As the summer travel season arrives, many people are itching to go on a trip despite the rise in flight prices (+35% YoY) and economic headwinds. According to KAYAK, a leading travel search engine, traveler searches on their platform are up +20% compared to last year, indicating a continued interest in travel. To help travelers navigate the sticker shock, KAYAK has launched a new tool called “Best Time to Travel” to help determine the optimal times to fly and book for the best pricing and overall trip experience.
KAYAK’s Best Time to Travel tool incorporates predictive data from billions of travel queries to forecast future flight and hotel prices to help travelers compare pricing against weather and seasonality information. With over 280,000 routes to choose from, the tool provides information on the best month to visit a destination based on several factors such as price, crowds, and weather.
To get started, travelers need to enter their home airport, final destination, and choose from KAYAK’s popular trip lengths, such as 4, 7, or 14 days. The tool will then return the best month to visit, along with a breakdown of the average, minimum, and maximum flight prices for every month of the year. For instance, KAYAK highlights October as the best time of the year for New Yorkers to visit Barcelona, one of KAYAK’s most popular summer travel destinations, due to low flight prices, good weather, and fewer crowds. Flight prices to Barcelona are typically highest during the summer months (May through August) and cheapest during the shoulder season months like October and November.
After nailing down the best month to travel, KAYAK’s calendar view provides a yearly overview of how flight prices change depending on the dates travelers choose. For example, for a 7-day trip to Barcelona, leaving on October 30th and returning on November 5th will be the best option.
Once travelers know where and when they plan to travel, the tool advises when to book flights and hotels to maximize savings. For a 7-day trip to Barcelona, KAYAK recommends booking the flight by August 16th and the hotel no later than one week before. For those who are not ready to book, the tool also offers a Price Alert option for travelers to track the rise and fall of prices for flights or hotels they are interested in.
According to Matt Clarke, VP of North America Marketing at KAYAK, “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.” The Best Time to Travel tool aims to simplify the travel planning process with data-driven insights to help travelers make informed decisions.
In addition to the Best Time to Travel tool, KAYAK offers several resources to help users find the best travel deals, such as their Explore feature, which allows users to search for cheap flights to many destinations at once, and their Price Trend feature, which shows the average price for a flight to a particular destination over time. Overall, these tools can help travelers navigate the complexities of travel pricing, so they can have a memorable trip without breaking the bank.