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Valentine's Day travel costs still low

Posted at 12:23 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 12:23:10-05

CLEVELAND — Travelers looking for a romantic getaway this weekend can expect to pay about as much as they did in 2021.

Overall, airfare is still down compared to 2019 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but experts predict it won’t last long.

A new Valentine’s Day report from the Hopper found that Los Angeles is topping the list for Ohioans traveling this weekend. The news likely comes as no surprise since the Cincinnati Bengals are playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday, which falls just one day before the holiday this year.

“We're seeing about 55% higher than usual prices for L.A.,” said Adit Damodaran, an economist at Hopper.

Domestic airfare is still down 27% from 2020 and 30% from 2019, but hotel prices are holding steady.

“Airfare is actually relatively good this year, even for those last-minute bookings compared to pre-pandemic,” Damodaran said. “You can expect to pay around $280 if you are booking last minute this week for a domestic flight.”

Last-minute banners can expect hotels to average $179 per night across the country for the holiday weekend, which is up 38% from $130 a night last year.

“The hotel market being a little bit more resilient one because it's primarily domestic and two because you don't need to get a flight to necessarily book a hotel room,” Damodaran said. “On hotels. We typically see good last-minute deals in big cities. Part of the reason for that is there's a larger inventory of hotels, so they tend to have great last-minute deals if those rooms haven't filled up for Valentine's Day weekend.”

Valentine’s Day is 7% more expensive than other weekends in February, which we're seeing an average of $167 per night.

If a trip this weekend won’t work out, now is also the best time to give the gift of booking a spring break trip before costs start skyrocketing.

“You'll probably find the best prices for spring break travel around three to five weeks in advance of your departure,” Damodaran said. “So, if you're thinking about traveling in mid-March, this is definitely the time to start looking at those trips.”

The Hopper app is also offering a Valentine’s Day flash sale with discounts on flights and hotels starting at midnight Friday night into Saturday morning. The specials run through Monday.

Locally, News 5 found flights out of Cleveland Hopkins airport to destinations like Las Vegas for as low as $125 round-trip. If you were looking for a destination with a beach, there are still last-minute round-trip flights on airlines like Frontier, Spirit and American for as low as $46.

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