With the hectic holiday season upon us, it might be the perfect time to take advantage of these airfare deals to gift yourself with a little getaway. Or perhaps you could surprise a lucky someone with tickets to an exotic locale or favorite vacation destination. Whether you want to fly across the country or halfway around the world, check out these airfare deals to California, Las Vegas, Europe, South Africa, Hong Kong, and more.
Plan a European vacation around these Air France roundtrip fares to Europe (from $606, a low by $16; expires December 15). Book a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, where traditions of the East and West meet. Take a dip at a traditional Turkish bath called a hammam, and be sure to visit two of the most famous landmarks: the breathtaking Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque. Air France discount fares also include trips to Paris (from $1,074.44), picturesque and romantic year-round, and to Barcelona (from $814.74), which offers cultural flavors of both modern and old Spain.
Alternatively, Scandinavian Airlines is offering the best base rates we've seen this year on roundtrip fares to Scandinavian cities (from $696.66, a low by $10; expires December 9), including Stockholm, Sweden. While the sunny hours are short in Scandinavia this time of year, sights such as the Royal Palace are also spectacular in the long evenings — all the more time to take advantage of the city's rich dining and nightlife scene.
Head north with Toronto Escapes, which currently offers discounted 1-way fares to Toronto via Air Canada (from $85, a low by $21; expires December 15). Whether you want to take in a Broadway play in the Toronto Theatre District or watch the Toronto Maple Leafs in action on the ice, you're sure to find something to do in this cosmopolitan center.
Far-Flung Locales: South Africa & Hong Kong
If you're trying to escape the winter weather, check out these South African Airways roundtrip fares to South Africa (from $1,048, a low by $895; expires December 15) where it is currently summer. Explore Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city and economic hub, and discover its history with stops at Ferreira's Mine (an abandoned mine that sits under a modern bank) and the Apartheid Museum, which details the rise and fall of segregation and includes footage of the late Nelson Mandela's historic release from prison. Enjoy the warm weather with visits to the Montecasino Bird Gardens, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, and Suikerbosrand Provincial Nature Reserve, an ecotourism destination that's just a short drive from the city center.
With Cathay Pacific's roundtrip international fares (from $863, a low by $14; expires December 6), there's never been a better time to consider an Asian vacation. Among popular destinations is Hong Kong, where you can take in a citywide view at Victoria Peak and visit the giant Tian Tan Buddha. Make sure to sample the wide array of culinary fare, from the vendors of the Temple Street Night Market to the upscale cuisine of Café Gray Deluxe
Domestic Bliss: Airfare to U.S. Destinations
Escape to the Golden State with United Airlines, which is offering roundtrip fares to California (from $98, a low by $27; expires December 15) at the lowest prices we've seen all year. Visit sunny San Diego where the temperature always seems to hover around perfect, opt for the Bay weather and rich culture of San Francisco, or choose the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles. Virgin America also has deals on 1-way fares to California cities (from $49, a low by $10; expires December 6), including Los Angeles and San Jose. Plus passengers get to watch this cool safety video instead of the usual spiel.
Want to head west with your AA frequent flyer card in hand? Check out the roundtrip nationwide flights fromAmerican Airlines (from $107, a low by $9; expires December 12). American is also offering deals on flights from Dallas to Houston (from $136.30), the biggest city in a state where bigger is better. Or fly from Chicago to Louisville (from $153.80), a cool city with small-town charm that offers lively music, arts, and culinary scenes.
If your travel plans include Oakland, CA, check out the nationwide 1-way fares (from $49, a low by $20; expires December 9) from Alaska Airlines. There are also flight deals from Seattle to Las Vegas (from $78.90), where you can try your luck at the casinos or check out one of the countless live shows. And since what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, there's no shame in knowing that (Britney Spears' 2-year residency kicks off December 27. Too cool for Vegas? Take advantage of the Newark to Portland, OR (from $148.80), airfares to see if all thatPortlandia promises is true.
On a more national level, look to Delta Airlines for nationwide weekend flights (from $160, a low by $197; expires December 7). Journey from Atlanta to Charleston, SC, for Southern hospitality, picture-perfect homes, and Low Country fare, including She-crab soup. Or travel from Los Angeles to Detroit (from $319.80), which may be financially struggling, but certainly has culture to spare. Also among the flights are rates to Atlanta (from $159.80), which features a wide array of attractions — from the High Museum of Art and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, to the (soda) pop culture of the World of Coca-Cola, near the renowned Georgia Aquarium.
We hope we've inspired you to book a winter getaway — or prompted you to give someone an unforgettable holiday gift! If you have other destinations in mind, be sure to have a look at our weekly roundup of the best travel deals for additional discounted flights, hotels, and vacation packages.
Josie Rubio is a contributor to Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared: http://dealnews.com/features/best-flight-deals/