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Tips for finding a cheaper plane ticket this fall

Travel prices may be about to take a nosedive, so here are three ways to take advantage of the savings on your next vacation.

MINNEAPOLIS — While many people opted to stay home during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines slashed their prices to try to lure back travelers.

Over the summer more people felt comfortable heading out on vacation, and those pandemic prices shot back up. 

But as school starts and the weather cools down, fewer people are taking to the air, and not as many companies are sending their employees out on business travel. So as a consumer, now may be the time to take advantage of lower prices on airfare. 

Citing data from travel company Hopper, Business Insider says plane ticket prices this fall may be even cheaper than they were in 2019. September may be the cheapest month of the season, with prices estimated to drop 10% and the average round-trip domestic flight running $260.

So what can you do to make sure you take full advantage of these savings? Here are three tips to keep in mind when you're booking your flight:

1. Don't procrastinate 

According to the travel website Scott's Cheap Flights, buy your tickets in the "Goldilocks Window," one to three months before your trip for domestic flights. For international flights, it's between two to eight months. 

2. Don't buy tickets based on past prices

A trip a few years ago could have cost you $600, but that doesn't mean the price will be the same today. Pricing all depends on where and when you get those tickets.

3. Plan your trip thoroughly

What will you need to bring on your trip? Can everything fit into a carry on bag, or will you need to check your luggage? What about travel insurance? All of these factors will affect the cost of your vacation. And buyer beware, some bargain websites offers deals, but their policies won't cover cancelations for medical emergencies or major life events. Make sure to read the fine print before you put any of your hard-earned money down.