Last night, I was watching Wheel of Fortune on TV when it struck me – the advertisers and sponsors for the show are fueling my wanderlust! Hotwire.com and Allegiant Air commercials, all those cruises they give away to Antigua and Jamaica, or those trips up the California coast… you get the picture.
Wheel of Fortune clip: this is an oldie but goodie!
Now that I have a moment to breathe after a crazy few weeks, I sat down to watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! (side note: I’m an old person at heart, so shortly after these shows are over I start to get really tired and fall asleep. My husband must be even older at heart, he falls asleep before Final Jeopardy!). I realized after one too many travel commercials that all of a sudden I was daydreaming of my next tropical trip, and other upcoming vacations.
After being focused on work and studying for days, my mind finally drifted back to thoughts of my travel plans for the next 6-7 months:
- Boston, MA:
with my husband (shortly after my terrible 8-hour engineering exam)
- Virginia Beach, VA:
to visit a college friend <
with my mom (highlights include Paris, Venice, and Krakow)
- Somewhere Tropical TBD:
with my brother
I just added that last one to the list recently, during a particularly busy/exasperating week at work. I needed the promise of somewhere tropical to get me through a long day, so I decided to book a trip for the fall. I have enough credits for two free roundtrip tickets on Airtran, and the business class upgrades that came with my Airtran credit card expire at the end of November. So in September, October, or November, I want to take a trip to one of Airtran’s tropical destinations:
- (ooh I wanna take ya to)
- Dominican Republic
- Puerto Rico
Since my husband will probably be working, I wanted to bring someone else along to enjoy the trip (though I have enough extra points saved up, if he can somehow use some vacation time at work, he’ll join us on the trip).
I can’t plan the trip around my husband’s schedule. My recent travel buddies: a local friend (who went with me and my family to New Orleans last year) will be starting business school in the fall, and won’t likely be able to take time off from her job and her classes. My mom is a teacher, so she definitely can’t take time off during the start of the school year.
My brother, on the other hand, can take time off of work. So I offered a free flight to the Caribbean to my brother, if he could commit far enough in advance to taking time off of work. After looking into it though, we can book our tickets using points, and if we have to cancel for whatever reason, Airtran gives you all of your points back.
When I first drafted this, I thought there were no change fees too, but I had a nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that there were. After a little more research, I saw that there would be change fees after all. My only hope for a change-fee-free flight would be if the Airtran/Southwest integration happens soon, so that I can book the flight (on and Airtran route) with no change fees (by booking through Southwest).
So the possible outcomes are:
- Book the flights now and hope we don’t get a change fee
- Book the flights later when we are sure of our dates but risk not having any award availability
- Book the flights later when we aren’t sure of our dates, but when Southwest/Airtran integrate and I can book with no change fees
One thing is for sure – free flights using points are a great way to save money, but they do make planning these trips more complicated.
I’m looking forward to planning this trip – I’m giving my brother pick of any of those locations, since I would love to go to any of them, and we’ll see what he decides!
- Amazing “Wheel Of Fortune” Win: Could You Do It With 1 Letter? (webpronews.com)