It’s been hard for many travelers to lose a spring and summer of wanderlust to the COVID-19 pandemic. So it might come as a relief that there are incredibly good deals on flights as countries around the world start inviting visitors to return.
From tropical getaways in Puerto Rico and Nicaragua to chic urban getaways in destinations like Sweden and Denmark to far-flung fares for Hawaii and Japan, it’s possible to find deals for 40-60% off, depending on your United States airport of departure.
While rules and regulations are still changing rapidly – including restrictions on which countries will allow entry by travelers from the US – there’s usually no harm in snagging a cheap fare months in advance. Just be sure to double-check cancellation and refund policies for your airline to be sure it’s free to make changes to your itinerary in case your plans – or your destination’s immigration stance – changes.
Using a tool like Dollar Flight Club can help you narrow down not only where to travel next, but which airlines will give you future flexibility, while also giving you access to especially good flight deals.
Percentages reflect the discount off the average price of the ticket. If you purchase through links on our site, Lonely Planet may earn a commission from the retailer.
Hong Kong: 68% off
Flying to Hong Kong for less than $300? That's just about unheard of, and definitely gives you more to play with at Hong Kong's bevy of restaurants that range from Michelin-starred noodles to dim sum to hot Neapolitan pizzas at 208 Duecento Otto.
Learn more: Hong Kong's most unique dining experiences
Bilbao: 61% off
Bilbao doesn't get as much attention as other destinations in Spain, which is a real shame given the unreal Basque dining scene, full of Michelin-starred restaurants and pintxo bars, not to mention the city's brilliant architecture.
Managua: 56% off
Nicaragua is garnering much more attention from tourists in recent years, who have taken note of its volcanos, surf, and eco-tourism offerings. Fly into the country’s capital, Managua, which is situated on a large lake sharing the same name, where humans have lived for at least six thousand years. This culturally diverse city is studded with lagoons, which once upon a time were volcanic craters and now have been turned into nature reserves. That means you can go zip lining in Managua without leaving the city, as well as bird watching and even boating, before dipping back into the winding streets for a bite to eat or the vibrant nightlife.
Learn more: Historic explorer: finding Nicaragua’s roots
Oslo: 54% off
It's easy to see why Oslo continues to inspire writers and artists from Henrik Ibsen to Karl Ove Knausgård. This Scandinavian city boasts a pretty skyline, a devotion to sustainability, plenty of outdoor thrills in urban parks and nearby ski slopes, and even a burgeoning night club scene. From Viking ships to open air museums, Oslo is alway a sight for sore eyes.
Puerto Vallarta: 50% off
Beloved by Mexican and international tourists alike, Puerto Vallarta has long had a reputation for friendliness, and later as a LGBTQI+ beach destination where everyone is welcome to enjoy the warm weather, pleasant boardwalk, and scuba diving opportunities that abound. Whether you're looking for adults-only resorts, chill beaches, or all the seafood you can eat – Puerto Valarta half off is hard to say no to.
Tokyo: 49% off
It’s always been easier to find affordable fares to Asian destinations from the US west coast, but scoring close to half off to Tokyo doesn’t happen every day. If you’re looking for a real change of scenery, Japan’s capital is definitely it, with a dizzying array of things to do and see, from shopping to trekking, from historic castles to pop culture, from the culinary scene to toasting a real vacation.
Learn more: Tokyo in autumn: the best things to do and see
Follow in the footsteps of Hemingway and Federico García Lorca in Spain's sun-soaked capital, where you can punctuate breaks between museums and activities with stops for tapas at endless neighborhood cafes. One of the oldest operating restaurants, where the same fire has been roasting suckling pig for the past three hundred years, is here in Madrid, along with numerous other centenarios which offer up a side of history with your meal. And that's not even getting to the incredible works of art here, the plazas, or the winding cobblestone streets lined with flowers.
Learn more: Highlights of Madrid
Helsinki: 45% off
Finland doesn't get all the attention that Norway and Sweden do, but that makes it even better for dodging crowds in favor of exploring the Finnish capital's winding back streets, hiking trails just outside the city, and an archipelago of winsome islands dotting its Baltic bays. This well-designed, family-friendly hub is the perfect place to get off the beaten European path and check a new place off your bucket list.
Learn more: How to live like a Local in Helsinki
Valencia: 45% off
Spain is certainly calling, and it's hard to resist Valencia's blend of history and modernism, from the Catedral de Valencia to the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Home to sprawling markets where you can get the ingredients for paella and bikeable streets where you can take in the beautiful city's unique architecture, Valencia is the perfect place to stretch your legs.
Learn more: How to live like a local in Valencia
Once known as the Athens of the UK, Edinburgh hasn't lost any of its Scottish mystique, with time-worn castles and ancient festivals, art museums and lochs, charming bed and breakfasts and modern hotels. Whether you're looking for fine restaurants or to follow in the footsteps of famous authors, Edinburgh is a city that has always been a little larger than life.
Learn more: Edinburgh for first-timers