It's not yet Christmas, I know, but you stand to save big by getting ahead on your spring break plans. And that's especially true for booking spring break flights.
Most families tied to their spring break calendars wait until the middle of winter to start thinking about how they're going to spend their week off. By that time, flight prices to the best spring break destinations are often already on the rise. Savvy spring break travelers, though, are already looking and booking spring break flights for 2024 while the calendar still says “2023.”
Spring break is an ever-popular travel period, meaning demand for flights is typically very high. That environment tends to lead to high fares the longer you wait. But right now, the seat maps of many of those spring break flights are still empty, so now's your time to take advantage. We've already seen and sent tons of flight deals with March and April dates to our Thrifty Traveler Premium members over the last few weeks.
Read on for our best recommendations for booking spring break flights and even some inspiration for where to go in 2024.
When Should I Book My Spring Break Flights?
Spring break varies from school district to school district, so finding cheap spring break flights is less of an exact science and more of an art. But the number crunchers at Google say for flights in March or April, airfare is lowest between 23 and 59 days before departure.
On average, flight prices bottom out around 38 days before your trip, according to Google Flights data.
Here's what that means if your spring break runs March 12-20, 2024, for example: For the lowest fares, you want to start searching for spring break flights around Jan. 13. The lowest fares average around Feb. 2. And the best deals are all gone by about Feb. 17.
Google's data is far-reaching and you absolutely should pay attention to it, but I would still recommend you begin your search right now. The best time to book a flight is when you find a cheap flight. If you book a flexible, main cabin or higher ticket, there is no downside to booking a good fare earlier than Jan. 13. If the price of your ticket drops during that sweet spot, you can always rebook at the lower price!
Tips for Getting the Best Deal on Spring Break Flights
We just covered rule number one for getting a great deal on spring break flights: Book soon and book flexibly.
But there's another great way to save big on your spring break flights, and that's by picking the best day to fly. We've been busting the “best day to book flights is on a Tuesday” myth for years and years, when the actual truth is the day you book matters way, way less than the days you fly.
This flight deal for a spring break getaway to Palm Springs, California (PSP) is a great example of this concept in action.
We sent this flight deal to our Thrifty Traveler Premium members a few weeks ago, including some fantastic availability during March – prime spring break season. Imagine a golfing, hiking, poolside sunbathing, not-a-sweater-in-sight sunny getaway to the desert of California this spring break. I, frankly, can't stop thinking about it…
If you want to do a traditional spring break trip and fly out on Friday or Saturday and back on Sunday, you're going to pay for it…
When you book that fare for the whole family, that number really starts to add up.
Here's what to do instead: Aim for the middle of the week.
You can book this flight for under half-price if you fly from Tuesday to Tuesday. Sure, you're sacrificing a few of your kids' days off and they might need to miss an extra day or two of school on the back end, but what's that worth to you?
The days you fly matter much more than the days you book. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are going to be your best bet at snagging a nice spring break deal.
Where are the Cheapest Spring Break Flights This Year?
We've got great news for warm weather fans because most of the destinations where flights are cheapest for spring break 2024 include a sunny beach.
And there are few beaches more sunny and beautiful than those on the Hawaiian Islands.
This Hawaii flight deal was available from close to 100 U.S. and Canadian airports with many of them containing March availability. This fare from Salt Lake City (SLC) to Kona (KOA) is a perfect example of a cheap and easy spring break flight.
If you want something a little closer to the U.S. mainland, the Bahamas is just about as close as you can get while still leaving the country for spring break.
Fares to the Bahamas have been competitive lately, and if you are an upper midwesterner tired of dark, cold winter, this fare might just bring a tear to your eye!
In Central America, the nation of Belize would also be an ideal spring break getaway. In the last few weeks, we've seen Belize flight prices drop during the spring break time of year, too.
Even from as far away as Maryland, you could fly to Belize for under $400 this March for spring break. For a family especially, that's an incredible deal.
The Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curaçao are famous for their privacy and (sorry to be a broken record) beautiful beaches!
This nonstop flight from New York (JFK) to Aruba (AUA) is a gem in Delta's Caribbean network, and it could be yours for less than $300 roundtrip!
A beachy, laid-back getaway just isn't every traveler's cup of tea, though. Some people want – or need– adventure in their travels. Spring break in Patagonia can help those travelers.
This flight deal we found last week was a ridiculous value. Flying LATAM Airlines from Miami (MIA), you could fly into the north side of Patagonia, connect between the two, and fly home all for under $799 roundtrip (and even less in some cases).
This is how your kids win show and tell on their first day back in school after spring break!
You don't have to fly to another hemisphere or even leave the country to grab a sweet spring break flight deal, though. Close to home, flight prices for this March have been dropping quickly.
If you've been wanting to visit the nation's capital with your family, you're in luck!
This nonstop flight from Pittsburgh (PIT) is only $89 roundtrip during the spring break months! If you book it a week later, you'll catch peak Cherry Blossom bloom season in Washington, D.C. too.
Further south, in Savannah, Georgia (SAV), you'll find a warmer, charming, southern getaway at similarly low prices.
This deal included tons of cheap flights to Savannah during most people's spring break, too.
Finally, I have a spring break antidote that can appease every interest of your family: South Padre Island, Texas.
This flight deal to the airports near South Padre Island can scratch the spring break itch of your party-hearty college kid, your beach-goer, your birder, your SpaceX fan, your paddleboarder, and more.
South Padre has become famous for its spring break party scene, but it's so much more than that. Including the fact that it's now a cheap flight hotspot, too!
Tied to their spring break calendars, most families tend to wait until the middle of winter to start thinking about their week off. By that time, though, flight prices are already on the rise.
It pays to start looking and booking spring break flights now. And we're already seeing cheap flights to plenty of spring break destinations for the times you want to go!