The beaches, temperate climate and all-round feel-good vibe in San Diego earned the city its nickname as America's Finest City. Mexico's beach-lined party city isn't a world apart from California's bronzed and beautiful second city, but those seven hours in the air will transport San Diegans to a more party-centric ambience and some more Mexican cuisine. San Diegans are so busy "staying classy" (thanks, Ron Burgundy) that it's no wonder they might want to let go a little in the city where they can let their hair down and party as hard as the next spring breaker. Whatever it is motivating San Diego locals to flee the American beaches for the Mexican shoreline, cheap flights from San Diego to Cancun are just a few clicks away. Follow these tips to get the very best deals on the San Diego to Cancun route.
The rates on the San Diego to Cancun route won't penalize late bookers much. Prices are steady in the months and even weeks approaching your departure, although there is a marked – if relatively small – increase around three weeks before your departure date. The hike equates to less than a hundred dollar difference between your departure date and 20 days before departure. So, if you're a San Diegan couple hoping to impulsively elope or an unprepared Best Man putting together a hastily organized Bachelor party, Cancun is a very feasible option – even at the last minute.
Although advance booking has a minimal impact on San Diego - Cancun rates, the prices of flights on this route vary wildly from month to month. April and May are two of the most popular choices for San Diegans traveling to Cancun, and May is accordingly the most expensive time to fly. Between January and May, flights are at the higher end of the scale – hovering at $600 and above. Prices take a nosedive when the spring break crowd clears out in June. Summer is a great time to travel to Cancun from San Diego, as prices are bottoming out at some of their lowest in these months. November's prices are the lowest in the year, at a full $150 cheaper than those of May, on average.
Tuesday is the best day to hop on that flight from San Diego to Cancun, giving eager voyagers the benefit of a full week of sun on less crowded beaches, and time to develop that beachy sun-kissed glow before the weekend rolls around and it's time to party extra hard. Cancun has lots going on both during and outside of the peak weekend days and nights – why not use that extra $45 you saved on a boat trip or dolphin dive?
Return on a Thursday and save up to $33 on your return flight. You'll avoid peak rates on hotels over the pricey weekend days, and you could also have a weekend to unwind before returning to the office basking in post-vacation glory. Weekends are known to get pretty wild in Cancun, so flying back to San Diego on a Thursday means cleverly avoiding the potential Monday morning fall-out from the Saturday and Sunday night revelry.
Did you know the day you choose to buy your round-trip ticket could make a big difference to the price? The difference is less markedly dramatic on some other routes, but on the San Diego to Cancun route, booking on a Thursday can save you up to $34 – an amount which can go a long way on some of the cheap and cheerful Cancun resorts. By following these three simple tips – fly out on a Tuesday, return on a Thursday, and book on a Thursday – travelers could see a total savings of up to $112 on their flights from San Diego to Las Vegas.
For indirect flights, United Airlines proves the very cheapest, with good United deals at around $467. American Airlines is similarly good value between San Diego and Cancun with good deals at $469. Not so promising is AeroMéxico, with some of its better deals on indirect flights on this route coming in over $550. Don't forget to factor in things like hidden costs and airline miles when making the final decision on your airline choice.
Airlines offering connecting flights from San Diego to Cancun:
- United makes the journey in 10 hours via Houston for $466 round trip, on average.
- American makes the journey in 7.5 hours via Dallas for $468 round trip, on average.
- US Airways makes the journey in 7.5 hours via Phoenix for $469 round trip, on average.
- Frontier makes the journey in 8.5 hours via Denver for $481 round trip, on average.
- Aeromexico makes the journey in 10.75 hours via Mexico City for $668 round trip, on average.
As of March 2015, United fliers will be earning award miles based on the price of a ticket rather than the miles traveled. Until then, if you're a MileagePlus member, you'll earn award miles primarily based on how far you travel with United, but you can also earn them through purchases, credit cards, hotels and even car rentals. Either way, regular travelers have the option to save big on flights. If you've accrued 35,000 miles, that's sufficient to pay off a round-trip ticket from San Diego to Cancun.
Hopper's number crunchers are always bringing you the latest information on when to fly and when to buy to get the very best deals on your flight. The data here is based on a report which compiles over 1.14 million flight prices, from searches made each month. At the time of writing, prices are stable and demand is flat – but be sure to check the When to Fly and Buy reports for the most current and comprehensive information available.
If you find a couple of airlines have almost the same prices – as on the San Diego to Cancun route, when United and American tend to match each other closely – it's worth checking out Hopper's Airline Fees Calculator. This way, you can discern which airline is best value overall for your travel needs. Do you need to check in some extra baggage, or do you like some extra legroom? Whatever your needs, our airline fees calculator will tell you what each airline charges for your needs, and how they measure up against each other, so those hidden fees won't come as a surprise.
The cheapest 10% of flights on this route average around $469. If follow our tips and travel at the best times in terms of value for money – November is the cheapest month on this route – then you should be able to get a deal around the $470 mark. The lowest price available, currently, is $459. At the highest end of the scale, prices can climb to well over $600. So feel secure when booking that any flight around the $470 mark is a great deal.