There's no place quite like home for the holidays ... but we can think of a dozen or so places that might be more fun than celebrating Festivus with the family. You don't necessarily need a passport or a fortune to give yourself a holiday reprieve, either. According to FareCompare, the cheapest places to fly to for Christmas aren't that far away.
Where to Fly for Christmas
Sure, many of us would like to spend the last week of the year lounging on a white sand beach sipping Mai Tais, but it turns out that an urban paradise instead is just a hop, skip, and jump away via a cheap flight to some great U.S. cities. According to FareCompare, places like Boston, Denver, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Miami, and Ft. Lauderdale are major hubs that service a plethora of air carriers, which translates into more competitive prices. Look to JetBlue, AirTran, Spirit, and Southwest, among others, for notably inexpensive fares.
If you'd rather skip the slopes or the chilly Boston air, and if the beaches of Miami aren't ideal either, you could always consider a short flight on a popular local route. For example, we frequently see base fares from San Diego to Las Vegas for as little as $29.80 each way on Spirit Airlines, and from Dallas to Harlingen, Texas from $68.80 each way on Southwest Airlines. The prices for these short-leg trips are generally the same before, after, and during the holidays.
When to Fly for Christmas
The golden rule of most travel is to book six weeks in advance to secure the best price on airfare, but we've unfortunately already passed that mark for holiday travel. But did you know that flying on Christmas Day itself (December 25) will also yield some of the lowest fares available, even if it doesn't make your mother too happy? According to FareCompare, you can also find relatively inexpensive fares for travel on dates up until December 18, but after that, prices increase anywhere from 30% to 70%. It isn't until January 3 that prices start to recover from holiday inflation.
How to Save Even More on Christmas Flights
Want to save even more on your holiday getaway? Consider including a layover. It's not not ideal for journeys with long travel time, but by not booking a non-stop flight, passengers can save between 15% and 20% on airfare costs. Another great way to ensure you're getting the best price on holiday travel is to peruse our top airfare deals of the week and sign up for an email alert to be notified as soon as we post a deal to your ideal holiday destination.
Front page photo credit: About.com