The bad news: If you’re still planning your summer vacation travel, it may already be too late to lock in the most affordable rates if you’re staying within the United States. According to the travel website Hipmunk, April would have been the cheapest month to buy a round-trip domestic flight, based on its data analysis comparing booking from last year to this year. The good news: You could still score a huge discount this summer by looking abroad.
“We’ve been seeing lower prices to international cities where new flight routes have opened, or low-cost carriers have expanded, and competition has increased,” said Adam Goldstein, Hipmunk’s chief executive.
To identify which international cities are trending cheaper, Hipmunk analyzed booking data from flights departing the United States and purchased between Jan. 1 and April 14 — with a departure and arrival date in June, July or August — and compared them to the same booking window from last year. Overall, average round-trip international airfare rates are slightly higher compared to last year — up one percent — but Hipmunk found several international cities where there are bargains to be had.
“Singapore is especially having a moment this summer, with demand up and prices down 30 percent year over year,” said Kelly Soderlund, Hipmunk’s content manager.
2018 round-trip price: $1,169, down 30 percent from 2017 ($1,659)
More travelers are singling out Singapore than ever before, as evidenced by record-setting arrival numbers of 17.4 million in 2017, according to the Singapore Tourism Board.
“Singapore is becoming increasing popular as a cosmopolitan business and tourist destination that is constantly reinventing itself, Ms. Soderlund said of Singapore. “New flight routes are opening, and tourism has been at an all-time high for the past two years.”
Getting there has become increasingly affordable in part because of new air routes coming from Singapore Airlines (New York and Los Angeles) and Norwegian Air (London). Food lovers thinking about a summer visit, take note of the annual Singapore Food Festival (July 13 to 29).
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2018 round-trip price: $446, down 28 percent from 2017 ($616)
It’s too late to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday — which the country celebrated last year — but there’s plenty happening in the capital.
The Ottawa Art Gallery recently unveiled its new space, which covers 5,500 square feet and five floors and includes two outdoor rooftop terraces. The inaugural exhibition, “Anishnābemowin — We’ll all become stories,” runs through Sept. 16 and explores the Ottawa-Gatineau region’s 6,500 years of history and art.
Elsewhere, the new art-focused boutique hotel Le Germain Ottawa is now open and highlights artwork from the Canadian photographer Julie Couture.
Scheduled for later this year is the opening of The Confederation Line, the first phase of Ottawa’s new multibillion-dollar light-rail line.
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2018 round-trip price: $1,017, down 25 percent from 2017 ($1,349)
One of our 52 Places to Go in 2017 is still generating buzz this summer. The Elbphilharmonie concert hall, which officially opened early last year, is the latest architectural highlight in Germany’s second city, joining a list of perennial favorites like the Warehouse District and the Church of St. Michael.
Additional routes from the Irish airline Ryanair are helping to drive prices down, Hipmunk said.
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2018 round-trip price: $1,109, down 18 percent from 2017 ($1,358)
Getting to Beijing from the United States got a whole lot easier late last year when American Airlines added a much-anticipated direct flight from Los Angeles.
2018 round-trip price: $1,547, down 15 percent from 2017 ($1,822)
There’s no way getting around the fact that flying from the United States to Australia takes a significant amount of time. But a new 17 hour and 30 minute direct route from Houston to Sydney on United Airlines has made the long haul slightly less painful.
If food is a main driver of your travels, Sydney’s culinary scene, while not as heralded as Melbourne’s, has emerged in its own right — including the chef Paul Carmichael’s creative combination of Caribbean flavors and local ingredients at Momofuku Seiobo and Saint Peter’s inventive take on seafood.
In addition, Sydney’s “low season” still offers comfortable weather along with the Vivid Sydney multimedia festival (May 25 to June 16), the Sydney Film Festival (June 6 to 17) and the Bondi Feast arts festival (July 17 to 28).
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