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Airfare, gas prices down for summer vacation season, studies show

By
Eric DuVall
The airfare tracking app Hopper predicts airfare will hit a seven-year low for summer travel, with the average domestic flight costing $240 round trip in June. The American Automobile Association also says gas prices should be noticeably lower this summer than past years, meaning whether you fly or drive, the summer vacation should cost less than in years past. Photo by Iryna Rasko/Shutterstock
The airfare tracking app Hopper predicts airfare will hit a seven-year low for summer travel, with the average domestic flight costing $240 round trip in June. The American Automobile Association also says gas prices should be noticeably lower this summer than past years, meaning whether you fly or drive, the summer vacation should cost less than in years past. Photo by Iryna Rasko/Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, May 10 (UPI) -- As millions of Americans cast an eye toward summer travel season there's good news: Whether flying or driving, it appears summer traveling will be cheaper than it has been in several years.

The American Automobile Association's gas price tracker shows nationwide, the cost of a gallon of gasoline has hovered between 35 and 45 cents cheaper now than it was at this time last year. While gas prices tend to spike in the summer months due to increased demand during travel season, AAA says prices should remain lower than they have been the last several years.

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"Retail averages have historically fluctuated during this time of year, and although the overall price at the pump is beginning to trend higher, gas prices during this year's summer driving should remain noticeably discounted in comparison to previous years," AAA said in its monthly travel report published last week.

The average price for a gallon of gas nationally held steady this week at $2.20, AAA reported Tuesday.

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While the specter of cheap gas might sound tempting for travelers, the airfare projection app Hopper says summer flights could be at a seven-year low, making the decision on how to get somewhere a little more difficult.

Like with gasoline costs, air travel becomes more expensive at peak times. Prices are expected to increase 5.6 percent in May, according to Hopper. But overall, the cost of an average domestic flight in the United States should peak at about $240 round trip in June, which would constitute a major savings for travelers.

Hopper projects summer airfare will be down about 12 percent from last year and a whopping 20 percent from two years ago.

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With the cheap flights both domestically and internationally, Hopper said the largest increase in airfare searches on its app are Americans looking to travel to Australia and New Zealand. Searches for destinations in Europe have also increased thanks to the cheaper costs.

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