After two straight years of canceled, delayed, or scaled-back getaways, 2022 could be the year spring break makes its comeback. It’s time to get ready.
No matter when your spring break falls this come March or April, we have some tips to make sure you book an ideal spring break trip with fewer hassles – and for fewer dollars. Now’s the time to start looking and lock something in if you want to save.
Our Thrifty Traveler Premium flight deal team finds tons of cheap flights for spring break all year long, and we’re ready to pass on what we know. Plus, many of the deals to a warm spot or sunny beach are still available to book.
Here’s how we recommend you go about booking your 2022 spring break.
The Best Options for a Cheap Spring Break Trip
The end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 have made something very clear: The pandemic isn’t over just yet.
With any luck, things will improve soon enough for a worry-free trip in the spring. Still, a trip within the U.S. – where you don’t need to worry about getting a COVID-19 test to fly home – may be your best bet for spring break travel this year. And no matter where you’re going, be sure to book your trip to give yourself maximum flexibility, just in case plans change.
Best Domestic Destinations for Spring Break
Here’s the good news: Domestic flight deals just keep popping up! From the beaches of Hawaii to sunny Arizona and the coast of Florida, Thrifty Traveler Premium members get instant alerts for cheap flights like this:
This one was a doozy, featuring long-haul Dela flights from Atlanta (ATL) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) all the way to Honolulu (HNL) and onward to the other Hawaiian islands for just $350 roundtrip. All you had to do was pick your favorite Hawaiian island and plan your spring break trip to paradise!
Those Hawaii fares are no longer on sale, but not every cheap flight for spring break we’ve sent subscribers is gone already…
From the New York City area, you can jump down to South Beach for just $80 roundtrip. And other March dates are available for terrific rates, too. We first sent this deal out a week ago and it’s still thriving for spring break travel!
If you’re chasing a warm beach with a cold drink, Hawaii or Miami might be the perfect destinations for you. But if you want some fresh powder turns, a cheap flight to Denver (DEN) might be more your speed.
The great outdoors, sunny weather, and snowy mountains make Colorado an ideal spring break destination. It’s an active, exciting vacation for the whole family, and Colorado has a number of resorts on our top places to go skiing and snowboarding this year.
Thrifty Tip: Planning lots of ski trips this year? Check out our guide comparing the Ikon vs Epic Pass to see which is better to save on lift tickets!
If you’re not into a ski vacation, may we interest you in Arizona for spring break? We keep finding fantastic fares to Phoenix (PHX) including in March, where beautiful weather, golf, hiking, and even MLB spring training await. And it’s just a short drive from beautiful Sedona, Arizona as well.
Best International Destinations for Spring Break
Set on traveling internationally? If Mexico, the Caribbean, or another international destination is on your spring break short list this year, you need to know two things. First, check our country-by-country guide to make sure you know the testing or vaccination requirements. Second, make a plan to get the required COVID-19 test abroad before you fly back to the U.S.
Thrifty Tip: Print out this international travel COVID-19 checklist to make sure you’ve got a plan.
One close-by Caribbean destination that won’t be too much of a hassle is the Dominican Republic. There’s no testing or vaccination required to get in, though you’ll still need a COVID-19 test to fly home. And we’ve recently found a ton of great fares to the island that could help you fulfill your spring break dreams for cheap!
Cancún is always a popular spot for spring break, and 2022 won’t be any different. What’s changed this year is some incredibly cheap flights to get you there and back. Case in point: We’ve never seen fares this cheap on the nonstop route from Minneapolis to Cancún (CUN).
Get dirt-cheap domestic and international fares like this one sent straight to you with Thrifty Traveler Premium!
You’ll need a COVID-19 test before flying home, though many resorts throughout Mexico make that much easier by providing testing onsite. And there’s no entry requirements to get into Mexico.
Tips to Find Cheap Spring Break Flights
Not sold on any of these deals? Not finding the price you want for a cheap spring break escape? Don’t worry, we can help.
Use Google Flights Explore
If you’re open to going anywhere a cheap flight will take you this spring, there’s one tool that’s fit for the job: Google Flights Explore.
Google Flights is the best travel search engine out there. But this special, little-known feature takes it to the next level, helping you find cheap flights no matter where you want to go. It’s perfect for those times when you want to get out of town, but don’t care where you’re heading … so long as it’s cheap.
Using the Explore feature, your search can be as broad as you’d like – anywhere in the world – or limit it to the U.S. – or even a specific state. You can dial in your dates for a specific period, or keep it more open like “a week in March.”
Thrifty Tip: Have a specific timeframe you need to travel? Enter it, but be sure to watch for alerts from Google when shifting your flights by just a day or two can save you big bucks.
We love this feature because Google still gives you the power to set the ground rules while also showing you tons of destinations you may have never considered. Here’s a look at how to use Google Flights Explore to book a cheap Spring Break getaway.
Simply navigate to the Google Flights homepage at www.google.com/flights, click the Menu button and click the “Explore Map.” Or just type “flights.google.com/explore” into your web browser.
Google Flights Explore looks and operates much like Google Flights itself. The beauty of Google Flights Explore Map is just how much it lets you, well, explore. Begin by typing in your home airport if it hasn’t auto-populated for you.
To start, leave the destination box blank and hit search to explore all your options.
From there, you can type in any range of dates, or keep it wide open. For a Spring Break getaway, you could type the exact dates you want to be gone, or choose “Flexible dates” and select “Weekend in March,” for example. Then just drag the map to see what prices are to cities around the country – or even around the world!
You can similarly tailor your destination. It can be as broad as “The United States of America” or “Europe” or as specific as a given state or city. Either type in the area in the destination bar or drag the map to cover the area you want to search.
The results will change as you move the map. If you need some heat in the southern U.S. but don’t care where you find it, just zoom in on that area and see what flights pop up.
Got specific dates you want to travel for spring break? No problem: you can still use the Explore feature. Simply choose your desired dates, and let the search continue. Just remember: flexibility with dates means cheaper flights!
Read up on our Flight First Rule on how to save more on flights!
Once you’ve zeroed in on a destination, click on the result. You can find the specific flights and even play around with the schedule to see if there are better dates at the same or similar prices.
Book Soon, Book Smarter
Whether you’re booking one of the great deals we found above, eyeing your Thrifty Traveler Premium inbox for the next cheap fare, or scouring the continent for a bargain using Google Flights Explore, cheap flights for spring break are out there. In fact, some of the flight prices we’re seeing are at record lows.
But that window may close soon…
If you’ve got a spring break trip in mind, we’d recommend booking sooner rather than later. As March draws closer and travel demand rises for the spring, there’s only one direction for flight prices to go: up. That means it could pay to lock in a cheap flight soon rather than wait to see how things pan out.
Not sold on traveling for spring break with all the uncertainty? We don’t blame you – but you can score a bargain now without putting your money on the line by booking your travel smarter. Here’s how:
- Airlines are still allowing free change and cancellation (for a voucher) so long as you buy at least a standard, main cabin economy ticket. At just $50 to $70 more per ticket on most routes, it’s easily worth the extra cost for the flexibility.
- Wait to book other parts of your trip like rental cars or accommodations – or ensure you’re paying for a fully refundable rate. That way, you can cancel and get your money back if you reconsider your trip.
Read our full guide to booking travel smarter during the pandemic!
Whether you want to head for the hills or find your beach this March, cheap spring break flights are in reach.
Use Google Flights Explore and book your cheap flight! Take these suggestions into consideration – and paired with a cheap flight, you’ll be on your way to sunshine and warm weather in no time.
If you’re looking for the cheapest flights of all, give Thrifty Traveler Premium a shot. Trust us: you do not want to miss out on these lowest-ever fares we’re seeing for spring break and all year long.