05/03/2013 07:42 am ET Updated Jul 03, 2013

Tips for Booking Summer Airfare Deals

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Summer is nearly here, which means it is time to start thinking about booking airfare deals for beach vacations, visits with friends and family, and holiday trips. If you want to take a break without breaking the bank, use these quick tips to make the most of your travel budget and find the best flight deals this summer.

1. Keep your travel dates flexible: You can often save up to 50% on fares with midweek flights rather than limiting yourself to traveling only on Friday and Sunday.

2. Plan around holidays: Long weekends such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day generally mean a spike in fares and long lines at the airport. Even Mother's Day and Father's Day can result in higher weekend prices. Try extending your trip for a couple extra days before or after the holidays to avoid the crowds.

3. Do your research: To find the best price, take the time to compare multiple airlines. Don't just rely only on published sales -- search websites yourself to find unadvertised low fares. Pay attention to average fares each week so you can recognize a good price. Use Travelzoo's Today's Best Fares to find the lowest roundtrip price over the next 90 days.

4. Consider regional airports: Flying to or from a regional airport can help you save money. When you use an airfare search engine, the site will often let you know if there is a cheaper fare available from a nearby airport.

5. See a good fare? Jump on it: Armed with research and knowledge, you'll know a good fare when you see it. Because the best fares are based on availability, book quickly when you find a good one. By doing a little extra research, being flexible and booking summer airfare quickly, you can relax on your trip knowing you found the best deal.

Haifa Sweeny is a Travelzoo Deal Expert based in San Francisco. Travelzoo has 250 deal experts from around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.