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Book at these times to save money on summer flights for 2024

By Maureen O’Hare, CNN

(CNN) — In travel news this week: a gelato ban in Italy, runaway horses in central London, the orange fog that hit Athens and – if you’re still feeling brave enough – the best dates and times to book summer flights.

When to book summer travel

Mid-to-late August is the best time for Americans to fly this summer, according to travel company Expedia. It’s expected to be a less busy time, and Expedia says travelers can save up to $265 on roundtrip tickets compared with the last week of June, when average fares peak.

It recommends booking summer flights 21 to 60 days out – last year, travelers booking during this window saved around 15% on domestic and international travel.

Similar savings were enjoyed by travelers who departed on a Monday for international flights or on a Tuesday for domestic flights, compared with those who opted for more popular Thursday and Friday departures.

It can be a mistake to book too early or too late. Travelers paid 15% more than average if they booked more than 90 days out for international trips or less than a week out for domestic trips.

The week leading up to Fourth of July, which falls on a Thursday this year, is expected to be the busiest time to fly. Expedia also found that flights scheduled after 3 p.m. were 50% more likely to be canceled, so it might pay to be an early bird.

Europe news

It was an eventful week in Europe’s capitals and tourism magnets. There were spectacular scenes in Athens and other parts of Greece as a blanket of orange-colored haze drifted north from the Sahara desert. Helsinki, meanwhile, was brought to a standstill by nearly eight inches of snow, as “freak April weather” hit Finland.

Five runaway horses bolted through central London, smashing into vehicles, after escaping from a military exercise near Buckingham Palace. Two of the animals are in “serious condition,” it was reported Thursday.

There were protests in Venice as it became the first city in the world to charge day-trippers an entrance fee. The controversial pilot scheme will run until mid-July.

And finally, the blades of Paris’ famous Moulin Rouge windmill fell off, damaging the facade of the building. The incident happened overnight and thankfully no injuries were reported.

Food and drink

If you head to the artsy Colonia Juárez neighborhood in Mexico City and are lucky enough to track down a mysterious black door marked only “13,” you’re at the newly crowned “Best Bar in North America,” according to 50 Best. Behind that low-key entrance, Handshake Speakeasy serves high-end cocktails to those who can find it.

Over in London, laid-back Bethnal Green cocktail bar Satan’s Whiskers was this month named “Best Bar in the UK” at the Class Bar Awards. But the buzz this week was around The Black Dog pub in South London, after it got name-checked in a Taylor Swift song.

Swift sings about an ex who left his cell phone location settings on after their breakup and so she watched as he headed to the pub. Our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have put together this guide to the best wearable technology when you’re on the move.

London to Lagos in a tiny car

Talk about a long drive home. Londoner Pelumi Nubi drove alone for two months in a little Peugeot 107 from the UK capital to Lagos, Nigeria, which is her birthplace. After traveling through 17 countries, she said, “It’s been an incredible adventure, filled with beautiful surprises.”

In case you missed it

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An Italian city wants to put a curfew on gelato and pizza. 

Don’t feed after midnight.

An American landmark is getting a $100 million makeover.

It was the gateway to the US for millions of immigrants.

This classic British candy could soon vanish.

Here’s why.

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