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If you’ve been thinking about taking a trip to Europe, timing can be everything because the dates you fly can make a big difference in the price you pay.

Summer fares can be very high due to demand, so if you can travel in the fall, you can save.

Fares for travel to Europe in September and October can be up to $700 cheaper than the average peak summer fares. Travel November through March 18 is about $100 cheaper than September prices, but the weather isn’t as nice, so it may be worth paying a little more for earlier fall travel.

While Thanksgiving is a very busy time for travel in the U.S. and to the Caribbean, it is not a heavy travel time for Europeans. Our Thanksgiving Day is just a normal Thursday elsewhere, so you can find good prices on fares to Europe.

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Around the U.S. more and more schools are starting classes before Labor Day. That may help prompt sales starting in late August.

September is a great time to be in Europe because you’ll avoid the summer crowds, the weather is nice and there are lots of festivals. November can be even cheaper, but the weather can be grim, even in southernmost Europe.

Even though spring seems far away, you should start looking at fares now. Many areas in the U.S. take their spring breaks around Easter, and in Easter is on April 5 in 2015. We could see lower airfares than normal departing the rest of April and through May 15.

Use a flexible-date travel option when looking at fares to find the cheapest dates and check daily. You could end up paying hundreds of dollars less.

Tom Parsons is CEO of

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