Maybe some of your friends went to Europe this summer. Maybe friends in Europe visited the U.S. Good for them but now it’s your turn and guess what?

You were smart to wait. Not only are you saving money on the biggest expenditure of your trip, but also you’ll have peace of mind knowing you got the best flight deal.

1. Airline ticket prices drop

Airfare prices to Europe drop in late August and we also see fares dropping from at least some countries in Europe — especially Italy. The ‘drop date’ varies by carrier but the line between peak-summer prices and lower fall fares typically hits around the end of August. You’ll often find better hotel deals in the fall as well.

2. Airlines you never heard of are dealing

You’re familiar with American Airlines, British Airways, Delta and Virgin Atlantic but how about Norwegian Air or Iceland-based Wow Airlines? Maybe it’s time you got to know them.

We featured these (and more) on our Deals Blog or see them on Twitter.

3. Nicer weather

Europe is always a beautiful adventure but is it truly at its best in July? Picture yourself with 60,000 tourists in Venice’s Piazza San Marco in 90-degree heat. Now picture Orlando or Miami in July vs. October or November. Makes the crisp fall weather or even chilly winter temperatures seem very appealing.

4. A break from baggage fees

Most trans-Atlantic flights allow you a free checked-bag. Note: Some discount airlines including Wow and Norwegian do not offer a free checked-bag, although they do give passengers free carry-ons.

Tip: I always travel to and from Europe with a carry-on and so does my wife.

5. Some European cities are especially cheap

U.S. to Europe: Cheaper destinations include Ireland (Dublin and Shannon) and Scandinavia (Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm). Also find good fares to Frankfurt and Paris is not quite as pricy as it used to be. Best of all, discount airlines can take you all over Europe from any of these gateway cities.

Europe to the U.S.: Consider flying to a big hub, then traveling on a cheap domestic flight to a ‘good value’ city. Cheaper U.S. domestic destinations include Austin, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C. but other cities will have airfare deals, too.

Ready? Start shopping — but be sure to compare airfares — and this is smart no matter where or when you travel. If you can’t decide on a trip to Europe or anywhere in the world right at this moment, that’s okay too, because prices drop again in late October.

VIDEO: FareCompare put this together to help you dream. What destination are you saving for? Perhaps this year is the time to fly!