Summer is prime time for travel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a bargain. We are headed into another summer of low airfares, with more than half of our most popular destinations trending down in price compared to last year. Get ready to save on flights to a host of great destinations where average airfares are 10 percent (or more) cheaper than last summer.
We’ve crunched the numbers to uncover this year’s list of 10 places to go where the airfare is low. Read on for a mix of domestic and international destinations that are our picks for bargains in the making for this summer.
Barcelona, Spain — Average airfare down 41% over last summer
Admiring Pablo Picasso’s art at the Museu Picasso, strolling Las Ramblas, walking through Gaudi’s Parc Guell and sampling Spanish wines and savory tapas are perennially popular pastimes in Barcelona. Thanks to the newly opened L9 metro line, visitors can now quickly and cheaply travel from Barcelona Airport to the city. Barcelona offers many new attractions this year, including the newly opened Ferrari Land and the opening of Sant Pau’s newly restored Sant Salvador hall. Barcelona is also hosting the 10th annual Circuit Festival, the largest LGBTQA festival in the world.
Venice, Italy — Average airfare down 31% over last summer
A trip to Venice, Italy, is always a priceless experience. Adding inexpensive airfare only sweetens the deal. There’s plenty to do in the summertime, including experiencing the new Viva Vivaldi multimedia show at the Museo Diocesano d’Arte Sacra, which pays homage to Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi. Venice’s social summer calendar is also filled with notable events like the Festa di San Marco, a water parade of traditional row boats; La Biennale, the (mostly) free art biennial event that features hundreds of international artists; and the Venice Film Festival in the Lido.
Lisbon, Portugal — Average airfare down 26% over last summer
Step back in time in Lisbon, Portugal. The coastal capital city is the picture-perfect place for summertime strolls past ornate, colonial architecture, historic sites like St. George’s Castle and Instagram-worthy views. Take a break from walking and hop on Tram 28 through the hilly Alfama neighborhood and get lost in the narrow, cobblestone streets flanked by cafes and shops.
Knoxville, Tennessee — Average airfare down 17% over last summer
Knoxville, Tenn., has a rich 225-year-old history that has beckoned travelers for decades. Music lovers will appreciate this summer’s cheap airfare, as well as diverse musical offerings, including free live music six days a week at the Downtown Visitors Center and A-list country and rock ‘n’ roll concerts. A free trolley whisks travelers around downtown where visitors can learn more about the Civil War sites in the area. Locals insist that visitors must visit Urban Wilderness, more than 1,000 acres of multi-use trails with hiking, walking and biking for any level.
Dublin, Ireland — Average airfare down 16% over last summer
The U.S. now has 20 airports offering direct flights to Ireland, making access easy and increasing the chances of scoring cheap airfare. You don’t need the luck of the Irish to discover Dublin on a budget either. We’ve found plenty of cheap (and many free) things to do in the capital of the Emerald Isle, like shopping local at the popular Ha’Penny Vintage and Craft Market, listening to local musicians for free at Whelan’s and people watching on Grafton Street. Summertime is also prime time to visit Dublin. Special events this summer include Bloomsday in celebration of James Joyce, Taste of Dublin and the Dublin Writers Festival.
Colorado Springs, Colorado — Average airfare down 16% over last summer
Summer in Colorado Springs, Colo., offers endless blue skies, rodeos and plenty of outdoor options like floating down the Arkansas River with a rafting guide, riding the world’s highest cog railway to the summit of the 14,115-foot Pikes Peak and touring the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, where visitors can eat with Olympic hopefuls. There are many events during the summer, including Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo July 12-15, 2017 and the Labor Day Lift Off balloon festival Sept. 2-4, 2017.
Charleston, South Carolina — Average airfare down 13% over last summer
Charleston, S.C.’s Southern hospitality coupled with its iconic antebellum mansions and rich 300-year-old history make this a charming and picturesque place to visit. It’s also a foodie hotspot with several James Beard Award-winning restaurants that promote “farm to fork” locavore cuisine like Hominy Grill, FIG and McCrady’s.
Hilo, Hawaii — Average airfare down 13% over last summer
The second largest city in Hawaii, Hilo is a draw for visitors not only for lower airfare, but also for its attractions like Richardson’s Beach Park, Waianuene (Rainbow) Falls and Imiloa Astronomy Center. The revitalization of Downtown Hilo features new restaurants and shops and expanded marine monument Mokupapapa Discovery Center. Don’t miss the Liliuokalani Gardens, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and Kilauea Volcano, where visitors can see lava flowing into the ocean.
Guatemala City, Guatemala — Average airfare down 12% over last summer
Want a deal on a trip to Central America this summer? Consider Guatemala City, which offers cosmopolitan flair juxtaposed with historical sites like the city’s famed cathedral, centennial buildings and museums. Indulge in retail therapy at Zona Viva and Cuatro Grados Norte. Take a side trip to Antigua, Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in a picturesque valley flanked by volcanoes and mountains populated with coffee plantations.
Spokane, Washington — Average airfare down 12%
Spokane, Wash., offers luxury that rivals bigger cities at affordable price points. Plus, it’s easy to access – Spokane International Airport is 10 minutes from downtown. The perfect mix of urban chic and natural beauty, inexpensive yet memorable attractions include Huntington Park and its majestic Spokane Falls (the second largest urban waterfall in the U.S.), zip lining over tree tops, white water rafting on the Spokane River and hiking the 90-acre Manito Park on Spokane’s South Hill.
Which one of these value destinations would you most like to see this summer? Share with us in the comments.
Feature image: iStockPhoto/EHStock