If you’re counting the days to your summer vacation — and your dollars — don’t miss out on the great summer airfare deals from top airlines and travel companies. “The airline industry is expecting a record-breaking 220 million passengers this year during the summer season,” said Tom Spagnola, SVP of supplier relations for CheapOair.com.
This means demand for air travel and vacation packages will peak during the summer months. Meanwhile, flight prices are dropping, and 2016 is expected to bring the cheapest summer airfare in seven years, according to the experts at travel app Hopper.
Now is a great time to secure those deals for that Fourth of July getaway or a mid-summer retreat. Here’s where you’ll find some of the best summer airfare deals for a quick weekend vacation this year.
1. New York City to Nassau, Bahamas
Get away from the city for a few days of rest and relaxation on the beaches of Nassau, Bahamas. Round-trip airfare from New York City starts at $334 per person for dates in July and August on Fly.com. You can travel on weekends through July and August with rates starting at $413 round-trip on Fridays on JetBlue.
These are non-refundable flights, but refundable tickets are available for a higher price. Take your pick of flights from John F. Kennedy International Airport, and buckle up for a tropical touchdown.
2. Chicago to Los Angeles
Jet off to the West Coast for a few days in sunny Los Angeles. Southwest Airlines offers fares starting at $204 one way, from Chicago Midway airport to Los Angeles, in July and August. Book for Friday, Aug. 26, for one of the lowest fares of the two months: $74 one way.
3. Atlanta to New Orleans
Spirit Airlines offers round-trip fares from Atlanta to New Orleans for $78. You need to make your purchase six days before travel, with travel starting June 18 and ending July 12, 2016, according to Airfarewatchdog, which also features fares to other destinations to help you plan that budget summer vacation.
To get the best deals this summer, Beth Godlin, president of Aon Affinity’s Travel Practice, suggested signing up for fare alerts to several different destinations, and being as flexible as possible with travel dates.
4. New York City to Boston
Make your city escape to Boston Common and other historic sites around Boston for a fun and educational retreat this summer. Round-trip flights from NYC to Boston are hovering around $100 from July through September on several weekends and throughout the week, according to Fly.com.
JetBlue fares start at $103 round-trip with tax from Newark Liberty International Airport. Go to Hotwire for one-way, nonstop flight options from American Airlines, JetBlue and Delta Airlines at some of the lowest prices of the season.
5. Miami to Chicago
Escape the Florida heat and enjoy Chicago in the summer by cooling off along Lake Michigan. Live music on the waterfront, great food and plenty of shopping along the Magnificent Mile await.
Chicago tops the list of best round-trip fares from Miami this summer, according to Travelzoo, with prices starting at $175. Friday departures in July start at $217 and drop to $197 in August.
6. Dallas to New Orleans
Soak up some jazz culture with a round-trip flight to New Orleans from Dallas this summer — and all for under $100. Round-trip fares drop to $81 starting this June, with many weekend flights hovering around $89 or $104 all summer long.
Plan a Saturday departure with a Tuesday return flight to get the lowest rates from Spirit Airlines. Travel dates are June 21 through Dec. 13, 2016. Fares on American Airlines start at $218, and United Airlines start at $451 for the same route, according to Fly.com.
7. Orlando, Fla., to Mexico City
If you want to visit Mexico City, you can spend a few days exploring Aztec ruins and visiting the famous Chapultepec Park for your weekend retreat on a budget. Fly JetBlue this July when traveling from Orlando to Mexico City for one-way fares starting at $123 on weekends.
Your itinerary could cost you just under $300 round-trip if you book early. Fares are one way, per person, including taxes and fees, but do not include checked bag fees or fees for optional services.
8. Long Beach, Calif., to Las Vegas
If a few days of gaming and dining are high on the summer vacation agenda, head to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway. Tickets start at $103 for Friday departures from Long Beach per one-way flight on JetBlue in July, with return flights starting at $148. Take advantage of low summer rates at top Vegas hotels to save even more.
9. Los Angeles to New York City
If the bustling streets and 24/7 buzz of activity in New York City are calling your name this summer, head off on JetBlue with one-way tickets starting at $207 on Fridays this July. Fares include taxes and are nonrefundable.
Return flights start at $252, unless you can add a couple of days to your trip — a good idea for that cross-country excursion — to save on a mid-week return flight. Fares are one way, per person, including tax and fees, but do not include checked bag fees or fees for optional services.
10. Chicago to Las Vegas
If you’re heading out of Chicago, book your flight and hotel directly through American Airlines to save up to $150 on Las Vegas packages. Use promo codes listed on the American Airlines offer page and make your purchase before June 26, 2016, for travel through Sept. 30, 2016. Blackout dates include July 4 and Sept. 30.
With packages starting at $834 from Chicago for two adults with taxes included, this offer knocks 15 percent off your hotel stay, and you snag a great deal on your flight.
11. Tampa, Fla. to Fort Lauderdale, Fla
If you’re in Tampa and want to visit South Florida this summer, but don’t feel like making the long drive, take advantage of nonstop round-trip deals to Fort Lauderdale, starting at $80. Spirit Airlines offers several great deals on summertime flights.
Travelocity will pay 100 percent of your flight cost if you book your hotel through them on select flight and hotel combinations. This offer is available on select flight and hotel packages starting Friday, July 22.
12. Orlando, Fla. to Pittsburgh, Pa
If you’re looking for an end-of-summer getaway from Orlando to Pittsburgh, Frontier Airlines offers $69 one-way fares on select flights from Orlando International Airport for travel starting Sept. 7. You must book by June 30. Downtown Pittsburgh hosts food culture tours, farmers markets and Pirates games, as well as events at the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts.
13. Chicago to Phoenix
Run away to the desert this summer for a relaxing retreat at a resort in Phoenix, or just to explore some of the city’s sights. Broaden your horizons with a trip to the Arizona Capitol Museum, catch a show at the Arizona Opera or just explore the great outdoors. Fares from Chicago Midway drop to $210 each way on weekends via Southwest Airlines this July, but will be almost half that price if you can postpone your summer getaway to Aug. 27.
14. Pittsburgh, Pa. to Cancun, Mexico
Plan on a three-night vacation in paradise with an all-inclusive trip to Cancun this summer. You can still pick up the round-trip airfare and resort package to the Crown Paradise Club in Cancun, Mexico, located right in the Zona Hotelera. Packages start at $649 per person for double occupancy with departures from Pittsburgh and other cities this summer.
This offer is available through Groupon with departures on Friday nights from Pittsburgh in July, and must be booked by June 23, 2016. The package, sold through Vacation Express, includes all meals and snacks, unlimited domestic beverages, resort activities, nightly entertainment and all hotel taxes and gratuities. Taxes are included, but airport transfers are not. Additional fees might apply for certain departure dates, and baggage fees might apply, depending on the airline.
15. Chicago to St. Augustine, Fla
Fly down to Florida for a few days of exploring the historic grounds of St. Augustine. Frontier Airlines offers $49 fares for flights departing on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday. If you can plan a long weekend in Florida this summer, take advantage of this summer special that runs through Aug. 1, 2016.
Methodology: GOBankingRates selected airfares deals for travel starting June 21 through Sept. 21, 2016. Fares are current as of June 15, 2016, but are subject to change.