Rooting for the underdog is a great American tradition. We love Rocky, Rudy, and the 1980 Olympic men’s hockey team. We hate the Patriots and Duke. But in May — during the height of the NBA playoffs — rooting for the underdog might be the most fruitless pursuit in sports. But that doesn’t mean you can’t support the little guy in other ways. Like, for instance, visiting some places that don’t get a lot of tourism hype, but are still awesome nonetheless.
The crack staff at Skyscanner — a travel app that monitors historic flight prices so you can find the cheapest deals — ran the numbers on airfares in May. They found that scrappy, lesser-known destinations will have some insane deals next month, giving you a chance to explore a place you might not have otherwise.
If you want to stay in the US, check out Providence, Rhode Island, a city with five major universities and one of America’s best Little Italys, and a top-tier party town that hides in Boston’s shadow. Flights there are down 14 percent to $254. You can also spend a surprisingly enjoyable wine tasting weekend in Long Island with flights to Islip down 25 percent to $149. Or take a tropical vacation to the US’ most unheralded tropical island in St. Croix, down 17 percent to $369.
- Idaho Falls, Idaho — $322 (25%)
- Islip, New York — $149 (25%)
- Punta Gorda, Florida — $178 (22%)
- Yuma, Arizona — $369 (21%)
- Nantucket, Massachusetts — $228 (20%)
- St. Croix, USVI — $369 (17%)
- Providence, Rhode Island — $254 (14%)
- Buffalo, New York — $178 (10%)
- Key West, Florida — $399 (8%)
- Savannah, Georgia — $280 (8%)
On the international side, eschew the usual Mexican hotspots like Mexico City and instead investigate a less-traveled region. The historic colonial mining town of San Luis Potosí has flights down 17 percent to $434. Or spend some time in the Swiss Alps in Lugano, where flights are down 25 percent to $626. You can also explore the white sand and turquoise waters of the Bahamas away from the cruise ship throngs at Nassau and Freeport, with flights to Governor’s Harbour and Bimini down 21 and 16 percent respectively. Here are the rest of the international leaders:
- Queenstown, New Zealand — $815 (37%)
- Lugano, Switzerland — $626 (25%)
- Governor’s Harbour, Bahamas — $376 (21%)
- San Luis Potosí, Mexico — $434 (17%)
- Chihuahua, Mexico — $451 (12%)
- Bimini, Bahamas — $296 (16%)
- Christchurch, New Zealand — $1,210 (10%)
- Monterrey, Mexico — $366 (10%)
- San José del Cabo, Mexico — $373 (9%)
- Cozumel, Mexico — $487 (8%)
Unlike the outcome of the NBA playoffs, none of these prices are guaranteed. Though Skyscanner hasn’t stayed in business because it gets these things wrong, so you may want to hold onto this list, or better yet, send it to your friends. Because while underdogs might not always win in the world of sports, giving them a chance when you travel can often pay off. Or, at the very least, save you money.