Spring Break is a popular time to travel for both students and families as schools and universities let out for a week (sometimes two), and many offices give employees breaks for the Easter holidays.
Book Spring Break flights early
The best time to book international flights is generally three to six months out; if your travel dates aren’t flexible, it’s wise to plan even farther ahead. Prices tend to rise significantly in the last two weeks.
Most US schools takes Spring Break between early March and mid-April.
Missed the window? Check out our guide to finding cheap(er) last minute tickets.
Here are some example fares we've found for popular Spring Break destinations:
- Belize in the $200s/$300s roundtrip
- Costa Rica in the $200s roundtrip
- Cancun in the $200s roundtrip
- Paris nonstop in the $300s roundtrip
- Calgary nonstop in the high $100s roundtrip
Consider the effect of other Spring holidays
Remember: It’s not just Spring Break in your home country that can affect prices, but holidays happening in your destination region, as well.
When whittling down your destinations, be sure to research any other major events or cultural happenings taking place in those destinations during that period of time that could inflate the overall cost of your trip, including Spring Break in that destination.
Think: Chinese New Year and Spring Festival Golden Week in China (Feb. 4-10, 2019), Mardi Gras in New Orleans (March 5, 2019), and the famed cherry blossom festivals in both Washington D.C. and Japan.
For most of Europe, Spring Break is called Easter Break and falls over Easter or Holy Week. Many European holidays center around Easter, which falls on April 21, 2019.
South America doesn’t really embrace Spring Break, but be wary of booking around Carnival, which lasts four to five days in February and March. It takes place 40 days before Easter—in 2019, it's February 28 to March 5—and causes prices to skyrocket.
Australia and New Zealand both have school holidays also happening right around Easter time (and again in September and October).
>> Read our Ultimate Guide to Finding Cheap Flights
Go where the crowds aren't
A lot of people want to travel during Spring Break as they have holidays from work/school, so it’s peak season and therefore expensive. Many travelers either flock to warmer, tropical locales or to the ski slopes, so consider a destination that might not be as popular at this time of year; larger cities, particularly those in the more northern parts of North America and Europe, don’t attract a big Spring Break crowd.
Airfare prices depend on demand, so steer clear of the most popular Spring Break destinations in the region you’re looking to visit—e.g. Miami and Cancun in America, the Mediterranean or Spanish coastline in Europe—and be open and flexible to visiting others destinations that are cheaper to fly to.
More flexibility almost always translates to better deals.The more flexibility in where you go and when, the easier it is to find a great price; what may be high-season for one destination is low-season for another, so be flexible in terms of where you choose to go.
If you can adjust which days you fly, you’ll be even better off. The highest fares typically fall on Fridays, Sundays and Mondays, so consider mixing it up and traveling on Saturdays when airfare is often lower and airports not as crowded. Using Google Flights’ calendar search is always a prime place to start when researching the cheapest days to fly.
Focus on getting to the continent/across the ocean cheaply
Another route to consider if you can’t find cheap Spring Break tickets to your dream destination: Book a round-trip flight to a gateway city with affordable flight options, then connect on a low-cost carrier.
For example, if you’re looking to travel from/to a smaller city like Lisbon with less international airlift, you might consider flying into London, then booking a separate round-trip ticket onward via TAP Air Portugal or another budget carrier.
Want to visit the Caribbean or South America? Houston and Miami have hundreds of departing flights per day to various Caribbean and South American destinations, so look into two separate tickets: one from your home base to Houston or Miami and then another flight from that city to your final destination.
For example, if you live in Orlando and have your eyes on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, you might snag a cheap flight from Miami, like the $197 fare we sent to members, and book a separate flight (or plan to drive) from Orlando to Miami to catch that flight over the Caribbean. Read more in our guide to finding the cheapest international flights.