Where to Go in 2023

Going
Jan 11, 2023
11 min read
Going
January 11, 2023
11 min read

At Going, we’re always telling members (and, really, anyone who will listen) that the best way to save a bundle on your next trip is to choose your destination based on where flights are cheap. This won’t work, of course, if you absolutely must see the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum in person, but it’s an excellent way to add a sense of adventure to even the planning stages of a trip.

To that end, we’re back with another installment of budget-friendly travel inspiration. As always, this list isn’t necessarily the cheapest places to fly on the planet, nor are they the only places for which we’ll find fabulous deals on flights in 2023. It’s just some of the places we think we could see more—and cheaper—flight deals to in the coming year.

Below, in no particular order, are our recommendations for where to go on cheap flights in 2023.

Ireland

Before the pandemic, Dublin Airport (DUB) was a reliable source of cheap flights from the US. As Ireland’s main airport is finally getting back all of the pre-pandemic nonstop service from small airports throughout the United States, 2023 should be an especially good year for airfare deals to the Emerald Isle. Combine that with that beautiful Euro exchange rate and you’ve got the makings of an easy, fast, and inexpensive trip that doesn’t require a connecting flight.

If that wasn’t enough, Norse Atlantic Airways is expanding its route network in summer 2023 to include connections between Dublin and both Boston (BOS) and New York (JFK).

Note that even if your Ireland travel dreams don’t include a stay in Dublin, you may still score a great deal on a flight—secondary airports in cities like Shannon and Donegal have also been seeing a fair number of flight deals lately.

Getting there: 

Most flights to Ireland arrive in Dublin (DUB), but some also serve Cork (ORK), Shannon (SNN), and Donegal (CFN). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to DUB is $497 roundtrip.

Nova Scotia

Some of Canada’s main international gateways, cities like Vancouver and Toronto, are easily accessible to US travelers, with lots of nonstop flights and frequent deals. Now, thanks to two new Air Canada routes, there’s another fantastic Canadian city to add to that list: Halifax.

Canada’s flagship carrier has two new routes connecting United hubs in the United States with two Canadian cities—including a route between Newark (EWR) and Halifax (YHZ), the capital of Nova Scotia. There will be one flight per day in each direction, making it much easier for travelers to get to Nova Scotia on a one-stop itinerary that doesn’t cost a fortune.

The maritime province has abundant options for outdoor adventures, regardless of the weather, from hiking to surfing to skiing to fossil hunting. Combine that with a rich mix of Mi’kmaq culture, Acadian history, Gaelic heritage (the province’s name means “New Scotland”) in everything from food to festivals and it’s no wonder travelers love Nova Scotia.

Getting there: 

Flights to Nova Scotia arrive in Halifax (YHZ). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to YHZ is $291 roundtrip.

New York City

When the pandemic forced our travel plans to come to a screeching halt, that didn’t mean wanderlust went away. For many of us, getting back into travel meant focusing on destinations where we could be outside, where removing a mask didn’t mean risking our health in the process. With more and more people getting vaccinated and boosted, though, the “great indoors” feels increasingly safe and accessible.

Which is why we’re happy to know that NYC is almost all the way back to its former dazzling self.

Restaurants are bustling, Broadway shows are playing to full houses again, and—thankfully—flights to at least one of the three airports in New York City, at almost any time of year, are cheap.

Getting there:

Flights to New York City arrive at one of three airports—John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia International Airport (LGA), and Newark International Airport (EWR), which is technically in New Jersey. The average price of an economy deal found by Going to JFK is $172 roundtrip, with averages to EWR and LGA in the $160s. 

Albania

Albania mountains.

Some places have been tourism magnets for centuries and will always make top 10 lists of places people most want to visit. Little Albania, on the other hand, doesn’t end up on many travel bucket lists, though we’d argue it definitely should—not least because airfare into Tirana, the capital city, is often under $500 roundtrip.

Glance at a map of southern Europe and you’ll notice that Albania sits across the Adriatic Sea from the heel of Italy’s boot and just north of mainland Greece. The country is tall and skinny, which means there’s plenty of coastline to enjoy. And while it’s not on the Mediterranean proper, Albania offers travelers the same kinds of experiences for a whole lot less than they’d pay for a Mediterranean trip.

Gorgeous beaches along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas—the “Albanian Riviera”—are typically less crowded than the beaches of Italy or France, although (thanks to proximity) there’s no shortage of Italians heading to Albanian beaches for their August holidays. There are Ancient Greek and Thracian ruins along the coast and UNESCO sites to explore, too, when you need a break from all that seaside relaxation.

Getting there:

Connecting flights to Albania arrive in Tirana (TIA). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to TIA is $521 roundtrip.

Tahiti

We had Tahiti on our 2022 list of places to go, and we’re still big fans of this spectacular island.

We’re still seeing some pretty great prices on flights to Tahiti, one of the only places in the South Pacific where you can find relatively cheap flights at the moment. What’s more, in addition to the existing nonstop flights from LAX, there are now nonstop flights between Seattle (SEA) and Tahiti, and more flight options means more opportunities to find a cheap fare.

If those overwater bungalows you’ve seen all over Instagram are the only thing you can think about, you’ll probably want to make sure you wait for a super-cheap fare so you’re not paying a fortune for both lodging and the flight. There are, however, plenty of inexpensive beds available in Tahiti, too, to give you more bang for your vacation bucks.

Getting there:

Flights to Tahiti arrive in Papeete (PPT). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to PPT is $810 roundtrip, though nonstops from West Coast cities like LA and SF are often under $500.

Norway

The announcement in 2021 that the budget carrier, Norwegian Air, was stopping all transatlantic flights wasn’t exactly music to the ears of US travelers. Luckily, a new low-cost airline, Norse Atlantic Airways, was poised to fill that gap.

Norse Atlantic now operates transatlantic routes (some year-round, some seasonally) connecting Oslo, Norway’s capital, with Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York City, and Orlando. They’re offering some pretty great fares on those long-haul flights, too. Additionally, Norwegian Air and Norse Atlantic have an agreement in place so travelers can book one itinerary that includes both airlines, which will mean more flexibility with travel planning.

If Norse Atlantic doesn’t serve an airport near you, don’t give up just yet. They’re still expanding their route network, and they’re not the only airline working to fill the vacuum left by Norwegian Air. This is also a case when our beloved Greek Islands Trick might come in handy—if you find a cheap flight to London or Berlin, you can then grab a super-low fare on Norse Atlantic to get to Norway.

Getting there:

Flights to Norway arrive in Oslo (OSL), as well as Stavanger (SVG) and Bergen (BGO). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to OSL is $477 roundtrip.

Laos

Southeast Asia has long been popular with budget travelers, but some countries in the region have better infrastructure than others. In years past, the landlocked nation of Laos presented travelers with transportation challenges. Late in 2021, however, Laos got its first high-speed train.

The Kunming-Singapore Railway, also known as the Pan-Asia Railway Network, connects China, Singapore, and every country in Southeast Asia. As of this writing, travelers can’t take the train all the way into China, but the high-speed trains make getting around within Laos itself infinitely easier and faster.

It’s been a few years since we’ve been able to talk about deals on flights to Laos, since the country closed its borders during the pandemic and only reopened in spring of 2022. As Laos is now welcoming tourists again, we’re excited about the less-visited parts of the country that will become more accessible thanks to the high-speed train.

Getting there:

Connecting flights to Laos arrive in Vientiane (VTE), as well as Luang Prabang (LPQ) and Pakse (PKZ), but it’s often cheaper to fly into Thailand or Vietnam and then take a budget regional carrier the rest of the way (a the one-hour flight starts at around $50 one way). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to Bangkok (BKK) is $581 roundtrip.

Tulum

mayan ruins in Tulum.

Mexico’s beach resorts, including the Yucatán hotspot of Cancún, are always popular during the winter. Cancún in particular has another thing going for it—proximity to Tulum, one of the best-preserved Mayan ruins on Mexico’s coasts. But anyone who’s interested more in history than sunbathing still has to navigate the overburdened airport in Cancún first, followed by a two-hour drive to Tulum.

But soon, that’s going to change.

A new international airport is currently under construction in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, a city that’s only an hour from Tulum, and the airport will be connected to the historic site by the Maya Train. Construction hasn’t been totally smooth sailing, and a projected opening date is a bit of a moving target right now, but Tulum’s new airport could be open by the end of 2023. We’ll be watching.

Getting there:

Currently, flights to Tulum arrive in Cancún (CUN). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to CUN is $264 roundtrip.

Vilnius

In January of 2023, Vilnius will celebrate 700 years serving as the Lithuanian capital. The city has big plans for a party in January, if you happen to be in the neighborhood, but the festivities will continue throughout the year. There’s a huge music festival planned in July, as well as art exhibits, films, and theatrical performances dotting the 2023 calendar.

There’s nothing quite like a city pulling out all the stops on a party, and we expect Vilnius will put on quite a show next year.

Getting there:

Connecting flights arrive in Vilnius (VNO). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to VNO is $474 roundtrip.

Melbourne

We’re always happy to hear about new nonstop long-haul flights from the US, especially when they connect cities that don’t often get such routes. Dallas, for instance, is a major hub for American Airlines and has plenty of nonstop flights, but none of them went to Australia. Now, Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) has nonstop service to Melbourne, thanks to Qantas.

The Dallas–Melbourne route began operation in early December, and there are currently four weekly flights between the cities. This marks the first time any airline has linked the two cities with a direct flight, joining Qantas’ successful Dallas–Sydney route. Both of which will come in handy for fans who want to catch games in either city during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

Nonstop flights from Texas to Australia absolutely have their perks, but be aware that the Dallas–Melbourne flight clocks in at about 17½ hours, making it the fourth-longest flight in the world. In other words, don’t forget to pack your sleep mask.

Getting there:

Flights arrive in Melbourne Airport (MEL). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to MEL is $653 roundtrip.

Japan

Shirakawago in Japan

Japan closed its borders to US travelers in 2020, and even that didn’t stop us from including the island nation on our list of places to go in 2022—we had high hopes that the borders would open by the end of the year, and we’re pleased to say all those crossed fingers paid off.

Not only is Japan fully open to visitors again, there are even more flights available from the US. More flight options mean more possibilities for deals, so we’re excited to see what sorts of cheap fares we’ll be sending members in the coming year (just a few weeks ago in December we sent a deal to Premium members for $316 roundtrip from Seattle!). And while Japan is historically a relatively expensive country to visit when you’re on the ground, the dollar is currently really strong against the yen, so your travel budget may go a bit further than you’d expect.

Note that while most airlines connect the US with Japan via Tokyo, there are more routes available now to other airports in the country, so you may want to expand your search outside the capital city.

Getting there:

Flights to Japan arrive in Tokyo (NRT or HND), as well as Osaka (KIX) and Fukuoka (FUK). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to NRT is $558 roundtrip.

Azores

The window for booking summer 2023 flights is open (and will be for the next few months). But, as we’re fond of saying, great deals on flights can happen anytime—Going members may recall the wild deals we sent out for Azores flights a few months ago, for instance, so you don’t have to give up on your island vacation dreams.

We love United’s seasonal nonstop flights to the Azores, which makes it quick to get there from the US, and there is some great one-stop routing that’ll get you to the islands as well. The lush, volcanic archipelago is an increasingly popular part of Portugal. Unlike some trendy travel destinations, though, the Azores are pretty cheap to explore once you get there.

Eco-conscious travelers, take note: The Azores was the world’s first archipelago to be declared a Sustainable Tourism Destination, thanks in large part to the efforts of a government sustainability initiative.

Getting there: 

Flights to the Azores arrive in Ponta Delgada (PDL) and Terceira (TER). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to PDL is $531 roundtrip.

Egypt

Travelers have been swept away by the history of Egypt for centuries, and in 2023 we’ll have a new reason to swoon: the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.

We should say that we hope we’ll be swooning in 2023, as the museum is still under construction and the projected opening has already been pushed back twice. When the GEM, as it’s being called, finally opens its doors, however, it will be the world’s largest archaeological museum, with some 50,000 items on display—including all 5,000 treasures removed from Tutankhamun’s tomb.

In many cases, these are artifacts that have never been displayed before, while others will be relocated to the GEM from the Egyptian Museum in nearby Cairo.

Getting there:

Most international flights to Egypt arrive in Cairo (CAI), but some also serve Alexandria (HBE), Luxor (LXR), and Hurghada (HRG). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to CAI is $605 roundtrip.

Guadeloupe

The six islands that make up Guadeloupe, not to mention the rest of the French Caribbean, have historically been prohibitively expensive for travelers from the US to fly to. There was a brief (but glorious) window when Norwegian Air served another island nation in the French Caribbean, Martinique, but we’re seeing exponentially more deals these days.

JetBlue has just resumed its nonstop service from New York’s JFK airport to Guadeloupe, while American Airlines resumed its nonstop flights from Miami in late 2021. Also in 2021, Air France resumed its nonstop Miami–Guadeloupe service and added nonstop flights from JFK. As a result, we sent members a whopping 24 deals (route-by-route) to Guadeloupe in 2022—compared to the 8 deals we sent in 2020 and the 7 we sent in 2021. It’s a very appealing trend, and one we’re excited to see continue into 2023.

Getting there:

Most flights to Guadeloupe arrive in Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to PTP is $315 roundtrip.

Greece

Athens' Plaka.

Greece comes up a lot at Scott’s Cheap Flights. Usually, we’re referring to our “Greek Islands Trick,” which doesn’t mean we’re even talking about traveling to Greece itself. In this case, though, we’re feeling bullish about cheap fares to Greece in 2023.

For one thing, a few airlines have added new routes to Greece from the United States recently, including American, Delta, and United. What’s more, Iceland’s newest Ultra Low Cost Carrier, PLAY, is adding Athens to its route map starting in June. There will be flights to Athens from Boston (BOS), Baltimore (BWI), Washington DC (IAD), and New York’s Stewart International Airport (SWF) in the Hudson Valley.

As for the actual Greek Islands, we’ve seen more single-itinerary deals to the islands over the last 6–10 months than we’ve ever seen before—including Crete, Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, and Corfu.

Getting there:

Most flights to Greece arrive in Athens (ATH), though some also arrive in Crete (HER), Rhodes (RHO), Santorini, (JTR), Mykonos (JMK), Corfu (CFU), and Thessaloniki (SKG). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to ATH is $514 roundtrip.

San Andrés, Colombia

The world is a big place, and every so often even our flight experts take notice of a new-to-them destination simply because they’re suddenly seeing a whole bunch of cheap fares there. Such is the case with San Andrés.

This sparkling coral island sits off the coast of Nicaragua, but it’s technically part of Colombia. Like other Caribbean islands, San Andrés has spectacular sandy beaches surrounded by brilliantly blue waters—but since it’s well off the radar of most US travelers, it’s a completely different kind of island experience.

As for flights, American has nonstop flights to San Andrés from Miami, and since people from elsewhere in the country can often find great deals to Miami, it makes a one-stop itinerary to the island doable. Going sent a total of 89 deals to San Andrés over the past 3 years, with a whopping 74 of them coming in 2022. In other words, San Andrés is suddenly a much more budget-friendly option.

Getting there:

Flights to San Andres arrive at Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport (ADZ). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to ADZ is $365 roundtrip.

Rome

It might sound cliche, but it’s true: Rome is always a good idea. The Italian capital city is positively jam-packed with world-famous art and historic sights, including the incomparable collections in the Vatican Museums, not to mention the fact that there’s something delicious to eat around almost every corner.

What makes Rome an even better idea lately is that there are several new airline routes serving the Eternal City from US airports. American added service to Rome from five US cities over the summer of 2022, some of which were scheduled to operate well past the peak travel season. United will offer nonstop flights to Rome from San Francisco (SFO) next summer, and they’ve added more flights from its existing transatlantic hubs of Newark (EWR), Washington DC (IAD), and Chicago (ORD).

Getting there:

Rome’s main international airport is Fiumicino (FCO), with some connecting flights arriving instead at Ciampino (CIA). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to FCO is $488 roundtrip.

South Africa

Cape Town South Africa

Previously, most flights from the US to South Africa landed in Johannesburg, at the country’s primary international gateway. It’s a big country, though, so if your actual itinerary was for the opposite coast you'd have to take a domestic flight to get there—immediately boarding yet another plane after an incredibly long flight from the US.

Enter United, the first airline to fly nonstop from Washington DC to Cape Town. The route was announced over the summer and began in mid-November, adding to United’s existing nonstop connections from New York/Newark to Cape Town, and we look forward to seeing what this new service means for airfare to South Africa.

Additionally, Delta has just added a “South African Triangle” route to its portfolio, from Atlanta to Cape Town to Johannesburg and then back to Atlanta—which mimics the open-jaw itinerary many travelers book to visit both Johannesburg and Cape Town in one trip. With both of these new routes, we’re optimistic that ticket prices will come down from their recent highs soon.

Getting there:

Most flights to South Africa arrive in Johannesburg (JNB) and Cape Town (CPT). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to JNB is $671 roundtrip, and the average price of an economy deal found by Going to CPT is $659 roundtrip.

Lisbon

This is the second year in a row we’ve included Lisbon on this list, thanks in large part to the fact that Portugal’s flagship carrier, TAP Air Portugal, keeps airfare low as a matter of course. Our flight experts find frequent deals on top of those already-low prices, so getting to the Portuguese capital is often super cheap.

It’s important to note, however, that Lisbon is one of the cities that was starting to suffer from overtourism before the pandemic began. Conscious of that fact, when Portugal was one of the first European countries to reopen in 2021, it did so with an eye toward making travel more sustainable.

Crowds haven’t gone back to pre-pandemic levels, and that’s a good thing. Visiting in the off-season helps keep the tourism manageable, and it can also mean finding even cheaper airfare—it’s a win-win.

Getting there:

Flights to Lisbon arrive at Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to LIS is $495 roundtrip.

South Florida

The beaches of South Florida were inundated by US travelers craving some sunny weather during the pandemic, when they couldn’t easily book trips to warmer climes outside the country. There were plenty of cheap fares to make those trips even more appealing, but the crowds were daunting.

Now that international travel has opened up again for much of the world, South Florida is no longer responsible for accommodating as many sun-seeking visitors. Fares remain low to cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale—we’re still seeing roundtrip deals from the Northeast starting at $80, and from the West Coast starting at $130. Hotel and car rental prices are starting to come down, too, and Florida’s Brightline is set to bring high-speed rail to this part of the state in 2023.

Florida’s beaches will never be what anyone would consider quiet, but the crowds should be much more navigable now than they were a year or two ago.

Getting there:

Most flights to South Florida arrive in Miami (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale (FLL). The average price of an economy deal found by Going to MIA is $132 roundtrip and to FLL is $144 roundtrip.

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Last Updated 
January 11, 2023
Going
Going Team

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