April 12, 2023

Expedia Summer Travel Forecast: Flight Searches Up 25%, Interest Surging for International Destinations

U.S. travelers are in it for the long haul, with New Zealand, Japan and Vietnam among the summer's trending hotspots

Yesterday, Expedia® released its Summer Travel Forecast. According to Expedia data, flight searches are up 25% overall for June through August compared to the same time last year, and interest is up triple digits for international destinations across Europe and Asia. In addition, average ticket prices drop $125 from their peak in early July to August.

"This summer, travelers are clearly ready to dust off their passports and embrace jet lag as they set off overseas," says Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group brands public relations. "The data shows the sweet spot for saving on summer airfare is right around the corner, but these days you can actually guarantee you're getting a great deal by tracking flights on the Expedia app or adding Price Drop Protection to your flight, which automatically refunds you if the price drops after you book."

Summer Destination Trends

While U.S. travelers are returning in droves to popular destinations including New York and Cancun, the biggest year-over-year increases are for longer-haul destinations including Auckland, Hong Kong and Osaka. Despite average flight ticket prices sitting higher than last summer, strong demand trends indicate travelers are ready to make the most out of their summer vacations.

Top Summer Destinations
*Based on Expedia flight demand as of April 1, 2023, for travel during June to August

Since reopening its borders last fall, Japan continues to see incredible interest and is one of the fastest-growing international destinations year-to-date for U.S. travelers. Flight searches for summer are up triple digits compared to the same time period last year for Osaka (+592%), Tokyo (+290%) and Kyoto (+265%).

How to Save on Summer Travel

The sweet spot to save on domestic airfare and save around 8% is 21 to 60 days out, while Americans planning summer trips abroad should book as soon as possible for the best rates.

Best Times to Fly
*Based on Expedia flight demand as of April 1, 2023, for travel during June to August

To save on airfare, travel during late August and avoid holiday weekends. Average ticket prices drop an average of $125 compared to the peak in early July. Meanwhile, the July Fourth weekend is currently the busiest and most expensive weekend of the summer for air travel. ATPs for the holiday weekend are 12% higher than average for the month.

Tips for navigating travel disruptions:

  • According to Expedia's 2023 Air Travel Hacks Report, departing before 3 p.m. cuts your chance of flight cancellation in half, so take the early flight.
  • Demand is high, and airlines are still operating fewer flights than pre-pandemic. That means full flights are expected this summer, so make sure you arrive at the airport early and give yourself plenty of time to get through security.
  • Pack light and take a carry-on. That way, there's less chance your luggage gets lost in situations of delays or cancellations.
  • Check your passport expiration date and make sure it's valid for a minimum of 6 months past your travel dates.

Copyright 2023 Expedia, Inc., an Expedia Group company. All rights reserved. From https://www.expedia.com.

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