The Southwest Companion Pass has long been one of the best deals in travel, and while it’s not as easy to earn as it once was, it can still offer incredible value to those who travel to Southwest Airlines destinations with a plus-one.

With that in mind, here are some of the best destinations you can visit using the Southwest Companion Pass.

Aruba

Aruba, with its white-sand beaches and warm, inviting waters, remains a favorite among Caribbean destinations. The island’s western coast is home to a string of resorts that cater to every kind of traveler, from families seeking calm shores for safe swimming to couples looking for romantic sunset views.

Aruba’s appeal extends beyond its beaches; the island is ripe for exploration, with options ranging from off-road adventures in the rugged terrain of Arikok National Park to serene strolls in the Wilhelmina Park. For those interested in cultural pursuits, Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad, offers colorful Dutch colonial architecture and a bustling marketplace.

Places To Visit With the Southwest Companion Pass

The calm waters of Aruba are great for families

Direct Southwest flights from Baltimore and Orlando, Florida, make this island an accessible paradise. The Companion Pass further sweetens the deal, offering an affordable tropical getaway.

From Baltimore and Orlando, typical rates are around 26,000 Rapid Rewards points and $75 in taxes and fees per person. With the Companion Pass, that means you and your companion can fly to Aruba for only 26,000 Rapid Rewards points and $150 in taxes and fees—sometimes even fewer points.

Fly to Aruba with Southwest Companion Pass

Example pricing for Southwest flights from Baltimore to Aruba in May. | Screenshot from Southwest.com

Not everyone lives in these two cities, but they’re pretty popular Southwest hubs, so it’s also possible to connect from other cities that Southwest serves.

Belize City, Belize

Belize City, the largest city in Belize, offers a fascinating mix of Caribbean charm and rich cultural heritage. This bustling city acts as a gateway to the diverse attractions Belize has to offer, from ancient Mayan ruins to some of the world’s most beautiful barrier reefs.

In Belize City itself, visitors can explore historical sites like the Belize Museum, housed in a former prison, and St. John’s Cathedral, the oldest Anglican church in Central America. However, many will find that they won’t linger too long here.

Just beyond the city, adventurers can jump into the natural wonders of Belize. The country is renowned for its stunning barrier reef, a paradise for snorkelers and divers eager to explore the diverse marine life. Excursions to the nearby cayes provide opportunities to relax on pristine beaches or dive at the famous Great Blue Hole.

Altun Ha, Belize

Altun Ha is a Mayan city situated close to the Caribbean coast in northern Belize.

For those interested in history and archaeology, day trips to ancient Mayan sites like Altun Ha and Lamanai are a must. These ruins, set amidst lush jungles, offer a peek into the ancient Mayan civilization.

Belize isn’t always the least expensive Central American destination to reach, but it’s a great spot to get use out of your Southwest Companion Pass. Southwest services Belize City nonstop from Baltimore, Denver, and Houston-Hobby. Flights from Baltimore can be found for as few as 18,000 Rapid Rewards points and $110 in taxes and fees.

Visit Belize City, Belize With the Southwest Companion Pass

Example flight prices from Baltimore to Belize City in May. | Screenshot from Southwest.com

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun, a vibrant city perched on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, is a paradise for beach lovers and culture enthusiasts alike. Renowned for its stunning turquoise waters and white, sandy beaches, Cancun offers a quintessential beach vacation with a unique twist.

The Hotel Zone, a long, beachfront strip of resorts and entertainment, is where most tourists flock for luxurious stays, lively nightlife and an array of dining experiences. For those seeking a more authentic cultural experience, downtown Cancun, known as El Centro, provides a glimpse into local life with its colorful markets, traditional eateries and friendly locals.

Tulum Beach, Mexico

The beautiful beach and Mayan God of Winds temple along the Caribbean Sea, Quintana Roo State, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Beyond the beaches and resorts, Cancun serves as a gateway to exploring the rich Mayan heritage of the region. The ancient ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza are within striking distance, offering incredible insights into the ancient civilization.

Nature enthusiasts will love the opportunity to snorkel or dive in the nearby Great Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world, or explore the unique cenotes, natural sinkholes filled with crystal-clear water, ideal for swimming and diving. For families, the interactive aquariums, eco-parks and water activities ensure entertainment for all ages.

Southwest offers nonstop flights to Cancun from 19 cities, typically at competitive prices. In addition to the usual cities served with nonstop flights listed above, you’ll also find nonstops from the following U.S. cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin, Texas
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Milwaukee
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • New Orleans
  • Pittsburg
  • San Antonio
  • St. Louis

Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a country known for its “Pura Vida” lifestyle, has been a popular destination for a while now, and for good reason. With reasonable pricing, great food and all the adventures you can imagine, Costa Rica really does have it all. It’s also a paradise for eco-tourists and adventure seekers.

With Southwest flights to both San Jose, the country’s capital, and Liberia, visitors have the option to explore the vibrant city life or venture into the natural wonders that Costa Rica offers.

Costa Rica With the Southwest Companion Pass

Wildlife lovers will love Costa Rica

The country is a mosaic of ecosystems, from rainforests teeming with biodiversity to serene beaches along both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Adventure activities abound, including zip-lining through cloud forests, surfing world-class waves and hiking near-active volcanoes.

Fly to Costa Rica with Southwest Companion Pass

Volcanoes, Hiking, Birds, and Beaches - Costa Rica has it all

Cultural experiences are also rich, with opportunities to visit coffee plantations, enjoy local cuisine and immerse in the arts and crafts of the local communities.

Southwest flies to San Jose from Baltimore, Denver, Houston-Hobby and Orlando. Southwest flies to Liberia from Baltimore, Denver and Houston-Hobby.

Flights to Liberia tend to be more expensive than flights to San Jose, but both can offer good value especially depending on the length of your trip, where in Costa Rica you want to visit and how much ground you want to cover while you’re there.

From Baltimore to Liberia, expect to see prices from 28,000 Rapid Rewards points + $80 in taxes and fees round trip. From Baltimore to San Jose, prices can be under 22,000 Rapid Rewards points + $80 round trip.

Costa Rica With the Southwest Companion Pass

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands, is a diverse and dynamic destination. It’s not just the crystal-clear waters and coral reefs that attract visitors, but also the cultural experiences and adventures. Highlights include the interactive Stingray City, where visitors can swim amongst friendly stingrays, and the historic sites of George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands.

Stingray City

Stingrays swimming in the shallow caribbean water off the coast of Grand Cayman island a area known as Stingray City.

Nature lovers will enjoy the Mastic Trail, a path that leads through native mangrove wetlands and subtropical forests. The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park,, home to the island’s native blue iguana and a variety of endemic plant species, is another must-visit.

Southwest’s direct flights from Baltimore; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Orlando provide convenient access to this Caribbean gem.

The great value for Companion Pass holders makes the Grand Cayman Island an attractive choice for those seeking both relaxation and adventure in a Caribbean setting.

Flights can be booked for as few as 13,000 Rapid Rewards points and $90 in taxes and fees from Fort Lauderdale—tremendous value for your companion pass.

Grand Cayman With the Southwest Companion Pass

Example flight pricing between Fort Lauderdale and Grand Cayman in May. | Screenshot from Southwest.com

No, this isn’t in the off-season—this is the price you can get regularly throughout the year, even if you book a trip departing in under two weeks. That’s a phenomenal deal for anyone looking for a Caribbean adventure. The low direct price also means that flights connecting through Fort Lauderdale will often be priced reasonably, too.

Hawaii

While Hawaii is, of course, one of the U.S. states, it feels almost like traveling to another country by the time you get there and is a dream destination for many travelers.

Each Hawaiian island offers a distinct experience—from the dynamic energy of Oahu and Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach to the breathtaking landscapes of Maui’s Hana Highway and Kauai’s Na Pali Coast. Visitors can immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture by attending a luau, exploring the historic Pearl Harbor or simply relaxing on the pristine beaches that the islands are famous for.

Peak of Diamond Head on Oahu

The majestic Diamond Head volcanic crater towering over the suburbs of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find endless activities, including hiking in lush rainforests, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters and witnessing the awe-inspiring volcanoes.

You can reach the following Hawaiian destinations with Southwest: Hilo, Hawaii Island; Honolulu, Oahu; Kahului, Maui; Kona, Hawaii Island; and Lihue, Kauai.

For example, you can fly from Los Angeles to Honolulu for under 28,000 Rapid Rewards points + $11.20 in taxes.

Honolulu Hawaii with Southwest Companion Pass

Numerous Domestic Destinations

While Southwest’s international destinations are limited to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, there are plenty of destinations you can reach in the U.S. with your Southwest Companion Pass.

Southwest currently flies to more than 100 destinations across 42 states. While domestic getaways don’t always generate the same excitement as international ones, there is no reason they shouldn’t.

With the Companion Pass, you can travel to many domestic hotspots like Austin, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C..
But you shouldn’t stop there. Take advantage of the amazing value of the Companion Pass to explore. Perhaps, a few quick weekend getaway to cities such as Boise, Idaho; Tucson, Arizona; or Portland, Maine and Oregon, for that matter, for just a few thousand Rapid Rewards points (plus $12) are just what you and your companion need.

Boise Idaho with Southwest Companion Pass

Unique view of Idaho Sate Capitol building on a fine spring morning in Boise, Idaho, USA

For Travis Cormier, chief operating officer of 10xTravel, this is one of the best values of all. The chance to explore the United States and visit places he otherwise wouldn’t. He’s flown Southwest to Tucson to stay at the Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa and to Atlanta so he could take a road trip across the Carolinas and the Great Smoky Mountains. He even flew Southwest to elope at a Taco Bell in Las Vegas (no joke).

Although we stress the use points whenever possible, paying cash for domestic getaways is a great option, too. Remember, the Companion Pass works for tickets purchased with cash or with points. Southwest frequently has phenomenal sales on domestic flights. Although the carrier doesn’t travel to the most desirable destinations, it can be a great way to explore the United States on a budget.

Pro Tips to Stretch Your Companion Pass Further

Watch for Southwest Flight Deals

Southwest is known for offering pretty stunning sale fares, and taking advantage of these can stretch your points and the Companion Pass even further. Even if you’ve already booked your ticket, it’s worthwhile to monitor Southwest’s prices because if prices go down, you can rebook your ticket and get your points back or get a credit toward a future trip if you paid with cash.

Don’t Be Afraid To Look Last-Minute

Last-minute tickets are often thought of to be more expensive, but Southwest sometimes offers good deals a few weeks in advance. During research for this article, we found that many of the best fares through end-of-schedule were for travel a month out.

Final Thoughts on Amazing Places to Visit with the SW Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass is still easily one of the best values in travel. Whether you’re using points or cash, it can help you (and your companion) visit amazing places like Aruba, Costa Rica, any number of domestic destinations and more for about half the price.