Now, we all know that the airline companies are infamous for jacking up prices over the holidays, especially on the brink of Thanksgiving and Christmastime.
However, you can still find plenty of deals to destinations both near and far — from sunny shore to snowy wonderland — during these last two months of 2018 that will have you wheels-up without breaking the bank — especially if you can be a bit flexible on your travel dates and times.
All of these flights ring in at under $400 — and, what’s more, they are nonstop flights. So, you won’t be spending half your time off sitting in airports on layovers. But, don’t sit on these deals, as airfare rates are known to fluctuate constantly.
Maybe you even have some fam in the vicinity of one or more of these places. Two birds, one flight… right?!
Price: From $60
It’s common to score a deal for a Dallas-to-Denver flight — and this winter will be no exception with nearly every airline offering cheap options. Explore the city itself, and check out Red Rocks Park, the Denver Art Museum, the hip RiNo art district, and the historic-trendy LoDo district of Larimer Square and Union Station. Or, use your ticket as a gateway to the ski slopes of Vail, Aspen, and beyond. No matter where you go, if you’re a mountains person, there’s really no easier place to escape to snow-capped peaks.
Price: From $483
Paris is always a good idea. But, you probably never thought you could go to the City of Lights for less than $500. Sure, this is $83 over our $400 cap. But, it’s Paris. And, it’s just as magical in the winter as in the spring, what with all the Christmas markets, lights, and festivities. Plus, you just have to see the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Champs-Élysées, and Arc de Triomphe. And, you should probably go see the Mona Lisa, too, at the Louvre. Why not, after all.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Price: From $78
Nestled in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, Hot Springs is a picturesque place known for naturally heated springs, many of them in Hot Springs National Park to the north. While it’s a great place to cozy up to a spa treatment in a thermal bathhouse, you can also check out that park or such things as the seasonal tours at Moss Mountain Farm, holiday lights shows, Garvan Woodland Gardens (including the lovely Anthony Chapel!), and more.
Price: From $95
The Windy City may be a brisk prospect in the winter. But, don’t let the wind chill scare you away from all the festive cheer, what with the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade; the beautiful changing leaves; ice skating and the giant Christmas tree lighting at Millennium Park; the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival; Christkindlmarket; Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights; and so much more. Of course, you could always camp out inside in front of a deep-dish pizza, have an over-the-top gourmet experience at Chef Grant Achatz’s Alinea, or warm up at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate.
Price: From $151
Get the party, ahem fiesta, started! This popular, beachy scene of Mexico is pretty accessible, what with the quick (and cheap) plane ride and the all-inclusive resorts that make it easy to eat, drink, and be merry. Of course, you could always get outside the Cancún bubble and explore the nearby Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, or Tulum, too.
Price: From $102
Home to more than a dozen theme parks, including the major attractions of Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, Orlando will have you going from the Magic Kingdom to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and back again. While there’s other stuff to do here, there's no question this place is first and foremost be the ultimate playground for kids at heart (and kids, too).
Las Vegas, Nevada
Price: From $102
If you’re in the mood to get your party on, then a trip to the Strip can pretty easily be in the cards with this flight deal that will leave plenty of spare change for any chances you want to take at the gambling tables. Of course, there’s plenty to do if you’re not high-rolling this time around. See a show; hit Fremont Street; or have an adventure away from the casino chaos. Day trips to Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and more are definitely doable.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Price: From $336
Vancouver is not only a dazzling diverse city, but it’s also a truly festive destination during the holidays with a never-ending list of things to see and do. The place even claims its own “North Pole” at Grouse Mountain’s The Peak of Christmas with Santa, ice skating, and all the twinkling lights. The famous Stanley Park gets in on the winter wonderland with the Bright Nights Train, too. Or, just sidle up to a trendy bar in Yaletown for some time away from the cold. Just don’t miss the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It’s a sight to behold any time of year but is made all the more so with the winter lights festival, Canyon Lights.
Los Angeles, California
Price: From $102
Make all that California dreamin’ come true with a trip to the City of Angels. Whether you’re shopping at Rodeo Drive, hiking Runyon Canyon, hitting the beach, dining around, or hanging out hoping for a celeb sighting, there’s always something to do in Hollywood.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Price: From $105
For a quick escape from the chillier temps, Fort Lauderdale is a sunny option with its pretty Beachfront Promenade, the shopping, and dining of Las Olas Boulevard, the Riverwalk arts and entertainment district, boat tours through the canals, and Flamingo Gardens, a 60-acre botanical garden, and Everglades wildlife sanctuary.
Price: From $116
History buffs will gravitate towards the City of Brotherly Love, which is notable for its rich history including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were signed. Philly cheesesteak should be on your menu of activities, too, as should the foodie paradise of Reading Terminal Market. You can chow down after you run up the “Rocky Steps” of the Philadelphia Museum of Art which are famous for their appearance in the “Rocky” movie.
Price: From $118
This desert destination known for its perpetually sunny conditions can be a welcome reprieve in the fall and winter when you can more easily hike Camelback Mountain and explore Papago Park and the Desert Botanical Garden without completely melting in summer’s sweltering heat. Old Town Scottsdale is also a must for Southwestern arts and hip eateries. You should also take a tour of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home, which offers insight into how the architect was inspired by his desert surroundings.
New York City, New York
Price: From $128
The Big Apple is where it’s at — especially around the holidays. From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to the towering Christmas Tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center, all the festively decorated windows, and so much more, you’ll be like a kid in a candy store (and, of course, there are plenty of those sweet shops, too).
Price: From $133
If you haven’t been to the capital of the United States, it’s time to cross this destination off the list. In addition to all the must-see monuments, memorials, and museums, you should definitely swing by the Renwick Gallery. They have brought the large-scale, participatory work of Burning Man to the gallery with immersive, room-sized installations.
San Diego, California
Price: From $195
Walk on the wild side at the renowned San Diego Zoo or SeaWorld San Diego. Or, check out the cultural heart of the city at the beautiful Balboa Park which features 17 museums and performing arts venues. Of course, the 70 miles of glorious coastline is really the signature attraction here with so many scenic beaches and bays and so little time.
Price: From $199
South Beach, here you come! If you’re looking for something more than beachin’ it up by day and hitting the nightlife scene after dark, Art Basel comes through the city on December 6-9 to present artworks from all over the globe.
Charleston, South Carolina
Price: From $236
Southern charm is at its finest in Charleston, where cobblestone streets, pastel-painted homes, boat rides from the harbor, foodie tours, and the elegant French Quarter and Battery districts only scratch the surface of sweet soul of this place.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Price: From $350
The laid-back, multicultural Calgary is also your ticket to cool adventures across Alberta this fall and winter, from the breathtaking Banff National Park and Lake Louise to the fairytale-esque Edmonton Ice Castle, and nearby winter-weather resorts where you can be the ultimate ski bunny and hit the slopes.
Belize City, Belize
Price: From $376
Belize may be small at only 9,000 square miles total, but it packs a punch. Snorkelers and scuba divers will go crazy for spots like Ambergris Caye not to mention the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Great Blue Hole located along the barrier reef. On solid ground, Mayan archaeological sites like Corozal, Altun Ha, and Lamanai are just as impressive.
Palm Springs, California
Price: From $377
An oasis of warm tropical vibes, cinematic scenes, cool arts and culture, and plenty of outdoor adventures, Palm Springs is pretty much a perfect spot for a winter retreat. Plus, it’s within an hour’s drive from Joshua Tree National Park, which has its own kind of massive desert magic.