Last-Minute July 4th Deals

Well, we’re certainly coming down to the wire, aren’t we? But if you really want to get away for the Fourth on a plane, here are some suggestions. They’ll work for other last-minute trips, too.

Travel scams people fall for. Again and again.

Last-Minute Sales

Several airlines offer regular weekend getaway deals including American, United, US Airways and occasionally Delta (there might be one or two others but this is usually a legacy airline thing). You can often find them in the Deals Blog.

Current July 4 weekend deals:

  • American: Getaway Deals from $134 round-trip
  • United: Weekend Deals from $155 round-trip
  • US Airways: Last-Minute Weekend Deals from $210 round-trip

Drawback #1: These specials typically require a Friday or Saturday departure so if you want to be at your destination on July 4th, it might not happen. Plus, be prepared to take an extra day or so off because some of these sales don’t allow you to  return until Monday or Tuesday.

Drawback #2: Some weekend sales do not include a lot of departure cities (United seems to have the most); if you’re lucky enough to find your city, you usually have an extremely limited number of destinations to choose from. If you just want to get away, though, this could work for you.

Hub-to-Hub Deals

If you live in a large hub city with regular flights to another large city about 90 minutes away by air – such as Los Angeles/San Francisco – you’ll find these routes far less affected by steep seasonal prices hikes seen on other routes. This is not to  say these flights won’t be expensive, but they may be within the realm of financial possibility.

Drawback: If you live far, far away from a big hub, this isn’t going to work.

Airfare Alerts

Set up airfare alerts from your home airport and see if any last minutes deals come through. Unfortunately, last-minute deals are getting harder and harder to come by.

Drawback: Read the last sentence above.

Another Way to Celebrate

Celebrate the Fourth by giving yourself the promise of a trip which you’ll begin on or after Aug. 25. That’s when peak summer season prices drop by 10 to 15 percent (or more) and crowds of tourists start melting away, too.

Drawback: None we can see. Now go pursue the right of happiness.

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Published: July 1, 2014