The rise of the International Budget Carriers

There has been something wonderful happening with the airline industry lately. Budget carriers are starting to take us to more and more fabulous international destinations! It wasn’t too long ago when the prospect of an international flight was an expensive one, indeed. However, I’ve noticed a trend lately where budget carriers are adding some pretty great destinations to their itineraries. Hooray! If you’ve been wanting to get out there and explore the world a little more, now just might be the time. ***note: I should mention that this listing is geared mostly to my readers in the United States, as the bulk of my research has been focused on budget carriers that operate in the U.S. There are great budget carriers all over the world, however, so I encourage you to look into it wherever you are!

You could be here…for cheap! (Cancun, Mexico)

Southwest Airlines


Southwest can take you here.

I love Southwest Airlines. They have long been my airline of choice for pretty much all of my domestic flights since they are a lower-cost carrier, they fly pretty much anywhere in the U.S. you might want to go, and they are more comfortable and have better customer service than some of the other “budget” carriers. Imagine my delight when they announced they would be adding international routes! Woo hoo! Latin America, here I come!

Southwest Airlines International Destinations: Aruba, Belize, Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Cancun, Costa Rica, Mexico City, Montego Bay, Bahamas, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Costa Rica.

Frontier Airlines


Cabo San Lucas awaits…

Frontier is an ultra-budget, no frills airline with some seriously affordable airfare to be found. In addition to destinations all over the United States, they also fly to three locations in Mexico (Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta) as well as Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Spirit Airlines


You could be hanging out with sloths in Costa Rica in no time!

Spirit Airlines and Frontier are often compared to each other in that they are both ultra-budget, no-frills airlines that are very similarly managed with similar pricing structures. Spirit, however, seems to win on the International flights front, as they have destinations all over Mexico, the Caribbean, and even into Central and South America as well as a lot of routes all over the United States.



Iceland awaits.

I’m really excited about the fact that the Icelandic budget carrier WOW Air has now expanded to the U.S. West Coast. A friend who recently flew to Iceland with them told me they were definitely a budget operation, with fairly tight seating, charges for checked baggage, lots of extra fees for “perks”, and the seats don’t recline. That being said, flying to Iceland is now more affordable than ever. U.S. based customers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston, and New York (as well as Canadians in Toronto and Montreal) can now fly to Iceland as well as destinations all over Europe for a fraction of the cost of a traditional carrier.


12 replies »

    • Yes! Ultra cheap flights. I’ve heard the catch is that the baggage fees can get you, but if you wear your big coat and boots onto the plane, pack light and plan to do laundry, you might be able to get away with a small bag only and avoid the fees.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard it’s really friendly. I’ve got a few friends who have flown with them already and liked them 🙂
      I was watching them when they started flying out of the East Coast, but when they added Los Angeles as a destination, I’m pretty sure I squealed out loud with excitement.


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