As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, early fall is the time to find good deals on quick getaways. And many of us in Charleston could really use a quick getaway right now.

It's extra hot, it rains and floods on a regular basis, and all that back-to-school traffic is really bumming everybody out.

If you're thinking you can't afford to travel over a weekend, that attitude is quite literally not going to get you anywhere. Because there are dozens of travel deals to take advantage of right now that will fit almost any budget.

Here's where to find them, with a few tips about how to save extra cash.

Cheap round-trips

There are a handful of cities you can fly to out of the Charleston airport for less than a $200 round-trip right now. Direct flights to and from New York City and Washington, D.C., are priced between $95 and $130 right now if you price-compare online at AirfareWatchdog.com.

Round-trip flights to other regional cities such as Nashville and Boston hover around $180-$200, according to the website.

Flight booking tips

Consumer Reports says flight-bookers can find the best airfare deals around 3 p.m. Tuesdays. I won't pretend to know the explanation on that one, but it won't hurt to test the theory if you're trying to save extra money. The publication also found that if you're traveling with a group, you should buy your plane tickets individually to get the cheapest fares.

Take to the road

AAA Carolinas, the transportation agency that monitors travel trends in North and South Carolina, found that gas prices have been trending downward this month.

That means road trips are cheaper than they've been all summer, so take the scenic route to higher ground at one of South Carolina's many mountainous state parks, such as Devils Fork or Jones Gap.

Pitch a tent at one of the 25 campsites for a few days to save even more, or splurge on a cabin for about $200 per night.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.