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Travel blog

February
29

2012 Spring Break Fareology Forecast: Airfare Up 4% from 2011

Spring is in the air and spring break is around the corner. For those of you who haven’t locked down your getaway plans, we’ve enlisted the Fareologists at Bing Travel to help. The team has scoured millions of round-trip itineraries to give you the lowdown on the spring travel landscape as well as tips on how you can break away without breaking the bank.

Here are the highlights:

  • Overall, airfare is up 4.1 percent from the 2011 spring break travel season. 
  • If you’re headed somewhere warm for spring break, expect to pay a little more this year, as ticket prices to warm destinations are expected to be up nearly 16 percent – from $406 in 2011 to an average of $468 this year.
  • Domestic airfares are expected to remain flat, with tickets averaging $325 this year, compared with $323 in 2011.
  • Spring break flights to Europe have increased nearly 11 percent, from $815 in 2011 to an average of $907 this year.

While the overall forecast calls for higher prices, deals can still be had for those who are willing to be creative.

  • Be flexible. The best (cheapest) weeks to travel this spring break season are the last two weeks of April, when prices are expected to be down 4 percent from last year, averaging $419 and $376, respectively. So if your schedule allows, consider rearranging your travel dates to save a few bucks this year.
  • Expand your horizons. Whether you’re looking for a wild spring break or a romantic getaway, options are available. For example, Alexandria, Va., America’s "Most Romantic City," has an average ticket price of  $356, while the "Best City for Singles," New Orleans, averages $351.
  • Make international trips fit your budget. Spring break flights to Europe have increased nearly 11 percent – from $815 in 2011, to an average of $907 this year. If the price increase doesn’t scare you away and you’re still headed abroad, consider departing from the New York City area, as flights to Europe from John F. Kennedy International Airport ($807) and Newark Liberty International Airport ($835) are the cheapest.
  • Don’t unpack your swimsuit just yet. After a long winter, an excursion to someplace warm sounds fabulous -- until you see the ticket prices and realize that a trip to someplace sunny will cost you a pretty penny. For example, flights to Cancun, Mexico, make up 60 percent of the top five price increases for five-day trips, with flights to Miami and Orlando, Fla., rounding out the biggest jumps. Deals can be had, however. While still on the high end, airfare to Houston decreased 1 percent from last year – the only warm destination expected to decrease from 2011 – averaging $704.
    Above was just a snapshot of what you can expect this spring break. Keep in mind that airlines do offer last-minute travel deals and bundled travel packages throughout the year – it’s a good idea to check Bing Price Predictor and Hotel Rate Indicator frequently to see what’s available. Even better – set up Bing Travel Alerts so you can know-on-the-go.

- Kari Dilloo, Bing

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