I go to Florida every Christmas to visit my wife’s family, and every year is a game of chicken when it comes to finding a reasonable airfare.
When I first start checking about 6 months out for flights from New York to South Florida, fares are generally in the $400+ range. I start to get annoyed, because I’ve never paid more than $300 for the trip over Christmas. Then fares go up. Then nothing is available for less than $475. Then I start to fantasize a bit that, with all due respect to those involved, I won’t be going to Florida for that holiday break. But really, where am I going to go for less than that?
So then I start getting more annoyed. Then fares go down. $325. Then my wife starts bugging me about buying the tickets. I tell her to be patient. Then it gets close and I start to wonder if I’m going to have to overpay because really, let’s be honest, we’re going to Florida.
Then last night, lo and behold, $290 round trip on Continental at times and dates I wanted. I bought last night — if I were able to be a bit more flexible $240 flights have shown up.
The moral? Set a fare goal (reasonable, of course), then be patient. Sign up for Orbitz Deal Detector and get alerts for when the fare hits your goal (it’s not perfect, but it’s a start). Then be verrrrry patient.
Oh, and I paid with the $1100 credit I had from opening the Capital One Venture Card earlier this year. Woo!