Back-to-School Getaways – For Families, Couples and Single Travelers

Sorry kids – it’s August. Getting close to the end of summer. Back to school days.

But this could be the perfect time for a trip – for families, for couples, for solo travelers. Easy to plan, too. Take a look, see if there’s a getaway in your future.

LISTEN: Travel expert Rick Seaney on how to make getaways even cheaper.

Getaways for Families

These will work for folks without kids, too – but they’re especially good for families with school-age children.

  • Figure out available travel dates: First, find out the date of the first day of school (this is what’s known as stating the obvious). Also check the new academic year calendar for any days off in autumn. We’re not talking about Labor Day or Thanksgiving; this would be more along the lines of a day off due to a teachers’ conference.

Now that you know when you can travel, try one of these options.

  • Look for late August deals: Check the Deals Blog for “Late Summer” sales (and we’ve seen lots of these in the past few weeks). Many require you to travel on Aug. 25 (or after) but we’ve seen a few that begin in mid-August.
  • Look for weekend deals: Last-minute sales for the upcoming weekend usually appear mid-week and American and United often have a good  selection. Some allow you to travel beginning Friday after 7 p.m. while others limit you to Saturday departures. You typically have a range of return dates from Sunday to Tuesday.
  • Look for hub-to-hub deals: No special sales for these deals because they are usually reasonably priced year-round especially between cities where flights last 90 minutes or less. Examples include Los Angeles-San Francisco, Houston-Dallas, Boston-New York, New York-Washington, D.C.

Getaways for Couples or Singles

You are lucky. If you don’t have to worry about the kids (or don’t have any), all you need to worry about is taking a few days off from work and there will be a lot less competition for good dates in fall than summer.

Look for flights after Aug. 25: Traveling on or after Aug. 25 can save from 10 to 30 percent off summer airfare. If you can travel on off-peak days including Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, you’ll save even more.

Look for dead zone deals: Dead zones are typically the cheapest times of year to fly. The January zone is the cheapest of all, but there are two good ones in the fall.

  • November dead zone: The first two weeks in November (before the Thanksgiving travel period)
  • December dead zone: The two weeks sandwiched between the Thanksgiving and Christmas rush

Getaway Destination Suggestions

Both Boston and Denver have been good values year-round and are perfect for fall foliage trips. Learn more about Massachusetts and New England fall foliage season here and more on Colorado’s prime viewing season here.

And Finally

Keep it simple by using a carry-on; they are easy to pack and it’ll save you the $50 round -trip bag fee charged by most airlines. Note: Allegiant, Spirit and  Frontier charge for carry-ons.

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Published: July 30, 2014