Travel experts reveal why Americans should avoid Europe this summer
Increasing numbers of Americans are looking to book a vacation in Europe this summer - but experts are warning travelers not to expect to bag a bargain on flights and to prepare for potential disruption and extreme weather. Airlines have scheduled a near-record 51,000 flights from June to August from the US to Europe, according to data from aviation firm Cirium - with the highest number of seats booked on planes since before the pandemic in 2018. Americans may have set their sights on European travel, but prices have surged. The average European roundtrip will set you back $1,032 this summer, according to travel website Hopper - a huge 35 percent increase on last year. According to travel insurer , there is set to be a 55 percent increase in Americans traveling to Europe this year - following a whopping 600 percent boost in the number of visitors between 2021 and 2022. It found is the top destination - accounting for 25 percent of bookings - followed by Paris, Dublin and Rome. So is it worth making the trip this summer? Here, the experts reveal the pitfalls to look out for. The thirst for travel to Europe is spiking as Americans are able to travel freely again - and TikTok influencers are increasingly flouting their trips to the Italian coast, the French Riviera and the rolling hills of England on the social media site. Travel website Kayak said searches for travel to Europe this summer are up 77 percent from last year. With prices spiking, the travel boom is promising record profit margins at some US carriers ramping up transatlantic flights to cash in on the European appetite. If you do decide to swallow the cost and book a trip, . A study by online travel agent Expedia analyzed millions of flights and found that booking a journey on a Sunday could shave up to 15 percent off the cost of your airfare. By comparison making the booking on a Friday could add around 5 percent to the total cost as prices are driven up by households planning last minute vacations for the weekend. Analysts found that the best day of the week to fly is a Wednesday. Compared to a Sunday or Monday, vacationers saved 10 percent on international travel and 15 percent on domestic flights. They recommended booking flights at least six months in advance - which could save customers 10 percent against those who buy within two months of departure. Hayley Berg, lead economist at Hopper, told that travelers should stay open-minded about connecting trips and cautions against filtering flights for nonstops only. Icelandic airline Play, for example, offers low-cost flights from Boston and Washington DC, for example, with a changeover in Reykjavik to European destinations. This week, Norse Atlantic Airways launched flights between New York City and the Rome, Italy. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) warned earlier this year it was expecting 2023 summer air travel volumes to overtake pre-pandemic figures. Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said: 'This summers travel demand will be as strong as weve seen since before the pandemic, and potentially the strongest ever. 'That kind of demand in a system that is woefully underfunded and understaffed is likely to create substantial frustrations among travelers.' Last summer, travelers were plagued with tens of thousands of delayed and cancelled flights. Earlier this year DailyMail.com revealed how , as airlines grapple with a shortage staff amid increasing demand. And experts are warning there are risks of gridlock at some of the airports in Europe. Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport limited passengers last year, and there are reportedly plans to cap numbers again in 2023. recommends logging in to see your flight bookings (and hotel or vacation rental reservations) at least once a week so you can flag and address any possible disruptions as far in advance as possible. Plan extra time at the airport, and stick to carry-on bags if at all possible. If you havent already considered getting TSA PreCheck, now - ahead of the busy summer travel season - is the time to apply. Members can substantially speed up the airport process by going through specially designed lines. According to The Points Guy, it's well worth the $78 five-year membership fee. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has warned that the weather in Europe is getting more extreme. 'What could this summer bring in terms of heatwaves, droughts, floods, and forest fires? The overall outlook is pessimistic as we have already seen this past winter and spring. This makes adaptation to climate change and better preparedness crucial,' it said. , as extreme heatwaves and drought gripped hold of the continent. Check ahead for any weather warnings at your destination - and remember that swimming pools, fountains and lakes may be impacted in water-starved destinations. It might also be worth considering less popular destinations which are less likely to be buckling under the strain of excessive tourism. Popular shows like HBO's The White Lotus and Netflixs Emily in Paris have caused a boom in popularity for certain destinations. According to data from Expedia, flight searches to cities in Sicily - the idyllic island where The White Lotuss second season was filmed - have soared by triple digits this summer, with searches to Messina up by a whopping 335 percent and Palermo by 180 percent.