The free smartphone app Hopper, developed in Boston and Montreal, tracks billions of flight prices to tell users the best times to buy tickets. Hopper analyzed Logan flight data to predict which warm-weather destinations will have the highest potential savings in February and March, as well as a ticket price travelers can expect to see.
WILLEMSTAD, CURACAO (CUR)
$522 (25% discount)
Good for: culture, architecture, and history buffs
Don’t miss: The capital city’s four historic districts are a candy-colored fairyland blending Caribbean and Dutch colonial style going as far back as the 17th century. The mix of cultures — including French, Spanish, Asian, African, and Arawak — guarantees a surprise around every corner, from the oldest continuously used synagogue in the New World to folk-art tree carvings to the somber collections of the Kura Hulanda Museum. Adventurers will find reef walls and wrecks among the dozens of crystal-clear dive and snorkeling sites.
GEORGE TOWN, CAYMAN ISLANDS (GCM)
$265 (21% discount)
Good for: Scuba divers and snorkeling families
Don’t miss: Every year, the word “Cayman” peppers Scuba Diving magazine’s Readers Choice Awards in category after category, from best wall (Bloody Bay) and night dives (coral spawning) to best wrecks (the Captain Keith Tibbetts and Kittiwake). Some of the musts include shore dives off tranquil Seven Mile Beach, turtle-farm snorkeling in the West Bay, and swimming among the thousands of graceful “flying” sea creatures at Stingray City.
CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA (SLU)
$480 (18% discount)
Good for: Hikers and honeymooners
Don’t miss: George F.L. Charles airport is the smaller of two airfields on the island, but that doesn’t matter — St. Lucia is just 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, so the whole island is easily accessible by rental car or taxi. Much of the land is undeveloped, with 19,000 acres of rain forest, volcanic Sulphur Springs (with mud baths), and 2,400-plus-foot Petit Piton, Gros Piton, and Mount Gimie, all tough but worthwhile hikes. For couples, many of St. Lucia’s romantic resorts offer four- and five-star service, refined on-site dining, and plenty of hand-in-hand walks along quiet shores lined with white, gold, or black sand beaches.
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA (PTY)
$288 (24% discount)
Good for: Foodies
Don’t miss: In a country whose name is said by some to mean “abundance of fish,” it’s not surprising that seafood is the star of Panama City’s restaurant scene, from the bargain-priced Fish Market on Casco Viejo to more upscale places like Casa del Marisco and Manolo Caracol. Cleanse your palate at Granclement Gourmet Ice Creams & Sorbets, where flavors include guanabana and lavender, before moving on to your next meal.
HAVANA, CUBA (HAV)
$792 (21% discount)
Good for: Would-be time travelers, eco-tourists, art collectors
Don’t miss: Make no mistake, that “stuck in time” feeling you get from Havana’s 1950s cars and sign-free buildings is the only thing that isn’t moving in lively, increasingly accessible Cuba. A walk along the 5-mile Malecon esplanade or an evening of salsa dancing in a Vedado club will prove that. Those seeking quieter pursuits will find them an hour or so from the capital, in the biosphere reserves, caves, and coral reefs of Pinar del Rio to the west and the bird-watching hub of Zapata Swamp to the east. And collectors are abuzz over the trove of fine artists they’re discovering; get there while you can still afford them.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO (PVR)
$428 (24% discount)
Extra deals: Cabo $410 (23% off) and Cozumel $487 (21% off)
Good for: Families with kids, LGBT travelers
Don’t miss: A day at the beach is enough to entertain most kids, but Puerto Vallarta also offers zip lining, surfing lessons, off-road adventures, kayak rentals, two water parks, and more. Many hotels have kids’ clubs, so Mom and Dad can get away for an afternoon of golf or just a little alone time. Zona Romantica, with its laid-back vibe and gay-friendly hotels, nightclubs, and beach, is quickly gaining a reputation as the Fire Island of Mexico.
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA (DAB)
$226 (22% discount)
Extra deal: Melbourne $223 (19% off)
Good for: Sports fans, spring breakers, and beach bums
Don’t miss: All-American Daytona Beach is famous for its international speedway — this year’s 500 is on February 21 — its wild surf-side parties, and nearly two dozen golf courses, including the LPGA International. Sure, there’s history and culture, too, but the real standout remains the 23 miles of white-sand shoreline, where you can take a Sunday drive, parasail, visit the boardwalk amusement parks, or just loaf till your bones turn to mush.
* Travel Alert: Price predictions are based on 2015 ticket data, so the emergence of the Zika virus is likely to influence them even more. The CDC offers information on affected regions and safety recommendations for travelers (especially pregnant women or those who might become pregnant) at cdc.gov/zika.
US DESTINATIONS FOR LESS THAN $200
The folks behind the Hopper app also found 10 warmer US destinations expected to have the least expensive flights out of Logan in February and March. Here are the ballpark prices to be on the lookout for.
1) Houston, Texas (QHO): $116
2) Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (MYR): $128
3) Greensboro, North Carolina (GSO): $129
4) Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL): $140
5) West Palm Beach, Florida (PBI): $147
6) Durham, North Carolina (RDU): $150
7) Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT): $155
8) Savannah, Georgia (SAV): $159
9) Charleston, South Carolina (CHS): $161
10) Dallas, Texas (QDF): $176
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