So I thought after giving some of my tips for driving to Florida (Can be found here) I would try giving you a few tips on finding flights to Florida and some of the things we do to try to save some money. With some planning you might be able to get some great deals!
- Start looking for tickets months in advance – I’ll be honest if I know 6-8 months in advanced that I’m going to Florida (Or any trip for that matter) I will start to search for tickets. I’m not saying that I would buy them right away, but I look almost daily and sometimes a few times a day. This really gives me a good understanding of the prices so I know when I see a good price on a ticket.
- Search many sites for tickets – I won’t get into the exact sites you should look at because there are so many of them and a quick Google search would bring them up. I try to look at the sites that compare many airlines BUT I also go onto the actual airline page to look. I have seen before where the airline site has beat the other sites by 50-100 dollars. So make sure you really look at all of your options, it might be worth 5 minutes of your time to make sure there aren’t any deals you are missing.
- Sign up to the airlines weekly emails – It’s great, the airlines will let you know if there is a seat sale going on, and sometimes will give you special codes you would not be aware of to use on their sites to get the special deals. Sure it can be a pain to get unwanted emails, but it’s worth it if it will save you a bunch of money!
- Be willing to leave from another city – I live in what I would call a smaller sized city, and because of that sometimes I find our ticket prices can be a bit higher than let’s say if I’m willing to leave from Halifax, NS. Once because the prices were so good my friends and I drove down to Portland Maine over 6 hours away to get a flight to Florida. You do need to make sure you compare the amount of money you’re saving with the time and cost to drive to the other city. Sure you could each save 50-500 bucks on each ticket but is that worth driving 3-6 hours both ways, possibly having to pay for a hotel or car parking, and adding possible stress to your trip? These are questions you need to ask yourself.
- Park and fly – This goes with number 4 – IF you find an awesome deal in another city and don’t know anyone there to stay with and park your car, you will want to check out the hotels around the airports. A lot of them offer a park and fly option, so you stay with them at the hotel for 1 night and then get free parking for the duration of your trip (usually 7-14 days). This is great because you will have to pay for parking anyways at the airport which is normally very expensive – but this way you’ll have a place to stay the night before you leave and normally they have free transportation to the airport and back – so no taxi fee!
- Get yourself a good Travel Points Credit Card – I know it’s not possible for everyone to do this, but if you are able to I really recommend getting a credit card where you get travel points. My husband and I charge anything we possibly can on this card and the points rack up really quickly. Depending on the card they can be pretty expensive but if you use it as often as you can you’d be surprised how quickly the points stack up. Also they usually come with travel and car rental insurance built-in so when you are on your trip they can be a great value that way as well! With most cards I have used when you use your points to buy your flights you end up just paying the ticket writing fee which is usually between 125-150 dollars. This can be a huge savings when I’ve seen tickets to Florida for 600-700 dollars. Depending on the card you need to look out for blackout periods and sometimes you get the worst flight times. All something to consider when using travel points to book a flight.
- Be willing to leave and come back on any week day – When I’m booking my flights I find I get the best deals when I have only an approximate day I’d like to leave and come back on. If you’ve booked flights you’ll probably notice if you can leave and come back on Tuesday\Wednesday you can usually get some pretty good prices. So when possible I will search for the days I’d like to leave and come back on but I will also look at the flight prices on the surrounding days. A lot of times if I’m willing to move them around a bit I can get some great deals and you can save 100’s of dollars off the final purchase price because of this.
I hope all of these tips will help you find some decently priced tickets to Florida and I hope you have a great trip! Next Robyn and I are going to talk about tips for actually flying and she has some great tips for if you are pregnant or travelling with babies!