Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tips for Booking Travel

 If you know me, you know that I love a good deal. Whether it's shopping for clothes/shoes, going to restaurants or activities, I love finding the lowest price! David & I are celebrating 3 years of marriage this week and wanted to do something special to honor that. Two weeks ago, I was looking at flights online- researching where to go, what would be a good deal and what we wanted to do. David mentioned looking at, where you can input your departure airport, choose your dates, and leave the arrival city open ended to see what good deals are out there. I had never used this before and just had to share with you:

You can scroll around the world to see the lowest price offered to fly into that airport. I found that looking out 2-3 weeks showed some seriously great deals! Why didn't I know about this site before?? We wanted to go somewhere warm and just relax, so I was looking at Florida. At the time, Ft. Lauderdale was $198 each + luggage fees (even a carry-on) through Spirit. I looked around to see if there were any nice resorts/hotels on the beach that weren't super expensive but I just couldn't find anything that got me excited. I always use Trip Advisor to check reviews before booking.
I noticed Miami was a little less at $166 each round trip and carry-ons are included through American Airlines, so no extra fees. I haven't seen a flight that cheap in forever!

Hmmm.. what do in Miami? I've always heard you can get good cruise deals especially last minute, so I checked on Expedia to search for available cruises. I just narrowed it by departure port and month.

I found one that matched up pretty good with our flight times, leaving Friday/coming back Monday, through Royal Caribbean to the Bahamas. The price was the same to book with Expedia or with Royal Caribbean directly, so I choose to purchase through Royal Caribbean. Not sure if they offer this on all cruises but when I booked, there was a room option called Ocean View Guarantee. Basically, a lower price and you are guaranteed an ocean view room but you do not get to pick where your room is. We ended up on the 7th floor and I feel like that's a pretty good location so we got lucky! The price was $320/per person including all the taxes & fees so we are going on a weekend getaway to the Bahamas for less than $500/person!

We leave early tomorrow morning and I still have to pack my bags.. better get on that!

What are your tips for finding travel deals?? I've heard good things about Groupon or Living Social but haven't used them yet.


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