The official start of summer is just a few weeks away, which means summer vacations aren’t far behind. But if you’re in the midst of planning your seasonal getaway, you may have noticed that prices for everything feel sky-high — because they are. According to Kayak, flight prices are 35 percent higher than they were last year, making vacation feel out of reach. But fear not, as the platform also has a new solution. It’s called the “Best Time to Travel tool.”
Kayak dropped its new tool (it really, really loves its savings tools), which it says can help travelers find the best times to fly throughout the year, along with when to book to get the best price. Here’s how it works.
The Best Time to Travel tool utilizes “predictive data,” which analyzes “billions of travel queries to forecast future flight and hotel prices so travelers can easily compare pricing against weather and seasonality information to determine the best time to travel for their next trip,” according to a statement Kayak released.
“By adding data points like projected crowds and weather forecasts into the trip-planning process, travelers can make more informed decisions about where to go and when while also anticipating the associated costs,” Matt Clarke, VP of North America Marketing at Kayak, said in the statement. “We’ve all asked ourselves, ‘Do I book now before prices go up, or wait to see if they go down?’ With the launch of Kayak’s Best Time to Travel tool, you are no longer left guessing, we’re using our data to give travelers the information they need to make decisive actions and ultimately simplify the planning process for everyone.”
To use the tool, travelers just need to pop in their home airport and the intended destination and choose from one of three trip lengths — four, seven, or 14 days, a.k.a. the most common lengths of trips booked on Kayak. It will then pop out data on which month to go.
For example, I chose a trip from Boston Logan Airport to Los Angeles International, taking a seven-day trip. Kayak then recommended I take my trip in October, adding in its response, “…you should travel to Los Angeles in October. Why? Because airfare is lower than what you’d usually see, weather will still be good (expect daily temps around 68°F), and it’s likely you won’t see a lot of crowds.”
It also provided a breakdown of the best month for flight prices (in my hypothetical trip’s case, it says September is the time to book, when the average flight price starts at $257), along with average hotel rates. For the trip to Los Angeles, Kayak advised me, “Stays in Los Angeles usually have a daily rate of around $255, but can go for as low as $164 a night.”
Not specific enough for you? Well, you can narrow down results even further. Select which month you’d like travel, and the tool will give you a specific date for the best price. I chose to continue my fall trip to Los Angeles, picking the month of October. Kayak’s tool then replied, “Take your trip from Saturday, Oct. 28 to Friday, Nov. 3. That’s when you’ll find cheaper prices for a seven-day trip to Los Angeles during October. If you go then, prices can be as low as $261 — which is a great deal when you compare it to a monthly average of $311.”
There’s more: the tool then will tell you exactly when to book your trip. For mine, it told me I should be booking right now, as flight prices will likely only increase from here. So, I guess I’m going. Who’s with me?
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This New Kayak Tool Will Tell You When to Book Your Travel for the Best Price — and I Put It to the Test