Where to find the best Austin vacation packages

by Elizabeth Penney  |  Published October 17, 2017

Country, blues, rock, Americana — whatever your musical preference, you’ll find it in Austin. Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin has over-the-top festivals that draw tens of thousands of revelers as well as laid-back dive bars with undiscovered singer-songwriters strumming in the corner. And while bumper stickers around town remind residents to “Keep Austin Weird,” there’s little need for the warning – independent artists, entrepreneurs and other freethinkers are the city’s driving force. Travelers looking to experience that eclectic self-expression can do so by visiting the quirky nighclubs, second-hand shops and street art installations that pepper the city. Planning a trip to Austin can be daunting, but one option is to purchase a vacation package that combines airfare and lodging. Doing so can save a significant amount of money, even when looking for last-minute vacation packages. TravelMag.com has researched several websites and found that Expedia and Priceline both offer cheap vacation packages to Austin.

Austin, Texas (Photo: Stuart Seeger via Flickr)

Expedia’s prices on vacation packages to Austin were a bit lower than Priceline’s, especially when factoring in Expedia’s “Unreal Deals.” For example, a 7-night stay for two at a 4-star hotel with nonstop flights from Denver was $2,462 on select dates in February, while Priceline offered the same itinerary for $2,672. Expedia’s packages saved between $50–$150 per person on average. For example, a weeklong stay for two at a 3-star hotel with nonstop airfare from Los Angeles was $2,078, compared to $2,143 if purchasing flights and hotel separately. The greatest savings were seen with higher-end hotels. For example, a 7-night stay at a 5-star hotel with nonstop flights from Chicago was $4,144 versus $4,503, a savings of $180 per person.
Priceline also offered savings on vacation packages to Austin compared to purchasing flights and hotels separately. For example, a 7-night stay at a 4-star hotel for two with flights from New York was $2,724, compared to $3,384 if airfare and lodging were purchased on their own, reflecting a $330 savings per person. Although this is a significant savings, Expedia offered the identical package for even less – $2,522. Priceline did come out ahead on a few packages to Austin on select dates in 2017 and 2018. For example, a weeklong stay for two at a 3-star hotel from Los Angeles was $1,716, compared to Expedia’s $2,124, while a 5-star hotel stay from Los Angeles was $3,706 versus $4,034. One downside to Priceline is that many packages, particularly “Express Deals,” are nonrefundable and cannot be changed once booked. In any case, it is best to check both Priceline and Expedia to ensure you get the best possible price on your vacation package to Austin.
Once you’ve settled on a vacation package to Austin, it’s a good time to think about the activities you plan to do once you arrive. With so many things to see and do, it can be chaotic to plan out each day. One option is to book sightseeing packages ahead of time. Viator.com offers dozens of options for exploring Austin and the surrounding area. Ride through the city’s most scenic neighborhoods on the Austin Icons Bicycle Tour for $53, join in the Austin Live Music Crawl for $54 or tube down the San Marcos River on a $74 river tubing tour. Another tour, the Haunted Austin Evening Tour, takes visitors to the city’s dark side for $49.