It’s a perfect storm for summer travellers, and it has nothing to do with the weather. A combination of a strong dollar, lower fuel prices and more competition from discount airlines has conspired to create the lowest airfares for five years.
Cheapflights.com, took a look at airfares for the top 50 most-searched destinations from January to April of this year and then compared average prices to the same destination for each of the past five years. 2016 was hands-down the winner. They have put together a top ten list of the ten destinations to go to while airfares are low (five US domestic, five international) where airfares had shown the biggest drops in the last year – all of them down more than 25%.
Steely skyscrapers, top chefs, rocking festivals – the Windy City will blow you away with its low-key cultured awesomeness. Chicago boasts multiple free festivals this summer, including the Chicago Blues Festival in June and the Chicago Jazz Festival held Labor Day weekend, among many other must-see events. Pop culture enthusiasts should also be sure to grab some grub at the summer-long “Saved by the Bell” pop-up diner in Wicker Park, “Saved by the Max.” Airfares are down 41% compared with last year.
New York, New York
Epicenter of the arts. Dining and shopping capital. Trendsetter. New York City wears many crowns, and spreads an irresistible feast for all. Big airfare drops for flights landing at LaGuardia look to be making the city that never sleeps a perfect city getaway. With airfares down 31% compared with last year, there is no better time to explore Central Park in all its summertime glory, and take advantage of a number of free events. The Annual Museum Mile Festival happens in June, opening up Museum Mile to the public for free. Soak up the culture (and the sun) and then take in Shakespeare in the Park, also free. Plan ahead as lines for tickets can get long. If the Bard isn’t your bag, NYC also offers free outdoor movies throughout the city.
Los Angeles, California
Thanks to some healthy competition for international travellers between Gatwick and Heathrow, average airfares to London are down (29% into Gatwick and 33% into Heathrow) and deals are there for the taking. So why not hop across the pond this summer? June brings the Trooping of the Colour, a parade in honour of the Queen’s birthday, as well as a two-day floating cinema tour.
San Jose, Costa Rica
All trails lead to waterfalls, misty crater lakes or jungle-fringed, deserted beaches. Explored by horseback, foot or kayak, Costa Rica is a choose-your-own-adventure land. Discover your own adventure while average flight prices to Juan Santamaria International are down this year (31%). Add to that, rich culture and tasty affordable dining options, and you will want to start packing immediately.
Airfares to Bangkok International have been trending down (26%), making it a great time to check out this up-and-coming hot spot. Explore gorgeous temples, see the sights from aboard a canal tour and nosh on tasty and intriguing street food. Bangkok is the perfect out-of-the-box summer trip, and there is no better time to experience it than now.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana has a lot to offer summer travellers by way of sun, fun and relaxation. It wouldn’t be out of line to equate the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic as a sort of sea and sun Disneyland. And, in 2016, add lower than usual flight prices to that list – down 31% compared to last year. Whether you prefer lounging on the beach with a cocktail or indulging in a little underwater adventure, Punta Cana will deliver.
(Additional reporting Amanda Festa)