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Summer vacation cost forecast: Cloudy with a chance of savings

May 06, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
  • Best time for a budget-minded summer vacation is August, online retailers say.
Best time for a budget-minded summer vacation is August, online retailers… (Richard Derk )

Advice for summer travelers: Plan on a late-summer vacation to find the best prices. If online travel retailers are reading the tea leaves correctly, August might be the wallet-friendly sweet spot this year.

Priceline says June and August will be the cheapest times to fly domestically, and August will offer best airfares for international travelers. It also found that airline tickets cost about 1% more than last summer. 

“Internationally, tourists can keep costs in check by traveling in August, but they’ll have lots of company, as that’s when Europeans traditionally take summer holiday,” Priceline spokesman Brian Ek said in a statement. The company based its recommendations on a sample of 30 days of summer airfare purchases.

Hotwire's State of Summer Travel Report also says travel costs are up. Travelers can expect to pay 4% more for domestic flights and hotels than 2012, it found. Hotwire also recommends August as "the most affordable month to fly," the company said in a statement. The exception: 38% discount found on the popular New York City-Los Angeles route.

Deal-worthy hotel spots include Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where fewer business travelers may mean deals as hotels try to woo leisure travelers. And Washington, D.C., is showing discounts of 50% at good hotels too.

Car renters can expect to spend 7% more this year when they hit the road at their destination. "It’s believed that industry consolidation and smaller fleets are what have led to price increases over the past year leading into this year," Hotwire's report says.

The company recommends traveling on Fridays and Saturdays for lower prices, and extending a midweek rental to seven days to receive the weekly discount rate.

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com
Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.

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