Is there really a best time to get cheapest Airfare?

Since my post yesterday about my hardship in finding cheap airfare, I was thinking about what really is the best times to find the cheapest airfare. The long standing theory is the best time to get that is 2 months out from your departure date. Well without getting too scientific and just going off my observations I’ll dig in further.

Now usually it does seem 2 months out or so is a good time…. usually. Other factors have to be taken into consideration. These can be the time of year, if it’s a holiday season, busy season for the location you are flying to, or if the airport is a popular business destination, such as New York or Chicago. If you are traveling to a large convention town, such as Orlando or Las Vegas, that will play into this also if there is a large convention in town. This will also effect Hotel prices.

But for 2 specific Airlines, Southwest and Jet Blue, I like to check air prices right when the dates come out for booking as long as I know when exactly we are going to be traveling. A lot of times the fares will start out low and work their way up. I am going away to Florida in August, checked Southwest and Jet Blue for fares when they became available. Jet Blue was a little high, but I was able to get Southwest for $180 pp rt, which is a great rate. United usually doesn’t start off cheap, but I’ll check. I’m in NJ so American and Delta don’t have direct flights out and the flights are normally high so inusually don’t even bother to check their rates. Spirit air is usually real cheap, but there are so many issues with them it’s just not worth it.

I realize I’m trying to predict what the airlines do, I’m trying to get a feel of past results and tendencies with them. It isn’t 100% perfect, but I have a pretty good track record trying to feel things out this way.

With the landscape now, rising price of oil may change things, but I personally think the price will stabilize and start coming down more. Some fares may be a little high now because of that, but I don’t think it will be a trend in the future.

Your best bet is to do what I said earlier, check Airlines right when they put the dates available for your date, if nothing just keep an eye on things, check every now and then for rates, check more frequently as you get closer. Keep an eye on the seat map, check to see what amount of seats are available. Granted that is 100% but a decently ok indicator. If there are a lot available, odds are there are still a lot of seats available. If there aren’t well prices will still be high… it’s supply and demand. If there aren’t a lot of seats, if you find an acceptable airfare jump on it. If it seems like there is a decent amount left, wait up. Prices will go down, be patient until you feel you get the right price. Be patient, don’t get nervous and panic. If you miss out, there is always Spirit Air!

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What to do when Airfare is so high?

I have a trip to Disney planned in April, 2 weeks after Easter, so the heavy crowds should be all heading for home or already there. But here is my Dilemma, I have my DVC resort booked for the Beach Club, but decent Airfare is incredibly hard to find.

Prices are sky high, both flying to MCO and flying back home. Luckily, thanks to my signing up for the Southwest Airlines credit card I received 60,000 rewards points, add in referring people for the card and getting an extra 10,000 points each, I had more than enough to purchase   A flight going out from Newark to Orlando for my 2 kids, my wife and myself and the Mother on Law. Problem is  coming home I am not having much luck. Points are high for southwest and United, and prices are high, I am looking at about $1200-$1400 for the 5 of us just for the flight home. I can get a somewhat decent price if we wanted to fly out at 530 or 6am. But that’s not happening.

So here is my other option. I am possibly going to rent a car (SUV) for the week in Disney. Pick it up in MCO and then drive it home to New Jersey and drop it off in Newark for a little over $200 which is a good price. Or I can pick up a minivan at MCO on the Friday before we leave, drive it to NJ, drop it off in Newark, for about $60. So I have options, just have to drive home from Florida to Nj. Not ideal but it can save me some money. Booked it through Priceline and Hotwire so I have free cancellation just in case I am able to find a decent price for a flight home, which is very possible. But, I have to have a backup plan just in case these insanely high air prices don’t go down.

 

I am back… time to get to business

Ok everyone, I’ve been quiet on here for a while.. been busy and just trying to get things together on here. But I’m going to get back to the real reason I started this blog, tips to save money booking, planning, and while being on your vacation.

I do have some Trips planned in the near future. Vegas early on March, Disney in Mid April, so I will be focusing about that soon,and little tricks about how I saved some money on things. I’ll tell you this much, booking Airfare has been no picnic.

so get ready for me, I’ve got a long list of ideas, subject, destinations I want to talk about. Let’s save some money out there and do some traveling!

E-rewards.com, what is it and why you should sign up for it

E-rewards.com is a is a trademark of the Research Now Group, Inc. When you sign up to E-rewards you will be emailed random surveys to take part in. In most cases E-rewards will ask you about your interests and likes and give you the surveys closest to them. When you complete a Survey you receive compensation in the form or E-rewards dollars. Get a certain amount of E-rewards dollars and you can redeem them from your account for certain things. This is where you need to sign up for E-rewards.

You can redeem E-rewards dollars for gift cards, magazine subscriptions, gift cards to Best Buy, Starbucks and other places. But here is the best part for those who travel. You can redeem the dollars for United Miles, Southwest Airlines miles and Jet Blue miles. You can also use them to redeem Hertz points for your rental car. There are also other airline frequent flyer programs like Frontier you can redeem, and also hotel rewards points from some hotel chains.

In the last few weeks I redeemed $25 in E-rewards dollars to redeem 500 United miles and $25 to redeem 500 Jet Blue miles,  I will soon have enough to redeem 125 Hertz points. There are some restrictions though, you can only redeem 1 category for the company per time frame. A quick example: I redeemed the 500 United Miles for $25 in E-Rewards dollars, I have to wait about another month to be able to redeem the same thing, but I can have $50 in rewards dollars and redeem 1000 United miles, and you can get 2000 United miles for $100 E-rewards dollars, I just can’t get the 500 Miles for $25, you can only do each 1 once a month or so.

This right here is basically free miles or points for your favorite frequent flyer program. The longer the survey the more reward dollars you get. You can have short surveys which you may only get a dollar or 2 for, to long ones where I’ve gotten 10-15 rewards dollars for. You can collect dollars fairly quickly, and you can request the frequency to receive surveys through your email. You can ask for just 1-2 a week, or request 10+ a week like I do. There will be times where your answer to the survey are not what they are looking for, or they have revived the amount of answers already, when this happens you get a fraction on the rewards for your trouble , maybe a quarter or fifty cents.

Sign up for E-rewards right now. It’s basically free airline miles for very little work. I’ll go through my available surveys  either on my days off work or while I am laying in bed. Dollars can add up quick and so do the free miles, getting you closer to those free flights.