Winter may have fluctuated from mild to anything but across the U.S. this year, but now spring is officially here and it seems things are evening out across the country. As buds begin to bloom and everyone turns their eyes and goals toward a spring vacation, there’s much to look forward to.
The growing number of low-cost carriers and enhanced capacity means a record number of passengers expect to take to the skies in March and April, according to Airlines for America. Roughly 140 million people will fly on U.S. airlines during those months, the group said. That’s a year-over-year increase of more than three percent.
The timing couldn’t be better: since Spring Break can range anywhere from early March to early May, you’ve got plenty of options for where to go, whether it’s sun, mountains, ocean, or cityscape you crave. We recently partnered with Booking.com to research some of the least expensive places to visit at this time, and our findings were exciting. A few cities stood out as the most wallet-friendly over a nine-week period that we studied: Cancun (a whopping 45 percent cheaper than it was in 2015), Panama City Beach (11 percent cheaper), and San Diego (6 percent cheaper).
Your favorite spring destinations may not be on this list of usual suspects, and that's okay, too. Remember that April is peak blooming season for the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC—a short-lived but beautiful time to visit our nation’s capital. If you’re after bigger blooms, the National Parks Service has stated it’s a record year for wildflower blooms in Death Valley. After a series of storms in October triggered an additional seeding of wildflowers, matched with mild temperatures and wind speed, the flowering is the best the park has seen in a decade.
If a big trip is beyond you right now, not to worry: we’ve gathered our favorite weekend getaways near 12 cities—all ideal excursions that won’t make you travel far. So read on for inspiration, and then get to planning.