Everybody has one destination on their list that seems just out of reach. I’m talking about the kind of places where Bond villains plan to head once they get away with their scheme, just minutes before they’re thwarted.
You might not be able to find them on a map or struggle to pronounce their names, but you know you want to go there … if only you could afford it. But these once-in-a-lifetime destinations can be well within reach.
Over the past few months, the Thrifty Traveler Premium team has unearthed some astonishingly low fares to some of these tropical escapes, and given our members the first look at booking normally expensive flights around the world for low, low prices.
You might have dreams of waking up in an over water bungalow in the Maldives, laying by the beach in St. Lucia, or watching the wildebeest migration on safari in Kenya, but it all seems so out of reach. We’re here to tell you that they’re not out of reach if you know where to look.
So, let’s take a lap around the world and prove to you that the place you thought was too expensive to get to isn’t after all.
The Basics of Finding Cheap Flights
Pulling off a cheaper trip to a typically expensive destination isn’t rocket science. But it can require a mindset change, approaching your planning in a different way than you have before.
Here are the basic rules for finding cheap flights you’ll need to follow to get to any bucket list destination:
- Find a flight deal first. Don’t lock in travel dates, accommodations, or activities until you’ve secured a flight on the cheapest dates.
- Let the flight deal come to you! Subscribe to our flight deal alert service, Thrifty Traveler Premium, for instant alerts when an exceptional deal comes around.
- Use Google Flights to start your search and book. No other search engine is better at finding the best deals.
- Not seeing any good flight prices from your home airport? Consider looking at prices from major U.S. airport hubs, and then booking a positioning flight to bring your total costs down.
Read our ultimate guide on how to to find cheap flights for more tips and tricks!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into some of the most amazing places where you can find cheap fares.
The Maldives might be the quintessential bucket-list destination of the modern era. Relaxing in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives is almost a cliche at this point.
It has branded itself as a piece of paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Depending on where you stay, we think that assessment holds up.
Like all the destinations on this list, however, the Maldives are not easy to get to. There are no direct flights from the United States and just a handful of airlines fly there. So cheap flights can be hard to come by – but not impossible.
Just a few months ago, we found this deal to the Maldives from Chicago (ORD) for just $767 on the world’s top-ranked airline, Qatar Airways. Just one stop in Doha (DOH) and you’re on your way!
Thrifty Tip: Qatar Airways fares from NYC and Chicago to the Maldives can be found for under $2500 in their incredible Qsuites business class product. Normal fares on this route can run more than $4000.
Another Indian Ocean archipelago, the Seychelles is the kind of place that dreams are made of.
The Republic of the Seychelles is its own country about 900 miles east off the coast of Africa. Its remoteness is part of the allure for anyone looking for a truly secluded getaway. It’s the perfect place to lounge by the ocean and sip a cold drink, but Morne Seychellois, the country’s national park, also offers some incredible hiking and sweeping views of the ocean atop its mountain.
Luckily, renowned Qatar Airways also flies there.
This was a double-take kind of fare when we found it. The layover is technically “overnight”, which is why the fares appear with the red triangle, but that overnight is just a few hours in a 5-star world airport. And at this price, you can’t beat it.
If you were today years old when you learned about Mauritius, you’re in good company. But a good flight deal is enough to put it on your list.
Getting to this far-flung island nation for under $700 is unheard of, but that’s just what we found.
This deal was nearly 70% off the normal price for a flight from Boston (BOS) to Mauritius. As is the case for all of these deals, however, you don’t need to live in Boston to take advantage of it. Check out our guide on positioning flights to see how you could save hundreds by building your own connection.
Tahiti might be the most Bond villain-y destination on this list. It just seems impossibly remote and insanely expensive.
What you might not know is that you can fly to the French Polynesian island in the Pacific nonstop from San Francisco (SFO), which puts the stunning islands well within reach for tons of travelers all over the U.S.
Just check out this deal we recently sent to Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers – and how many travelers from different cities could fly to Tahiti for under $900 roundtrip!
That’s right! Do you live in Reno? How about Boise? Santa Fe? All of these destinations were included on this deal which could get you to Tahiti for about $865. Those are typically $1,200 flights – if not much, much more.
Alright, where’s this one? The Indian Ocean? The Pacific? Siberia? The Moon? Where, oh where are you taking us now, Thrifty Traveler?
Many of these destinations are especially, even comically remote. Heck, Seychelles, Mauritius, and the Maldives are on the complete other side of the planet. St. Lucia, however, is right in the Caribbean! And that means even cheaper deals for a slice of Caribbean paradise, like this recent find.
Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers might scoff at a fare like this to the Caribbean.
The newly reopened islands of Fiji are comically remote. The next closest continental landmass to the Pacific Ocean archipelago is Australia, which is 1,000 miles away.
It’s the kind of place you go when you really, really want an escape.
Usually, flights to Fiji will cost upwards of $1,300 from the U.S. So you can imagine we were gobsmacked to find this deal to get you to paradise for less than $800!
At the southern tip of South America sits a region of indescribable beauty: Patagonia, I assure you, is unlike anything else on this planet. It’s the kind of place where the color of the water just doesn’t make sense and where the mountains look angry.
It’s a relatively remote destination, and you always need to connect there from Santiago, Chile (SCL). Just last month we found a flight deal to two different airports where you can easily access Patagonia: Puerto Natales (PNT) and Punta Arenas (PUJ).
From both Miami (MIA) and New York (JFK), Thrifty Traveler Premium members found this deal that landed them in Patagonia for less than $700.
The African continent is overlooked by many travelers, but I’d bet you have at least flirted with putting a safari on your bucket list.
Nairobi, Kenya is the perfect launchpad for visiting the unique landscapes and varied wildlife of the Serengeti region. You can fly into the Serengeti proper in Tanzania, or stay in Kenya and visit the northern part of the region in Masai Mara.
Full disclosure: I’m especially excited about Kenya because I’m planning a honeymoon to Africa in fall 2022 and am planning to take advantage of a deal like this one we sent to subscribers last month.
That’s right. You can fly to the other side of the world and check Africa off your bucket list for less than the cost of some flights to Europe or the Caribbean.
From Africa to the southern tip of South America to the archipelagoes of Pacific and Indian Oceans, you likely have one of these once-in-a-lifetime destinations on your list – and if you didn’t already, you should now.
While flights to these destinations have a reputation for being outrageously expensive, there are ways to bring flight costs down, and flight deals to be found. Want an instant alert next time we find a flight deal from your home airport? Join Thrifty Traveler Premium for $7.99 a month and save $200+ on your next flight!