Travel prices vary based on a variety of factors: local demand, weather patterns, global exchange rates and much more. So how should you decide where to go this month? I’ve done my homework and come up with five trips that are especially cheap to visit from New York City (and Los Angeles) in September.
In Paris, high-profile museums like The Louvre, Musée d'Orsay and Musée Rodin are free on the first Sunday of each month. Photo: LUCAS BARIOULET/AFP/Getty Images
Cheap Trip #1: Paris, France
It’s not often that Paris comes up as a cheap place to visit, and that’s precisely why now is the perfect time to go; with direct flights from New York City for just $250, it’s hard to say no. While you’re there, do as the locals do and pick up a fresh baguette and fruit from the Rue Mouffetard market to take to a nearby park, a highly affordable, highly Parisian light meal. High-profile museums like The Louvre, Musée d'Orsay and Musée Rodin are free on the first Sunday of each month, while others like the permanent collections of the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art and Petit Palais are free daily.
Cheap Trip #2: Guangzhou, China
Guangzhou and its sister city Shenzhen are the heart of manufacturing in China, a true maker’s paradise. Yet Guangzhou, in line with many Chinese cities, is also extremely affordable to visit. Hainan Airlines’ current promotion on flights to China means you can get from New York to Beijing, Shanghai, Fuzhou, Chengdu and even northern cities like Shenyang and Harbin for under $500 roundtrip. If you want to take your Guangzhou visit to the next level, hop across the border to Hong Kong for a day or two, though be aware that just about everything in Hong Kong is significantly more pricey.
Cheap Trip #3: Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife is the most popular of the Canary Islands amongst English-speaking visitors, and it’s not just because of the to-die-for weather that comes with September. Climb Mount Teide, the slumbering volcano that’s also Spain’s highest peak, before heading over to Masca, the ancient village that locals consider a must-see. You can spend days exploring Tenerife’s many beaches, a free option you'll be sad to leave behind.
Cheap Trip #4: Istanbul, Turkey
While flights to Istanbul aren’t quite as cheap as the other destinations on this list, Turkey’s recent currency woes—the Turkish lira lost 20% of its value relative to the dollar in August alone—means the rest of your trip will come at a surprisingly low cost. Istanbul can be prohibitively hot through the summer months, but as September rolls in, it’s much more comfortable. Add to that the nationwide week-long Bayram holiday that just ended, sending local tourists back to their workplaces, and September is a perfect time to visit.
Cheap Trip #5: Belém, Brazil
Just like in Turkey, the Brazilian real has lost a quarter of its value relative to the dollar in the past twelve months. What does that mean for you? The açaí and caipirinhas you’ve been dreaming of are 25% cheaper than they were this time last year, and by staying in lower-cost Belém instead of pricier Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, you get all of the Brazilian verve at a significant discount.