Are you looking to escape the stress of daily life and soak up some sun and sand? There’s nothing like trading in your briefcase for a swimsuit and some sunblock. In other words, there’s nothing like a beach vacation! However, airfare can often be a significant expense, making a budget-friendly beach getaway seem impossible. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable options if you know where to look. And I know just the right places to find the cheapest beaches to fly to.
Whether you’re looking for a quick, cheap beach getaway or want affordable honeymoon ideas, it’s possible to find some amazing deals on domestic and international flights. As a frequent flyer, I know at least two things for sure. One, everyone needs a sunny escape now and then. And two, it’s possible to find amazing deals on airfare, even to places you wouldn’t expect.
That’s why I put together this helpful guide: everyone deserves a nice vacation without putting too much stress on the pocketbook. Times are tough right now, and it seems like now is the perfect time to step away from the stresses of life and find yourself on some tropical island, sipping Malibu Bay Breezes and making new memories.
Does that sound amazing? Then what are you waiting for – grab your sunglasses and a towel, and check out some of the cheapest beaches to fly to right now!
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My #1 tip for booking affordable beach vacations
For many people, the biggest hurdle to booking an affordable beach vacation is the cost of airfare. But you don’t even have to worry about that because before I tell you about the cheapest beaches to fly to this year, I will give you the secret to cheap flights. This is how I have saved money every time I travel.
For over three years, I have used a website called Scott’s Cheap Flights (now Going) to secure affordable flights worldwide. It’s so quick and easy, and it doesn’t add any burden to your trip-planning process. When you sign up, enter your departure airport and then pick your favorite beach destination. Just like that, Going will send you mistake fares and other extra cheap flight deals directly to your inbox for FREE!
When I use Going to find flight deals, I easily save hundreds of dollars on each roundtrip flight (domestic and international). And because there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, you can get even better deals when you sign up for a premium membership. The premium tier costs $49/year and is perfect for anyone who racks up many sky miles (like me). The membership has paid for itself after booking just one flight. It’s really worth it!
You can even use my discount code Jon20 to save 20% when you join!
Considerations for finding the best cheap beach destinations
Finding affordable air through a travel website like Going is one of the best ways to make a dream destination cheaper. However, it’s not the only thing you should rely on if your goal is to drive down costs.
It’s important to shop around for the best prices. It’s important to compare airlines and even airports to find the cheapest deals on a beach vacation. Also, compare prices at various times. Sometimes a week or even a day can make a big difference in your overall airfare cost.
Also, keep in mind that prices fluctuate all the time. Just because one location seems out of budget now doesn’t mean that same destination won’t be affordable at another time. The opposite is also true: if a beach is cheap now, it can become less affordable at a different time of year.
For true cost savings, your best bet is to book flights during your preferred beach’s off-season. Flights will generally be cheaper, as will hotel costs. However, keep in mind that it might not be ideal for beach-going at a particular time of year. It’s important to think about hurricane season, and if you’re looking at beaches in the Northeast, they could be closed or simply too cold to enjoy.
When booking super cheap beach vacations, it sometimes requires a little compromise, a bit of luck, and potentially a whole lot of patience. But if you know what you’re doing, you can book your dream destination and have money left over for souvenirs.
The cheapest beaches to fly to in 2023: 8 cheap beach destinations
Ready to travel someplace relaxing where you can work on your tan, take a dip in the ocean, collect seashells, and forget all your cares for a while? Maybe sip on a refreshing tropical beverage served with a little umbrella?
You can find all that and more at these 8 cheapest beaches to fly to right now.
1. Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach, located in the Sunshine State of Florida, is one of the most popular and affordable beach destinations in the United States. One of the main reasons Daytona Beach is one of the cheapest beaches to fly to is its proximity to the Orlando Sanford International Airport. Flights to this airport are often significantly cheaper than flights to other airports in Florida. From there, it’s just a short 50-minute drive to Daytona Beach.
Once you arrive, there are plenty of activities and amenities to enjoy. Daytona Beach is famous for its beautiful white sand beaches, and luckily, there are several free beaches to visit. The Daytona Beach Pier and Boardwalk is a popular attraction where you can enjoy a stroll, grab a bite to eat, or try your luck at arcade games. Other family-friendly activities include the Daytona Lagoon water park and the Marine Science Center.
For those who enjoy water sports, Daytona Beach is the perfect destination. You can rent a paddleboard, kayak, or jet ski tour. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a surfing lesson or go parasailing. NASCAR fans should definitely check out the Daytona International Speedway!
When it comes to food, you’ll find plenty of options. For seafood lovers, a visit to Crabby Joe’s on the Sunglow Pier is a must. The restaurant offers stunning ocean views and serves fresh seafood dishes. Another great option is Caribbean Jack’s, which has a great waterfront location with delicious seafood and burgers.
2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Not only is Myrtle Beach one of the cheapest beaches to fly to in the United States, but it’s also one of the cheapest places for a family-friendly vacation. With its miles of sandy beaches, family-friendly attractions, and budget-friendly activities, Myrtle Beach offers incredible value for your vacation dollar.
One reason it’s such an affordable destination is the availability of low-cost flights. The closest airport is the Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), which offers direct flights from many major cities nationwide, including New York, Chicago, and Dallas. With so many options, you’ll likely find a great deal on airfare to Myrtle Beach.
The area itself is full of free and low-cost activities for every budget. Of course, the most popular attraction is the beach, which offers miles of soft sand and sparkling waters. Some of the best free beaches include Surfside Beach, Garden City Beach, and Cherry Grove Beach. You can spend your days swimming, sunbathing, or simply strolling along the shore without paying for a beach pass!
For other family-friendly activities, Myrtle Beach has you covered. One of the most popular attractions is the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, which features carnival rides, games, and attractions. You can also check out the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, a towering Ferris wheel that offers breathtaking views of the coastline. With its low-cost flights, free beaches, and family-friendly attractions, Myrtle Beach is worth a visit!
3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Looking for an affordable beach vacation that will truly take your breath away? Then you need to add Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to your travel bucket list! This little piece of paradise is one of the cheapest beaches to fly to in the Caribbean without sacrificing luxury and entertainment.
The Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) is the closest airport to the beaches, and it’s easy to find a low-cost flight from most major cities. Once you arrive, you’ll be blown away by the stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear waters that stretch for miles. For a vacation on a budget, Bavaro Beach and Macao Beach are both stunning and open to the public. These beaches provide miles of white sand and crystal clear water, free of charge.
But Punta Cana has so much more to offer beyond the beaches! For adventure seekers, there are plenty of activities, such as zip-lining, horseback riding, and ATV tours. Take a dip in Hoyo Azul, a stunning turquoise lagoon, or visit the Marinarium Marine Park for a unique snorkeling experience with nurse sharks and stingrays.
Punta Cana is also a great destination for those looking to unwind and relax. The area is known for its luxury resorts, all-inclusive options, and world-class spas. You can indulge in a massage or take a yoga class while sipping a fresh coconut or a fruity cocktail. These all-inclusive resorts and packages help to make Punta Cana an affordable way to enjoy paradise.
4. Cape May, New Jersey
Dreaming of a vacation that won’t break the bank? Look no further than Cape May, New Jersey, one of the cheapest beach destinations to fly to on the East Coast! This hidden gem offers endless opportunities for fun and relaxation at an affordable price. You can easily find low-cost flights from major cities to Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), making it a convenient and budget-friendly option for a beach getaway.
When you arrive at this quaint beach town, you’ll be welcomed by picturesque Victorian houses, charming streets, and stunning beaches. Cape May’s beaches are free and open to the public, which is a rare find on the East Coast. Cape May has two dog-friendly beaches, the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area and Sunset Beach.
But Cape May has much more to offer beyond the beaches. The area is known for its historic lighthouse, which provides stunning views of the coastline, and the Cape May County Park and Zoo, which is free and open to the public.
For foodies, Cape May has a thriving food and drink scene with many popular restaurants and breweries. Some favorites include The Lobster House, the Ebbitt Room, and the Cape May Brewing Company. You can indulge in fresh seafood, craft beer, and local wines, all at an affordable price.
One of the best things about Cape May is that it’s a year-round destination. While many beach towns shut down during the winter months, Cape May has a thriving off-season with festivals, events, and attractions. You can enjoy holiday festivities, watch the annual Christmas parade, or take a winter birding tour.
5. Bocas del Toro, Panama
Bocas del Toro is a hidden gem that offers budget-friendly beach vacations. that Not only is it one of the cheapest beaches to fly to, but it also offers the perfect mix of affordability and adventure. There’s so much to love about Panama, from its vibrant culture to its stunning beaches and delicious food. The best way to get here is to fly into the Bocas del Toro “Isla Colón” International Airport, which receives daily flights from Panama City.
The ideal Panama vacation starts with the sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea. The archipelago is home to several pristine beaches, such as Red Frog Beach, Starfish Beach, and Playa Bluff. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and surfing at these beaches, among other activities.
Apart from the beaches, Bocas del Toro also has several amenities such as restaurants, bars, and shops. The town of Bocas del Toro is home to several restaurants that offer delicious local cuisines, such as ceviche, empanadas, and plantains. The town also has several bars that offer happy hours, live music, and karaoke. Visitors can also shop for souvenirs and gifts at the various shops scattered around the town.
In addition to its beautiful beaches and delicious food, the city is known for its vibrant culture and natural beauty. The archipelago is home to several indigenous communities that have preserved their culture and traditions for generations. Visitors can learn about their culture by taking a tour or visiting a community. You can also explore several local attractions, such as Dolphin Bay, the Bat Cave, and the Sloth Sanctuary.
6. Carlsbad, California
Looking to book a vacation on the west coast? Carlsbad, California, is an ideal destination for a beach getaway without breaking the bank. Located in northern San Diego County, this charming coastal city offers many activities and amenities at a fraction of the cost of some of the more popular California beaches.
Here, you can enjoy popular outdoor activities, including surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and hiking. The city is home to several pristine beaches, including Carlsbad State Beach, which is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. Looking for a more secluded beach experience? South Carlsbad State Beach offers breathtaking views and uncrowded sands.
In addition to its natural beauty, Carlsbad boasts a thriving food and drink scene. The Pizza Port Brewing Company, known for its award-winning craft beers and delicious pizza, is a must-visit for beer lovers. For seafoodies, Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar serves up some of the freshest seafood in town. For a more upscale dining experience, the Land & Water Company offers a farm-to-table menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.
Beyond its beaches and food scene, Carlsbad has unique culture and attractions. The city is home to LEGOLAND California, a theme park with over 60 rides, attractions, and shows, all based on the popular toy brand. The Carlsbad Flower Fields, a 50-acre display of vibrant flowers that bloom annually from March through May, is another must-see attraction.
One of the reasons Carlsbad is one of the cheapest beaches to fly to is its proximity to San Diego International Airport, which is only 35 miles south of the city. Many airlines offer affordable flights to San Diego, making it easy for travelers to get to Carlsbad without breaking the bank.
7. Gold Beach, Oregon
An alternate west coast vacation option is Gold Beach. This is a lovely area because it offers an affordable getaway without sacrificing the natural beauty and outdoor activities. Located on the southern coast of Oregon, this small town is a great alternative to more popular beach destinations in California and Hawaii.
One of the reasons Gold Beach is one of the cheapest beaches to fly to is its proximity to the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, located just 35 miles away in North Bend. Several airlines offer affordable flights to this airport, making it easy to get to Gold Beach without breaking the bank.
Once in Gold Beach, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities, including beachcombing, fishing, kayaking, and hiking. The town is home to several beautiful beaches, including the secluded and ruggedly beautiful Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor. The best part about this state park is its panoramic views. Enjoy the deep forest of Sitka spruce as you hike, and watch the water to enjoy views of the gray whales on their bi-annual migrations.
In addition to its natural beauty, Gold Beach also boasts a thriving food scene, with several top-rated restaurants and cafes. The Barnacle Bistro is a must-visit for seafood lovers, with a menu featuring fresh local catches, while the Circle K Cafe serves up delicious breakfast and lunch options in a cozy, homey atmosphere.
Gold Beach is an ideal vacation destination for anyone looking to enjoy nature beyond sunbathing. Before you leave, take a scenic boat tour up the Rogue River, where you might spot wildlife like bald eagles, river otters, and black bears.
8. St. Croix
One of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix is a hidden gem of a vacation destination that offers travelers an affordable getaway without sacrificing the beauty and luxury of a tropical island vacation. Located in the eastern Caribbean, St. Croix boasts turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and lush greenery.
Once in St. Croix, you can enjoy the island’s many beautiful beaches, including the popular Cane Bay Beach and the secluded and tranquil Isaac Bay Beach. You can have some fun in the sun by snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, paddleboarding, or sunbathing. Beyond its beaches, you can also explore the historic Christiansted National Historic Site, which features several 18th-century buildings and ruins.
In addition to its natural beauty and romantic activities, St. Croix boasts a thriving food scene, with several top-rated restaurants and cafes. The Beachside Cafe at Sand Castle on the Beach Resort is a must-visit for Caribbean-inspired cuisine. Zion Modern Kitchen offers an elevated dining experience featuring locally sourced ingredients.
St. Croix is also a great destination for romantic activities, with several resorts and spas offering couples massages, sunset cruises, and beachfront dining. The historic town of Christiansted is a perfect spot for a romantic evening stroll, with charming pastel-colored buildings and quaint shops and restaurants. One thing is for certain: you will leave far more relaxed than when you arrived!
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the cheapest beaches to fly to
When looking for the cheapest beach destinations, there are several key things you should know to help you keep your costs low and your enjoyment levels high. Here are some common questions and answers about the cheapest beaches to fly to.
How can I find the cheapest beach flights right now?
Whether you’re looking for a tropical beach destination or something a little closer to home, there are several ways to find the best flight deals. My first tip for finding the cheapest flight deals for a beach vacation is to be flexible with your travel dates and routes. If, for example, you can fly out on a weekday instead of a weekend, you might see significant savings. Also, try searching for flights on different days of the week or at different times of the day to see if you can find a better deal.
Utilizing flight alert websites like Going can also save you hundreds of dollars on roundtrip airfare wherever you travel. Going is great because you don’t have to do a lot of searching. The deals come directly to you. It can also give you cheap beach destinations you wouldn’t have even considered before. Other great tools to find cheap flights include Skyscanner, Google Flights, Hopper, and Kayak.
How to plan a cheap beach vacation?
Are you dreaming of sun, sand, and sea without breaking the bank? As a seasoned traveler, I have just the tips you need to plan an affordable beach vacation that’ll make you feel like you’ve struck gold.
First things first, start by researching the best deals on flights, accommodations, and activities. Look for off-season dates, mid-week travel, and bundle packages that offer discounts on multiple bookings. The early bird catches the worm, so book your trip in advance to avoid last-minute price spikes.
Next, consider staying in a nearby town rather than right on the beach. You can often save a pretty penny by choosing a hotel or vacation rental a few miles inland or in a less popular area. Plus, you’ll still have easy access to the beach without paying premium prices.
When it comes to food, don’t shy away from local markets and street vendors. They often offer delicious and authentic eats at a fraction of the cost of fancy restaurants. And let’s face it, nothing beats a fresh fish taco or a juicy pineapple smoothie on a hot beach day.
Finally, don’t forget to make the most of the natural beauty around you. Hiking, biking, and exploring the local flora and fauna are all free activities that can be just as fun and rewarding as pricey tours and excursions.
When is the best time to book a flight to the beach?
If you’re looking to plan an affordable beach vacation, one of the most frequently asked questions is when is the best time to book a flight? While it is possible to find some truly amazing last-minute flight deals, usually, your best bet is to book a few months in advance.
For a domestic flight, I recommend booking one to three months in advance. For an international vacation, give yourself a little extra time and book your tickets two to eight months before your departure.
Which airlines offer the cheapest flights to beaches?
When looking for cheap beach vacation spots, it’s important to look at more than just the destination. To get the best deals on airfare, consider both the cheapest airlines and airports.
For example, there are several budget airlines with routes to popular beaches. Some of the most well-known budget airlines in the US include Southwest, Allegiant, Frontier, JetBlue, and Spirit.
Here are some of the major airlines with the cheapest flights to beaches:
- Alaska Airlines
- United Airlines
- American Airlines
- Copa Airlines
What are the cheapest beaches to fly to in the US?
If you’re looking for the most affordable beach destinations in the United States, you’re in luck! Whether you want to enjoy the sunny West Coast, the warm Gulf Coast, or the scenic East Coast, you can find beautiful and affordable beaches to enjoy.
Here are some of the best and most affordable beaches in the US:
- Daytona Beach, Florida
- Cape May, New Jersey
- Carlsbad, California
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Ocean City, Maryland
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- South Padre Island, Texas
- Gold Beach, Oregon