Looking for a great U.S. getaway in 2011? The top U.S. travel destinations include Las Vegas, New York, Orlando and San Francisco. Make them part of your travel itinerary this year with these tips on cheap flight deals:
1. Las Vegas
Southern Nevada’s economy is still in recovery mode, but that’s good news for travelers: there are plenty of hotel deals and cheap resort packages. Find these deals by signing up for email alerts from your favorite hotels and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
Best Time to Buy – Las Vegas
Deals to can be found year round, but avoid paying premium prices during the most popular times of year to fly to Vegas which include New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl weekend, and Valentine’s Day. Avoid summer travel too if you can’t take the heat.
Smart Tip – Vegas: Vegas is casual so pack light with a carry-on bag; the Domestic Bag Fee Chart will show you prices for checked-bags. Fly the red-eye to avoid the crowds at McCarran; it’ll also shorten the notoriously long wait for a cab.
2. New York
New York City took the number one spot on Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities 2011 list and no wonder: it has it all from world class attractions, Broadway shows, amazing museums and 20,000 restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world.
Best Time to Buy – New York
Look for deals year round, especially from other hub cities. Priciest times include the Thanksgiving and December holidays, but you can find flight deals in the Fall and the first couple of weeks in December. If you’re looking for “dead zones”–off-peak travel times–a good dead zone occurs during most of January when airfares will be relatively cheap.
Smart Tip – New York: Major chains and boutique hotels offer special deals and packages during the fall and winter (except during Thanksgiving and Christmas); hop on a bus or subway like a native and it won’t matter which Manhattan neighborhood you choose to stay in.
This popular Florida destination landed a spot on Hub Pages Top 10 Best Holiday Destinations For 2011, which is no surprise: From Mickey Mouse to Harry Potter, Orlando is theme park central, and don’t forget those eco-tours for nature lovers.
Best Time to Buy – Orlando
Airfare deals can be found at various times throughout the year, however, theme parks get very crowded in summer. During President’s Day Weekend and Spring Break, the lines can be exasperatingly long. Try traveling when the kids are in school in the fall, or in January and early February.
Smart Tip – Orlando: Official Orlando tourism websites are an excellent source for hotel package deals, free meals and other specials.
Conde Nast Traveler readers voted San Francisco the number one U.S. city thanks to attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge. Fabulous food and hotels only add to its reputation as one of America’s most diverse cities – and some call it the prettiest, as well.
Best Time to Buy – San Francisco
This is another destination where deals can be had year-round. Hometown carrier Virgin America is a great source for cheap flights. Its website features airfare sales at least a couple of times a month.
Smart Tip – San Francisco: Check airfare prices to both San Francisco International and nearby Oakland International; the Oakland airport, which features numerous Southwest Airlines flights, is just 20 miles away.
Finding Cheap Flights for Las Vegas, New York, Orlando and San Francisco
There are four great ways to get deals to your favorite city every time you fly: