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Still Dreaming of Europe This Summer?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re still contemplating a summer trip across the Pond. Dreams of basking under the Mediterranean sun are still viable, but from the looks of our fare benchmarking, it will cost you.

We’ve been tracking peak-season rates on many popular European routes for August travel for several months now, and depending on your route, prices are either holding steady, which is good, or are drastically spiking. Here is the latest snapshot of some routes we’ve been tracking. The math is based on comparisons since my last report a month ago:

  • New York City > London: increased by 25 percent
  • New York City > Paris: increased by 37 percent
  • New York City > Rome: increased by 9 percent
  • New York City > Madrid: increased by 5 percent
  • New York City > Dublin: increased by 30 percent
  • Los Angeles > London: rates have remained static
  • Los Angeles > Paris: rates have remained static
  • Los Angeles > Rome: increased by three-tenths of a percent
  • Los Angeles > Madrid: increased by two-tenths of a percent
  • Los Angeles > Dublin: increased by 26 percent
  • Chicago > London: increased by 25 percent
  • Chicago > Paris: increased by 30 percent
  • Chicago > Rome: decreased by three-tenths of a percent
  • Chicago > Madrid: increased by 5 percent
  • Chicago > Dublin: increased by 20 percent

I’m afraid that if you were hoping to travel to Dublin on the cheap, your ship may have sailed. For the remaining major cities, however, you have to either bite the bullet and book now, or consider other affordable options.

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Explore Other Options

I would never dissuade someone from visiting a specific destination, but if rates are prohibitively expensive, it may be time to begin contemplating other travel options this summer.

Here are some appealing and affordable alternatives. Visit a destination during its shoulder or even low season. For example, the Caribbean and Latin America see reduced fares during the summer. Added advantages include cheaper rates and plenty of availability at hotels, more sunbathing room on the beaches, and smaller crowds.

If you’re after a certain Continental flare, Euro-centric cities in the Americas may be your ticket. Look to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Quebec City or Montreal, Canada; and even little hidden villages like Helen, Georgia.

If you have your heart set on Europe, consider visiting the Old Country during the shoulder season, especially during your Thanksgiving break. I compared fares on a few routes during the high-peak August and the November shoulder season and came up with these results:

  • Washington, D.C. > Dublin: $1,049 during August versus $606 during November
  • Chicago > London: $1,244 during August versus $820 during November
  • Boston > Paris: $1,073 during August versus $887 during November
  • New York City > Rome: $1,057 during August versus $669 during November

Read my previous installments from this series on booking summer Europe airfares:

Read comments or add your own insight!
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