Wheel of Fortune Fuels My Wanderlust

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 <
  • Europe:
    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:

  • Bermuda
  • Bahamas
  • Dominican Republic
  • Mexico
  • 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:

  1. Book the flights now and hope we don’t get a change fee
  2. Book the flights later when we are sure of our dates but risk not having any award availability
  3. 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!

 

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Categories: Caribbean, Credit Cards, Daydreaming, Funny, Planning, Video

Tags: , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. I know I’m going to be singing Kokomo for the rest of the day now! Loving those travel plans for the rest of the year. I haven’t been to Boston for about 20 years, so I will be hanging onto your (metaphorical) coat tails to see what’s changed. It was also my scary education in freeway driving. You guys have exits off the fast lane – & we Brits are very wussy about that. 😉

    • Don’t worry, my brother sent me that video after I suggested he join me on my trip, and I had it stuck in my head for three days!

      And I don’t plan to drive when we get to Boston – there are a few cities in which I will not drive if I have any choice – Boston and New York City are the key ones. I’ve survived Baltimore and Philadelphia, but driving in NYC makes me anxious just thinking about it.

  2. Good for you! The promise of an upcoming trip really keeps me going. I actually think I derive more pleasure from the anticipation than from the actual trip. My vote for Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, or Puerto Rico…. just my two cents. The PR actually a pricier destination, but has the cheapest tickets. I’m going to blog about doing the PR on a budget tomorrow.

  3. We are always planning the next trip!
    Right now we are planning to head over to Hong Kong with a small group of friends for my 50th Birthday later in the year. I’m hoping we all have a great time, but much of the fun is in the planning.
    Cheers,
    Laura

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