McLean, VA (written by Rick Seaney/USA Today) -- Autumn is a great time for a getaway; airfare prices have plummeted and now that the kids are back in school, the long lines at top attractions are a lot shorter.
What are the cheapest cities to fly to this fall?
Here's a list by region, with Europe at the end.
Northeast: Boston, Washington, D.C.
Airfare to the nation's capital and Boston was relatively cheap this summer, and it's even cheaper for fall. Other good deals can be found on flights to Philadelphia and New York City, which are running about 15% higher.
Southeast: Ft. Lauderdale/Miami
Competition is helping Ft. Lauderdale shine as a cheap city for fall getaways, but Orlando and Tampa are close behind with airfare to those Florida cities running only about 9% higher.
Southwest: San Antonio
One of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. is also quite the airfare bargain this year; less of a deal than San Antonio but still cheapish are New Orleans, Phoenix and Tucson which are running about 20% higher.
West: Colorado Springs, Denver
Another testament to the price-dropping power of competition, Colorado Springs and Denver were easy-on-the-wallet family destinations for summer and remain so in autumn.
Chicago remains a fall favorite with plenty of deals, and its status as a United hub - not to mention the presence of major airlines of the world at O'Hare and Southwest's dominance at Midway - help keep it cheap; airfare prices are running only about 7% higher than flights to Denver and Colorado Springs.
Europe: Ireland, Spain, Germany - and London
Even with that $50 Heathrow surcharge, London is running about $80 round-trip cheaper than the two other perennial favorites, Paris and Rome; prices get even cheaper with another price drop set for departures starting the second week in November. However, the cheapest destinations of Europe remain the bigger cities in Germany, Ireland and Spain where airfare prices are running about 10-15% less than the popular trio of London, Paris and Rome.
AIRFARE EXPERT: Europe fares fall in autumn