Affordable travel destinations that can save you thousands of dollars

If you’re planning a trip or vacation this year, there is finally some good news. After two years of soaring costs due to the high demand of “revenge travel,” that demand is easing a bit.

As a result, your 2024 getaway may cost less than you expect, especially if you choose some less popular destinations.

Lindsay Schwimer, consumer travel expert for the travel site Hopper, says, “If you are planning a trip, you can find some really great deals right now.”

She says travel prices are down slightly this year, even for bucket list destinations like Europe.

“For instance,” she says, “Dublin, Ireland, you can go for under $500 round trip.”

The key, she says, is to avoid the most popular cities like London and Paris.

“You can get a round trip flight to Brussels, Venice, Prague, or Nice for less than $700,” she says if you avoid peak summer travel weeks.

But if you want something closer and cheaper, Schwimer recommends Mexico or the Caribbean, with round-trip flights available for less than $300.

“It’s not that far away, and you can still get that same feeling of really being away,” Schwimer said.

Unfortunately, she says, you won’t actually save that much money by staying in the U.S., with domestic airfares still high, but says there are some flight deals available to Florida and Montana for around $250.

Again, the key is looking at less popular airports with a large number of discount airlines, such as Punta Gorda or Fort Lauderdale in Florida, instead of Naples or Miami.

When to book

For domestic travel, Schwimer says, “Start monitoring prices about three to four months in advance of your trip.”

You can do that using apps like Hopper or Google Flights.

Then, she says, “You’ll want to book at least one or two months in advance.”

For international travel, Schwimer says you should start looking five to seven months in advance, booking your flight three or four months out.

Veteran travelers share their tips

In the meantime, we found some veteran travelers with some great tips, too,

Kim Filkin’s biggest secret: Avoid traveling during surge periods, like the last week of March or first week in April.

“We are older, so we probably can avoid it, but a lot of people want to go on spring break,” she said.

We all have our little secrets for finding travel deals. Mikaela Daniel swears by traveling on off-peak days.

“If you are able to compromise the date you are originally going, sometimes the tickets are cheaper,” she said.