Mike Timmermann, Clark.com
Great news for budget travelers! If you plan to fly this year, you can expect lower ticket prices and more flight options, according to a study released by Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation.
Why 2017 is great year for cheap travel
After analyzing travel data from around the world in 2016, the New Heights for Air Travel report found that the average ticket price for economy round-trip and one-way tickets fell to their lowest point since 2013.
“Flights to certain destinations are some of the cheapest I’ve ever seen. For example, flying Frontier from Atlanta to Los Angeles, you can find fares for as low as $127 round-trip!” said Clark Deals producer Charis Brown. “The key is flying on certain days of the week, and you might have to pick a very early or very late flight to get the deal.”
While fares are dropping, air capacity is up about 5% worldwide, meaning that more airlines are flying more planes to more destinations.
Together, these circumstances may make it easier for you to book a dream vacation in 2017.
Read more: These 35 hotel chains offer free breakfast
The best day of the week to book
To save the most money on your trip, the report found that Sunday is by far the best day to book a domestic flight, saving an average of 11% over Friday.
Since business travelers tend to reserve flights at the end of the week, Fridays are considered the worst day to book.
In addition to booking on a Sunday, buying a ticket at least 21 days in advance will result in a lower price, the study found. The savings can be as much as 30%!
The study also said there’s an opportunity to save by booking your flight and hotel simultaneously.
Read more: These are the quietest seats on an airplane
Clark’s secret to finding the cheapest flights possible
If you’ve been following Clark for a while, you know that his #1 rule of cheap travel is to buy a deal first and then figure out why you want to go there!
Clark really likes Kayak’s Explore tool to help you find the lowest round-trip prices for destinations worldwide.
Once you’ve identified where you want to go (or perhaps you already knew), head to Google Flights to narrow in on the specific flights that are available when you want to travel.
Google’s search displays nearly all flight options, Southwest Airlines excluded, almost instantly.
Aside from its impressive speed, Clark likes how Google Flights highlights ways to save money by making slight modifications to your itinerary — like changing your return date by a day or two.
And if you’re not ready to book quite yet, you can turn on email notifications to track price changes.
Finally, have you heard about Scott’s Cheap Flights? You can sign up for either a free or paid subscription and have cheap flight deals delivered to your inbox all the time!