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It’s not summer yet, but vacation season is already in full swing for both domestic and overseas trips. Security screenings at U.S. airports in April were already significantly higher—often by 100,000 passengers or more per day—than last year, according to TSA data. The trend is expected to continue through the summer months.

Despite increased demand, prices are so far holding steady for many destinations but are on the rise for popular vacation spots.

What can you expect to pay for your summer getaway? That depends on where you’re headed.

“If you’re going somewhere in the United States, then you still have a little bit of time. But for Europe, it might already be too late,” said travel reporter Christopher Elliott, who writes the syndicated “On Travel” column.

“Generally speaking, if you’re traveling in the U.S., your prices are going to be roughly the same as they were, plus or minus a couple of bucks, last year,” Elliott said on Checkbook’s Consumerpedia podcast. “If you’re going overseas, though, prices might be a little bit higher, especially [for] Europe. Asia is a bit higher, and Latin America, I was really surprised to find that prices were up for airfares.”, a travel booking website, tracks airfares and forecasts price hikes and decreases. Its latest Consumer Travel Index shows that tickets for domestic flights are already lower than they were at this time last year. Hopper expects airfare prices between now and September to remain “in line with or just slightly higher than prices in 2023,” but lower than 2019 levels.

Based on the “Hopper Airfare Forecast,” the average domestic roundtrip ticket sold in May is expected to be about $307, up six percent from the April average of $290. Domestic prices are expected to peak this summer at $315 per round ticket, before falling as low as $264 per ticket in September.

“This is very much in line with prices last year, and actually at or below where prices were pre-pandemic, and much better than what we saw a couple years ago,” Hayley Berg, Hopper’s lead economist, told Checkbook. “If you remember 2022, people were paying over $400 or $500, on average, for those domestic tickets. So, major price improvement, especially for families on a budget.”

Hopper’s Travel Index reports that most international airfares remain higher than they were pre-pandemic due to higher fuel prices and lack of capacity, but lower than last year’s prices. Canada is the exception; the average round-trip ticket is $407, up seven percent from the start of the year.

The average ticket to Europe (the top international travel destination for Americans) this summer will be around $900 round trip. That’s “much higher than in 2019, and even in some cases, higher than 2018,” Berg told Checkbook.

Note: If getting a good seat is more important to you than price, book early. The planes will be packed this summer. If you wait too long, your only option may be the dreaded middle seat.

Don’t forget to budget for luggage fees if you plan to check bags. Most major domestic airlines raised their fees earlier this year. In some cases, you’ll be charged $35 to $40 for the first bag and as much as $45 to $60 for the second checked bag, according to Conde Naste Traveler. Southwest still allows two free checked bags per traveler. FareCompare’s Worldwide Guide to Airline Fees lists baggage charges for domestic and international airlines.

One way to avoid this extra expense, if you don’t have elite status with the carrier, is to get an airline credit card. Forbes has a list of luggage allowances with the major co-branded cards. Most have steep annual fees, and they may not provide free baggage on international flights.

What About Hotel Rates?

Room rates at U.S. hotels are averaging $206 a night, which is about the same as last year at this time. Here are the current average nightly rates for some popular destinations, as reported by Hopper:

Parking rates, on the other hand, “are out of control,” Elliott reported in a recent column. “More properties are charging their guests for parking, [and] the fees are higher than they’ve ever been.” Some hotels in midtown Manhattan now charge more than $100 a night, Elliott noted. Many hotels in major U.S. cities are charging parking fees of $50 or more per day.

Before you book your room, also check for mandatory “resort fees,” which are tricky ways to charge more than the advertised price of that room. You should also find out if the hotel charges mandatory parking fees. It sounds absurd, but this is not a joke. Some hotels now charge guests a parking fee, even if they don’t have a car, Elliott cautioned in his column. If that happens to you—and the fee was not disclosed upfront, demand to have the charge removed. If the hotel won’t do it, dispute the charge with your credit card company. More on that here.

      Related: Hotels Gouge Guests with Absurd Resort Fees

Rental Car Prices Have Stabilized

Most travelers using Hopper are looking for four-day rentals, which are currently averaging $42 per day, which is four percent higher than the average rate of $40 a day at this time last year. This is a significant improvement from 2021, when a plunge in travel due to the pandemic and new-car shortages drove rental car prices to record highs.

You Can Still Find Some Deals—If You’re Flexible

Vacations early in the season—late May and early June—are becoming increasingly popular with American families. Beating the summer rush can often result in lower prices.

Most travelers book a Friday and Saturday night stay. If you can skip Saturday night, you can typically save about 25 percent off the room rate, Berg said. In Las Vegas and Miami Beach, you could pay double just to stay on a Saturday night.

And keep an eye out for last-minute flash sales, as travel companies try to book to capacity.

Western Europe is hosting some big events this summer, such as the Olympics in Paris, the UEFA EURO 2024 final tournament in Germany, and Taylor Swift’s concert tour.

“You want to just make sure that if you are going to a place that everyone else wants to go to, that you have a really good reason for it,” Elliott said. “If you’re going for that event, then it’s absolutely fine to be there. Usually, prices come way, way down in early September, and…early September is still summer, so you can still have a summer vacation without the high prices.”

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Contributing editor Herb Weisbaum (“The ConsumerMan”) is an Emmy award-winning broadcaster and one of America's top consumer experts. He has been protecting consumers for more than 40 years, having covered the consumer beat for CBS News, The Today Show, and You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and at