Sorry for interrupting your holiday planning, but ConsumerAffairs travel geeks have learned that international airfares are dropping like crazy. The window for these deals might not be open for long, so if you can act fast and apply some “travel math,” you could save big.
Travel math? Yep, but it’s simple math, we promise.
“Travel Math is paying for your 2024 trips now so it feels like a free trip later while also pocketing extra cash for future vacations,” Kayla Inserra Deloache, the consumer travel trends expert for KAYAK, told ConsumerAffairs.
Deloache said that most people typically book their international trips four months or less in advance when the truly sweet spot for a great price is really about eight months before for many international regions. Her research team crunched the numbers and found that by booking your trip sooner – and shooting for mid-July 2024 or later – you could save between 5%-18% on average.
“As of now, international flight prices are scoped to be 10% more expensive for 2024, so playing the waiting game could cost you. This is especially true for flights to Asia, which are forecasted to go up 5% each month starting four months out, the closer you get to the departure date,” she theorized.
The best travel math hacks for 2024
Staying at home is so … so yesterday. Searches for international travel are trending upwards of 28% year-over-year (YoY). A lot of that interest is focused on Asia where internet searches are up a whopping 26% YoY.
One reason is that the U.S. dollar is very strong overseas. Take Japan for example.
“Japan may seem unattainable for most Americans due to the high airfare prices. But many don’t realize that lodging, the cost of food, and the yen all highly favor anyone with the U.S. dollar,” writes Kiplinger’s Quincy Williamson.
And once you’re in Japan, you’re only a hop, skip, and jump to other Asian countries like South Korea and Vietnam, other dollar-strong destinations.
Where else can you go overseas and feel good about your purchase? ConsumerAffairs asked KAYAK to use its travel math formula and tell us what they found to be the best international fares for 2024. Here’s their month-by-month breakdown:
KAYAK’s Monthly Deal Destinations
Beijing, China - 22% decrease in airfare YoY
Reykjavik, Iceland - 17% decrease in airfare YoY
Shanghai, China - 27% decrease in airfare YoY
Edinburgh, Scotland - 9% decrease in airfare YoY
Taipei City, Taiwan - 16% decrease in airfare YoY
Zagreb, Croatia - 37% decrease in airfare YoY
Shanghai, China - 17% decrease in airfare YoY
Nice, France - 10% decrease in airfare YoY
Phuket City, Thailand - 28% decrease in airfare YoY
Stockholm, Sweden - 14% decrease in airfare YoY
Bali, Indonesia - 12% decrease in airfare YoY
Manchester, England - 12% decrease in airfare YoY
Tokyo, Japan - 6% decrease in airfare YoY
London, England- 12% decrease in airfare YoY
Hola a todos!
Another travel destination that’s becoming so yesterday may be the Caribbean. The Caribbean has earned a nasty reputation for being one of the most dangerous locales in the Americas. Comparatively, Americans are finding that Mexico is pretty safe, but in a bang-for-buck sense, Mexico – especially the interior of the country – is loaded with culture and "muy" cheap travel costs.
According to a fare search that ConsumerAffairs did on KAYAK, it would cost $600 or more to fly from Cincinnati to Aruba in mid-July, but Deloache said that if you’re willing to be flexible, you can snag a flight to Mexico City, for example, for under $300 this January.
One of the reasons airfare to Mexico is a good deal is that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted some restrictions on routes to Mexico and that opened the floodgates.
Scott Keyes at Going.com told ConsumerAffairs that Aeromexico just announced 17 new US-Mexico routes, including departures from New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and elsewhere.
Budget carrier Viva Aerobus also announced five new U.S. destinations, including Austin, Denver, Miami, Oakland, and Orlando. And Delta just announced a new route from Atlanta to Tulum starting in March 2024.
“Why is this all great news for travelers? Because the single most important driver of cheap fares is how much competition there is between airlines. More flights equals cheaper flights,” Keyes said.