Now that the cold is surreptitiously creeping in and the chaos of the summer travel season is well behind us, it’s finally time to look ahead and start planning for this year’s winter break. There are endless possibilities, and Americans are certainly spoiled for choice, with at least 9 new non-stop flights from the U.S. to sunny destinations being announced.
Whether it’s the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya or the world-class service found in the Dominican resorts, most Americans will not have to worry about long layovers in Southern hubs like Orlando and Miami when flying Caribbean-bound. And believe us, although fares are inevitably higher this year compared to 2019, they’re well below the summer rates.
But in order to get the best bang for your buck, you will need to book those flights as soon as possible:
1 – Connecticut to Jamaica
Lowest fare this season: $226 one-way
Connecticut has never been particularly favored by big airlines when it comes to adding routes to beach hotspots. However, as of this year, following a demand surge, the largely overlooked airport is rising in importance, with Spirit Airlines set to launch the first-ever Bradley International-Sangster International flights.
Beginning December 15, Hartford residents will have a brand new air bridge to Montego Bay, all year round, four times a week. As for route specifics, both Airbus A320neo and A321neo fleets have been deployed, asserting Spirit’s plans of establishing a regional hub in Bradley International.
2 – Raleigh/Durham to Cancun
Lowest fare this season: £292
Although Raleigh/Durham natives have always enjoyed direct links to Cancun with JetBlue, those not keen on the low-cost carrier not exactly known for the comfort of its seats will now be able to fly American Airlines instead. The full-service airline has added Raleigh to its flight map and will be operating flights to the Caribbean gem throughout winter.
If you’re planning on visiting Cancun, make sure you check out our arrival tips for Cancun Airport. By far and away, it is the busiest and most chaotic hub in Mexico, looking set to welcome more than 9 million tourists during the upcoming season only, and knowing how to navigate it is paramount- otherwise, you may fall victim to taxi or money exchange scams.
3 – Colorado to Santo Domingo
Lowest fare this season: $291
Banking on Costa Rica flights to sell out its winter schedule, Southwest Airlines is not only ramping up service to the sought-after destination but opening a new air bridge between Denver, Colorado, and San Jose, the country’s lively capital and its main entry point. The official start date is March 11, 2023.
On the route, passengers can expect a smooth flight on a Boeing 737 MAX 8, and limited capacity shouldn’t be an issue, as each leg of the journey is expected to carry 175 passengers. Besides being more accessible than ever, there’s another reason why Coloradans should pick Costa Rica as their next vacation: it’s been recently crowned Central America’s top destination.
4 – Baltimore/Washington to Liberia
Lowest fare this season: $311
While it is not exactly a new route like the others, the popular Baltimore/Washington – Liberia service is seeing a welcome increase in frequency. Up until now, D.C. sun-seekers had only a single flight available weekly: as soon as winter comes, though, they will be allowed to choose whether Saturday or Sunday is their preferred day for flying.
Liberia is located on the northern coast of Costa Rica, in close proximity to the Nicoya Peninsula, where the nation’s most dramatic coastal views are. Within the municipality, some of the top attractions are the Old Quarter, dating back to the mid-19th century, the Museo del Sabanero, and the iconic Ermita de La Agonia, a white-washed colonial church.
5 – Tampa to Santo Domingo
Lowest fare this season: Not yet announced
The Dominican Republic (DR) capital has been largely overlooked over the years, as Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, and the like took center stage. Recently it’s been a different story, especially after American tourists discovered the wonders of colonial cities. Being the oldest European settlement on this side of the pond, Santo Domingo couldn’t be left out by Frontier.
The budget airline is finally adding the colonial-era jewel to its list of Tampa destinations, being one of many to have struck a deal with the country’s Civil Aeronautics Board to increase flights to the island. Other important details are still missing, but we do have a tentative launch date: the route is opening between November 2022 and January 2023.
6 – Tampa to Punta Cana
Lowest fare this season: Not yet announced
Elsewhere, the Dominican Republic’s own carrier, Air Century, is eyeing the American market, has announced plans to debut a new service from Punta Cana, the island’s top sunny destination, to Tampa. Yes, soon enough, the Florida hub will have nonstop flights to both the DR’s historical capital and its famous Caribbean resort strip.
We have not been able to confirm either schedule or frequency, but either way, this is great news for Punta Cana-bound Floridians, who will be on the winning side as more airlines enter a fare war in hopes of offering the most attractive and cheapest flight options. Beyond Tampa, Air Century also has its eyes set on Miami, with future routes yet to be confirmed.
7 – New York to Mexico City
Lowest fare this season: $361
Mexico is a favorite for Americans going abroad no matter the time of year. Now that all restrictions placed on Americans flying into and out of the U.S. have been dropped, they have been flocking into their Southern neighbor in their droves, and not only to the Caribbean coast: places like Guanajuato and Mexico City are now top of the list.
Regarding the latter, American Airlines is launching daily flights there from JFK. Flying on a Boeing 737, passengers can expect to depart the Big Apple at 8:30 pm and touch down in the Mexican capital at 12:10 am. Whether it’s American Airlines or other carriers, just be careful when booking your Mexico City flights, or you could end up landing 30 miles out of the city.
8 – Austin to Cozumel
Lowest fare this season: $170
This year, American Airlines made it a top priority to boost its Caribbean flights. Besides adding two new destinations in Jamaica, the flag bearer has included Cozumel to its comprehensive flight map out of Austin, Texas. This winter, Austin residents will be able to fly directly to the paradise island without facial the usual long layovers, in just over two and a half hours.
For those looking for budget vacation options amid the cost of living crisis, Cozumel with American might be a good pick, as one-way tickets can go as low as USD 170.00 on certain dates when booked in advance. Looking for further inspiration? We have even rounded up the top 7 beaches in Cozumel so you won’t waste any time reaching the best swimming spots.
9 – Fort Lauderdale to Managua
Lowest fare this season: $108
Costa Rica is the trendiest destination this year, and the fact that it appears a third and final time on this list is a testament to that: in a way, airlines are battling among themselves for Managua flight slots as demand for the Central American country increases dramatically. The latest to have returned to this profitable market is Spirit.
The low-cost brand is debuting its highly-anticipated Fort Lauderdale – Managua flights on November 30, in time for the hot and humid Southern Hemisphere summer, with airfares as low as USD 108.00 one-way. With a daily frequency, the airline plans on re-establishing and strengthening the once-severed link between the U.S. and Latin America’s safest nation.
If you’re flying abroad later this year in search of some sun, make sure you double-check the entry requirements at your destination, especially when flying to Latin America, as only a limited number of countries in the region have fully removed all Covid rules. All destinations featured on this list are open with normal, pre-pandemic border guidelines.
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This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories