You’ve got a cheap skate’s budget but Kayne West-size ideas of grandeur for your next getaway. And while you might not wake up to a custom Lamborghini in the garage, you can still spend G’s like Yeezy. How? Consider this: When it comes to domestic travel, competition is key. Check out our list of surprisingly cheap domestic flights that can make any traveler’s dreams come true.
Long Beach, CA
Think you need the cash reserves of a night club-bound celebrity to travel to California’s movie capital? Wrong. Skip LAX and fly into Long Beach (LGB) instead. Thanks to competition from nearby airports, LGB has some of the cheapest domestic flights around. You’ll have attractions like the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Queen Mary in town, and you can be strutting your stuff like a model on the sparkling beaches of Orange County in just a few minutes’ drive. Plus, you can easily take the Metro Blue Line into Los Angeles, and from there you can hop a train to San Diego. From Long Beach, the world is yours (or at least Southern California).
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL) is the world’s busiest, so there’s a ton of airline competition driving down prices. ATL consistently ranks on lists of affordable places to fly, no matter where you’re coming from. Since your wallet isn’t getting hosed, you’ll have plenty of cash left over to make it rain—on the city’s cultural attractions, that is. With the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, Broadway shows at the historic Fox Theatre, and masterpieces by Monet, Rodin, and Bellini at the High Museum of Art, A-town’s activities are world-class. For a day trip, take a drive up route 19 and check out Georgia’s wine country. As Socrates once said, any time is a good time for wine! (Well, we think he said that.)
If you’re looking to save some green and get out on that white, Reno is your Ski City, USA. Book flights to Reno-Tahoe International (RNO) and keep your cash for ski pass upgrades and post-run spiked cider in the lodge; RNO puts you at the doorstep of Lake Tahoe’s seven major ski resorts. Not just for shredding gnar, this laid-back town is serious fun year-round. Hike, bike, kayak, or just chill out on the beach. There’s nothing like crisp mountain air when you have extra crisp Benjamins left in your pocket.
Gotta have an East Coast getaway? Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) is a hub for some of the cheapest domestic airlines, bringing down prices for everyone. Washington, DC is about 40 minutes south by train, while Philadelphia is just an hour and a half north. Get your patriotism on at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where a battle during the War of 1812 inspired the national anthem. Then celebrate the land of the free and home of the Kardashians with a trip to DC—and don’t forget your fanny pack, your walking shoes and of course, your camera. You’ll have so many pics (squishing the Washington Monument, smiling in front of Abe Lincoln), you might break the internet.
It’s true that everything’s bigger in Texas (yes, we mean everything), and that includes domestic flight deals. Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) is another hub where competition keeps prices lower than a freshman’s standards on spring break. They’ve also got giant turkey legs, BBQ, and plenty of endless margaritas—not to mention breakfast tacos, snack tacos, and tacos for no good reason. All. The. Tacos. You’ll be eating a lot, so bring some stretchy pants. We’re not sure if you can scream off those calories, but you can try! Sports are Dallas’s favorite pastime, and there’s one for every season. Hit up a Cowboys, Mavs, or Stars game and get yellin’.
You don’t have to be Tony Stark rich to spend your vacation stuffing your face, eye-guzzling masterpieces, or upgrading your ski pass to “epic” level. The cheapest flights in America are here to save the day (though you will be flying in a plane, not an Iron Man suit).