Thumbs Up Thumbs Down on a Short Travel Jaunt

quick vacationA week and a half ago I did what millions of Americans do every year: take off on a jaunt of less than a week to a sunny beach resort. It’s not “travel” in the real sense and it gives you about as much cultural stimulation as a trip to Taco Bell. But can you still score a better deal if you do it right? Oh yeah.

Thumbs Up to FareCompare. We were looking for a cheap ticket to the Caribbean that would get us there in just a few hours. FareCompare’s prices rarely match up to what’s listed on their map it seems, but at least the map gives you a good idea of which places are cheapest to fly to from your airport. I figured out that it was probably going to be Puerto Rico or the Bahamas. So…

Thumbs up to BookingWIZ and Travelocity. BookingWIZ is one of those aggregators where you put in your flight specs and then buttons pop up where you can search a bunch of different booking sites, including Kayak. For some reason, Travelocity had a flight that was $20 cheaper than anyone else was showing. So we snagged it: $310 round trip to the Bahamas with the times and dates we wanted. Only problem was…

Thumbs Down to USAir. I hadn’t flown this airline for ages. Now I remember why. The first flight took off very late because the crew overslept—no joke. It was so late we missed our connection. A line of people who also missed their connection snaked through the terminal in Charlotte, where only one desk with two people manning it is supposed to reschedule anyone in this situation. We made it eventually, though the next leg took off late as well and the two coming back were both late. We had to sprint across the Charlotte airport to make the connection coming back; as we entered the plane they shut the cabin doors. The planes themselves were dirty and two of my four seats were broken. (And this U.S. version of Aeroflot wants to take over Delta?!)

Thumbs up to Hotwire. We scored an all-inclusive hotel in the not-cheap Bahamas for a HUGE discount off of what it was listed for through the normal channels. Let’s just say we easily ate and drank the nightly rate, and had a nice view of the water on top of it. Score.

That’s three out of four positives, so I’ll end on that up note. The next big trip will be a 2-week family one to Guatemala in May, so back to some good bargain basement reporting then.

Comments
  1. Neil Bainton

    Thanks for the mention of FareCompare and the thumbs up. We just released a new version of our map search application that should help address the question you mention. Now you can select the time period you wish to travel as well as the carrier.

  2. tim

    Neil,

    Thanks for the update. It’s a really useful site, but I always find a big disconnect between what’s listed on the map and what shows up as the actual (always higher) price. I’ll give it another whirl this week.

  3. Brian

    Sometimes, I find it so difficult to get a cheap deal on travel. With all the different types of travel bargain sites, who knows where to go for the best deal. Recently, I’ve been using Expedia and SkyAuction.com for my travel needs. Cool blog though. thanks for the info.

  4. tim

    Brian, it looks like you put up a post to plug a specific Sheraton link on SkyAuction, but they do have good deals on there so I’ll let it slide if you don’t make it a habit…

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