Only a Short Time to Take it All in?


Finally, our vacation has arrived. Better hurry and pack because the flight is early tomorrow and we need to get going in order to avoid missing the plane. Once you’ve arrived at your destination it’s time to find a hotel and check before deciding which sights to see. It seems that the fast pace at which our lives move, the trips we take have become shorter. How can you take in all of the sights with very little time? With only a few days to relax and see the sights a little planning will help.

It took a little time to make to flight arrangements or a driving plan to arrive at your destination. Doesn’t it make sense to spend a little bit of time to figure out what you want to do and where you want to stay once you’ve arrived at that destination? I understand that it’s no vacation if you have every hour of each day planned. That is not what I’m writing about here. Let me go through an example of planning our adventure to Boston.

Our very first objective was to look over transportation cost to Boston. Since we were leaving from Minnesota and time was a factor flying was determined to be our best choice of getting to Boston. After figuring out we would be flying, it was time to pick the dates.

*Money saving tip: flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday can save a significant amount of money. Often times we save enough money to stay an extra night in a hotel and then some.

I use sites like Expedia and Kayak to find which airlines and which dates are the most affordable. Sometimes I will go directly to the airlines website if I’m trying to use rewards to help reduce our overall flight costs. If you fly frequently enough, signing up for rewards programs either through credit cards and/or the airlines can really help keep costs down especially in these times of higher airfares. Yes, it does require some extra time to sign up for and earn these rewards as well as use these rewards but it can be worth it.

The USS Constitution - 'Old Ironsides'

Let me provide and example: on our trip to Boston in 2011 we were able to get 4 airfares from Minneapolis for $500. Without our rewards programs it would have cost us almost $400 per airfare for a total of $1600. That’s over a $1,000 in savings! This required us to use 2 different rewards programs which can be a little tricky when booking the flights if you want to get everybody on the same flight. You need to first check each program and which flights are available through each to find which one match and then go through and book them selecting seats next to each other. This is some of the extra time required to use these programs. For those that are saying sure you could do that in 2011 but costs have gone up since then, We recently booked 4 fares from Minneapolis to Seattle for $500 this summer so it’s still possible.

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