This Is How Much More Money Spring Break Will Cost This Year—Plus, How to Save

Updated: Feb. 22, 2024

A recent report details why spring break may cost you a pretty penny this year.

When did spring break get so expensive? If you’ve searched for a roundtrip flight recently, you may have noticed that flights are definitely not cheap—and you’re not the only one who has noticed. According to a recent report from the Airline Reporting Corp. (ARC), flight sales were up 156% in April 2022 compared to 2021, totaling $7.7 billion in sales—and the prices have remained steadily high since. The ARC states that airfare prices are at an all-time high in the last seven years.

“April’s month-over-month sales and passenger totals are in line with pre-pandemic travel trends. We continue to monitor the impact higher airfares have on traveler demand,” says Steve Solomon, vice president of global customers and data products at ARC, in a Business Wire press release. “Pre-pandemic, we typically saw a decrease in passenger trips from March to April and an even more profound drop in sales compared to what we saw this year.”

These crazy high prices will, of course, affect any spring break travelers hoping to get away to somewhere warm this time of year—and prices to get to some of the most popular locations are getting the worst of it.

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How much more expensive will spring break travel be?

It seems everyone has a travel bug after being cooped up at home during the pandemic.

Roundtrip flight prices have majorly increased even from last year. Looking at the year-over-year data, the ARC report states that the value of domestic fares is up by 33% and international fares by 82% compared to February 2022. The average roundtrip flight cost right now is $571, which is up by 17% compared to the average cost pre-pandemic in February 2019.

In particular, top spring break destination spots such as Cancun, Orlando and Las Vegas have seen major price increases compared to sales in 2019. According to The Wall Street Journal, flight prices to Cancun are up by 51% for March and April, up 41% to Las Vegas and 31% to Orlando.

Why is travel more costly this year?

There are a lot of factors as to why travel is more costly this year, mostly due to the changing travel guidelines due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. With fewer masking and testing requirements to travel, more people are taking advantage of their time to travel compared to before.

Unfortunately, because there is so much demand for travel, prices have increased as a result. In general, airline sales are up by 54% compared to last year, with a major interest in travel to international locations—up by 29%. Even cruise ships are seeing major sale increases; after releasing COVID-19 guidelines in August last year, many cruise lines have seen bustling interest from customers ready to take to the sea.

Tips for saving money on spring break travel

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With so much interest in travel and a major increase in airline prices, is it even worth traveling right now? Thankfully, there are a few tips you can follow to make your spring break travel cheap if you are still craving a getaway this time of year.

Try somewhere unique

Because the typical spring break locations are costly this year, this could be a great opportunity to try something a little different. There are numerous affordable spring break locations you could check out with much cheaper roundtrip flights. Why not go on a historical tour in Savannah, Georgia? Or how about a spa getaway in Glenwood Springs, Colorado? Maybe even a rock climbing adventure in Red River Gorge, Kentucky?

If you’re looking for something quick—or even a getaway that is driveable from your home—these affordable quick trips won’t break the bank, and they’re great for the whole family!

Buy a vacation package

If you’re not picky about where you want to travel and just want to find a cheap getaway for the week, services like Expedia, KAYAK, Travelocity and offer incredible vacation packages you can choose from. These packages include flight travel as well as the hotel, can include all-inclusive resorts and family travel packages, and are typically under $1,000 in total.

Browse the different vacation packages they offer during the timeframe of your travel, and see if anything strikes your fancy. You may be surprised by the number of beachy getaways available that aren’t your typical spring break hot spots, but still offer numerous attractions and things to do—without the crowds! Sounds like a dream vacation to us, if we’re being honest.

Book on this day of the week

In the past, you may have heard that the best day to get airline deals is by booking on a Tuesday, but this isn’t always the case. According to Expedia, the best time to buy plane tickets is actually on a Sunday night, at the end of the weekend. You could save up to 5% on domestic flights, and even up to 10% on international travel. Find out how you can avoid dreading Sunday night.

It’s also important to book early. If you know you’re going to want to get away during spring break, book now—or as early as you can. Some experts state that the best time to book domestic flights is three and a half months out, and one month out for international. However, if you don’t have three months before your trip, the report also says cheap domestic airfare is also available three weeks out.