Summer vacation is approaching rapidly, and if you’re finding yourself without summertime responsibilities, you may be feeling the itch to travel. Of course, travelling can be pricey, but if you’re open to destination options and would just like a change of scenery for a bit, I’ve compiled a list of destinations both domestic and international that you can fly to fairly inexpensively out of our own dear Portland International Airport.
Los Angeles: $76
According to AirfareWatchdog.com, you can find yourself in sunny Los Angeles for less than 100 dollars for a round trip flight from PDX. The third most populous city in North America and the second in the U.S., LA is known simultaneously for a laid-back beach vibe and glamorous Hollywood. If you’re there for a week you should factor in perhaps $30 per night for a hostel bed. Hostels can be noisy but they tend to be full of people your age and they’re much cheaper even than a motel room. Add this to perhaps $50 for food (buy some bread, peanut butter and jelly at the store—you don’t have to spend all your money on restaurants) and perhaps $200 for transportation in the city and sightseeing locations, and you’ve got yourself a week-long vacation in a famous, chill city for about $500. As far as week-long vacations go, this isn’t a bad price.
Las Vegas: $96
AirfareWatchdog.com also recommends Las Vegas, as a round-trip flight can cost as little as $96. According to HostelWorld.com, hostels in Vegas run a lot cheaper than in Los Angeles. I was able to find multiple hostels that ran $10 to $12 per night. Las Vegas, however, is most prominent for its gambling, shopping and nightlife, so this could end up being pricier than anticipated if you’re not careful. If you enjoy gambling, you may end up spending more than you would like at the casinos that make up the fabric of the city. Still, Vegas could be a fun and inexpensive summer travel destination if you’d just like to grab a few friends, window shop, and get a great tan.
According to Skyskanner.com, you can scoot on over to Dallas from Portland for just under 100 bucks for a round-trip ticket. Dallas is a sprawling metropolis in the north of Texas, and has tons of architecture, art, history and natural beauty to see. Dallas hostels seem to run a bit higher than those in Vegas, falling within the 20-30 dollar per night range. Still, if we use the same estimates as those for Los Angeles, I imagine with a little penny-pinching you could make a good trip for around $500.
International travel costs quite a bit more than staying in the U.S., but if you are dying to get a shiny new stamp on your passport, you don’t necessarily have to spend thousands to do so. According to AirfareWatchdog, you can find yourself sipping a piña colada in one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico for less than $400 for a round-trip flight out of P-Town. I was able to find a nice-looking Airbnb bedroom for just $20 per night in the downtown area, and overall the dollar is stronger than the peso, and therefore everyday activities should cost you less in order to make up for the higher airfare price. For about the same flight price, AirfareWatchdog also suggests that you can make your way to Belize City, Belize.
Of course, these airfare prices are completely dependent on the dates on which you decide to fly, the price of gasoline, and the timing of your purchase. Unfortunately, a ticket that was a certain price a week ago may have risen by the time you look at it again. To get the best deals, like the minimal prices shown here, try to purchase tickets on a Tuesday at around 3 p.m., according to an article by ABC. Apparently, on Mondays one airline will often offer a sale, and then other airlines “immediately go into competitive mode, and begin lowering their own prices to match the first one’s sale.” Also, it’s often cheapest to fly between Tuesday and Thursday, since these days aren’t easy or popular travel days for most people.
I would recommend simply watching sites like AirfareWatchdog and Skyscanner, and hopping on a deal immediately when you find one. Best of luck and safe travels.
The opinions expressed in Keating’s column do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff.