If you’ve been scouring the internet trying to find a cheap flight lately, you’ve probably been struck by the flight prices you’re seeing. As it would seem, the cheapest flights are no longer what most consider ‘cheap’!
Post-pandemic airline troubles, supersized inflation, and a list of other ingredients have contributed to a recipe for high airline prices. If you are someone who loves to find flight deals, like me, the lack of cheap places to fly is heartbreaking.
However, don’t throw away your deal-finding inspiration yet – cheap destinations are still out there. You’ll need to work a bit harder nowadays to find cheap places to fly, but it is still certainly possible. Some of these destinations might surprise you!
By knowing some of the cheapest places to fly to right now, the airlines that can get you there, and the tips and tricks to find cheap flights, you can still be one of the lucky travelers to get a great flight deal on your next trip.
Take a look below at everything you need to know on how to get the cheapest airfare nowadays.
The Cheapest Places to Fly Right Now
Let’s start with the burning question of many: where is the cheapest place to fly right now? Whether you’re thinking about the east coast, west coast, or a bucket list trip abroad, there are still places with cheap fares out there!
1. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The first city on our list just may be the cheapest destination on the east coast. Sunny Fort Lauderdale is on Florida’s Atlantic coast and has long been a favorite for families, spring breakers, and couples.
One reason that Fort Lauderdale International Airport consistently comes in so cheap is that it is a major operating base for low-cost Spirit Airlines as well as JetBlue. Both airlines offer many nonstop routes to places all over the country and can do so at incredible fares.
Travelers to Fort Lauderdale love all of the popular destinations along the shore for beautiful beaches. Don’t forget that the vibrant city of Miami is only about 40 minutes away, meaning Fort Lauderdale is a great secondary for this party city as well.
See Related: Best All-Inclusive Resorts Without a Passport
2. San Juan, Puerto Rico
The sunny capital of Puerto Rico, San Juan, is definitely one of the cheapest places to fly right now. That is very fortunate for anyone looking for an exotic, tropical destination that’s just a few hours from home!
Nearly all of the major US airlines offer direct flights to San Juan from the eastern part of the country, with some options coming from the west as well. All of that competition and plenty of demand create great prices for vacationers.
Once you find a cheap flight, you’ll want to check out the Isla Verde or Dorado Beach areas to find a beautiful resort. The island is full of amazing beaches, a tropical rainforest, and even some super-wild bioluminescent bays. Check flight prices on Kayak to San Juan to get the best deal.
See Related: Best Beaches in the US to Visit
3. Las Vegas, Nevada
Sin City is home to plenty of cheap flights from all over the country. Travelers fly into Las Vegas for the famous entertainment, to be in party central, and because this desert city is an access point to several of the most visited National Parks in the country.
Las Vegas flight prices are surprisingly low for a number of reasons. For one, it’s a major base for Southwest Airlines, and as a massively popular budget airline, other carriers are forced to compete with their prices.
For two, solid demand for flights to Vegas from all over the country drives flight prices down even further. And for three, everyone flying to Vegas has to find cheap flights so that they can waste the rest in the casino!
In all seriousness, Las Vegas is a fabulous destination, whether it’s for a weekend getaway or something longer. If you are looking to explore further, make this your starting point to drive to Bryce Canyon or the Grand Canyon for the trip of a lifetime. Check flight prices on Kayak to Las Vegas to get the best deal.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Las Vegas Worth Exploring
4. San Francisco Bay Area, California
The San Francisco Bay Area may be known as one of the most expensive cities to visit and to live in on the West Coast, but believe it or not, it does make it on the list of cheapest places to fly. If accommodation isn’t a problem for you here, flight deals do exist to the hub of northern California.
One of the Bay Area’s lifesavers is that there are two airports within immediate proximity to it. San Francisco and Oakland airports are both connected to the entire metropolitan area by rapid transit and offer flight options from all over the continent and the world.
Your local airport is almost certain to offer nonstop service to one of them.
Northern California is a special destination with a ton of diversity. The iconic streets of San Francisco, its famous Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge are all great things to do without even leaving the city.
Getting further out can reveal some dramatic seashores and the tranquil peace of Lake Tahoe.
See Related: Best Day Trips from San Francisco, California
5. Costa Rica
If you’re looking to go abroad, Costa Rica is one of the cheapest countries you can fly to from North America. This tropical paradise in Latin America is loved by nearly any type of traveler and is within just a few hours of home.
One of the great things about Central America is that it’s home to some of the cheapest flights abroad without getting on a long-haul connection across an ocean. The major US carriers offer daily links to Costa Rica, as do the low-cost airlines like Spirit Airlines and Southwest, driving fares to rock bottom.
If you do choose La Pura Vida for your cheap flight getaway, know that you’ve got picture-perfect beach options on both the Caribbean and Pacific sides.
You’ll also want to pack good hiking shoes, a comfortable backpack, and your best camera if you want to see some of the wild-looking rainforests in the world.
See Related: Best Costa Rica Excursions to Book Today
6. The Virgin Islands
A bucket list destination for many, the Virgin Islands could be considered domestic destination if you are headed to St. Croix, St. Thomas, or St. John, while the neighboring British Virgin Islands would be international travel.
Whether you want to grab your passport or not, these islands are incredible beach destinations that you could save money flying to.
You can find incredibly cheap flights to the Virgin Islands when departing from another one of the cities on our list, Fort Lauderdale.
As long as you aren’t booking at the last minute, flights from Florida are often under the $100 mark each way. Prices from cities like New York and Atlanta can also be surprisingly low for such a luxurious destination.
The three main islands and entry points to the US Virgin Islands are St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John.
St. Croix is famous for its crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, while St. Thomas and St. John are a bit more mountainous and connected to each other by ferry. All are sure to be wonderfully scenic islands.
See Related: Best Skyscanner Alternatives to Book Travel
7. Key West, Florida
Going back to Florida, the southernmost point in the continental United States can also be one of the cheapest places to fly. Key West is the last of the tropical islands that make up the Florida Keys, and it is an ideal spot for relaxing remoteness and home to some great party places.
Key West is home to a small international airport offering flights to a handful of cities around the country. As the runway is relatively short, takeoff weight is restricted here, so you won’t find any nonstop flights to the west coast from this airport.
The major US airlines all operate feeder flights to their big hubs, while low-cost Allegiant Air serves quite a few secondary cities with the cheap fares they’re known for.
People like to fly into Key West, even from mainland Florida, to avoid the long drive out there. You can use a flight here as an entry point to see other western Florida Keys or simply enjoy one of the many beach resorts on the island. Don’t miss the nightlife Key West is known for, either.
See Related: Best Spring Break Destinations For Families
8. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
On the west coast of Mexico, the state of Jalisco is the gateway to the Riviera Nayarit, Puerto Vallarta. This vibrant city has long been a popular destination for young adults and families on spring break and couples looking for a romantic getaway.
A relatively cheap destination in general, Puerto Vallarta isn’t costly to get to. While the major airlines of the US all fly there from their biggest hubs, the real value is in the secondary and low-cost carriers.
Alaska Airlines, Sun Country, Southwest, and others provide some seriously competitive fares from the Midwest and the western US. Domestic flights operate to other cities throughout Mexico for those who want to see the whole country.
Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit are known for their long stretches of beautiful Pacific Ocean beaches and authentic Mexican culture. Renting a car and driving the coastal highway will bring you to some of the most picturesque seaside villages on the continent.
See Related: Cheap Places to Travel | Best Budget Destinations
9. The Hawaiian Islands
Are you surprised that the Hawaiian Islands are some of the cheapest places to fly right now? With seven islands and five major airports offering direct flights all over the country and Pacific Rim, it’s not hard to find a flight deal to Hawaii.
Especially from the western United States, it’s hard to find a major city that doesn’t have direct flights to Hawaii. All the big airlines operate there, with the latest entry being Southwest, which dramatically shook up the market with its low fares and lack of baggage fees. That’s only good news for travelers trying to save money on their transportation.
Which one you choose will depend on whether you want idyllic beaches, giant waves for surfing, active volcanos, massive ridges and canyons for hiking, and more. Whatever your choice, you won’t be disappointed.
See Related: Is Hawaii Worth Visiting?
10. San Diego, California
Next up is sunny San Diego, at the southern limits of California. This city has a major international airport that won’t break the bank when flying in or out.
The airport of San Diego is the second busiest single-runway airport in the world. The approach to the airport is known to take travelers wonderfully close to the city, providing great views.
While each of the big three US airlines has a presence here, the low-cost carriers like Frontier and Allegiant will get you the best deals to and from southern California.
San Diego is a fantastic destination for its sandy beaches, sea cliff shorelines, a world-famous zoo, and fun things to do, such as Sea World. It’s also the gateway to some vast forests and preserves nearby, as well as for making the crossing to Tijuana and northern Baja California.
See Related: Best Day Trips from San Diego, California
11. Dublin, Ireland
If you’re looking to get across the pond to Europe, the capital city of Ireland always seems to have a deal on flights. It’s also one of the shortest connections to Europe from North America, which is appealing to anyone not excited to spend several hours in coach.
You can find familiar airlines like United, Delta, and American all flying to Dublin from various points on the east coast. Irish national carrier Aer Lingus offers service all over the US, including many west coast cities. Thanks to the relatively short distance between Ireland and North America, fares are not exorbitant.
Ireland is an amazing place to visit for history lovers and outdoors people. But, it’s also a great hopping point to get further into Europe. The continent’s prominent ultra-low-cost carrier Ryanair is based in Dublin, meaning you can get just about anywhere for next to nothing.
See Related: Best Cheap Castles to Stay in Ireland
12. Cancun, Mexico
Let’s head back to Mexico, where the sun always seems to shine, even in the off-season. Cancun has to be Mexico’s most famous destination, offering ancient Mayan history and postcard-worthy beaches on the Caribbean Sea.
There’s a ton of demand for flights to Cancun and plenty of supply. You’ll find essentially every US carrier operating flights here to both big-city hubs and smaller towns.
Spirit Airlines and Frontier, in particular, operate some very cheap flights to secondary airports with lower operating costs, which are the ones to look out for.
You can have many different types of vacations in Cancun. Spa retreats, family spring break getaways, bar crawl party trips, and more are all possible in this Caribbean city.
I recommend trying Isla Mujeres, a small island off the coast, where the rest of the world seems to keep its distance and allow you to relax under the Caribbean sun as you, please.
13. Greek Islands
The Greek Islands are a dream destination for many people, and they aren’t that far out of reach, even for the tightest of budgets.
Especially being one of the first European destinations to reopen to tourism after the pandemic, these islands have always been hugely popular destinations and are served by a ton of daily flights.
Plugging Santorini or Mykonos into Google Flights from a North American departure airport won’t always produce the cheapest results. The key here is to fly to other relatively cheap European cities, like Dublin, London, or Milan, and book separate flights from there.
Low-cost carriers like Easyjet, Ryanair, and Wizz Air offer connections for less than 10 Euros each way – trust me, I’ve done it!
While Santorini and Mykonos are the big ones that everyone dreams of, don’t count out islands such as Corfu, Zakynthos, or Kefalonia. My personal favorite is Milos, which can be reached from Santorini by ferry and is sure to be exponentially less crowded.
See Related: Best Greek Party Islands to Visit
No, it’s not a mistake – Tahiti can be reached without spending your life savings! I know from personal experience that French Polynesia does not have to be a destination just for the rich and famous.
The only international airport in the islands is in the capital, Papeete, which offers limited connections to the rest of the world.
However, one is San Francisco, served by both United Airlines and low-cost carrier French Bee. Thanks to this competition dynamic, flight deals from the Bay Area can be unbelievably low.
Even if you’re not from San Francisco, you’ll notice that it is also on our list above, and you can probably get there for a good price.
Tahiti is a beautiful island, but since you’ve come all this way, you should see as much as you can. Save even more on costs by skipping Bora Bora and taking the inexpensive and quick ferry to Moorea across the channel, where you’ll get just as high-quality beaches.
15. Houston, Texas
Houston is a good bet if you’re looking for an affordable gateway into the Lone Star State. This large city is full of Texas attractions and is home to two major airports.
When it comes to cheap flights, two airports are always better than one. George Bush Intercontinental Airport is home to a massive operating base for United, which connects Houston with the entire country and several other continents.
The smaller William P. Hobby Airport is Southwest’s base in the area, from where they serve dozens of domestic and international cities with low fares.
Houston is a great city to explore, famously hosting the US Space Program’s headquarters, several interesting museums, and traditional Texas hospitality. You can also get to Galveston and all its Caribbean Sea beaches from Houston.
See Related: Best Breweries in Austin, Texas
16. Orlando, Florida
The hometown airport of Mickey Mouse is also one of the cheapest places to fly right now. The Orlando International Airport is an operating base for Spirit Airlines, Southwest, and JetBlue and is served by essentially every airline in America.
Florida is an important destination for Americans living on the East Coast as it’s a number one choice for family vacations and retiree travel. Thanks to the short distances between Orlando and major cities like New York, Baltimore, Washington, and Boston, along with most of the Midwest, fares are quite low.
Of course, the most obvious things you can do when flying into Orlando are visiting Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World. But Central Florida is also home to some great hiking and less than an hour to beautiful beaches.
17. Portland, Maine
We’ve got the perfect place for you if you’re seeing too many beaches on this list and not enough city breaks. Portland is a small city in the northern state of Maine, sitting on the state’s scenic Atlantic coast.
Portland may only have a small airport and limited destinations, but the good news is that many of them are inexpensive places to fly from. Carriers like Southwest and Frontier serve the Portland International Jetport (yes, that is its name) with connections mostly around the East Coast.
Portland is a real hidden gem in New England and great for any kind of vacation. You’ll have the best lobster of your life, fall in love with its little downtown area, and have other Maine sights like Bar Harbor just a short drive away.
See Related: How to Pack for a Camping Trip
If you’re a fan of true Colombian coffee, why not go get the real stuff? Well, it’s definitely possible, especially when you can fly to this destination in South America on a cheap flight!
Colombia has several international gateways, such as Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena, to name a few. It is definitely one of the cheapest places to fly in the South American continent, thanks to its airline service by carriers like Spirit and JetBlue, who fly mainly to Florida.
Even if you aren’t from the state, its airports are some of the cheapest to fly to, so you may be able to utilize these Colombian flights as well.
A Colombian adventure can be very diverse, ranging from vibrant city streets to wild tropical rainforests to tranquil Caribbean beaches. Make sure to leave some room in your suitcase to bring some of that famous Colombian coffee home, too!
19. Berlin, Germany
The German capital is a history-rich and lively city that’s great for any European itinerary. It’s also great for cheap flights, thanks to not only the large easyJet base there but also because of certain long-haul routes from North America.
Norse Atlantic is Europe’s most recent airline, having just started operations this summer with a fleet of brand-new Boeing 787s.
Their launch city was Berlin, flying to New York City for some obscenely low trans-Atlantic fares. Even besides Norse Atlantic, legacy carriers like United, Lufthansa, and British Airways can get you to Berlin for reasonable prices.
The city of Berlin is a great destination itself, with attractions like Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Tower. It’s also a great starting point for other destinations in Northern Germany, like Rügen Island and Heligoland.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Northern Germany
20. London, United Kingdom
Finally, the capital of the United Kingdom is definitely one of the cheapest places to fly right now on the other side of the pond. You can find nonstop routes between London and countless cities in the US, big and small.
London benefits from not two, not three, but five airports serving it – with some people counting more depending on how far you’re willing to go.
It’s also the only European city that US airline JetBlue serves, and another place served by low-cost Norse Atlantic. Due to all the services to London and its relatively close distance to the US, fares can be exceptionally low.
You could spend a week in London and still have plenty more to do. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Eye only scratch the surface of this great city. A short train ride can bring you to the famous White Cliffs of Dover and the lively beachfront of Brighton.
Airlines With the Cheapest Flights
Now that we’ve seen where you can go, you may be wondering who will get you there. If you want to know who has the cheapest flights right now, a few airlines stand out.
Alaska Airlines is one of the beloved budget carriers on the US west coast. This airline operates a fleet made up almost exclusively of Boeing 737s used for short to medium-haul routes.
Alaska Airlines’ main operating base is in Seattle, but it has hubs all up and down the western states (including in Alaska). While they have a low-cost model, passengers find the service friendly, routes convenient, and flight prices very fair.
On the other coast, we have Spirit Airlines, already mentioned several times above and well-known by Americans for their crazy fares. With bases in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas, Las Vegas, and others, you can find Spirit flying all over the continent, including to Central and South America.
Most flights operated by Spirit face heavy competition from the legacy carriers, which is only good for the average traveler who benefits from lower prices across the board.
Just keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for anything extra on Spirit Airlines, but even with those fees budgeted in, you can still find some serious savings.
Everyone knows Southwest Airlines as one of America’s friendliest carriers. From my experience, this is definitely true, as the staff seems to come from a different universe where everyone knows good customer service.
Most people love flying Southwest not just for that friendly service but also because there is no such thing as baggage fees, they’ve never charged change fees, and you don’t need to pay for seats.
That means you can fly with a giant surfboard to Hawaii and potentially be in row one, all at no extra charge.
See Related: What Affects Flight Prices? The Influencing Factors
Now, we are getting into the “Big Three” airlines of the United States, and we’ll begin with United Airlines. This mega-airline is recognizable all over the world and is guaranteed to serve a city near you.
United is not a low-cost carrier, but frequent fliers would argue that they are begun to resemble one in recent years.
Due to the rise of Basic Economy fares, United is moving closer to being in the same category as Spirit, which is never fun for loyal customers. However, this does mean lower fares, which is a happy thing for budget travelers.
The next of the Big Three on our list is American Airlines, another giant. American Airlines is the biggest airline in the world on multiple levels: based on fleet size, scheduled passengers carried, and revenue per passenger-mile (a common industry metric; the amount of money they make for transporting one passenger one mile).
You can spot American Airlines planes in more than 50 countries around the world and at more than ten hubs. Its sheer size and far reach around the country help drive lower fares for the average passenger, translating into great savings for those who know how to look.
Delta Air Lines
To finish off the Big Three, we have Delta Air Lines, another massive air carrier flying just about everywhere. Delta is known for its unique European and African routes that other US airlines don’t experiment with themselves.
Delta’s headquarters and largest hub is at the busiest airport in the world, the Atlanta International Airport. But you’ll also find massive Delta bases in cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis, where they fly to every inhabited continent.
Don’t count them out on your search for cheap destinations, as fares can be quite reasonable. Read more about the airline in our full Delta Airlines review.
Sun Country Airlines is an often overlooked airline that offers some amazing airfares around America. This relatively small airline is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport can be found flying leisure routes domestically and to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Sun Country is an especially attractive airline thanks to its direct flights to some of the most popular vacation hotspots during the wintertime for Minnesotans.
But even if you aren’t living near the Twin Cities, look out for routes departing from other airports around the country that operate seasonally.
See Related: Why Are Flights So Expensive Right Now?
If you are heading across the pond to Europe as record numbers of Americans have in recent times, don’t head straight for the famous railroads crisscrossing the continent. Ultra-low-cost carriers like Ryanair can almost certainly get you around faster and cheaper.
Ryanair is a massive airline headquartered in Dublin, with dozens of operating bases and hundreds of airports served. Even beyond Europe, Ryanair can take you to northern Africa and the Middle East.
They are famous for their special sales of tickets for under 10 Euros – I’ve done it myself, and I can assure you that it is very real and very cheap.
Tips to Find the Best Flight Deals
While all those places to fly and airlines to use are great, it’s important to know how to actually find the cheapest flight possible.
We’ve published a comprehensive guide on how to find cheap flights, but here is a snapshot of some of the most important tips you need to score the best prices in the sky.
Sign Up for Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights)
This is the absolute easiest tip that can often land you the best results. Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) is an awesome deal-finding service that does the time-consuming work of searching for cheap flights for you. When they find an amazing deal, they immediately send you an email to let you know the details.
Signing up for Going is really simple. After making an account, simply enter your home airport or multiple home airports.
That’s really it – Going’s team will be searching the entire world from your departure airport, and not just one destination. When they come across gold, they will let you know, and it’s up to you to finish the job!
See Related: Scott’s Cheap Flight Review: Is It Worth It?
Use Search Engines like Skyscanner, Google Flights, and Kayak
Hopefully, you are used to using a flight search engine like Skyscanner, Google Flights, or Kayak. Rather than searching airline website by airline website, a search on one of these will show you all airlines operating to a given destination at once, saving loads of time.
Another great advantage of using these sites is that they have tools like price drop alerts, suggestions for cheap destinations from your airport, and visualizations of flight deals based on flexible dates.
We’ll talk more about that last one next but use as many of these tools as possible to find the cheapest places to fly and the cheapest time to go.
Be Flexible with Dates & Airports
As you may know, it is essential to have some flexibility in order to find the absolute best flight deals. Even being able to move your departure or return by just a day can save you hundreds of dollars, which is why using a flexible dates search on Kayak or Skyscanner is so important.
Don’t forget to search for a combination of one-way flights rather than just round-trip, as this can seriously lower your final bill by putting you on a combination of airlines. Be sure to also check the box to search nearby airports at your final destination. Read our full Kayak.com review to see more about how you can use the platform.
What are some cheap places to fly in the US right now?
The US is a big place with a ton of airports, helping to bring down prices. Some of the cheapest airline tickets domestically are to low-cost carrier hubs such as Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Oakland, and Seattle.
How can I easily find the cheapest flight right now?
If you are simply looking for the absolute lowest-price ticket from your home airport, your best bet is to use a search engine like Skyscanner, Kayak, or Google Flights,. You can immediately see the best deals that have been found to any destination around the world from there, and even the cheapest month to fly.
What are the cheapest countries to fly to abroad?
If domestic destinations are just too close to home, there are still plenty of international ones that can be affordable. Some of the cheapest are in Central America and South America, where many of the US major and low-cost carriers fly, such as Costa Rica and Colombia.
Are budget airlines actually worth it?
While low-cost airlines like Spirit and Frontier are known for tacking on extra costs for everything they can, they can still be the cheapest options compared to full-service airlines.
This is especially true if you don’t need a large suitcase, don’t mind getting a randomly allocated seat, and don’t need food or drinks on the plane, among other things.