Spring Break Airfare Up, But a Few Bargain Destinations Found

Families and college kids, hold on to your wallets: Airfare for spring break is up almost double digits from last year.

The average price of a round-trip domestic ticket is nine percent higher this spring break, according to the online travel booking site Travelocity. The going rate from March 1 to April 15, when the vast majority of spring breaks fall, is $372 round-trip, inclusive of tax but not optional fees such as baggage or seat selection.

Airfare has risen to every one of the top ten most popular domestic destinations since last year. Some increases are negligible: airfare to Los Angeles, for example is up just 0.8 percent. But airfare to Washington, D.C. is up a whopping 20 percent.

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The average price for international airfare is $782, up seven percent compared to last year.

But in good news for travelers, some of the most competitive prices can be found to traditionally popular spring-break destinations. South Florida and Orlando, for example, are on average $369 and $350, respectively -- both lower, if only a bit, than the national average.

Some major cities also rank high on the list for value-seeking air travelers. New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. (even with the 20 percent spike) come in under the national average.

And for skiers, a ticket to the gateway city of Denver costs, on average, just $289 round-trip.

Sun seekers should concentrate their searches on the Bahamas and San Juan. Puerto Rico, where airfare has dropped slightly since last year -- down five and three percent, respectively.

Hotwire.com, which specializes in booking for last-minute trips, said every Hawaiian airport has seen a price drop since last year, between one and four percent.

And while the cost of a trip across the pond is not for the budget-conscious, airfare to London and Paris is nearly 40 percent cheaper than at this time last year, said Travelocity.