A successful vaccine rollout and relaxed international border restrictions mean Americans can finally start venturing out into the world again. And, there is no better time to take advantage of last-minute international flight deals!
Just recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eased travel recommendations to more than 100 countries. When it comes to travel advisories, the U.S. Department of State has also made adjustments recently, as it uses the CDC’s color-coded four-level risk factor system to guide its destination recommendations.
Here is how it works:
- Level 1: “Exercise Normal Precautions.” The CDC recommends travelers are fully vaccinated before visiting these destinations. The countries on this list include Israel, Albania, Singapore, Nepal and New Zealand.
- Level 2: “Exercise Increased Caution.” Again, be sure to be fully vaccinated before traveling. If you are not and at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, it’s best to avoid nonessential travel to places such as Barbados, Finland, Kenya, Bhutan and El Salvador.
- Level 3: “Reconsider Travel.” Full vaccination is recommended. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to Norway, Thailand, Poland and Aruba, for example.
- Level 4: “Do Not Travel.” Avoid travel to these destinations, which currently includes countries such as Sweden, Costa Rica and the Netherlands. If you must travel, make sure you are fully vaccinated before leaving home.
Keep in mind, however, that not all Level 1 and 2 destinations may be open to tourism. At the same time, some Level 3 and 4 countries may be accepting leisure travelers.
Travel rules and guidelines are constantly changing. Always check official sites such as the CDC before booking your flight or hotel. You can also use Skyscanner’s coronavirus travel guide for the latest news on entry and quarantine restrictions. Our interactive color-coded global map is another excellent tool that shows you which borders are currently open. And, to safeguard your travel plans, make them flexible with Skyscanner’s numerous tools.
If you are ready to book the perfect international trip to open countries, we’ve handpicked some great last-minute deals to popular destinations that are accepting travelers. We’ve also added a few money-saving tips to help you score a great international flight deal every time you book!
Last-minute international flight deals to Mexico
Mexico is full of colorful colonial cities brimming with art and culture, gorgeous beaches and luxurious resorts, archeological wonders and amazing culinary traditions. For those looking for adventures in nature, a relaxing yoga retreat or a crash course in tequila, your neighbors to the south are ready to welcome you.
Note: Travelers to Mexico do not need to quarantine or present negative test results. However, upon arrival, travelers will need to undergo a health screening and present a “risk factor identification questionnaire.” For a more detailed breakdown of vaccination/test requirements see our live travel info map.
|From-to||Last-minute flights in August|
|Houston-Mexico City||Roundtrip from $154*|
|Chicago-Cancun||Roundtrip from $213*|
|New York-Cancun||Roundtrip from $211*|
|Los Angeles-San Jose Cabo||Roundtrip from $197*|
Last-minute international flight deals to Greece
Greece is the ideal place for those who don’t like to sit still. With literally thousands of islands to hop, you’ll be in for a surprise each time. Whether you are looking for an all-night beach party or to spend the night on a tiny island camping under the stars, Greece makes for a memorable last-minute getaway. But if it’s history you seek, a visit here will put you right in the middle of the cradle of Western civilization.
Note: No quarantine measures are in place. Testing upon arrival is required except for those who are fully vaccinated. For a more detailed breakdown of vaccination/test requirements see our live travel info map.
|From-to||Last-minute flights in August|
|Los Angeles-Athens||Roundtrip from $590*|
|Boston-Athens||Roundtrip from $595*|
|New York-Crete||Roundtrip from $745*|
|Houston-Athens||Roundtrip from $667*|
Last-minute international flight deals to Croatia
Croatia is living proof that good things come in small packages! A low-key coastal European country, you’ll find plenty of stunning beaches and water sport activities like sailing, kayaking and diving. With a rich ancient and contemporary history, the Jewel of the Adriatic offers visitors the very best of Europe. We’re talking wine trails, cobblestoned streets, Roman ruins, art galleries and exceptional regional cuisine that ranges from black truffles to seafood.
Note: Quarantine upon arrival is not required but testing is unless travelers provide proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19. Visitors are also advised to fill out a “travel announcement” form. For a more detailed breakdown of vaccination/test requirements see our live travel info map.
|From-to||Last-minute flights in August|
|Boston-Dubrovnik||Roundtrip from $654*|
|Chicago-Dubrovnik||Roundtrip from $606*|
|New York-Zagreb||Roundtrip from $628*|
Find more last-minute international flight deals
Fast facts about cheap international flight deals
- Finding international flight deals isn’t as dependent on advance booking as it is for domestic travel.
- The best international flight deals aren’t always the rock-bottom prices you see on low-cost airlines.
- In fact, “legacy” airlines both foreign and domestic can offer the best international flight deals.
- Traveling to certain destinations, primarily those in Europe and increasingly Asia, can yield the best international flight deals.
- Skyscanner’s wide variety of tools are among the best ways to book a cheap international flight.
- Last-minute international flight deals can be a surprisingly good value, as can multi-city itineraries.
When is the best time to book international flight deals?
It might sound surprising, but getting the best international flight deals is not always dependent on when you book. That’s because foreign airlines’ fare sales are not tied to how far in advance you book. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find a rock-bottom fare on an international flight a week or even a day before travel.
There are, however, some general guidelines for booking international trips. For example, the best time to book a flight is 5-6 months in advance. We also recommend using Skyscanner’s Best Time to Book feature to see how many weeks in advance to book your international ticket and the cheapest month to travel. It crunches the numbers on tons pricing data to determine with remarkable accuracy when the best time to book your flight is.
What are the best airlines for international flight deals?
No one airline has a monopoly on international flight deals, so be sure to search as many airlines as possible for your upcoming travel. Because Skyscanner combs the entire web to find you the best prices, it’s an invaluable resource to have at your disposal. For example, while you might not think to search Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul) for your New York to Berlin flight, Skyscanner will display even somewhat non-traditional itineraries first if they have the best price.
International flights on “low cost” airlines
At first glance, it can seem that the best international flight deals are on low-cost carriers. However, fees for things like seat reservations, carry-on bags and even food and beverages can quickly add up, turning your dream fare into a nightmare.
Let’s suppose you’re flying Norwegian, and you purchase four meals and beverages, one on each segment of your journey. Based on Norwegian’s current pricing structure, your “$399” flight deal can balloon to $800 or even more.
What are the best destinations for international flight deals?
To be sure, even if you don’t fly low-cost to Europe, the introduction of transatlantic flights by these carriers has undoubtedly altered the landscape for last-minute international flight deals. It’s relatively easy to find cheap flights from U.S. cities to European hubs like London, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Paris, even on full-service airlines.
Asian low-cost carriers have also made Asia a battleground for airlines, and home to some of the best flight deals for travelers.
What is the best way to book cheap international flight deals?
Finding international flight deals is only one piece of the puzzle—what’s the best way to book them? If you’ve found a fare directly through an airline, it’s best to book directly through that airline as opposed to through a “first generation” online travel agency. These often assess fees and see the imposition of strict rules for changes and cancellation.
However, you should always double-check to make sure you’ve gotten the best deal, which is why Skyscanner is so indispensable for booking cheap international flight deals in every situation. Simply download the Skyscanner app on your device and click the booking button for the itinerary you wish to purchase, which will take you directly to the airline’s websites—no fees, no gimmicks, no tricks.
Tips and tricks for international flight deals
Skyscanner’s app and website are only the beginning of how we can help you score cheap international flight deals. Set up Skyscanner Price Alerts to receive a notification when the price for a trip goes up or down. If you’re booking at the last minute, on the other hand, we’ve written an entire guide about how to get the best international flight deals on even last-second bookings (same for hotels!).
Yet another best practice for scoring cheap international flight deals is to book a multi-city itinerary. For example, you might find it’s much cheaper to fly from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur but fly back home out of Bangkok or Singapore than it would be to book a roundtrip to Kuala Lumpur. Plus you get to see multiple destinations in the same trip! Remember that booking one-way segments is often more expensive than booking “multi-city” itineraries.
Where can I go?
Making plans to get back out there? Find out whose borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.
Want to read more?
- Get the latest coronavirus U.S. travel guidance to help plan your next adventure
- Learn which European countries are welcoming American visitors
- Snag last-minute hotel deals to go along with your last-minute international flight
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*This article was updated on 6/23/2021. Prices are subject to availability and may change depending on the airport and dates selected.
Travel restrictions can change at any time. Please review travel advice from authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State and the World Health Organization (WHO). We also recommend reviewing your airline’s flight cancellation, rebooking and refund policies, as well as travel bans and restrictions, before booking a flight. You can also find the latest information about airlines’ coronavirus flight cancellation policies here.