$260

$227 (-12%)

London, England

$848

$604 (-29%)

Los Angeles

$491

$375 (-23%)

Paris, France

$959

$673 (-30%)

Las Vegas

$501

$451 (-10%)

Rome, Italy

$1,303

$713 (-45%)

Phoenix

$441

$444 (+1%)

Cancun, Mexico

$549

$485 (-12%)

New Orleans

$310

$378 (+22%)

Athens, Greece

$1,395

$923 (-34%)

Los Angeles (flights originating in LA)*

Top Domestic Destinations

June

October

Top International Destinations

June

October

Honolulu

$510

$376 (-26%)

Tokyo, Japan

$1,047

$758 (-28%)

New York City

$475

$368 (-22%) 

London, England

$1,219

$954 (-22%)

Boston

$528

$403 (-23%)

Paris, France

$1,440

$1,229 (-15%)

Chicago

$410

$436 (+6%)

Manila, Philippines

$1,448

$947 (-35%)

Washington, D.C.

$522

$352 (-33%)

Cancun, Mexico

$545

$39 (-28%)

Europe’s not the only plum

Even though Europe offers the biggest savings, it’s not the only place Americans can go for less. KAYAK said the next three biggest savings destinations are:

  • The Caribbean, a mostly winter destination for Americans, offers savings of up to 24% on in-betweason flights compared to peak travel season ($465 vs $610 median prices).
  • Africa is where you can save as much as 20% on in-betweason flights to northern destinations ($801 – $1,010 vs $546 – $638 median prices) and up to 25% on flights to southern destinations ($1,068 – $1,339 vs $1,282 – $1,604 median prices).
  • South America, where travelers can save up to 19% on in-betweason flights to northern destinations ($482 – $578 vs $546 – $638 median prices) and up to 24% on flights to southern destinations ($591 – $1132 vs $591 – $1,110 median prices).

*Methodology: KAYAK considered searches for flights originating in New York and Los Angeles from 1/1/23 - 3/26/23 for anytime in 2023. The most popular destinations (with the largest volume of searches) were considered, with only one destination per state for domestic travel and one destination per country for international travel. To determine average flight price, KAYAK considered searches 1/1/23 - 3/26/23 for travel during the month of June (6/1/23 - 6/30/23) and the month of October (10/1/23 - 10/31/23). Prices are on average.

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