Cheap Flights for a Last-Minute, Long-Weekend Winter Trip

In Northeast Ohio, winter can feel so long and dreary. Several years ago, we started taking long weekend winter trips and now I plan on doing it every year! In the winter, you can find pretty good flight prices to popular tourist destinations, particularly Florida (from Ohio – this will vary based on where you live). And don’t worry, even though it’s already January, you’ll still be able to book something for this winter. You can also get some decent prices on accommodations, depending on where you stay.

On a flight that’s only a couple of hours long like Ohio to Florida, I don’t mind budget airlines. That’s where you can really find some good deals for quick winter trips. I’m going to mention some current prices, using Ohio to Florida below, but even if you’re reading this after January 2020, these prices are consistent with what I’ve seen for the past few years, so you should be able to find similar winter prices. If you’re starting or ending in a different place, it is still likely that you’ll be able to find some good long weekend deals, it’s just really going to depend on your departure and destination cities. Send me a message or leave a comment if you want some help finding good routes. (If you’re from Ohio, Las Vegas also seems to be a cheap winter destination when it comes to flights.)

Here are a few options for buying last-minute flights for a sunny weekend this winter.

Spirit

Spirit has a Fly for $120 or Less Round Trip sale going on until midnight tonight (January 3) for travel by March 4, but based on the past few years of ticket prices, I’m almost certain that you’ll still be able to book for similar prices after that. To search for flights, start by going to spirit.com and clicking Deals at the top.

Frontier

The Flight Sales page currently has a lot of routes for under $100 round trip. For example, I searched Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati and found flights to Florida for January-March of this year for under $100 from each of those cities. To search for flights, start with the Flight Sales page on flyfrontier.com.

Allegiant

I had a harder time finding good routes with Allegiant, but just like everything else, it will depend on what airports you plan to use. Most of their Ohio to Florida flights are in the low $100s round trip right now. To search for flights, go to allegiantair.com and then either search from the main page or join their email list to get deal notifications.

Southwest

Southwest has a better reputation than some of the above airlines, but you’ll pay a little bit more with them too. There are flights for around $200 round trip from Ohio to Florida right now. To search for flights, go to southwest.com, click on Flights at the top, then click on Low Fares Calendar.

If you’re not into budget airlines, that’s completely fine! I suggest starting with Google Flights to search on other airlines. I have a guide for using it here.

If you are using a budget airline that charges for everything, even carry-on bags, try only packing only a backpack for the weekend! I have done this several times and it has always worked out well. Check out my tips for packing light here

Personal Example:

Later this month, six family members and I are going to Fort Lauderdale. Greg and I are flying from Cleveland on Spirit for about $70 each, round trip. Last year, we flew to Las Vegas for around $100 each, and did the same to Florida the two years before similar fares. 

A few years ago, we discovered that if we bought our flights from the airport instead of online, we didn’t have to pay as many fees. We saved $45 each on this year’s flight, which would significantly increase our overall cost on such a cheap route. We live near a small regional airport, so it only takes us 15 minutes to leave home, save $90, and return. I realize that this little trick isn’t quite as easy when you live far from an airport or your nearest airport is a large one, but try it out if possible!

Take a long weekend this winter to relax and enjoy the sun. You won’t regret it! As always, feel free to leave questions or comments or to send me a message.

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