The kids will be back at school before you know it, which can only mean one thing: Time for a parental getaway! But it can also mean time for a family getaway, too especially for weekend jaunts. Let’s look at some of the cheaper destinations and how to find the very cheapest tickets to make a getaway possible.
Finding the best deals
Step 1: Follow these tips, most of which are good anytime, anywhere.
- Shop for airfare on Tuesdays when many airlines offer their best deals
- Try to fly on the cheapest days, either Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday
- Late night, overnight and flights at dawn are usually cheapest
- If your town is a smaller city, check prices from the nearest hub – the difference may be worth the drive
Step 2: Click the city name to find the deals.
For grown-up getaways
These are some of the cheaper destinations for fall and popularly considered adult-friendly though you’d be surprised at how much fun stuff there is for kids, too.
- Las Vegas – You could spend all your time at the casinos, or even outside of them enjoying the free shows like the Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo, the Freemont Street Experience or the Fountains of Bellagio – or head for the great outdoors with hiking and biking at nearby Red Rock Canyon or kayaking on the Colorado near Hoover Dam.
- New York – Haven’t seen the Statue of Liberty? Now’s the time, and ditto for the Empire State Building. Then watch a show (Broadway or street performers) or do some shopping (including the world’s top designers, but don’t ignore the street vendors). You want food? There are 20,000-plus restaurants waiting for you from cozy neighborhood joints to high end eateries like pricy Per Se (tasting menu for two in 2013, about $590).
- New Orleans – Visit the French Quarter, Jefferson Square and St. Louis Cathedral. Then Check out Magazine St. which meanders for six miles of shopping bliss. You want food? You’ve come to the right place for gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee or the perfect po-boy.
For family getaways
These are destinations with children in mind, but have something for everyone.
- Boston – Explore the country’s history on the Freedom Trail and the Old North Church and check out Faneuil Hall and the Boston Public Garden for a swan ride. Baseball fans will need to worship at Fenway Park, while others can shop boutiques and bookstores before enjoying some excellent seafood. Traveling around Halloween? Spooky Salem is just down the road.
- Orlando – Theme park central, thanks to Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World (and more), but don’t forget the nearby Kennedy Space Center – NASA’s launch headquarters is open for tours – and the Orlando Museum of Art has hands-on projects for kids.
- Washington, D.C. – The president may be busy but you can still visit his home, and don’t miss the memorials on the Mall including Lincoln’s and Jefferson’s. If you have enough stamina, you might get through some of the Smithsonian’s 19 separate museums but whatever you see will be worth it.