Here's a handful of affordable airfare deals to destinations ideal for summer trips with family, friends or couples.
Frontier Airlines offers the best values with one-way rates of $150.60 to Sacramento, Calif. Give at least a two-week advance notice of travel.
With a 21-day advance purchase notice, travel to Spokane, Washington at one-way rates of $173.60 or $211.60 each way to Salt Lake City, Utah or San Diego, Calif.
These offers from Frontier are valid on any day of the week, based on sale seat availability. Trips must be finished on or before March 1, 2013. A bonus: There are no blackout dates to avoid. So if you can't get away this summer, buy tickets now for year-end getaways.
Frontier serves these destinations with one flight connection in Denver.
Delta Air Lines offers two outstanding bargains for trips to the mountains or to sunny beaches.
For instance, round-trip rates to Reno-Lake Tahoe, Nev. are $405.20 on trips finished on or before June 26. Give a two-week or more advance notice of travel. This rate is valid any day of the week, based on sale seat availability. A minimum stay of three nights is required when departing Atlanta Sundays-Wednesdays. There are no Memorial Day blackouts to avoid. Delta serves Reno with a flight connection in Salt Lake City.
Another best best bargain from Delta gets you to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands at a round-trip rate of $448.90. To qualify, give a one-week or more advance notice of travel. Trips must be finished on or before March 1, 2013 (no blackout dates to avoid!). This rate is valid on any day of the week, based on sale seat availability. A minimum stay of three nights is required when departing Atlanta Sundays-Thursday. No passport is required for entry to the Virgin Islands for U.S. citizens.
If you travel west with Frontier Airlines, consider Sacramento a great base from which to explore the many sights and adventures near San Francisco and the Bay Area. The drive from Sacramento is less than 80 miles. Also, Yosemite National Park, located in east central California, is 135 miles southeast of Sacramento.
From Spokane, visit the lovely lakeside town of Coeur D Alene, Idaho -- just a 30-minute drive from downtown Spokane. There are fantastic restaurants, art galleries, antique shops and much more to explore. And just north on Hwy. 95 is the picturesque town of Sandpoint, Idaho. The town is known for it's rustic beauty and is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts because of it's location near massive Lake Pend Oreille and the nearby Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort. It's about a 90-minute drive from Spokane through some of North Idaho's most beautiful scenery.
Salt Lake City makes an ideal base to explore the many national parks, recreational areas or monuments located within a one-day drive. Some of the destinations include Great Salt Lake State Park (16 miles); Alta, Snowbird and Brighton Ski Areas (33-36 miles); Olympic Village, Park City Ski Area and the Sundance Institute and Festival (38 miles); Moab (240 miles); Bryce Canyon National Park (275 miles); Zion National Park (315 miles) and Yellowstone National Park (372 miles).
None of the above airfares have ticket-by dates. Since only a limited supply of seats is available, act quickly to make your purchase.
Sale airfares are always subject to change. Every seat on every flight is not offered at the lowest rate.
I recommend starting the search for available seats at Kayak.com vs. calling an airline directly. You can also search for the sale at travel Web sites such as Expedia or Travelocity, etc.
Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.
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