Cancun

by , SmarterTravel Staff
While March and spring break are fast approaching, there's still time to find reasonably priced airfare to top spring break destinations in Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean. It's an even better time to head to an alternative destination in Europe instead, as March is still a low season for travel to countries like the U.K. and Ireland. Here's a look at some of the top destinations worth considering and a sampling of available airfare prices. 

With its spectacular long white beaches and huge all-inclusive resorts, Cancun reigns as one of the most popular spring break destinations. Sample prices for travel from Miami to Cancun in March start at $178, plus taxes, on American.

(Photo: Mexico Tourism Board)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on February 16, 2009. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Anaheim, arts and culture, beach, Cancun, culinary travel, destination, Disneyland, family travel, Jessica Labrencis, Laguna Beach, Lake Tahoe, low-cost airline, low season, Newport Beach, New Zealand, Paris, shoulder season, Southwest, theme park, Virgin America.

Mexico is often one of SmarterTravel's top bargain destinations due to the consistent availability of deals to all parts of the country. Cancun is a top bargain spot, and is a great place to visit during its off-peak season. Of course, tropical weather and sandy beaches are nice at any time of year, but spring prices are lower than winter rates and as an added bonus, temperatures remain in the high 80s before jumping to sweltering summer highs.

Deals a-plenty are available for spring travel. (Keep in mind that if none of the deals I list here appeal to you, there are many more to be found.) Cancun is featured in Expedia's spring Mexico sale. Four-night, airfare-inclusive vacation packages start at $461 for April travel. Meanwhile, vacation-package provider Pleasant Holidays is offering a $484 May vacation including airfare from Los Angeles and four nights' hotel. Liberty Travel is offering 30 percent off select Cancun vacations, which include airfare, all-inclusive accommodations, and airport transfers.

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If you act fast, you can take advantage of Travelocity's soon-to-expire Silver Lining Sale, in which Cancun is a featured destination. Book a vacation package on Travelocity and save up to 50 percent on featured hotels—Cancun properties start at $109 for a four-star hotel.

When I compared spring hotels rates with peak-season winter rates, I found savings of up to $24 per night.

Hotel Room Type Off-Peak Rate Peak Rate
Hotel Antillano Double room $73 (April 16 to July 10) $83 (December 20, 2008, to April 15, 2009)
Aquamarina Beach Resort Hotel Junior suite $126 (April 19 to June 30) $150 (January 5 to April 18)
Hotel Kin Mayab* Single or double room $60 (May 1 to June 20, 2008) $80 (December 22, 2007, to April 30, 2008)
Solymar Cancun Double room $66 (April 19 to July 4) $79 (February 1 to April 2)

Prices are per night based on double occupancy and were found on each hotel's website. *The Hotel Kin Mayab has not yet updated its website to reflect 2009 rates.

Soon, you'll have more options for getting to Cancun. Low-fare carrier AirTran will add nonstop service between Atlanta and Cancun on February 25, and between Baltimore and Cancun on March 7.

Cancun's official travel information website, Cancun.travel, is an excellent resource for planning a visit. Its comprehensive hotel search tool is particularly helpful. You can also read SmarterTravel's Cancun Vacation Guide for trip-planning information.

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