Want to save a few hundred dollars getting back to campus this Fall? Travel back in July (versus August) before peak season to save money and allow yourself some time to explore the US.

For Chinese international students, traveling back to school involves more than just books and classes – it involves finding a cheap flight to get back to campus. By traveling to the States in July versus August, Chinese students can achieve two goals – they can take advantage of one of the best seasons to explore America while also saving hundreds of dollars by traveling before peak season.

You have a whole school year ahead of you. Save that money for fun during the semester by traveling to the US in July.

Here are some examples of how much you can save when booking your roundtrip ticket home for the Summer in May and then back in July vs. August. The average savings from these five sample searches is $207.40! Remember to use flexible search when looking for flights to easily see when the cheapest options are.

5/24 – 7/3 SEA – HKG $466
5/10 – 8/18 SEA – HKG $699
Save $233

5/3 – 7/3 CHI – BJS $503
5/2 – 8/8 CHI – BJS $743
Save $203

5/2 – 7/18 WAS – SHA $529
5/17 – 8/29 WAS – SHA $829
Save $300

5/5 – 7/12 BOS – BJS $577
5/4 – 8/2 BOS – BJS $769
Save $192

5/5 – 7/15 LAX – CAN $661
5/19 – 8/22 LAX – CAN $770
Save $109

So, you’ve decided to come back in July. Where should you explore? Here are some of the best places to visit in the US, your home away from home:


1) New York City, New York
This bustling city is known to be the capital of the world which is why it is one of our top picks. From tourist attractions like Times Square to trendy areas like Greenwich Village, New York City offers so many different cultures through its different neighborhoods. By traveling in July, you would be able to dodge the bitter winter when walking through this bumpin’ city.

Shop in Soho
Watch the sunset from top of the Empire State Building
Catch an outdoor concert in Central Park


2) Las Vegas, Nevada
Vegas, baby! With 24 hour bright casinos lighting up the Vegas strip, this city offers non-stop entertainment. Each casino in Vegas offers unique decor that will be the highlight of your pictures. If gambling is not your thing, catch one of the many grand shows Vegas offers or check out the national parks nearby like the Grand Canyon.

Hike through Grand Canyon
Watch a Cirque du Soleil show
Try your luck at one of the casinos


3) Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is home to Hollywood, which means you may run into a celebrity during your trip here. Take a tour of where all the famous movies and tv shows are made or stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can also take advantage of the sunny skies by taking a trip to Venice Beach or the Santa Monica Pier.

Tour Hollywood on a Hop-on Hop-off tour
Walk down Venice Beach boardwalk
Visit Universal Studios

Houston Texas skyline at sunset twilight from park lawn

Houston Texas skyline at sunset twilight from park lawn

4) Houston, Texas
Home to NASA, Houston offers an out-of-this-world experience in its Space Center. Get a sense of its southern comfort by visiting Houston’s Downtown. If you have a big appetite, you have to experience the famous Tex-Mex cuisine while you’re visiting the state where “everything is bigger.”

Want to know what to eat in each state of the US? Learn how to Eat Your Way Through the US.

Blast off in a space shuttle in the Space Center
Visit the engineering phenomenon- the Water Wall
Take a tour of the Toyota Center- Home of the Houston Rockets

Sunrise on Seattle Skyline

Sunrise on Seattle Skyline

5) Seattle, Washington
People in Seattle drink the most coffee compared to other states in the US because Seattle is the center for coffee roasting. You can even visit the first ever Starbucks in this hip city. For the seafood lovers, Pike Place Market is your one-stop shop for food and crafts. Although Seattle is a city, it is surrounded by mountains and forests so take a break from the hustle and take in the nature.

Get an amazing view of the city from the top of the Space Needle
Try the Pike Chowder at the Pike Place Market
Have a picnic in Discovery Park


Oahu Skydiving, photo from Ernest Holtzheimer

6) Oahu, Hawaii
A tropical paradise awaits. Why not relax by crystal blue waters before you start the school year? You can try a variety of watersports on the island or even visit the historic Pearl Harbor.

Take a surfing lesson on Waikiki Beach
Learn how to hula dance
Tour Pearl Harbor

Before you start school, treat yourself to a mini vacation and save money doing it. By traveling to the US in July, you can save money on your plane ticket and have a ton of fun before you hit the books. Travel to the best places in the USA this summer and book with StudentUniverse to save on your flight.

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About Danielle Dougan