Spring Break is just over a month away and locals looking to get away should book tickets as soon as possible.
Vancouver students will attend their last day in class on March 15 and they are due back on April 2; the official break is considered from March 18 to March 28, according to the Vancouver School Board.
While last-minute deals are available throughout most of the year, popular travel periods - such as during B.C.'s March school holiday - tend to see prices surge.
Luckily, there are a handful of cities you can fly to from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) that won't break the bank.
Flights from Vancouver to New York
One of the best deals available to New York from the Lower Mainland is offered through Canada's largest airline, with return trips totalling just over $350. But there is a catch.
Travellers who opt for the low-cost option will fly into Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey. It doesn't take that long to travel from the airport to New York and there are several options to get there, including by bus, shuttle, train, or car. It takes roughly 40 minutes to an hour to get from the airport to Times Square, depending on what mode of transportation you opt for. In comparison, it takes about the same amount of time to travel from John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK), despite that airport being located in New York.
If you can afford to come back a couple of days late (returning on the third), you can enjoy the lowest possible price this convenient itinerary offers at any time of the year.
You depart YVR on March 27 and return on April 3; both of the flights are direct. The total cost of a ticket is $355 including all taxes.
If you can't afford to come back late, there is another option that costs under $400, but it isn't exactly convenient. This trip also takes you to Newark but requires an airport change from Toronto Lester B. Pearson (YYZ) to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ). While they are only an hour apart, any delays could result in a missed connection.
A flight with the aforementioned shift that departs YVR on March 20 and returns from EWR on March 29 costs $349 with third-party supplier Justfly.
Alternatively, there are tickets for just over $400 with Porter that involve a stopover but no airport changes.
Flights to Los Angeles
Think a bevy of ultra-low-cost options to the City of Angels are still available for spring break departures?
While a few deals exist, they are few and far between and they cost significantly more than they do the rest of the year. That said, this is still the best deal on a trip south of the border if you snap up one of the best offers.
For example, a Lynx Air flight that departs YVR on March 16 and returns from LAX on March 20 with Flair Airlines costs $273 including taxes when booked through Kiwi.com.
While this is a pricier ticket than some of the jaw-dropping L.A. deals offered at other times (the round-trip deals drop as low as $178), it is still better than many of the other offers to the city over spring break that climb close to and above $400 and $500.
Flights from Vancouver to Las Vegas
Las Vegas typically offers the second-best deal from Vancouver (after L.A.), with numerous round-trip tickets with direct flights to Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) available starting at under $200.
But flights to Nevada's party epicentre cost much less than ones to L.A. over spring break. For example, a direct Flair flight that departs on March 20 from YVR and returns on March 24 from LAS costs $217 including all taxes; the second flight involves one stop in WestJet and two airlines: Lynx Air and WestJet. The tickets must be booked together through third-party supplier Kiwi.com.
Flights from Vancouver to Toronto
While it is far from an exotic destination, Toronto offers a range of exciting and interesting places to explore, shop, and dine over the break. Best of all, the price of a return ticket doesn't break the bank and the flights are direct.
A flight that leaves YVR on March 19 for YYZ and returns a week later on March 26 costs $268 including all taxes with Lynx Air.
Flights from Vancouver to Portland
While Portland is certainly a road-trippable destination from Vancouver, cheap flights provide an affordable alternative for people without wheels or who don't want to drive.
For example, a flight that departs Vancouver on March 19 for PDX and returns on March 28 costs $309 including tax and both flights are direct.