Top Travel Destinations: Can You Afford to Go?
A recent article on TravelDailyNews.com listed some of the top summer domestic and international destinations for 2011. It is quite an impressive list of fun and exciting cities – but how expensive is it, really, to fly to these places? Can you really find cheap flights there?
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics analyzed the average domestic fares in and out of all major airports for the fourth quarter of 2010. Below, the top domestic travel destinations are ranked from least expensive to most expensive. The airport’s ranking and the average airfare on the BTS list are listed in parentheses.
1. Orlando (ranked 99; $243)
2. Ft. Lauderdale (ranked 98; $244)
3. Las Vegas (ranked 93; $259)
4. Denver (ranked 77; $299)
5. Seattle (ranked 45; $344)
6. New York (ranked 26; $363)
7. Los Angeles (ranked 20; $372)
8. San Francisco (ranked 14; $381)
So what are travelers to do if they want to visit these exciting cities, but do not want to shell out the money for airfare? For the more expensive destinations of the bunch, it might be worth looking into another airport that serves the same region – that is if you do not mind the drive. If you are headed to San Francisco (ranked 14th), consider flying into San Jose (ranked 79th) and you could save almost $100 on airfare. Better yet, fly into Oakland (ranked 91st) and pay an average of $271.
Los Angeles, which has traditionally been a higher-cost city in terms of travel, might start seeing lower airfare now that Virgin is now flying there.
There was no BTS ranking for two other popular U.S. destinations: Hawaii and Puerto Rico (not a state, but it is a U.S. territory). We found average roundtrip travel to Honolulu in September clocked in at $977. The average cost of tickets to San Juan during the same period were $424.
The BTS does not keep similar statistics for international travel. But we should note that the average rate for international airfare rose 7 percent from 2009 to 2010, and now comes in at $1,795.
You can generally find lower cost airfare to Mexico right now because of concerns about security. If you would like to visit Asia, consider South Korea or even Japan over China, which has higher airfares because of a high volume of business travelers.
Here is the average airfare in September for some of the most popular international destinations, ordered by cost from least to most expensive.
1. Cancun, Mexico – $359
2. Nassau, Bahamas – $468
3. Madrid, Spain – $715
4. Zurich, Switzerland – $902
5. Dublin, Ireland – $916
6. Berlin, Germany -$937
7. Paris (flying into Charles de Gaulle) – $1079
8. London (flying into Heathrow) – $1,055
9. Athens, Greece – $1,208
10. Seoul, Korea – $1,329
11. Beijing, China – $1,340
12. Tokyo, Japan – $1,412
Remember that any time you travel, you can save money by visiting cities or regions with multiple airports and with service from different carriers. There is nothing like a little friendly competition to help drive down prices.
Image credits: NYC & Company, CaribbeanMag.com