10 cheapest U.S. cities to fly to this summer

Finding Summer Travel Deals Could Be Easier Than Ever

Summer is one of the busiest times of year to travel, thanks to school break and warmer weather. Airfares are often at a premium, particularly for popular destinations, yet deals can be found, especially to cities renowned for sultry summer weather. Cheapism consulted data from travel website Skyscanner to identify the cheapest domestic locations to visit during summer months. The prices reflect the cost of one round-trip economy ticket purchased via Skyscanner from Jan. 1 to April 30 for travel June 1 through Aug. 31. Read on and start packing.


Atlanta tops this year's list of cheapest destinations for summer travel, according to Skyscanner data. The capital of Georgia has diverse neighborhoods and plenty of non-touristy appeal, including a thriving club scene and restaurants galore. While there, soak in some local history -- the city played an important role in the civil rights movement and is home to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Site, which is free to visit. Average round-trip flight: $241.34


Miami is hot -- literally. With daytime temperatures easily reaching the upper 80s and 90s and high humidity, many summer tourists opt for cooler, dryer destinations, making Miami a relative bargain during the summer months. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay cool, including more than a dozen beach parks. Or take the fun indoors to the Dolphin Mall, the city's largest shopping center, with more than 240 stores -- and blissful air conditioning. Average round-trip flight: $242.63

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10 cheapest U.S. cities to fly to this summer

No. 19. Phuket, Thailand — $171.01

Taxi: $1.99

Hotel: $117.73

Meal: $27.23

Pint of beer: $2.54

Cup of coffee: $2.73

Bottle of wine: $18

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 18. Sao Paulo, Brazil — $168.15

Taxi: $3.18

Hotel: $126.48

Meal: $29.89

Pint of beer: $1.43

Cup of coffee: $1.74

Bottle of wine: $9.89

(Photo: Shutterstock)

No. 17. Barcelona, Spain — $159.45

Taxi: $7.80

Hotel: $94.34

Meal: $43.02

Pint of beer: $4.73

Cup of coffee: $2.26

Bottle of wine: $5.62

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 16. Toronto, Canada — $158.53

Taxi: $10.26

Hotel: $115.51

Meal: $49.97

Pint of beer: $4.21

Cup of coffee: $3.17

Bottle of wine: $11.33

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 15. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — $148.17 

Taxi: $4.75

Hotel: $115.88

Meal: $29.89

Pint of beer: $1.70

Cup of coffee: $1.71

Bottle of wine: $9.57

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 14. Antalya, Turkey —$141.48

Taxi: $3.72

Hotel: $104.57

Meal: $16.60)

Pint of beer: £2.50 ($3.53)

Cup of coffee: £1.88 ($2.66)

Bottle of wine: £5.66 ($8)

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 13. Prague, Czech Republic — $134.14

Taxi: $2.97

Hotel: $121.86

Meal: $23.88

Pint of beer: $1.41

Cup of coffee: $2.11

Bottle of wine: $5.27

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 12. Gran Canaria, Spain — $125.33

Taxi: $2.08

Hotel: $85.92

Meal: $37.65

Pint of beer: $2.30

Cup of coffee: $2.03

Bottle of wine: $7

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 11. Berlin, Germany — $114.83

Taxi: $12.90

Hotel: $65.60

Meal: $43.02

Pint of beer: $3.49

Cup of coffee: $2.91

Bottle of wine: $5.65

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 10. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — $114.83

Taxi: $1.06

Hotel: $72.88

Meal: $15.19

Pint of beer: $4.47

Cup of coffee: $2.83

Bottle of wine: $15.01

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 9. Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt — $111.44

Taxi: $1.94

Hotel: $61.83

Meal: $40.30

Pint of beer: $3.02

Cup of coffee: $1.22

Bottle of wine: $7.24

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 8. Corfu, Greece — $110.86

Taxi: $7.60

Hotel: $60.02

Meal: $29.58

Pint of beer: $3.35

Cup of coffee: $2.90

Bottle of wine: $12

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 7. Auckland, New Zealand — $103.16

Taxi: $10.13

Hotel: $64.11

Meal: $54.90

Pint of beer: $4.93

Cup of coffee: $3.09

Bottle of wine: $11.01

(Photo: Shutterstock)

No. 6. Faro, Portugal — $95.50

Taxi: $1.48

Hotel: $54.26

Meal: $32.26

Pint of beer: $3.79

Cup of coffee: $1.20

Bottle of wine: $5

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 5. Cape Town, South Africa — $93.30

Taxi: $8.42

Hotel: $70.36

Meal: $24.24

Pint of beer: $1.63

Cup of coffee: $1.58

Bottle of wine: $5.45

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 4. Hanoi, Vietnam — $89.25

Taxi: $1.72

Hotel: $58.31

Meal: $15.23

Pint of beer: $0.66

Cup of coffee: $1.55

(Photo: Getty Images)

Glass of wine: £7.08 ($10.01)

No. 3. Bangkok, Thailand — $86.82

Taxi: $2.49

Hotel: $52.46

Meal: $21.79

Pint of beer: $2.76

Cup of coffee: $2.64

Bottle of wine: $16

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 2. Tenerife, Spain — $82.92

Taxi: $4.11

Hotel: $55.81

Meal: $34.96

Pint of beer: $2.11

Cup of coffee: $1.43

Bottle of wine: $5.09

(Photo: Getty Images)

No. 1. Budapest, Hungary — $57.01

Taxi: $6.57

Hotel: $32.83

Meal: $27.66

Pint of beer: $1.57

Cup of coffee: $1.77

Glass of wine: $5.04

(Photo: Getty Images)



Summer arguably is the best time to visit Chicago, when the Midwest's largest city is at its greenest and liveliest. Attractions include the Navy Pier, Soldier Field, the downtown Loop, and famous buildings such as Willis (Sears) Tower, Trump International Hotel and Tower, and John Hancock Center. Chicago also has 26 miles of beaches and plenty of museums and trendy restaurants. Summer days can be warm and humid and storms frequent, but few destinations offer more bang for the buck. Average round-trip flight: $254.04

Orlando, Florida.

The home of Disney World is surprisingly cheap to visit in summer months -- and more than just a fantasy vacation spot for kids. Drive about half an hour to Kelly Park in Apopka, where a natural spring offers tubing, camping, and concessions. Admission is just $3 a car. Right in town is the Universal CityWalk, a massive complex with shopping, restaurants, and entertainment that requires only the price of parking. It's free to take water taxis and explore the three onsite hotels. Average round-trip flight: $267.63


Outdoorsy types looking for a summer getaway should put the Mile High City high on the list for numerous outdoor pursuits, such as nearby hiking and biking, as well as delicious restaurants and lively nightlife. The city is also a beer lover's dream, featuring numerous microbreweries and brewpubs. Coors Brewery, the world's largest brewing site, is just a few miles away in Golden. Denver is one of few major U.S. cities with an amusement park right downtown -- Elitch Gardens. Average round-trip flight: $274.43


Beyond museums and monuments ripe with learning opportunities for vacationing students, the nation's capital offers numerous other attractions, including a thriving dining scene featuring cuisines from all over the world. To get away from crowds of tourists, head to Eden Center across the Potomac River in Falls Church, Virginia. This East Coast hub for Vietnamese culture features numerous restaurants with some of the cheapest and tastiest food in the region. Average round-trip flight: $280.78

Las Vegas.

Sin City is a cheap air travel destination during the summer months for an obvious reason -- it's hotter than Hades -- but much of the fun in Vegas is indoors. There are also plenty of entertaining things to do in Vegas that don't involve the prospect of losing money, such as the Mirage Hotel's "erupting" volcano and two attractions at the Bellagio Hotel: the famous "dancing" water fountain, choreographed to more than 30 songs, and the "world's largest chocolate fountain" (sadly, no dipping allowed). Average round-trip flight: $287


New England's largest city is loaded with free and cheap activities. Walk along historic Long Wharf or stroll the Freedom Trail, which takes tourists to 16 sites packed with history from the American Revolution. It's easy to sightsee on foot in this compact city, and weary tourists can take a break in Boston Public Garden to ride in one of the city's famous swan boats. A 15-minute journey around the tranquil lagoon costs $3.50 for each adult. Average round-trip flight: $289.30

New York.

What isn't there to do in New York City? It's known for being expensive, but the Big Apple offers lots of free and cheap things to do. Relax in Central Park, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, or visit some of the 60 museums that are always or sometimes free. A few, such as the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, have suggested admission fees, allowing visitors to pay what they can. Average round-trip flight: $297.97

New Orleans.

In New Orleans, visitors can find plenty to see and do on a budget all year round. The city's delicious restaurants are a must, and beignets are cheap way to get a taste for local cuisine. The French pastries are available for just a few dollars at cafés all over town. Tourists can also take a free stroll through the French Market and sample other unique food items that are part of New Orleans culture, or listen to free live music any night of the week. Average round-trip flight: $309.26

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10 cheap summer vacation ideas
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10 cheapest U.S. cities to fly to this summer

Off-Season Ski Resorts.

Ski resorts offer great summer fun at cheap prices in the warmer months. Most resorts offer mountain biking and hiking, and depending on the resort, opportunities for horseback riding, river rafting, kayaking, and rock climbing may also be available. To entice travelers, resorts often offer package deals and promotions. Aspen, Colorado, for example, turns its ski slopes into a hiking and horseback mecca while fishing and mountain climbing also become popular when the snow caps melt away. Keystone, Colorado, is another summer destination that offers more than 15 free summer activities from June to September.

Photo: Getty Images


As summer vacations go, a backpacking trip is about as inexpensive as it gets. Carrying food and tent on your back allows access to some of the country's most amazing, unspoiled scenery. The magazine Backpacker offers loads of information for first-timers. To save money, borrow gear from a friend or rent it from an outfitter such as REI. While a backpacking trip may require a bit more preparation than a standard vacation, travelers willing to trade flight itineraries and hotel reservations for trails, campsites, and meal plans can get a true adventure in the bargain. Choose a destination within driving distance -- a national park for example -- to keep the trip costs even lower.

Photo: Getty Images


Staying on a houseboat, like renting a vacation home, lets vacationers save money by sharing expenses with other families and cooking their own meals. On the water, there are no temptations to eat out or spend money on entertainment. Instead, the lake becomes your playground and the scenery your entertainment. Many large U.S. lakes are magnets for houseboaters, with established rentals and harbors. Houseboats run the gamut, from luxury 70-foot boats that sleep more than a dozen to smaller rigs that comfortably house a family of five. Sites such as Houseboating.org can aid your research.

Photo: Getty Images

Canoe Trips.

In states such as Minnesota, extended canoe trips are quite common. But you don't have to be from the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" to enjoy a summer vacation in the great outdoors. Other popular destinations include New York, Maine, and Vermont, which are connected by the the North Forest Canoe Trail. The best venues for canoe trips are rivers, large bodies of water, and areas where many lakes sit close together (because canoers have to carry, or "portage," their vessels from lake to lake). Like a backpacking trip, this involves time in the wilderness, traveling with your own food and shelter.

Photo: Getty Images

Forest Service Cabins.

If camping seems like roughing it a bit too much and renting a house is too expensive, consider renting a Forest Service cabin. Rustic but affordable, these cabins are situated throughout the U.S. National Forests. They're often located in the backcountry, and while a few are accessible by road, most are not. Visitors must backpack their way in with the food and clothing they need. Many cabins come with bunk beds and counter space for cooking; a few include wood stoves or propane heaters, rowboats (if lakeside), and incredible views. Visit Recreation.gov to research locations by state. It's worth noting that many state parks offer standard cabin rentals, as well.

Photo: Getty Images

Family Camps.

Summer camp is not just for kids. Consider a week-long adventure at a camp that caters to the whole family. Meals and lodging are included in the price, and you don't have to plan any activities -- or do any planning, really. In general, the lodging is rustic, with wall tents or bunkhouses, but that's part of the reason it's so affordable: This isn't a resort. The YMCA offers several family camps across the U.S., including Merrimack Valley Camp in Massachusetts and Medomak Family Camp in Rockland, Maine.

Photo: Getty Images


Sightseeing vacations are easy on the wallet because many of the activities are free. Washington, D.C., for example, offers a host of museums, monuments, and government history -- all for free. While lodging isn't cheap, there are ways to save money on transportation. Washington is easily walkable, and for destinations further afield, the regional mass transit system, the Metro, offers an unlimited day pass for $14.50. Boston is another city packed full of history and free entertainment. Take a walk on the Freedom Trail, which includes famous historical landmarks such as the sites of the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party. You can also score free tours of the U.S. Custom House and the USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship.

Photo: Getty Images

Road Trip.

With gas prices lower than they've been in years, driving to a favorite destination may be the cheapest way to get there. Whether it's camping at a state or national park or a weekend at a theme park, the adventure is only limited by imagination. Family road trips are a fairly inexpensive way to explore interesting places and historical sites, and remove some of the inconvenience (and expense) that comes with flying. They also permit more spontaneity, allowing the freedom to take a last-minute detour or visit destinations off the beaten path. If time is a factor, create a list of destinations within your own state you've long wanted to visit. Staying close to home can limit the distance and overall cost of the trip, but it doesn't have to limit the fun.

Photo: Getty Images

The Beach.

Beach hotels and resorts are at their most expensive (and popular) during the summer months, which could reduce the number of days you can afford to stay. A beach doesn't have to mean the ocean, though. Lakes offer just as much fun in the sun at a much lower cost -- minus the salt. Small apartments just steps from Lake Michigan or Lake Erie can be rented for as little as $100 a night. Consider renting a house or cabin with another family to make the lodging even more affordable. Lakeside cities such as Holland, Michigan, feature attractions like sand dunes and summertime art fairs.

Photo: Best View Stock

House Swap.

A twist on sites such as Airbnb and HomeAway, home exchange clubs let adventure-seekers rent their homes to people visiting from the place where they hope to vacation. Just keep an eye on fees, which reach as high as $500. Love Home Swap membership ranges from $20 to $34 a month depending on the searching options you choose. IVHE.com starts at $13 a month. To increase the chances of finding someone to swap homes with, browse multiple club websites before joining one, or sign up for the free trials that many sites offer, to determine how many swaps are available in the city you want to visit. The more homes available to swap, the greater the chances of finding the right deal.

Photo: Getty Images


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