NEW YORK (MainStreet) — July 4th bargains exist for travelers, but know this: there are not that many, you need to know where to go and you also need to know where not to go. Now is prime-time to act. Prices, especially for airfare, are likely only to get higher on a weekend that shapes up as costly across the board.
Many factors have converged to push up costs for air travel and hotels alike. “July 4 is one of the most expensive holidays,” said Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at Hopper, a company that tracks and analyzes airfare data. Lots of us are on the move and that means this is not the season of deep discounts.
Gasoline is a bright spot - $2.75 per gallon now on average nationwide, compared to $3.65 a year ago, per the AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. If you can drive where you want to go, do it this Independence Day.
You want something different, farther away? Overall, airfares actually are down a 4% from 2014 according to Hopper. But some cities are painfully expensive. Noted Hopper: “Las Vegas, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City [top] the list of most popular destinations. It will be harder to score a last-minute deal to these destinations, and they will likely be the most crowded.”
More advice from Skyscanner, another company that tracks airfares, is that to find the best deal, “American should stay on the same coast.” That means don’t plan a San Francisco getaway from Boston, or a Cape Cod holiday from Seattle.