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The Golden Gate bridge at sunset
heyengel | Adobe Stock

The 9 Cheapest Places to Fly This Summer 2022

SmarterTravel

This summer is sure to be a busy travel season. In fact, Expedia CEO Peter Kern recently told Bloomberg that “Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever.”

The pent-up demand and rising price of oil also means that summer travel is likely to be more expensive than we’ve been used to during the pandemic. However, even if the average price of a ticket is due to increase, there will always be cheap places to fly for one simple reason: competition.

Here are nine destinations we’ve found where flight prices are actually trending lower than usual and where we expect great deals for summer travel:

  1. San Francisco, California
  2. Nashville, Tennessee
  3. Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
  4. Reykjavik, Iceland
  5. Trondheim, Norway
  6. Raleigh, North Carolina
  7. Hamilton, Bermuda
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Toronto, Canada

San Francisco, California

Street view of Alamo Square in San Francisco, California at sunset
f11photo | Adobe Stock

A trip to the Bay Area this summer is a great way to experience the big city life along with the chance to get outdoors for some sightseeing. Whether visting Alcatraz Island or the Golden Gate Bridge or taking in a baseball game at Oracle Park, you’ll never run out of things to do in San Francisco.

Flights to San Francisco: A few airlines are beginning brand-new service to San Francisco this summer. Look for new nonstop flights on Breeze Airways from Richmond, Charleston, Louisville, and San Bernardino. Canadian discount airlines Swoop and Flair Airlines are also planning new flights from Edmonton and Vancouver. These new flights, in addition to several other competing airlines, have helped to keep summer flights to San Fran reasonably priced from across the nation.

It’s possible to find fares under $300 roundtrip from as far as the East Coast, while flights from cities in the west are priced in the $100s or less fairly often. When flying from smaller cities, expect the lowest prices to be in the $300s or $400s for summer travel. At the time of writing, I was able to find mid-week nonstop flights from New York for $273 roundtrip on Delta and $88 flights from Los Angeles on JetBlue, both for travel in July.

Have a look at current fares to San Francisco (SFO) from your home airport. Flexible with which airport you fly into? Compare prices flying into nearby airports in Oakland (OAK) or San Jose (SJC), and always check fares separately on Southwest to find the best deal.

Nashville, Tennessee

City street in Nashville illuminated by neon signs
erwin widmer/EyeEm | Adobe Stock

The Music City is ready to be festive this summer with regular acts such as live Jazz at Arrington Vineyards multiple nights per week and free concerts in Centennial Park every weekend in June. Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival is back on the calendar this year, from June 16-19, and there’s a unique Tomato Art Fest scheduled for August 12-13. No matter when you go to Nashville, you won’t be far from live music and friendly locals welcoming you with that good ol’ southern hospitality.

Flights to Nashville: Several airlines are starting new flights to Nashville this summer, including Air Canada, Allegiant, Avelo Airlines, Breeze Airways, Delta, Flair Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and Swoop. Look for Southwest to defend its turf as the predominant airline in Nashville by keeping its fares competitive.

Allegiant will generally have the lowest prices to Nashville with flights sometimes falling under $100 roundtrip depending on travel dates. The lowest fares on major airlines like American, Delta, and United, will likely be in the $200s and $300s range from most cities. At the time of writing, I found July flights from Minneapolis as low as $208 roundtrip on Southwest and $96 Allegiant flights from Jacksonville in August.

Check out the latest deals to Nashville (BNA) from around the U.S.


Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal

Lake Azul on Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal
Alex | Adobe Stock

Explore the Azores Islands this summer and experience a truly unique European vacation. From whale-watching tours to pineapple plantations, and breathtaking scenery across Sao Miguel Island, there is plenty to keep you busy in this remote Portuguese archipelago this summer.

Flights to Ponta Delgada: It will be easier than ever to fly to the Azores this summer thanks to new, seasonal, daily nonstop service on United from Newark to Ponta Delgada. This new flight will allow for easy connections from across the U.S. without the need to fly via mainland Europe. And prices have come down considerably as well.

Roundtrip flights from several major cities across the U.S. can be found in the $600s and $700s range for peak summer travel, which Google Flights suggests is between $500 – $900 cheaper than typical prices during the summer season depending on departure city. From New York and Boston, where there are also nonstop flights on TAP Air Portugal and Azores Airlines, pricing in the $500s has been common. At the time of writing, it was as low as $547 nonstop from Newark and $611 from San Francisco, both on United.

Look for current fares to Ponta Delgada (PDL) from your home city.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Aerial view of Reykjavik, Iceland
tsuguliev | Adobe Stock

Iceland recently lifted all COVID-19 related restrictions—including entry requirements. This means you’ll be able to travel to Iceland as you would during pre-pandemic times, and summer is a perfect time to visit for endless daylight while you tour its many waterfalls, volcanic craters, and hot springs. 

Flights to Reykjavik: The biggest news in transatlantic travel this summer could be the return of ultra-low-cost flights via Iceland on Play. The new airline rising from the ashes of WOW air will fly nonstop to Reykjavik from Baltimore, Boston, and New York-Stewart (Newburgh) airports this summer, and will add Orlando flights starting in the fall. Peak summer roundtrip flights can be found from these cities in the high $300s and $400s range, though you’ll need to pay extra for any bag larger than a personal item.

The new competition is welcome in the world of cheap flights as it has forced Icelandair, Delta, and United to keep fares low in competing markets. If you’re able to fly from one of Icelandair’s North American gateways, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding flights in the $400s to $600s range. I was able to find $371 flights from Boston on Play in July and $462 flights from Orlando on United in August.

See the latest fares to Reykjavik (KEF) from all over the U.S.

Trondheim, Norway

Colorful houses on the water in Trondheim, Norway
katepax | Adobe Stock

Setting off to the Fjords of Norway is a great addition to anyone’s bucket list, and a trip to Trondheim is a great way to get started. The Trondheim Fjord is the third largest in Norway and the city itself is one of Europe’s gems. Walk around the iconic brightly colored buildings in Bakklandet where you’ll find plenty of cozy cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Flights to Trondheim: It’s not just Iceland that benefits from the new transatlantic service on Play. You can also connect to several destinations in Europe. One of the most practical and unique connections to make is to fly to Trondheim, where Play’s fares can be found in the $500s range for roundtrip flights.

Fares from most of the U.S. will still be $1,000+ for peak summer travel but international carriers like KLM and SAS are competing with flights in the $500s to $800s range from a few major cities. For example, I found a $533 Delta/KLM flight from Boston and a $667 SAS flight from Chicago, both for August travel.

Have a look at current fares to Trondheim (TRD) from your nearest airport.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Skyline of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina
Kevin Ruck | Adobe Stock

If you’re looking to stay in the continental U.S., a trip to Raleigh is a great choice. You’ll find excellent museums such as the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina Museum of Art, and the kid-favorite Marbles Kids Museum. For lovers of the outdoors, rent a canoe or kayak and paddle down the Neuse River Canoe Trail.

Flights to Raleigh: Airlines have been expanding service to Raleigh-Durham Airport considerably over the past few years, and 2022 is no different. Air Canada, American, Avelo, Delta, and Frontier are all either resuming or adding new service this summer.

The lowest roundtrip fares are hovering in the $200s range from most cities in the Midwest and Eastern U.S., with flights from certain cities in the Northeast and Florida falling in the $100s range. From further west, expect to pay in the $300s to $400s range for summer travel, though you’ll find a few outliers. At the time of writing, I saw nonstop Delta flights from Las Vegas for $198 roundtrip on mid-week travel dates in late July/August. Meanwhile, Avelo Airlines had flights as low as $118 from New Haven.

Check out the latest deals to Raleigh (RDU) from your hometown.

Hamilton, Bermuda

Colorful houses on the water in Hamilton, Bermuda
Andrew Kazmierski | Adobe Stock

While many may think of Bermuda as a Caribbean Island, it’s actually closer to New York than it is to Florida. The British Overseas Territory sits about 600 miles east of the North Carolina coast and summer is an ideal time to visit to enjoy its pink-sand beaches, historic shipwrecks, and natural lagoons.

Flights to Bermuda: All three legacy carriers fly to Bermuda during the summer but you’ll have to fly via an East Coast gateway. American Airlines has the most connections but JetBlue’s service from Boston and New York is primarily what keeps fares competitive.

Roundtrip fares in the $500s and $600s range are pretty typical from across the U.S. but we sometimes see fare wars from hub cities in the $300s to $400s range. For example, at the time of writing, Delta was selling $326 nonstop flights from New York, and both American and United were selling seats for around $437 from Detroit.

See current fares to Bermuda (BDA) from all over the U.S.

Tokyo, Japan

Mt. Fuji behind the skyline of the Shinjuku building in Tokyo, Japan

While it’s uncertain when Japan will open its borders for tourists, we are hopeful that summer travel will be a possibility. After more than two years of being closed off to most travelers, the exquisite gardens and vibrant city life of Tokyo will feature in many post-pandemic travel plans. You’ll find a wide variety of activities in Tokyo, from visiting the Sensoji Temple to dressing up as your favorite Mario character for a go-cart tour.

Flights to Tokyo: There have been some incredible fares to Tokyo during the pandemic—as low as $200s roundtrip. Unfortunately, most people who snagged those deals have been unable to travel due to Japan’s borders remaining closed to tourists. But there is some hope Japan will open soon after it recently started allowing foreign students and business travelers to enter.

We expect flash sales to continue due to new low-cost flights on ZIPAIR out of Los Angeles and Honolulu that were introduced during the pandemic. Nonstop flights from L.A. have steadily been in the high $500s range roundtrip—even on top carriers such as Japan Airlines. Flights from the rest of the country are typically around $1,000 or more but be on the lookout for a flash sale where certain cities may see steep price drops. The best deal I found at the time of writing was a $581 nonstop flight on Japan Airlines from Los Angeles in July.

Check out the latest fares to Tokyo-Narita (NRT) and Tokyo-Haneda (HND) from your nearest airport.

Toronto, Canada

Gooderham building in Toronto, Canada
diegograndi | Adobe Stock

You don’t have to go far to experience a different country. Hop across the northern border to Toronto this summer and enjoy one of the most diverse cities in the entire world. The population of Toronto has over 200 ethnic groups that speak over 140 languages so you can encounter several cultures all in one big city. Plus, you’ll be just over an hour’s drive from Niagara Falls.

Flights to Toronto: Canadian ultra-low-cost carriers are making major moves in the transborder market in 2022. Flair Airlines is adding new flights to Toronto’s Pearson Airport from Chicago, Denver, Nashville, and New York. Meanwhile, Swoop is also adding flights from Chicago, Nashville, and New York. The new competition along with Porter Airlines resuming service to Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport has brought fares to Toronto down to historic lows.

It’s pretty common to find flights in the $100s range from cities where the budget airlines fly. And if you prefer to fly a major airline like Air Canada, American, Delta, United, or WestJet, fares tend to be in the $200s or $300s range from most U.S. cities, though you may see fares creep over $400 from some smaller markets or cities out west. At the time of writing, Swoop had $127 roundtrip flights from Chicago and Delta/WestJet were selling $234 flights from Miami.

Have a look at the best current deals to Toronto-Pearson (YYZ) and Toronto-Bishop (YTZ) airports from your city.

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