Flights prices are down: Here’s how to stay flexible

We’re starting 2021 with a clean slate – and travelers are feeling the same. According to a recent survey, nearly half (48%) of Americans said “taking a trip” was one of the top 3 social activities they’re looking forward to most this year once a vaccine is widely available and things return to normal. The good news is, prices on flights around the US are 17% cheaper now than they were a year ago. But our data shows that’s not going to last long (in fact, we predict prices will jump at least 25% once people start traveling again).

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That means, right now is the perfect time to book a flight. Why? Because most airlines and travel providers are also offering super flexible cancellation policies – so if you change your mind later, you have an easy out.

Use our flexible options filter to find travel with free cancellation and book that summer vacation, that spring break solo trip, or that end-of-school family escape. But whether you’re going now or later, it’s still important that we all practice safe travel. So that when it comes time to fly, you won’t have to exercise that free cancellation option (though it’s good to know it’s there).

For those who want to get something on the books to look forward to in 2021, we rounded up this year’s top trending destinations.

While flight searches are still down year over year, these are the places where searches are recovering fastest:

  1. St. Thomas, USVI (searches down 23%)
  2. Key West, FL (searches down 24%)
  3. Cancun, MX (searches down 33%)
  4. Oranjestad, AW (searches down 33%)
  5. Anchorage, AK (searches down 33%)
  6. Honolulu, HI (searches down 36%)
  7. Miami, FL (searches down 38%)
  8. Atlanta, GA (searches down 38%)
  9. Kahului, HI (searches down 41%)
  10. Santo Domingo, DR (searches down 43%)

And the cities seeing the biggest price drops include:

  1. Cancun, MX – prices down 32% (average price $294 round trip)
  2. San Juan, PR – prices down 31% (average price $179 round trip)
  3. Mexico City, MX – prices down 30% (average price $246 round trip)
  4. Fort Lauderdale, FL – prices down 29% (average price $154 round trip)
  5. Miami, FL – prices down 26% (average price $188 round trip)
  6. San Jose del Cabo, MX – prices down 25% (average price $368 round trip)
  7. Saint Thomas Island, VI – prices down 24% (average price $360 round trip)
  8. Denver, CO – prices down 24% (average price $151 round trip)
  9. Orlando, FL – prices down 24% (average price $153 round trip)
  10. San Jose, CR – prices down 22% (average price $342 round trip)

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Looking for more information on how to travel safely as we navigate this pandemic? Our guide has everything you need to know.

 

Methodology

KAYAK considered all flight searches from 12/8/20 to 12/14/20 for any travel dates and originating from the United States. Year over Year is in comparison to the same time period 1 year prior. Highlighted destinations are among the top 100 largest search destinations with the largest average price decreases. Survey figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1279 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th – 10th December 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

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