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Where to fly on a budget this summer

This summer is , and the demand for summer travel is piping hot, too. If trends are any indication of what’s to come, “it’s looking to be busier than 2023,” said Katy Nastro, spokesperson for the flight booking site . Recent numbers have regularly last year and pre-pandemic levels.

Jeff Klee, CEO of , says airline capacity has rebounded from pandemic complications, but strong travel demand means summer flight prices can be high, depending on when you’re hoping to go. Flying in June, July or early August will be more expensive than later in the season, according to the company’s summer .

“And it’s not just the airfare,” Klee said in an email. “Expensive hotel rates and crowds everywhere make Western Europe tricky for the summer.”

Despite the price tag, “people are going to go,” said Melanie Fish, the head of global public relations for all Expedia Brands, including Vrbo, Expedia and . “When we look at searches for destinations, they are definitely up year over year.”

For popular destinations like , Klee and Fish say to push trips later into August, September or even October. Not only will prices soften, but you’ll alleviate some of the strain of .

“My number one tip is go ahead and take that summer vacation, but maybe hold on to take that big, big trip in September,” Fish said.

According to Expedia’s summer 2024 travel , we’re currently in the sweet spot for shopping for early summer flights at the best rates, as Fish says lower fares tend to pop up 21 to 60 days out. It doesn’t hurt to start your search even earlier, to flag when airfare drops. If you can swing it, look to fly on a Monday for international trips or a Tuesday for domestic trips to save up to 15 percent on fares, Fish added.

It’s not impossible to find good deals on airfare, whether you’re looking for a tropical , a mountain adventure or a vibrant city. Here are places that are trending cheaper — and the destinations you’ll want to avoid.

Go to Mexico

Sun, surf, culture, chilaquiles — , but particularly so this summer. With the opening of the , U.S. airlines have been adding gobs of new flights to Mexico, particularly to beach regions. “We’ve seen a healthy amount of deals down to Mexico resort areas like Cancún,” Nastro said.

Laura Lindsay, global travel trends expert at , says three Mexican cities — — are among the top 10 destinations offering travelers the best bang for their buck in 2024.

To escape the summer heat, Phyllis Stoller, president of the , recommends high-altitude destinations like Mexico City or Ixtapan de la Sal, a town near Mexico City with thermal springs.