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Valentine's Day is quick approaching — and instead of shelling out dough on a fancy dinner and box of chocolates, consider heading to the airport for a romantic getaway. Though the holiday is mere days away, couples still have time to book a quick and affordable trip.
If you haven't booked Valentine's Day travel yet, you're not alone. More than half of hotel bookings for February 14 are booked within two weeks, according to data from Hipmunk, a travel search website. Nearly a quarter are made on the day itself. But prices don't increase much.
Hipmunk compiled the 30 most popular Valentine's Day destinations. Here are the five with the lowest average booking prices.
1. Orlando, Florida Median hotel booking price: $86
2. Atlantic City, New Jersey Median hotel booking price: $91
3. Grand Canyon, Arizona Median hotel booking price: $92
4. Colorado Springs, Colorado Median hotel booking price: $100
5. Austin, Texas Median hotel booking price: $100
What's more romantic than taking a trip overseas over the Valentines Day? Luckily, February is an affordable time of year for airfare, said Tracy Stewart, content editor for Airfarewatchdog.com, a travel deal site.
"Most folks are still recovering from the holidays and airlines tend to drop fares in order to fill those empty seats," he said.
Fares vary by city, but flights to cities like Paris, London and Rome are relatively affordable this time of year, Stewart said. Airfarewatchdog listed round-trip fares as low as $379 from Los Angeles to Paris, $518 from Chicago to Rome, $374 from San Francisco to Paris and $370 from New York to London.
Trips abroad can sometimes get pricey. Here's some tips on how to save.
Instead of a hotel, consider a vacation rental with a kitchen, said Amanda Norcross, editor at travel site SmarterTravel.com. Airbnb often has great affordable options — here's some tips on how to save on Airbnb.
"This way you can cook a few meals at your rental and save your money for a romantic dinner in your destination," she said.
But watch for restaurant markups, Norcross said. Prix fixe menus proliferate during Valentine's Day, and they can be more expensive than dining a la carte.
Planning a last-minute trip can lead to rushed decisions, so be careful not to overspend, Norcross said. You can be spontaneous, but stick to a budget.
Weather can easily ruin romantic travel plans, so consider buying travel insurance to protect your trip. Policygenius can help you compare travel insurance prices.
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