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From Europe to the National Parks: Where to Find Cheap Flights for Summer 2024

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Attention Thrifty Traveler Premium members:

Attention Thrifty Traveler Premium members:

You’ve likely already received these deals. If not, log into your Premium deals hub to see every recent alert we've sent.

Everyone wants to travel in the summer, and while flight prices rise precipitously during those peak summer months, there are some destinations where you can find great deals to book a summer trip in 2024.

The three months of the year when everyone is off school and the weather is the nicest is when the airlines know people want to fly. Flight prices often reflect that, getting up to three or four times the price of shoulder season or off-season travel.

That demand can make booking cheap flights for a trip in peak summer tough, especially for sought-after destinations like Europe. While there's an easy trick to circumvent high flight prices, some spots in Europe are just flat-out cheap for travel this summer if you know where to look.

Our team of flight deal analysts at Thrifty Traveler Premium searches airfare every day, and we've found a few things to almost also be true when it comes to summer travel. August is typically a sweet spot for cheap summer flights, no matter where you want to go. For Europe in particular, flying business class might actually be the best deal if you're planning a trip during the peak summer months, whether you're using cash or points. And domestic flight prices can stay low when demand is highest abroad.

All of those trends are alive and well in 2024. Here's what we're seeing out there for travel this summer.


Europe: Faroe Islands, Iceland, Scotland, & More!

Finding a cheap cash flight to Europe in peak summer can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack, but it doesn't have to be if you aim for some tried and true cheap destinations.

Portugal regularly tops the list of destinations as one of the cheapest places in Europe to fly to, and 2024 is no exception.

The beautiful islands of Madeira (FNC), Ponta Delgada (PDL), and Terceira (TER) in Portugal were all included in this nonstop deal flying Azores Airlines. So was the dreamy city of Porto (OPO) on the mainland, too.


Portugal islands


These nonstop flights could be the catalyst for an incredible summertime trip this year. Plus, these flights are all short, with most totaling around six hours each way.


Portugal islands info


This next example is a little more unusual. Cheap flights to the northern Atlantic archipelago called the Faroe Islands never existed before Icelandair jumped in and announced flights to and from the islands' airport of Vágar (FAE) earlier this year.

Read Next: Why 2024 is the Year to Visit the Faroe Islands


Faroe Islands


In typical Icelandair fashion, they put all of these fares on sale!


Faroe Islands info


Nearly all of Icelandair's U.S. gateways got in on this flight deal which included some wide-open availability in August to make this trip a reality for you, your friends, and your family this summer.

But Icelandair is really known for its bargain nonstop flights to Iceland and back. Many of these cheap flights can be found in August, too. This year is no different.


Iceland flight deal


Icelandair's cheap fares put a lot of pressure on other airlines, too. That's why Air Canada, Delta, and United had to slash their own prices to keep up with the plucky Icelandic airline on these routes. And when airlines compete, travelers win!


Iceland flight deal


While we're in the North Atlantic, let's scope out Inverness, Scotland (INV), where August fares were available for this summer, too!


Scotland flight deal


Not every city on this list had August availability, but plenty of them did. It's worth checking to see if your home airport, no matter how small, joined the Scottish party with cheap summer fares.


Scotland flight deal


Moral of the story: Don't write off Europe for your summer vacation this year.


Lie-Flat Business (or First!) Class to Italy

This is one of the most exciting airfare trends I can remember: Lie-flat seats to Italy this summer are easier to book than we've ever seen for summer 2024.

The words “summer,” “Italy,” “business class,” and “cheap” don't often go hand-in-hand. But something amazing is happening in 2024. Over the past three weeks, we've sent our Thrifty Traveler Premium members three different business class deals with peak summer availability to the place seemingly everyone wants to visit.


Emirates business class to Italy


Join Thrifty Traveler Premium to get notified about more cheap fares like this one! 

It all started with this Emirates Business Class deal flying nonstop from New York (JFK) to Milan (MXP). Our team dug up this incredible deal with dates in June, July, and August all bookable with points. And there was availability for up to seven passengers, too!

Read Next: Our Review of Emirates Business Class from JFK to Milan


Emirates business class

Read our review of Emirates Business Class from New York to Milan!

For just 87,000 Emirates miles (or transferable points from American Express, Bilt, Capital One, Chase, or Citi) each way, you could make one of these seats yours! That includes access to the sweet onboard bar on Emirates' A380, too!

But the fun didn't stop there. American Airlines also runs a nonstop flight to Italy from JFK, but this one is to Rome (FCO). If you have a stash of American miles, you could fly lie-flat with American, too!


American Airlines business class


Plus, for this deal, you could snag one of these seats using American miles, Alaska miles, or by transferring points to one of American's other airline partners like Cathay Pacific.


AA business class to Italy


It can't get any better than that, right? How about American Airlines Flagship First Class for just a few thousand points more?

American Airlines first


There were plenty of these first class seats bookable with points for June and July travel dates. And, like the business class deal above, plenty of different options to book them.


AA F Italy


Flying lie-flat on that long trip across the Atlantic to Italy is well within reach if you have the right miles, and it sure beats spending more than $1,100 to fly in economy!


Business Class to Europe Using Cash

No points? No problem. Lie-flat seats aren't just reserved for people with big stashes of points and miles.

For travelers with their sights set on Germany, this awesome Condor Airlines business class deal included peak summer availability.


Frankfurt business class deal


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There's a fun trend in airfare that leads to steeply discounted business class fares during the summer months. Business travelers aren't flying as much during that time and that means you'll often see prices like this:


FRA J deal info


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For just a little more than the price of flying economy, you could fly lie-flat and arrive in Europe well-rested and ready for your trip.

Condor Airlines isn't an anomaly, though. Scandinavian Airlines and its own lovely lie-flat business class also went on sale recently, giving travelers unique opportunities to fly nonstop to Copenhagen (CPH), Oslo (OSL), and Stockholm (ARN) this summer, too.


Scandinavia business class flight deal


Typically, these fares would all be $3,500 or more.


SAS business class flight deal


Business class flights booked with cash are sometimes at their best rates in the summer, that's true for summer 2024, too.



North America National Parks

You don't have to leave our continent to see epic places this summer. North America is home to some of the prettiest national parks and, luckily for all of us, there are plenty of cheap flights to get you there.


Banff National Park flight deal


We'll start at the impossibly scenic Banff National Park, which you can access by car or bus within 90 minutes of Calgary, Alberta (YYC). Calgary flights for this summer have been cheap for months now, and the savings are only getting better.

Read Next: How to do Banff on a Budget


Banff National Park flight deal


If you want some similarly stunning landscapes, you can leave your passport in the drawer at home. Just last week, we found these flights to Bozeman, Montana (BZN) on sale, too.


Bozeman flight deal


Bozeman is just about 90 minutes from the gates of Yellowstone National Park, giving travelers a quick gateway into one of the strangest, coolest parks in the country.

Read Next: How to Beat Crowds at the National Parks


Big Sky flight deal


While you might be willing to fork over $200 or $300 to fly to stunning places like this, your points may be able to get you there, too. This flight deal to Anchorage, Alaska (ANC) is the perfect example.


Alaska skymiles deal


From just 26,000 Delta SkyMiles roundtrip, a wild Alaskan retreat is well within reach for many flyers with Delta miles.


Alaska SkyMiles info


We loved this deal because of its August availability, which is the best time of year to visit Alaska.

Read our guide to visiting the U.S. National Parks!


The City or the Beach: Other Domestic Flights

Not everyone wants to take a major bucket list trip this summer. Maybe a long weekend at the beach or exploring a new city is all you're looking for.


Chicago flight deal


Chicago's dueling airports of Midway (MDW) and O'Hare (ORD) have so much traffic and so many airlines that fares often stay cheap. This summer, you could fly to Chicago from many if not all of these cities for less than $189 roundtrip.


Chicago info


If a quick family trip to the beach is more your speed, this deal to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (MYR) is another doozy.


Myrtle Beach


All these U.S. cities had nonstop or quick, one-stop flight deals to Myrtle Beach during the summer months.


MYR details


A summer trip doesn't have to be something to scratch off your bucket list. Sometimes, a simple, cheap trip is all your family needs this summer.


Bottom Line

While summer travel can be expensive, it doesn't have to be if you know where to look. Some destinations are cheaper than others – especially in 2024.

Thrifty Traveler Premium members have been getting summer 2024 flight deals for months now, and we are searching every day to find more so you can book that summer getaway this year.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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