Cheap Flights to the Beach: How to Save Money on a Warm Getaway

Some residents of North Dakota recently shivered through wind chill temperatures of 50 degrees below zero. Maybe it’s not that cold where you are, but the wintertime blues are settling in, so – time to hit the beach!

See our picks for best beaches below.

Tips for Beach City Deals

Listen to travel expert Rick Seaney on the ABC’s of cheap beach getaways:

Follow these tips to find the cheapest flights to the best beaches:

  • Check the Deals Blog: We’ve seen some excellent airfare sales recently that include U.S. beaches as well as Caribbean and Mexico resorts. The Deals Blog is updated daily – use this resource.
  • Shop on Tuesday: The cheapest day to shop for airfare is usually Tuesday at about 3 p.m. eastern time – that’s when the biggest selection of discounted tickets are available. Fans of FareCompare are very familiar with this tip; it’s popular because it works.
  • Fly Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Traditionally these are the cheapest days to fly, largely because they are unpopular days to fly. If you’re flexible, you will save.
  • Look for Connecting Flights: Compare the price of non-stops vs. flights with a connection (or two). A little inconvenience can save big bucks.

Best Beach Destinations

Click the destination name to find the cheapest flights.

Warm U.S. Beaches

Florida panhandle: The white sand beaches of Pensacola and Panama City are underrated and absolutely lovely. Both are served by a variety of airlines plus discount carriers – AirTran at Pensacola and Southwest at Panama City.

Honolulu: Hawaii’s charms require little elaboration – it’s warm and it’s beautiful. What else do you need to know? Look for deals to the islands from several West Coast cities.

Los Angeles: So many airports to choose from including the LAX hub and JetBlue-dominated Long Beach. If LA’s too chilly, shop, dine or play tourist in Hollywood – or make the two-hour drive south to the warmth of San Diego. Take your pick of airlines including plenty of discounters.

Miami or Ft. Lauderdale: Thank goodness for the beaches – the perfect place to rest up from all those amazing clubs. Compare airfare prices to both cities, since they take turns offering the best deals.

Myrtle Beach: This popular seaside region has miles of beaches, kid-friendly amusements plus impressive golf courses.

Warm Caribbean Beaches

Cancun: Clear blue water and excellent dining await you, plus well-priced airfare thanks to low-cost carriers like AirTran, JetBlue and more.

Montego Bay: Deals to Jamaica have been cropping up regularly lately making this the perfect time to visit this fabled island city.

Nassau: The Bahamas are hot right now and you can find the deals to prove it. Use those savings to buy a souvenir photo of your swim with the dolphins.

San Juan: Puerto Rico is one of the more affordable Caribbean islands and offers the requisite beautiful beaches as well as historic cathedrals and excellent cuisine – don’t miss the asopao de pollo.

Warm Wild Card

Phoenix: OK, we admit it – there is no beach in Phoenix – but it’s warm, and there’s plenty of golf and other outdoor activities to chase away those winter doldrums.  Plus Frontier, JetBlue and Southwest all fly there, so you know you’ll find a deal.

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Published: January 24, 2013