Popular Destinations to Fly to for Under $150

Gabrielle Olya

There’s only one thing keeping you from embracing your inner adventurer and from buying that plane ticket on impulse: really expensive airfare.

With affordable one-way Hotwire flights departing from the East and West coasts, that one big factor is no more. In fact, these sub-$99 Hotwire deals cover plenty of impulse-buyable destinations you’ll actually want to visit.

Just one thing is keeping you from embracing your inner adventurer and buying that plane ticket on impulse: really expensive airfare.

With affordable one-way flights departing from the East and West Coasts, that one big factor is no more. In fact, these sub-$150 flight routes identified by Hipmunk based on median booking prices for 2018 cover plenty of impulse-buyable destinations you’ll actually want to visit.

Cheap Flights to Chicago

  • Departing city: Detroit
  • Median booking price: $93

It costs less than $100 on average to get from Detroit to Chicago, and once you’re there, you can easily enjoy the city on a budget.

For free, back-to-nature experiences, it’s hard to beat the Lincoln Park Zoo or the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, especially if you’re traveling with kids.

Also Consider: 15 Best Places to Enjoy an Unforgettable Family Vacation

More Cheap Flights to Chicago

  • Departing city: St. Louis
  • Median booking price: $55

It’s even cheaper to get to Chicago from St. Louis. And for even more free fun in Chicago, visit the Lincoln Park Conservatory & Gardens, or catch the free fireworks displays at Navy Pier on Wednesday and Saturday nights during the summer. Plan a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, where admission is free for kids under 14.

Cheap Flights to Detroit

  • Departing city: Chicago
  • Median booking price: $82

Plenty of affordable fun is available for the whole family in Detroit. The Belle Isle Aquarium, Nature Center and State Park are all free to visit, as is the Detroit Historical Museum. It’s also cheap to get around thanks to the Detroit People Mover train, which costs just $0.75 one-way to ride and is free for children age five and under.

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Cheap Flights to Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Departing city: Orlando, Florida
  • Median booking price: $98

This beach-side getaway destination is one that you can enjoy without having to spend a lot. Stroll along the boardwalk, go for a dip in the ocean and enjoy the city’s plethora of free festivals and events, which include the Los Olas Art Fair in January and March, and several holiday boat parades in December.

Cheap Flights to Kualapuu, Hawaii

  • Departing city: Honolulu
  • Median booking price: $143

You’ll find there’s no shortage of beaches to explore in Kualapuu: Papohaku Beach Park, Murphy’s Beach, Kepuhi Beach and Waialua Beach are all free to enjoy and equally picturesque. And for incredible views of the area, be sure to visit Kalaupapa Overlook.

Revealed: 15 Insider Secrets to Know Before Your Hawaiian Vacation


Cheap Flights to Las Vegas

  • Departing city: Los Angeles
  • Median booking price: $85

Need we say more about hopping on a last-minute flight to Las Vegas? From the glitzy, hypnotic neon to the allure of penny slots and endless buffets, Vegas is known for indulging impulse buys. However, Sin City offers plenty of fun and free activities to keep your budget in check.

Cheap Flights to Los Angeles

  • Departing city: San Diego
  • Median booking price: $112

Thanks to its gorgeous weather year-round, you can explore the different areas in the City of Angels on foot no matter when you visit. Stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see its famous stars, take a walk down the famed Venice Beach Boardwalk and catch the sunset or take a hike to the Griffith Observatory to see unforgettable views of the city below. Other free attractions include the J. Paul Getty Museum and the outdoor exhibits at the La Brea Tar Pits. It’s a quick, cheap flight to get to L.A. from San Diego.


Cheap Flights to Maui, Hawaii

  • Departing city: Kailua, Hawaii
  • Median booking price: $143

In Maui, there are a plethora of (free) beaches, from the surfer’s paradise of Ho’okipa to the laid-back Wailea Beach. And you can’t miss Wai’anapanapa State Park, which is known for its black sand beaches. Another Maui must is a drive along the Road to Hana, which will take you along the coastline and has views of beautiful waterfalls and lush rainforests.

Cheap Flights to Miami

  • Departing city: Orlando, Florida
  • Median booking price: $67

In terms of value-priced getaways, jetting from Orlando to Miami makes for a perennially cost-friendly flight.

If you want to keep your Miami trip on the down-low in terms of price, check out the free beaches, free trips to downtown on the Metromover and self-guided graffiti tours through the wild murals of Wynwood.

Disney, Beaches and More: Your Guide to Florida Travel on a Budget

Cheap Flights to Orlando, Florida

  • Departing city: Miami
  • Median booking price: $68

What makes Orlando different from Miami? Well for starters, there’s the undeniable presence of the Disney World monolith. But it will cost you to visit — park passes start at $109. 

Or, save your cash, and check out cheap sites such as the Bok Tower Gardens for $15 per adult or the Kennedy Space Center, which clocks in well under Mickey’s domain at $57 per adult, per day.


Cheap Flights to Philadelphia

  • Departing city: Washington, D.C.
  • Median booking price: $95

Most of Philadelphia’s top attractions won’t cost you a dime to visit, so it’s worth the $95 plane ticket from D.C. to get you there. The Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, LOVE Park and the Philadelphia Museum of Art — which is also home to the famous Rocky statue and steps — are all free to explore.

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Cheap Flights to Pittsburgh

  • Departing city: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Median booking price: $85

Getting from Lancaster to Pittsburgh won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and there’s plenty of family-friendly fun to be had once you arrive. The city is filled with public art that you can enjoy when you walk around, or visit the free Frick Car and Carriage Museum to see its impressive collection of antique cars.

Cheap Flights to St. Louis

  • Departing city: Chicago
  • Median booking price: $54

The St. Louis Zoo, Science Center and Art Museum all have free admission, so you’ll have plenty to do when you travel to the Gateway to the West on a budget flight from Chicago.

Cheap Flights to Washington, D.C.

  • Departing city: Pittsburgh
  • Median booking price: $128

Everyone knows a trip to D.C. is a voyage into the fabric of American democracy, but not everyone knows you can wrap yourself in that fabric for free. For just a sampling of cost-free attractions that’ll enrich your mind and soul, visit the National Museum of African Art, the Historic Congressional Cemetery, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the National Mall and the National Air and Space Museum.

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More Cheap Flights to Washington, D.C.

  • Departing city: Philadelphia
  • Median booking price: $82

D.C. is even less expensive to get to from Philadelphia. And if you plan your trip in advance, you can take a free tour of the White House. To do so, you’ll have to request a tour through your member of Congress at least 21 days before your visit.

How to Find Cheap Flights

Choosing a cheap route is one way to get affordable flights, but there are ways to save on flying no matter what the destination:

  • Use Google Flights to easily compare flight prices.
  • Look for cheap flight deals on SecretFlying.com.
  • Set price alerts on Skyscanner, and be notified when prices to your intended destination drop.
  • Book your trip using credit card points or frequent flyer miles.

Check out seven amazing destinations that cost less than $60 a day.

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Dan Ketchum contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: Flight route costs listed are the median booking prices for 2018, as compiled by Hipmunk.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Popular Destinations to Fly to for Under $150