Airlines sometimes cut airfares during tough economic times to fill otherwise empty seats. But as the financial challenges continue, flights are cut and those bargain airfares disappear. That is what has been happening the past several years, and it appears that will be the case again in 2012.
But that does not mean good airfares aren't available--you only have to look a bit harder for them. The best advice: start well in advance of when you want to travel and don't hesitate to book a decent fare. Waiting means risking that the fare will disappear.
Bound for Europe? It pays to check Air Berlin's special offers allows you to buy fares between Europe and California, Florida or New York. They offer a number of summer dates for which one-way fare between New York and Düsseldorf or Berlin was under $500 USD.
If you'll be bound for the Olympic city of London this summer, book early and check for cheaper airfares into surrounding cities such as Manchester, Amsterdam, Brussels or Paris.
Dublin should be on that list, too. Aer Lingus offers summer fares between the U.S. and Europe. For example, some of their round-trip fares are in the $1,000 range. Those must be booked early for travel later in the summer. Check their home page for offers.
Remember that even if Dublin is not your final destination in Europe, it is a hub for budget airlines. Many budget travelers find the best fare to Dublin and then get a low-cost flight elsewhere.
Mexico has had more than its share of bad publicity in recent years. While there are some safety concerns connected with visiting Mexico, the vast majority of visitors encounter no problems whatsoever. Because numbers are down, look for resorts and airlines to offer deals. Check the Delta and American home pages for possible deals at times during the summer.
Looking for some good student fares? Check out STA Travel for a long list of great fares for summer study in Europe.
Expedia's last-minute deals are worth checking if you're fairly flexible on your summer destination. Click the "flight" tab and look at what's available this weekend and next weekend as well.