We already know this summer is shaping up to be a busy one for travelers.
There’s good news for domestic travelers. Flights within the U.S. are nearly 20% cheaper this summer than last, according to the latest research from flight-tracking app Hopper.
Unfortunately, for those hoping to go across the pond this summer to Europe or take advantage of Japan’s now open borders, you’ll be paying big bucks for airfare.
Summer travel is expensive.Here’s why flight prices heat up when the weather does
Should I book my summer travel now?Travel experts share how to find the best deals.
Learn more: Best travel insurance
In Hopper’s new 2023 Summer Travel Outlook report, Hopper travel experts found that international airfare is the highest it has been in over five years.
“Last summer demand was primarily focused on domestic trips, as travel restrictions and testing requirements limited access to some countries, while tourism to others remained completely closed,” said Hayley Berg, Hopper’s lead economist.
The app’s most-searched international destinations were London, Paris, Tokyo, Rome and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Other popular Asian destinations include Beijing, Taipei, Osaka and Bali. In Europe, lots of Hopper users want to visit some off-the-beaten-path destinations like the Azores and the Canary Islands.
To learn more about international summer travel, read below.
How expensive are flights to Europe and Asia this summer?
For a summertime flight to Europe, expect to pay an average $1,167 a ticket. This is 36% more than last year’s average costs.
A ticket to Asia will cost even more – an average $1,817, 62% more than before the pandemic. Many travelers are itching to visit Asian destinations like Japan since it opened its borders within the past year.
Why are international flights so expensive this summer?
We can blame surging demand.
“Demand for international trips continues to outpace last summer, especially among Hopper’s millennial and Gen Z user base,” according to Berg. Last summer, 32% of searches were for international destinations, but this year is seeing a 19% increase.
Another factor that’s causing more expensive flights is jet fuel prices, which have been the highest since late 2014. Long-haul flights especially feel the pressure.
Capacity is a problem, too. Domestic airlines have caught up with the increased capacity in the past two years, but international flights are still working on that. The skyrocketing demand doesn’t make it easier.
Should we expect any travel disruptions this summer?
We can expect to see some travel disruptions, but nothing as bad as we’ve seen earlier, the report said. Airports and airlines have finally begun to improve staffing and recover their schedules, so things should be running relatively smoothly.
According to Hopper, delay rates for this year are at or below last year’s. Cancellation rates for this year are consistently lower, too. But because this summer is shaping up to be so busy, be sure to be prepared to encounter some disruptions.
Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org