Archive for the ‘airfare’ Category

Mexico’s Ridiculous Travel Deals!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

In an attempt to lure vacation travelers back to Mexico, most resorts are offering astounding deals. By the looks of the pricing, it’s likely to work. Take a look at Apple Vacation’s huge deals on travel to Mexico. How does a Puerto Vallarta all-inclusive for $70 per night, airfare included, sound? They’re playing my tune. Travelzoo checks under the cushions of the web for great deals. $349 Cancun Oasis 7-night all-inclusive, air included, is a current offering.

In most cases, rates like these can be had if you’re willing to travel on specific deal dates, from specific places, but other dates and airports will be reduced as well. Run your city and dates through a site’s pricing engine and you’ll usually find a comparable reduction from what you’d normally expect. With prices like these, you might just add a week to that honeymoon!

Let me know how you do. Happy registering!

JetAmerica’s Fabulous $9 Flight Deal?

Friday, May 29th, 2009

For the high-spirited Disney World honeymoon for New Yorkers or for the New York City honeymoon for those near Minneapolis, Lansing, Toledo, South Bend or Melbourne/Orlando, a new airline is making a splash by advertising $9 flights. For the first nine to 19 seats sold on each of JetAmerica’s flights, the ticket price is just $9. Sound too good to be true? Taxes and fees bring the round trip total closer to $60 for the lucky few who land these coveted seats. You’ll need to stick to their challenging schedule, since the airline owns only a single jet. Then typically, you’ll find yourself spending closer to $150 r/t after the initial cheap fares have been gobbled up. Plan to spend extra if you want to check a bag. Nevertheless, it’s worth a visit to their site if you live near a city in JetAmerica’s network. The flight savings might justify your honeymoon suite upgrade!

Do-it-yourself Hawaii

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

For most of us here in the US, the expense of a trip to Hawaii lies primarily in the transportation and lodging categories. Here is an article from a couple who did it the other way around. This couple cut corners on their air and hotel budget and instead decided to spend their money living it up after they arrived. Their total travel time might have been on the high end, but they can confidently claim the title of “Do-It-Yourself Travelers”. Great money saving strategies for ALL destinations include using sites like Expedia and Travelocity, but this couple expanded their search to include the travel departments of Sam’s and Costco, as well as checkng the deal site www.slickdeals.net for the occasional rock bottom sale. While not everyone will find success in the nooks and crannies of the travel market, it’s important not to rely on just one or two sources for the best deals. Check directly with the airlines and hotels as well. Then check Trip Advisor for traveler recommendations for activities once you arrive (they’re great for hotel reviews as well). Happy traveling!

Kayak & Sidestep merger: Benefits them or you?

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

It was interesting to hear about this high-impact merger of Kayak and Sidestep. Both are lauded, successful travel search companies, each claiming their share of devoted users. There is an immediate benefit to each company from a cost savings standpoint. Each generates traveler traffic through online relationships where they will now see a larger volume discount, pay-per-click savings, and reduced competition previously driving up ad prices.

But what do the travelers get? Sidestep will incrementally benefit from Kayak’s technology. You’ll see a faster search with a greater content footprint, resulting in a potentially lower ticket price. With larger traffic volume, you’ll see more meaningful fare predicting data too. For example, you are going to Hawaii in May for your honeymoon but are willing to leave up to ten days after your wedding if you could save $400 on airfare. Sidestep gives you a chart section that shows you what days are the cheapest for your desired destination over the next month. It’s based on other users’ stored data, so with more data now we’ll see more meaningful results, giving you handy access to the cheapest travel days.

Kayak will benefit from Sidestep’s larger hotel business, but I’ll talk more about hotels in the next few weeks. In the meantime, while it’s not a sea change, sidle on over to Sidestep for a test spin if you haven’t already.

Cheap Airfare Ideas: My Approach. What’s Yours?

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Finding the cheapest airfare is as much an art as a science. There are nuances aplenty in this hourly-changing industry. The large travel search sites like Travelocity and Orbitz are no longer your one-stop-shop, though don’t think you should avoid them. Those larger sites should still be part of your overall strategy. You can find specials there that the faster moving and harder working little guys haven’t uncovered yet.

My general strategy for finding the best airfare is a multi-step process. It’s a filter down approach starting with the big airfare search engines, especially when I’m researching destinations. If you know when you’re going but not where (like our honeymoon couples, often), then this is a great place to start. You can fairly reliably find out which destinations are running discounts for your dates by doing an Orbitz, Travelocity, Kayak or Sidestep type search, or any of the like. They are all very different; try them out and tell me your favorite! Try Farecast too - Farecast may take this segment by storm if they can work out the kinks. Add a day or two of flexibility to your search to see how much you can save (we began our honeymoon to South-East Asia on a Tuesday, rather than Sunday or Monday, and saved hundreds). Then check the airlines that you may not find in these searches, the Southwest’s and the Jet Blue’s of the world. Jet Blue is starting to appear in most of these searches finally, so check out the one you’re using. Southwest remains adamantly independent. You can often find specials directly through all the airlines’ websites too. Then look for deals through budget sites, like Travelzoo. I’ve used Travelzoo several times for their great hotel specials. Airfarewatchdog is unreal for truly last minute deals. They have some super insider tips too. I’m not opposed to using travel agents for airfare, but you need to find a hungry one that will check several times each day, which is the frequency with which airlines change their fares.

I know that many of you have little golden nuggets to share. What are your tested strategies that can really pay off? Visit us at Smart Honeymoon and drop me an email. If you had 20 minutes to book a flight, who would you use? What was your best “score”? I once paid $6 o/w to fly from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (June, 2006). The only way to get that was to walk into the Air Malaysia office in Sandakan.

Happy traveling!