Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations
Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Hop a Flight to Hawaii on the Cheap
With its picture-perfect beaches, lush jungles, and laidback aloha spirit, Hawaii is the quintessential tropical paradise. Unfortunately, getting to America’s island state usually costs a pretty penny. Thankfully, scoring a cheap flight to Hawaii is possible with the right strategy and flexibility.
The first step is deciding when to go. Peak travel times like summer and holidays are often the most expensive. But you can save big by traveling during Hawaii’s shoulder seasons of April-May or September-October. The weather is still warm and sunny, with fewer crowds and lower lodging rates.
Being flexible with your departure city can unlock major savings too. Flights from major west coast hubs like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Las Vegas tend to be cheaper than elsewhere. Consider positioning to one of these cities first if you live elsewhere.
Once you’ve set your dates and departure city, use flight deal sites like Scott’s Cheap Flights to find mistake fares and unusually low promotional airfares to Hawaii. Sign up for fare alerts so you’re notified immediately when an amazing deal pops up.
It also pays to check budget carriers like Southwest, Spirit, and Frontier which fly to Hawaii from select cities. Their no-frills fares can be hundreds less than legacy airlines. Just be sure to account for add-on fees when comparing total ticket costs.
Maximize your savings by mixing and matching one-way fares on different airlines. The cheapest routing to Hawaii often involves flying out on one airline and back on another. Google Flights’ explore feature makes it easy to compare all possible options.
Consider flying into a secondary Hawaii airport to save even more. Flights to Lihue on Kauai or Kona on the Big Island tend to be much cheaper than flying into Honolulu on Oahu. Island-hopping flights between the islands are also very reasonable once you’re there.
Lastly, don’t forget to use miles and points! Hawaii flights are some of the best-value redemptions, especially using programs like Southwest, American AAdvantage, or United MileagePlus. Even a single credit card sign-up bonus can score you a free trip.
What else is in this post?
- Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Hop a Flight to Hawaii on the Cheap
- Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Swoop Down on Discount Fares to Costa Rica
- Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Snag Budget-Friendly Flights to Belize
- Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Score Super Low Prices to Fiji
- Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Land in the Caribbean without Breaking the Bank
- Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Find Almost Free Flights to the Maldives
- Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Get Rock-Bottom Rates to Bali
- Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Sail to French Polynesia for Pennies
Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Swoop Down on Discount Fares to Costa Rica
With lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and incredible wildlife, Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise. Though not the cheapest country to visit, savvy travelers know that scoring a discount flight to Costa Rica is possible with the right approach.
The sweet spot for cheap airfare is typically 1-3 months out from your planned dates. Set up airfare alerts for routes from your nearest airport using Google Flights or Kayak. Flexible travelers have the best luck, as leaving on a Tuesday or Wednesday and returning on a Saturday can save hundreds compared to peak weekends.
Don’t limit yourself to nonstop flights either. Considering one-stop routings can open up savings opportunities. Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are popular hubs for indirect flights. I’ve also had success flying into Liberia via Mexico City on Aeromexico with a short layover.
Once you find a good airfare, be sure to compare costs with flying into Liberia vs. San Jose. Flights into Liberia on the Pacific Coast tend to be cheaper, though San Jose is more convenient if spending time in the Central Valley.
Southwest Airlines is my go-to for cheap nonstops to Liberia from several U.S. cities. Sign up for their newsletter and check their low fare calendar regularly, as specials pop up often. I scored a Chicago-Liberia nonstop for under $250 roundtrip, allowing a whole week of Costa Rican adventures.
For the best rates on legacy carriers, watch for fare sales and be ready to pounce. I’ve flown United from Denver for $350 roundtrip and American from Philly for $400 when hopping on their periodic sales. Signing up for airline and credit card newsletters can clue you into upcoming promotions.
Consider flying on “ultra low cost” carriers like Volaris, VivaAerobus, and Spirit Airlines as they expand into Central America. I took Volaris from LAX to San Jose for around $350. The no-frills service was just fine for a short flight. Factor in baggage and seat selection fees when comparing costs.
Maximize flexibility by booking one-way fares on two different airlines. I flew United down to San Jose, then booked a separate one-way back from Liberia on Delta using SkyMiles. The open-jaw routing freed me to travel overland to Liberia’s beaches.
Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Snag Budget-Friendly Flights to Belize
Nestled along the Caribbean Sea, Belize may seem like an exotic destination out of reach for budget travelers. With its spectacular Mayan ruins, lush rainforests, and the world’s second largest coral reef, this Central American nation is home to natural splendors galore. Yet scoring an affordable flight to Belize is totally possible for the savvy traveler.
The key is advance planning. Start tracking prices a good three to four months ahead of your intended travel dates. Sign up for fare alerts through Google Flights to be notified if any sales or mistake fares pop up. Midweek departures on Tuesday through Thursday will generally offer the lowest rates.
When searching, don’t limit yourself to nonstop options. Considering one-stop routings can open up savings opportunities. Major connection hubs like Houston, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, and Charlotte often have competitive fares into Belize City.
Southwest Airlines flies nonstop from Houston Hobby offering a great option for southern travelers. Their low fare calendar can reveal some amazing deals, like the $160 roundtrips I’ve scored from St. Louis with a connection in Houston.
Cheapflights clued me into some $200 roundtrip deals on American from Chicago and United from Newark, though requiring an overnight connection in Miami or Houston. For such short flights, I didn’t mind the layover to save over $100.
Another option is flying on “ultra low cost” carriers like Volaris or VivaAerobus as they expand into Central America. I took Volaris from LAX to Belize City with a short layover in Mexico City for under $350 roundtrip. Just be ready for no-frills service and account for baggage fees in your total fare cost comparisons.
To maximize flexibility, consider booking one-way fares on two different airlines. I flew American Airlines down to Belize City, then booked a separate one-way returning from Belize City to Cancun on Southwest. The open-jaw routing opened up savings while allowing me to experience both sides of the country.
Diving deeper into cities beyond just Belize City can also reward big savings. Flights into Belize’s San Pedro, gateway to Ambergis Caye, or Placencia along the southeastern coast tend to be much more reasonably priced.
Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Score Super Low Prices to Fiji
With over 300 stunning islands surrounded by brilliant turquoise waters, Fiji is the quintessential tropical paradise. Though reaching this South Pacific gem often costs a pretty penny, travelers willing to hunt for deals can score flights for much less than you’d expect.
The key to cheap airfare is flexibility. Fiji’s peak season coincides with the American and European summer vacations, when flights are pricey. But traveling during the South Pacific’s winter of May through September can yield major savings. I’ve spotted roundtrip deals from Los Angeles in the $600-$800 range on Fiji Airways, with even lower fares popping up periodically.
Being open to indirect routings also opens up savings opportunities. Flights from the west coast connecting through Australia or New Zealand often beat nonstops in cost. I flew from San Francisco to Nadi with a quick stop in Auckland for just $730 roundtrip on Air New Zealand. Signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights alerts tipped me off to that deal.
On the east coast, flying through Korea on Korean Air via Seoul or China Eastern via Shanghai can result in huge savings, especially during sales. The Middle East hubs of Abu Dhabi on Etihad and Doha on Qatar Airways are also great options for east coasters able to stomach a long flight. I’ve seen roundtrips under $900 this way.
Don’t forget to check Hawaiian Airlines and their convenient nonstop flights from Honolulu to Nadi. Their occasional east coast sales have yielded fares under $700 roundtrip with a short layover in Hawaii. Sign up for their newsletter to stay on top of deals.
Southwest Airlines is another surprising option worth checking. Their expansion into Hawaii means you can now island-hop from the mainland through Honolulu or Kona and onward to Fiji on Fiji Airways. Though not the shortest routing, sales can drive the total cost down below $1,000 roundtrip.
No matter what deal you find, be sure to price out flights to both Nadi and Suva airports. Though Nadi is more popular with tourists, scoring a cheap flight into Suva can be a huge money saver, especially when coming from Australia or New Zealand. Regional carrier Fiji Link offers affordable connecting flights from Suva to your final Fiji destination.
Maximizing flexibility by mixing one-way fares on different airlines is another great tactic. I flew from LAX to Nadi on Fiji Airways, then returned from Suva back to LAX on Hawaiian, saving over $400 compared to a simple roundtrip booking.
Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Land in the Caribbean without Breaking the Bank
The idyllic white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Caribbean have long attracted travelers in search of paradise. With so many stunning islands to choose from, deciding where to head can feel overwhelming. The good news is that scoring an affordable flight to the Caribbean is entirely possible with the right strategies.
Peak season during the winter holidays and American spring breaks drives costs up. But visiting in late spring or fall means fewer crowds and lower airfares. British Airways is known for Caribbean sales in late summer targeting travelers from across the pond. Sign up for airfare deal alerts to be the first to know when a sale is announced.
Being flexible with your departure airport opens up savings opportunities. Try positioning to east coast cities like New York, Miami, or Charlotte which are hubs for Caribbean-bound flights. Scott's Cheap Flights founder Scott Keyes suggests looking at routes to secondary Caribbean airports, as flights to hubs like Montego Bay or Punta Cana tend to be pricey.
Digging into lesser-known islands beyond the mainstream hot spots rewards travelers with hidden gem destinations and smaller crowds. Flights to islands like Grenada, Dominica, and Barbados tend to cost much less than over-touristed spots. Once there, affordable ferries connect many islands, allowing island-hopping on a budget.
Southwest's expansion into the Caribbean and Latin America opens up new cheap flight possibilities. Their low fare calendar can reveal ridiculous deals, like the $49 one-way fares from Florida I’ve scored in the past. Just be ready to add on fees for bags and seat selections.
Maximizing flexibility by mixing one-way fares on different airlines often yields major savings in the Caribbean. I used this tactic to fly Miami to Antigua on JetBlue, returning from nearby St. Kitts to JFK on Delta, saving over $150 compared to a simple round-trip.
Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Find Almost Free Flights to the Maldives
Nestled in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives has always topped lists of dream destinations. With overwater bungalows perched atop crystalline lagoons, this island nation embodies tropical opulence and luxury. Yet reaching this remote archipelago halfway across the world has traditionally come with an enormous price tag, relegating it to honeymooners and the ultra-wealthy.
But secrets hide among the swaying palms and white sand beaches. Over the past few years, mistake fares and unusually low promotional airfares have brought the Maldives within reach for budget-minded travelers. You just have to know where to look.
Google Flights has proven an invaluable resource for tracking down these “almost free” flights to the Maldives. Their flexible date grid view lets you easily spot weeks with anomalously low fares that stand out from the sky-high normal prices. Actor Ashton Kutcher famously leveraged this tactic, scoring roundtrip flights from LAX for just $250.
Other travelers have replicated his success by pouncing when Google Flights reveals short-lived fare glitches. One family of five flew from New York to Male for only $280 each, an unheard of price. Even when fares climb back to normal levels, prices fluctuate widely across airlines and seasons. Flexible travelers can still save 50% or more by picking the right dates and routings.
Most Maldives flight deals originate from major west coast hubs like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. But the Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi hubs of Qatar, Emirates and Etihad also frequently offer competitive fares, especially during sales. Their free stopover programs build in a bonus Dubai or Doha vacation en route.
Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Get Rock-Bottom Rates to Bali
With its swaying palm trees, emerald-green rice terraces, imposing volcanoes, and legendary surf, the alluring Indonesian island of Bali has captivated visitors for decades. Its rich culture, warm hospitality, and exotic temple ceremonies exude a vibe that’s both authentic and cosmopolitan. After a painful pandemic slump, Bali is finally reopening and eager to welcome back travelers.
Yet the dream of an idyllic Balinese getaway remains elusive for many, given the island’s remote location on the opposite side of the globe. Flights inevitably eat up a huge chunk of any Bali travel budget. But for savvy travelers, rock-bottom airfares to this Indonesian paradise can absolutely be found with the right approach.
The key is flexibility. Avoiding peak summer and holiday dates is rule number one for bargain airfare. Even traveling just a few weeks before or after the crowds can yield huge savings. Being open to alternative airports like flying into Denpasar on Bali’s southern tip versus pricier Jakarta or Surabaya flights can be a big money saver too.
Expanding your origin city search beyond just nonstop flights opens up major opportunities as well. Don’t be afraid to add in one-stop options through Asia hubs like Taipei, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. I regularly spot deals in the $700 to $900 range from west coast cities routing through Asia this way. Sometimes a positioning flight can even score you cheaper overall airfare.
Once you’ve identified likely dates and routings, set fare alerts using Google Flights to notify you the moment rock-bottom rates are released. Their flexible date grid view lets you visualize seasonal price differences and pinpoint cheap weeks at a glance. I scored $580 roundtrip flights from LAX by pouncing the moment Google Flights indicated a dip in fares.
Particularly egregious airfare drop-offs merit checking alternate airports entirely. For example, flying into Bali from Australia vs. America can save $500 to $1,000 easily. With deals regularly popping up in the $300 to $700 range on airlines like Jetstar and Scoot, a positioning flight to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane may offer huge savings even after adding in that extra segment. Signing up for Australian fare alerts can clue you into amazing Bali deals.
Cheap Flights to Paradise: Score Rock-Bottom Fares to Tropical Dream Destinations - Sail to French Polynesia for Pennies
Scoring almost free flights to the exotic South Pacific paradise of French Polynesia has long seemed like an impossible fantasy. With its world-famous overwater bungalows poised above turquoise lagoons, this remote island chain halfway across the world embodies tropical opulence and luxury. Magical-sounding spots like Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti top countless travelers’ bucket lists. But reaching French Polynesia’s far-flung archipelagos has traditionally come with sky-high airfares reserved for honeymooners and the ultra-wealthy.
Yet secrets hide among the swaying palms and white sand beaches. Mistake fares and unusually low promotional deals have recently brought French Polynesia within reach for budget-minded travelers. You just need to know where to look and pounce when deals emerge.
Google Flights’ flexible date grid feature can uncover airfare gold, revealing weeks when prices mysteriously dip well below normal levels. Flexible travelers have leveraged this to score deals like $400 roundtrip flights from LAX and $600 from New York and Boston. Though not common, setting fare alerts gives you a chance to act fast when these “sail for pennies” mistake fares pop up.
But even when prices climb back to typical levels, smart strategies can still save 50% or more. Avoiding peak summer crowds slashes costs dramatically. Be ready to fly days after Christmas through March. Watch for Air Tahiti Nui’s seasonal sales like their east coast promos touting flights for “$939 all-in from NYC.”
Consider flying from west coast cities like LAX, SFO, and Seattle through Asia or South Pacific hubs like Hawaii. Air New Zealand, Qantas, Fiji Airways, and United all connect California to Papeete well under $1,000 during sales.
Don't limit yourself to Tahiti either. Connecting to outer islands via Air Tahiti opens up major savings while providing access to more authentic Polynesian experiences. Flights from Papeete to Moorea, Bora Bora, or Raiatea can cost $100 or less.