Plan Your Valentine's Trip, Find Affordable Flights for Romantic Getaways

Best Valentine’s Day Gifts = Affordable Weekend Getaways

In case you’ve forgotten, Valentine’s Day is February 14 (and if you have forgotten, I’m sure your significant other will remind you) so Valentine’s Weekend isn’t that far away.

Traditionally, the Valentine’s Day gift experience is for couples: a celebration of love with red roses, heart-shaped chocolates, sparkling champagne (and maybe even a sparkling diamond); but more and more have come to see the holiday as the perfect excuse for a romantic getaway–with cheap flights to some popular romantic destinations making an unforgettable weekend even more possible.

Even families, friends and singles are getting in on the act, and why not – getaways are for everyone. Let FareCompare help you plan your perfect Valentine’s Day trip.

7 Great Valentine’s Day Gift Destinations

Check with the FareCompare Where-to-Go Getaway Map; at just a glance, you’ll be able to see prices from your home airport to any destination that strikes your fancy. Some suggestions (and just click on the city name to find cheap flights to these destinations):

  1. Las Vegas – For Gamblers: Gaming & marriage; 120,000+ tie the knot here each year.
  2. Caribbean – For Sun Worshippers: White sand, blue water, red hot romance.
  3. Denver – For Skiers: The gateway to some of the best ski vacations in the West.
  4. New Orleans – For Foodies: Creole. Cajun. French. Fabulous.
  5. San Francisco – For Sophisticates: Quite possibly the prettiest city in America.
  6. Los Angeles – For the Star Struck: Hollywood, Getty Museum, In-N-Out Burgers.
  7. New York – For Everything: They don’t call it the greatest city in the world for nothing.

When to Fly for Valentine’s Day

If you must fly on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, fly the weekend before Valentine’s Day or you’ll be up against an expensive airfare period – the weekend surrounding President’s Day (Feb. 21). For example, New York to Denver airfare prices for flights on Feb. 11/14 showed roundtrips for about $200 but on President’s Day weekend (Feb. 18/21), flights were almost three times as high.

Here are the best times to fly for Valentine’s Day getaways at the cheapest possible prices:

  • Fly mid-week during Valentine’s Day period: Tues., Wed. and Sat. are the cheapest days to fly
  • Fly the weekend before Valentine’s Day: Usually cheaper than President’s Day weekend

How to Shop for Valentine’s Day

Roses, chocolates and diamonds have their place as hallmark valentine’s day gifts, but they pale in comparison to the gift of an airline ticket – the gift of a getaway. And it can be a lot cheaper than bling, too.

Some of my favorite shopping tips:

  • Shop for airfare on Tuesdays: This is the cheapest day to shop, especially around 3pm
  • Look for vacation packages: Don’t need the rental car or hotel? Just use the cheap flight
  • Fly from large airports: Drive a little farther to that big hub to save money
  • Avoid checked bags: Weekends don’t require much luggage; use a carryon and save $50

Where did you go last Valentine’s Day? And where would you like to go for a romantic getaway this year? Share with us on Facebook. We’d love to hear your story.

Learn more about FareCompare and the cheapest days to fly and best times to buy airline tickets for year-round savings.

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Published: January 31, 2011