If there’s a destination on your bucket list that’s just out of your budget, you might be able to book that trip for less than you think this year depending on the time of year you visit. By traveling strategically, you can save hundreds (or even thousands) on your dream trip. If you choose to travel, be sure to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
Prices in Miami are trending 50% lower this spring, dropping on an average stay from $276 in 2020 to $132 in 2021. Miami is also one of the cities seeing the biggest price drops, according to the industry. However, winter is prime time in South Florida — it’s one of the few times of year you can count on cool temperatures with plenty of sunshine. You may not want to spend all your time on South Beach during a spring visit, but it’s the perfect time to explore outdoors without breaking a sweat: Plan a day walking around Wynwood Walls or exploring the manicured grounds of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
Head to Cozumel for around an average of $388 instead of $573 — a 32% reduction in the average prices of both round-trip and one-way flights. You can still enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Mexican island, since the average temperature sees a high of 82 degrees, but it’s less humid and there’s no threat of hurricanes. It’s also a good time to dive the colorful Mesoamerican Reef, with a good chance of seeing migrating eagle rays up close.
Cancun seems to be the place to be this year for those interested in scoring a deal. In April, you’ll find average airfare to the Mexican city for around $328 instead of $509, which is 36% lower than last year. It’s the driest month of the year, yet it remains warm and sunny and sits right at the end of Cancun’s peak season, so you can expect picture-perfect weather and lower-than-normal prices on flights and hotels. July is another great time to visit Cancun with the industry reporting a 24% price drop for July, from $476 as the average cost in 2020 to $363 in 2021. It’s peak summer this time of year, so expect hot temperatures and picture-perfect beach days.
There are few better places to enjoy the great outdoors than the wide-open spaces of Jackson, Wyoming, especially just before the arrival of summer. The industry reports a 31% price drop in May, from $532 in 2020 to $368 in 2021. On top of the lower prices, visitors can enjoy the invigorating energy of a Wyoming spring as wildflowers begin to bloom, wildlife emerges from hibernation, and snow melts into scenic, winding rivers. Even better, the summer tourist crowds have not yet rushed in.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, is predicted to offer 31% lower prices in June, from $393 to $270 in 2021. It’s a great time to pay a visit to the tropical island: The weather is hot, yes, but rainy season hasn’t yet arrived, and hurricanes remain unlikely. Wander the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan or take a day trip to El Yunque National Forest to experience the beauty of this picturesque U.S. territory.
It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and for good reason: The Grand Canyon is a sight like no other. The kids might complain when you get out of Wi Fi range, but they’ll remember hiking these trails forever. For an overnight at the Grand Canyon, opt for the North Rim, which is less crowded, and the no-fuss sites are first-come-first-served. More experienced hikers can switchback steeply down to the river, a mile below the rim, where secluded campsites reward the effort.
Summer in Texas is a scorcher, but it’s the perfect time of year to indulge in mouthwatering BBQ, and no place does that better than the Lone Star State. Head to Dallas in August and enjoy a trip at a 43% lower cost than you would have in 2020 ($179 versus $312). Cool down with a tall glass of ice-cold sweet tea or a tart and refreshing margarita.
Want to really impress your kids? Head to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks where they can stand among giants (giant sequoia groves that is) and meet General Grant (the second largest tree in the world.) The parks also boast 240 caves, a scenic segment of the Sierra Nevada mountain range (including the tallest mountain in the contiguous U.S.), parts of the Kings River and San Joaquin River and Moro Rock. Because of how isolated the park is, Sequoia National Park is also one of the least light-polluted areas in the country, perfect for stargazers and amateur astrologers.
Visiting Washington, D.C. this September should set you back around $205 in airfare — a major difference from the average price of $355 in 2020. Fortunately, September is one of the best months to visit our nation’s capital: Autumn promises milder temperatures, cool breezes, and the exodus of high-season tourists, as well as gorgeous fall scenes as the leaves begin to change. During this time of year, you can comfortably experience both the outdoor monuments and indoor museums.
Head to Denver in October for about $204, which is 42% lower than last year’s average airfare price of $350. October falls in Denver’s shoulder season, after the summer crowds have left, but before the hordes of winter tourists arrive. Temperatures are likely to be cold, but the weather is dry and sunny, and fall in Denver is beautifully autumnal, so it’s a great month to plan a visit and at the price is right.