Now Is the Time to Book a Last-Minute Presidents' Day Vacation

Rates could increase by as much as $11 per day if you wait.
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Presidents' Day is just around the corner — on Monday, February 18, to be exact. The 3-day weekend can be a great time for a trip that helps break up the monotony of winter. But if you don't want to sacrifice too much cash, you'd better jump on that trip ASAP.

Check out our guide to booking your Presidents' Day vacation, including why it's important to buy tickets now and the best cities to visit for the weekend.

Book Your Last-Minute Presidents' Day Flights Now

Seriously, you should buy your tickets right now. In fact, travel app Hopper recommended booking flights for the 2019 holiday by the week of January 14, so the prime booking window has already passed.

All hope is not lost, though. While last year, Hopper advised booking Presidents' Day flights no later than three weeks before the holiday weekend, you can still find a good deal. But if you want to leave by February 16 — the Saturday prior to Presidents' Day — you need to book now. When we searched flight prices for that February date, we saw rates as low as $213 round trip from Chicago to Los Angeles, for example. Hopper has $294 as a good round-trip price for Presidents' Day 2019, so $213 is low enough to warrant booking without delay.

When booking Presidents' Day flights, look for round-trip prices of $294 or below.

Note that the longer you wait, the higher prices should climb. Based on Hopper data, the airfare jumps should have been small at first, with about a $2 increase per day before the beginning of February. But the closer the holiday draws, the bigger those jumps will likely be, and could even go as high as $11 per day this week.

When Should You Fly?

Being flexible with flight dates can help you save a good chunk of change. For instance, traveling from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles on Saturday, February 16, and flying back on February 18 could cost you $267 — decently under the $294 threshold. However, if you're able to take an extra day and fly back on February 19, that price drops as low as $226. It's best to look a few days before and after the holiday to see about snagging the best rate. That lower price could be well worth taking an extra vacation day.

Where to Go Over Presidents' Day Weekend

February is chilly for most of the country, so it's no surprise many travelers flock to warmer climates for Presidents' Day. As a result, it's actually an ideal time to visit locales like Chicago, where you can expect to book a ticket for around $230.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways to Save on Your Next Flight

However, if you're pining for sunshine and a getaway that doesn't involve a heavy wool coat, you're not completely out of luck. February is also a good time to check out San Francisco and Los Angeles, where average high temps tend to fall between 61 and 69 degrees. While that might not be summery enough for shorts, it's downright balmy compared to the single-digit highs you might experience in places like the Northeast.

Travel Tips to Remember

Look out for extra fees. The amount you see might not be what you pay when you're flying, thanks to last-minute fees that could get tacked on. Watch out for extra costs for things like seat selection, carry-ons, and even refreshments.

Consider vacation packages to help you save, as well. These will often bundle flight and hotel, and could even include a rental car. And since searching for these packages is usually as easy as searching for flights alone, there's no reason not to. Look to sites like Kayak, Orbitz, and Expedia to see if bundling your travel will yield even better savings.

Readers, what excellent Presidents' Day travel deals have you bagged in the past? Let us know in the comments below!

Senior Staff Writer

Julie joined DealNews in 2015. Her work has been featured on MSN, Business Insider, Lifehacker, The Motley Fool, GoBankingRates, and Moneyish. In her spare time, she enjoys baking sweets, reading thrillers, and listening to an ever-growing list of podcasts.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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