Although it may not seem so in parts of the country, spring is finally here. Pack your swim suit and get ready to enjoy the blooming flowers. Cheap flights are plentiful for travel between April and mid-June.
Affordable Destinations for Travel this Spring
Whether you’d like to visit a different city or hit the beach, here are some great places to visit this spring that fit most budgets.
Myrtle Beach is rich in entertainment and a great family-friendly vacation spot for spring. With a seaside amusement park and attractions such as Ripley’s Aquarium and the Wheels of Yesteryear car museum, there is something for the whole family in Myrtle Beach.
Flights to Myrtle Beach: Since all three of the major ultra-low-cost-carriers in the US fly to Myrtle Beach now, flights are incredibly cheap this spring. Spirit and Allegiant have been operating for many years and Frontier will begin flights this spring. Even after baggage fees, these carriers will usually be your cheapest option to/from Myrtle Beach. I often see fares to Myrtle Beach for under $100 round-trip and more frequently in the mid-$100s to mid-$300s range.
Last year’s hurricane brought disaster to Puerto Rico, but the capital is striving to bring travelers back to the island. The hotels are open and since tourism has been down, there are some amazing deals to be had. The Castillo San Cristobal is the largest Spanish fort in the Americas and is a marvelous setting at sunset. With world class beaches and historical sites, Puerto Rico is a great island escape this spring.
Flights to San Juan: JetBlue remains the top carrier in San Juan. American formerly had a hub here, but dramatically decreased flights to/from the island. This has opened up opportunities for other airlines to start serving Puerto Rico. Southwest now has San Juan bound flights and Frontier will be starting new service from some prime markets in Miami and Long Island this spring. I’ve seen fares to San Juan as low as $68 round-trip on Frontier, but usually range from the mid-$200s to high-$300s on other airlines.
The city of love is becoming one of the cheapest places to get to in Europe from North America. Once there, you can visit some of the world-famous sites such as the Louvre, Notre-Dame, or the Eiffel Tower. There is so much to see in Paris that you could simply stroll the streets for free and just take in the surroundings. Simply enjoying a cup of coffee and a fresh croissant, while people watching at a local café is one of my favorite things to do in Paris.
Flights to Paris: All airlines are competing to sell their seats on flights to Paris. The choices are broad and prices have come down dramatically the past few years. If you want full service, go with mainstays like Air France, Air Canada, American, Delta, or United. If you don’t mind forgoing some services, give one of the growing number of low-cost carriers a try. Norwegian, WOW, and XL Airways have been operating for a few years now. Primera will start new flights this spring from Boston, Newark, and Toronto. LEVEL has also started flights to Paris-Orly airport from Newark and Montreal. Flights to Paris can often be found for around $300 round-trip on some low-cost carriers or in the $400-$600 range on the majors.
About 30 miles north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale has become a destination of its own. Las Olas Blvd. will bring you to the beach and to the heart of the dining and shopping district. Driving between Fort Lauderdale and Miami will take you around one-hour. If you only have a non-stop flight from your home airport to Fort Lauderdale and not to Miami, this can be a quicker way to reach South Beach than taking a connecting flight to Miami. Home to many music festivals such as Ultra this spring, South Florida is an excellent choice for a beach break.
Flights to Fort Lauderdale: The main hub for Spirit Airlines often has flights for under $100 round-trip. Major airlines, like American, Delta, Southwest, and JetBlue, will compete with Spirit’s low fares so it is generally affordable to reach South Florida from most of North America.
Ancient ruins and scuba diving hot-spots are accessible in Belize. The Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave is a favorite among many who visit the area. Tours involve wearing a miner’s hat and swimming through some water in order to explore the cave's relics. Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are where many stay and enjoy the island life in Belize. From here, you can join many scuba diving tours and visit places like the Great Blue Hole, which is full of a diverse group of species.
Flights to Belize: In the past, Belize has been one of the more expensive countries to fly to in Central America. However, Southwest’s entrance into the market has changed that. I now often see flights from Florida below $200 round-trip and in the $300 range from many other cities. American, Delta, and United also have regular fare sales to compete with Southwest’s relatively new service.
As one of Mexico’s top beach destinations, Puerto Vallarta has a lot to offer. They have top-notch resorts as well as some adventure activities and nearby lesser-known beaches like Sayulita and Bucerías. One of my favorite places to visit in the area is El Eden, which was the set for a few scenes in Predator. There’s also the opportunity to go on whale watching tours or just enjoy the sunsets on the horizon of the Bahia de Banderas.
Flights to Puerto Vallarta: New service from the west coast on Interjet and Southwest have brought low fares here from an increasing number of cities. Alaska’s long running service also keeps things competitive. I regularly see fares from the low-$200s to mid-$300s round-trip from a variety of cities.
The Museum of Flight is only about a 10-minute drive from the airport. Here you step aboard classic airliners like Kennedy’s Air Force One or an old Concorde that flew at supersonic speeds. The Boeing factory 30 miles north in Everett is another great place to visit for fans of aviation. Seattle is also home to the original Starbucks and a plethora of micro-breweries serving up some tasty suds.
Flights to Seattle: Alaska Airlines used to dominate the market in Seattle, but Delta has made a strong push lately and this has brought pricing down to the Pacific Northwest. Spirit is also adding some new flights this spring along with resuming some recently added seasonal service. I often see fares as low as under $100 round-trip or in the $100 to low-$300s range.
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Belize image by Aleksander Todorovic via Shutterstock.