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How To Find The Best Summer Travel Deals On Flights, Hotels And More

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Summer officially arrives in two days, most kids are out of school, and the Fourth of July is just about two weeks away.

You're probably in a vacation state of mind.

AAA says 68 percent of family travelers in the U.S. will embark on a summer getaway. If you haven't made plans yet, you still have time to score a travel deal.

So what should you do if you're still looking to get away? Consumer travel expert Liana Corwin, from the Hopper app, stopped by CBSN New York with some tips on how to find the best deals.

"Especially if you are looking for July and August. June is actually the peak of the travel season. So if you are trying to get away in the next week or so, I would say that could be a little tough. But July and August really off the best deals, so you have time," Corwin said. "Some good news is that prices are not more expensive this year than last, and they're actually down compared to a few years ago."

Though people may spend two to three weeks pay on their vacation, you can cut back on expenses by booking strategically. For example, if you want to get away for the Fourth of July, book your flight by this Thursday, June 20th.

"Basically, prices tend to spike around $9 a day, starting Thursday. So if you book Friday, you are just adding a little extra to your ticket cost," Corwin said. "JFK is going to be the busiest airport for Fourth of July. So if you're planning to go through there, give yourself at least two hours before you get to the airport... It's a lot of time, but it will save you some hassle."

Web Extra: Consumer Travel Expert Shares Tips With CBSN New York 

The best deals out of our area with prices under $220 are Toronto, Orlando and Chicago. She also suggested Nashville and New Orleans if you want to watch fireworks.

As for hotels, book now. The sweet spot for booking a room is generally two to three weeks ahead of time, but two to three months before is more ideal.

"Start keeping track of your prices early. What people don't realize is they actually change more often than you might think," Corwin said.

Using travel apps like Kayak or Hopper can help you keep track of changing prices.

"Hopper sends in over two billion prices a day and we are able to process all of this information, so any time we see a deal we send it directly to your phone, so you don't miss that," Corwin said.

You can learn more and download the app here.

AAA says gas prices are expected to be lower this summer compared to last, so more than half of Americans will choose to drive to their vacation destinations. Many may actually add an extra road trip if the prices stay relatively low.

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