All over the United States, students and their families are preparing for upcoming fall break weekends. But thanks to a new airfare trend, booking a last-minute flight for a quick fall break doesn’t have to break the bank this year.
From our home state of Minnesota, we’re still seeing some cheap options to fly the family somewhere to celebrate MEA Weekend. At schools and colleges nationwide, fall breaks in late October or early November are common, too – and so are the cheap flights to go somewhere.
In years past, booking a flight just a few weeks (or even days) before departure was a recipe for paying hefty prices. But that has changed with the pandemic – it’s not too late to get really good deals on airfare for a trip over the next few weeks.
Over the past few weeks, Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers have been sent the very lowest fares to a ton of great fall destinations. And many of those deals are still available for people looking to book cheap fall break tickets.
Last-Minute Flights to the Beach
Perhaps nowhere is better to extend a last gasp of summer than South Beach in Miami. A little bit of beach time and a little bit of nightlife sounds great before we hurtle into the holidays.
Last month, we sent out a deal highlighting a bunch of nonstop fares into Miami (MIA) from long list of cities starting at just $78! Many of those fares are still available. This Miami deal is pretty widespread, but let’s say you’re based near New York City.
How about this quick weekend trip to MIA for $96 roundtrip? And yes, that’s for this weekend.
Thrifty Traveler Premium members get alerts like this every day. Try it for just $7.99 a month!
But it goes beyond Miami. You can fly to Fort Myers (RSA), Tampa (TPA), and Sarasota (SRQ) over the next few weeks for low prices, too.
For example, you can find sub-$200 roundtrip flights this month to both Tampa and Ft. Myers. There’s still good availability on nonstop flights at these prices through the end of October!
The beach is closer than you think with fares like these. It is not too late to find a flight to Florida this fall!
Or how about California? Head for the sunny enclave of San Diego, with a vibrant city and plenty of beaches nearby. We’ve rarely seen flights to San Diego (SAN) for this cheap.
For one last splash of sunshine and west coast vibes this fall, San Diego is hard to beat. This deal showcased some incredible nonstop fares to this Pacific paradise when we sent it out in September.
But this deal is still available for select dates in October and November! Living in Colorado waiting for it to snow? Well, you can check the snow forecasts from the beach for just $136 roundtrip.
It may not be an international trip, but Puerto Rico can feel like it. No passport and no COVID-19 testing is required for vaccinated travelers going to or from Puerto Rico, which makes this the perfect, quick fall escape. And with fares this low, it’s not out of reach.
How low? How about less than $250 roundtrip for a flight later this month?
Last-Minute Flights to Warm Locales
If you’re looking for a place to bring the family (or just the adults), Orlando checks a lot of boxes. Plus, for fares as low as $96 roundtrip, Orlando could be the perfect last-minute fall break escape.
Recently, sent Thrifty Traveler Premium members a deal to the home of Disney World and Universal Studios from dozens of U.S. cities. And in many cases, these fares are still available at these dirt-cheap prices for a trip in the next two weeks.
Take a look at this long weekend fare we found to Orlando (MCO) on nonstop Delta flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) for the last weekend in October.
That’s less than the cost of admission to Disney World! If those aren’t the exact dates you are looking for, make sure you read our guide on how to best use Google Flights in order to hone in on what works best for you and your family as you look to book.
If the looming winter weather is getting you down, get yourself one last weekend in the dry heat of Arizona by heading to Phoenix.
Earlier this month, we sent out a deal highlighting flights to Phoenix (PHX) starting at just $96. Tired of that Lake Michigan chill at home near Chicago? What’s keeping you from jumping on this long weekend fare we found with nonstop service to PHX at the end of the month.
Read next: Thrifty Things to do in Phoenix, Arizona
Thrifty Traveler Premium members may remember this deal starting at $96 with flights heading to Music City: Nashville (BNA).
One of the best parts about this deal was how many different airports got in on the action. Flint (FNT), Pensacola (PNS), Peoria (PIA), and Westchester County (HPN) all saw sub-$200 fares to Nashville when this was sent out last month.
While Thrifty Traveler Premium members got first dibs, you can still get there for less than $200 from a ton of cities, large and small. Here’s an example:
Once the leaves have fallen up north in Duluth, Minnesota (DLH) you’re just waiting for winter at that point, right? Why not hop on a $170 roundtrip United flight for a long weekend in Nashville instead? And we’ve got you covered for what you should do once you get there, too.
Last-Minute Flights to Big City Destinations
San Francisco and its surroundings have so much to offer during fall. It’s a perfect time of year to explore the city and it positions you nicely to escape up to wine country or the mountains for a quick fall getaway – even enjoying some of the best weather that the San Francisco area ever gets.
A few weeks ago, we highlighted some low, low nonstop fares to the Bay Area so people could do just that. Those fares are still available for a trip next week!
Broadway is back, people are out and about, and New York City is alive again. If you’re looking for a little hustle and bustle and a lot of culture, a long weekend in New York City could be just the trick. Starting at just $80, our most recent New York City deal was a jaw-dropper, and many of those fares are still kicking for travel as soon as a few weeks from now.
This deal was available from dozens of U.S. cities into all three NYC airports (LGA, JFK, and EWR), but here is a great example of a quick weekend into NYC from Detroit (DTW) for all of our Michiganders.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot about the airline industry, including how they price last-minute fares. We always recommend booking as far out as you can to get the very best prices, but we’ve been noticing it’s not uncommon for airlines to offer low, low fares for flights within a few weeks of travel as well.
And that opens a great opportunity for students and their families to take full advantage of their fall breaks this year and find a cheap, last-minute flight somewhere.
Summer isn’t over until you say it is! Get out there and enjoy it.