On the Money

These last-minute travel deals could net you up to a 40% discount

Key Points
  • And if you're looking for savings on a spring break trip, it's not only important to think about where you want to go, but when to book that ticket.
  • Discounts of up to 40 percent are available on both domestic and international flights, to places like Orange County, Hawaii, and even Italy.
A JetBlue Airways Corp. plane moves on the tarmac as a passenger waits in Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) airport in New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

With winter still upon us, now may be the perfect time to start planning that spring break getaway.

And if you're looking for savings, it's not only important to think about where you want to go, but when to book that ticket.

"That's actually one of the biggest ways people can be saving, especially on these spring flights," Liana Corwin, Hopper's Smart Travel Expert told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview.

Companies such as Hopper, Hipmunk, and Skyscanner, to name a few, track and analyzes airfare prices in order to predict the best time to buy and send notifications to the user.

"At Hopper, what we found is people can save up to 40 percent on a flight if they book far enough in advance," Corwin explained.

The travel expert says for very popular times like spring break or the holidays, the best prices are usually found by booking 4 to 8 weeks in advance.

"Flights are going to fluctuate between now and spring over one hundred times, which is crazy, much more than what most people expect," she said.

For the February to April period, Corwin says prices will average a little over $200 round trip and the cost will only increase into the summer months with airfare projected to hit a little more than $250 round trip on average in June.

Corwin says if people start tracking flights now, they will see prices drop for destinations — ranging from 24 percent to 35 percent off — to places like Washington D.C., Orlando, Philadelphia, Honolulu and Orange County in California.

If you are looking for an international destination and start tracking fares now, Hopper is predicting a price drop of 30 to 40 percent off for the following destinations: Cancun, Mexico; Havana Cuba, and Milan, Italy.

In addition to using a price-tracker app, Corwin says there are several ways consumers can save on airfare. For example, you could save 5 percent if you are willing to book a basic economy ticket, which won't allow you to pick your seat in advance.

Also, taking a flight with one or more stops will save about 5 percent.

As for hotels, Corwin says you don't have to book last minute to get the best deals. "Most hotels will start to offer special advance pricing 21 days in advance of your trip," she said.

And she says to consider booking a hotel that has recently opened. New hotels are opening up all the time. To that point, she said about 1 in 20 hotels in New York City have opened or renovated within the past year.

Prices for hotels vary but Corwin says people can expect a discount of up to 15 percent off — with rates rising back to expected prices within about three months of opening.

On the Money airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 am ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.