First, lower your expectations. There will be no huge airfare bargains this summer. With the economy still sluggish and fuel prices surging, the carriers are getting hammered.
My pal Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com, an airfare comparison shopping site, recently put out a forecast of the six least expensive airfare destinations for this summer, and Boston made the list.
All of the destinations shared these characteristics: strong competition but a bit less demand from business travelers. Now, the same attributes that make for cheaper destinations also make these cities less expensive places to fly out of.
Bottom line: Five of the lowest-price destinations from Logan International Airport will likely be Denver, Florida (Panhandle and southern beaches), the Los Angeles area (Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Burbank), and Orlando, in no special order.
Airlines tend to start aggressively managing seats (read targeting discounts) about 10-12 weeks out. If you're looking to travel through mid-July you should start looking now; for August, wait a week or two. And plan on traveling Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays.