This summer has been epic for our Daughter. By definition: “Slang. spectacular; very impressive; awesome” Sounds like over kill but I can assure you epic fits. While she has been off on a mission trip to Lesotho and then learning to be a camp counselor her parents have been working. She was globe trotting, we ordered pizza and did not even do the dishes every night.
I had some Southwest airlines credit to use by fall. We booked our Christmas tickets and the price decreased after our booking, by over $70 each for Daughter and I. (Husband travels less so I use the points on his tickets and IF I have to pay I do so on my account to earn more points.) With Southwest you can re-book and either get a credit or the points back in your account if the price drops. The credit is good for one year.
Husband was going on a guys fishing trip for almost a week so that gave us girls a guilt free travel pass. So in my mind I had a few places to check out in Florida, Seattle or even back to San Antonio for our girls weekend. I figured let Daughter choose where she wants to go, maybe some place I am not even thinking of going? The requirements were the location needs to be on a Southwest airlines route and reasonable cost. Has either Holiday Inn or Club Carlson hotels, and I need to travel from my home airport to get there. And the sticking point was it had to be someplace that Dad really is not in a hurry to visit.
So she thought for a morning. Asked a few questions and kept on thinking. Where did she pick? (I will be honest and say I really did not see this coming.) Savannah, GA.
That is what happens when you travel without your child, you end up going back to places with them. Husband and I were here in 2014 for our anniversary, alone. It was fun but I was in no hurry to go back. Plus August is HOT! I was not that excited but she sure was! A long girls weekend in Savannah and throwing in Charleston for good measure.
So maybe only travel geeks would find a fare map fun? I have a couple of times searched for a weekend away on the Southwest Airlines Getaway Finder. The map lets you enter your starting airport, dates and price range.
Voila! The locations under $236 round trip from Minn/ St Paul airport. Philly at $176 looks like a great getaway!
You can play with the map here: http://getawayfinder.southwest.com/flights?clk=GSUBNAV-AIR-MAP
We decided pretty much at the last minute to go away for our anniversary. Three weeks prior we made our decision that we wanted to visit Charleston, South Carolina. And then I saw how close Savannah was and threw it in for good measure…
April 23rd I bought our airline tickets to fly out on May 8th. 16 days before travel is not how I usually do things, I am a planner and this was stressing me out! Flying on short notice over Mother’s Day weekend was not helping the airfare costs in our local area. I finally found tickets with flight times that worked for us from Midway to Charleston and back. (And they did not use up our whole tax refund in the process, a plus!)
Southwest 3:55pm nonstop to Charleston – $209 each
Delta 12:33 Flight from Charleston to Detroit to Midway – $144 each
National Car Rental – $122.10 – a Hyundai Sonata
Country Inn and Suites – North Charleston – $0 – 2 nights on points
Country Inn and Suites – Savannah Historic District – $0 – 2 nights on points
Foley House Inn – $199.20 – Our anniversary splurge!
Not too bad considering our hotel nights were free on points. I think if I had booked airfare a couple of months out we could have done better on the price. I was pleased with the rental car costs at $122 for the area. All in all I was happy with the costs, and we loved the Foley House Inn.
How do we do this?
#4 – Use those airline miles!
The fastest way to get a large chunk of miles is credit card signups. But if you are not comfortable with that do it the old school way. Use your frequent flier number whenever you fly, shop thru the airline portals, sign-up for the emails. Granted this will take a little time to build up a balance but slow and steady gets results also. I will post later on how I earn my miles.
Right now my favorite airline hands down is Southwest! The “critics” say not to waste points on domestic coach travel. But if it moves my family around for free or cheap then it works for me! We are not saving for trips to Europe and beyond, right now my family is into shorter trips in the USA. 2250 points will get you a $49 fare on Southwest. If they are having a sale the points needed to travel goes down, love that! If you don’t have enough points for round trip you can do a one way then with them. And if the price goes down you can rebook it online and get some points back. LOVE it!
We recently cashed out for 3 round trip tickets on American Airlines to Texas. The airfare if I had paid cash was over $1800, yes $1800 for the 3 of us. I don’t have that kind of money to fly around! I did have 52,500 points so we flew to Texas for the first week of summer break. It took me a couple of years to save up that many points but a few flights and some online shopping made it possible.
The $49 one way sale Southwest has from time to time is awesome. I took enough points (2250 each) to book 1 way for 4 people to Minn. / St. Paul. Then we each paid $49 for the other leg back home for our spring break trips. $49 to fly to the Mall of America for a few days, why stay home???? It was a great girl’s trip and I love it that we can do one ways with Southwest.