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Spring break sale: $121+ round trip to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama

Jan. 21, 2020
4 min read
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Finally, a great deal alert for the Texans and Midwesterners: Flights to popular Central America destinations begin at just $121 round trip. The lowest fares go from Houston to Guatemala city from $121 in basic economy or $161 in regular economy on United.

These are cheap fares by any standard, but especially for international travel, where taxes and fees add up. The best fares originate out of the Midwest — Texas cities, Chicago and New Orleans, specifically. The best dates fall in February and March for the perfect spring break getaway.

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The only drawback is that many of these fares begin in basic economy. Basic economy means different things to different airlines but you may not have free use of the overhead bins for a carry-on bag and you probably won't be able to select your seat, get an upgrade, or earn PQM/PQS/PQDs. However, it’s possible to defeat many of basic economy’s negative aspects by having elite status or a cobranded credit card.

To find a deal, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or an OTA like Orbitz or Expedia.

Airline: United, American, Interjet, Spirit
Routes: IAH/DFW/HOU/ORD/MSY and more to GUA/PTY/SJO
Cost: $121+ round trip
Dates: February — May 2020
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Here are some examples of specific flights that are available:

Houston (IAH) to Guatemala City (GUA) for $121 round trip on United basic economy:

Houston (IAH) to Guatemala City (GUA) for $144 round trip on Spirit via Google:

Houston (HOU) to Guatemala City (GUA) for $190 round trip on American basic economy:

Chicago (ORD) to Guatemala City (GUA) for $205 round trip on Spirit via Google:

San Antonio (SAT) to Guatemala City (GUA) for $224 round trip on Interjet basic economy via Bravofly:

New Orleans (MSY) to Panama City (PTY) for $242 round trip on Spirit:

Dallas (IAH) to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO) for $249 round trip on Spirit:

Houston (IAH) to Managua, Nicaragua (MGA) for $303 round trip on Spirit via Google:

Houston (IAH) to Managua, Nicaragua (MGA) for $303 round trip on Spirit via Google:

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier® Card, Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.