Travel search site Kayak has produced a cheat sheet for deal seekers called Kayak 2015 Travel Hacker Guide. Analysts at the Connecticut-based company devised the tips based on the billion-plus booking searches Kayak handles each year. (Several of my own searches were in the mix; I often use Kayak to shop for flights.) Nuggets of wisdom include where to find deals, when to fly and how far in advance to book.

Airline pricing is a strange alchemy, so for any given trip, I never take generalized guides as gospel. But this one gives me an interesting new starting point for planning vacations.

Among the surprising finds: For travel within North America, departing on Friday and returning on Monday can yield the best deals — and make for a nice long weekend.

I’d always believed that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to fly on the cheap. According to the Travel Hacker Guide, that holds true for trips to Europe, Asia and Central America.

When to buy tickets? Within North America, you’re more likely to find deals if you book four to six weeks out. Try to book six months in advance for European trips. And here’s good news for Minnesotans who need a last-minute, sun-filled getaway: The best time to book a trip to the Caribbean is two to four weeks ahead.

Beyond such tips, the guide — at www.kayak.com — makes for nice inspiration. Explore the Top 10 Deal Destinations, and you might find yourself daydreaming of a visit to Vancouver. The average price of a flight there is down 10 percent from last year. Prices to Milan have dropped 13 percent. Nice timing, since the city will host the World Expo this year — which just might explain why it also tops the Top 10 Trending Destinations.

 

Contact travel editor Kerri Westenberg at travel@star tribune.com; follow her on twitter @kerriwestenberg.