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Cheapest and Most Expensive Weekends for Summer Travel

John Foxx/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hotel prices are up.  Airfare is up.  So how can you beat higher prices and still travel this summer?

It's simple: just know when and when not to fly.

Online travel agency Travelocity analyzed two years of booking data for ABC News to find out which weekends were the cheapest -- and most expensive -- to fly.

The most expensive weekend of the summer to travel is coming up on June 1-3, likely due to Memorial Day weekend travelers who turned the extra day off into a longer vacation, said Courtney Scott, senior editor for Travelocity.

"Many travelers take advantage of their three-day Memorial Day weekend and turn it into an extended vacation, making this week into next weekend popular travel periods, which could account for a rise in fares," she said.

The average round-trip airfare for both domestic and international flights is $661 for the upcoming weekend, $63 higher than the cheapest weekend of the summer to fly: August 24-26.

That's good news for travelers who haven't booked summer vacations yet.  The weekend before Labor Day weekend, which this year falls on August 24-26, is historically the cheapest of the summer for airfare, at $598 round-trip.

"There's a dip in prices in late August as kids are busy getting ready to go back to school and many schools in the South are already in session.  Labor Day we'll see a spike in fares again as families work in one more getaway before the school season is in full swing," said Scott.

So what about those families who can't travel on August 24-26?  There are still some weekends that are better than others.  The cheapest weekend in June is 22-24 and the cheapest in July is 20-22.

Not surprisingly, the weekends sandwiching the Fourth of July -- a Wednesday this year -- are some of the priciest of the summer. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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