Maybe this is obvious to most of you, but the title says it all.
“Pick your flight days wisely” ESPECIALLY if your days are flexible.
March break is expensive for us Canadians – it seems everyone is going South this week whether it is Florida, Arizona, Texas, etc.
I don’t even bother checking Air Canada anymore for flights – either nothing available or just way too expensive.
Being in SW Ontario we have a huge advantage in that we can fly out of the US and also do customs at whatever location we usually go over at.
We used to fly out of Toronto for everything but since I started following blogs and websites over 5 years ago I found it just made way more sense financially to fly out of a close US city – Detroit usually, Cleveland more lately.
But the point is if you can be somewhat flexible with your dates you will save hundreds, maybe even thousands on your flights.
I know some people that will this week go and try a book something like Toronto – Orlando from Sat. March 11 – Sat. 18 on Air Canada. Without even knowing or checking that I know that flight will cost you $$$$$.
- Fly out on Monday and come back Monday or shorten the trip?
- Fly out of Buffalo or some US airport close by?
- Fly into a different city that may be hundreds cheaper and just drive a little further when you get to where you want to be?
- USE GOOGLE FLIGHTS FOR ALL OF THIS???
You’d think I get a cut from Google or something but I don’t – it just makes sense to check your options that may save you hundreds of dollars from one click of a mouse!
It is getting late in the game for booking March break stuff so it is even more important to check those options and not just blindly pick Sat. – Sat. from Toronto to the happiest place on earth.
If this saves ANYONE a few hundred I will be happy.
Here is a screen shot of Google Flights…
If you still haven’t booked anything for our March break and are thinking you wouldn’t mind a quick little getaway South for a few days for that week, Spirit Air is still cheap certain days!
DETROIT – FT. LAUDERDALE
Right now Monday March 13th to the Thursday 16th is $198 CDN and Friday 17th is $238 CDN.
But when I look on their site now I see both ways Mon-Thurs as $60 per way which would only be about $160 CDN or so.
It’s only $15 more to spend that Monday in Florida as that earlier flight gets in at 9:45 am which would give you an extra day in the sun! (I’d choose that one)
Yes, there are still hotels but aren’t you collecting points to make this free yet?
Anyways just thought I would put those flights out there – maybe someone can get a cheap getaway out of it!
This seems simple to me.
“Why aren’t you using points?” to pay for Hotels at least.
Flights can get complicated with Aeroplan/Avios/Southwest points etc – it really isn’t that hard but I understand it when people say they just don’t want to get into flight points – just find me cheap flights!
But Hotels? C’mon!
Yes, if you have terrible credit and are not very prudent at paying your bills you may not be able to accumulate Hotel points.
Side point here. I have so many people I know collect just enough hotel points for a vacation then stop. You really should “bank” points and continually collect them but that’s another story.
Another friend has gone South and paid full price for a hotel (Marriott) that can easily be free using points.
The best part about Marriott/Starwood right now is you can collect points by 3 different CDN credit cards right now AND refer friends to 2 of them.
#3 and #4.
If just one person gets the Starwood personal, Starwood business and Marriott card that is a s-load of points – for $270 in fees.
Starwood Personal 20,000/ Starwood Business 20,000/ Marriott 50,000 Marriott.
That equals 170,000 Marriott points or 56,667 Starwood points.(actually little more including spend points)
That pays for a vacation on the Beach 5-7 days depending on resort. $270 CDN.
If a couple get those cards each, with referring each other it is…the 170,000 points each = 340,000 plus referring each other (say 20,000 SPG) = 60,000 more Marriott = 400,000 Marriott points!!! (for $540 CDN)
Simply put – that is at least 2 beach vacations for $540 total.
Seriously, try using points – the hotel ones are very simple to figure out.
*****JUST IN…Sienna McLean just updated me you can get Cleveland-Tampa March break for under $100 – I’ll post pic below. $15 more if not in $9 club…SPIRIT AIR
So, some people wait until the last minute to book holiday travel and while it’s not quite “last minute” for March Break for Canadians it is close.
A couple tips on booking flights South – Canadian style.
Again, I use points for the most part, but when you can get a round trip flight for $200 CDN or less to Florida it might be worth saving those points.
Sat. – Sat. or Sun. – Sun. is usually pretty expensive – try and change up your dates a bit!
Like flying out on Mon-Wed – that may save you a few $.
Or coming back on those dates. Or leaving earlier like the Thursday if you can.
These are just things I see when I monitor these flights on Google Flights.
Can you fly out of a US city? That will usually save you some $ for sure.
Do you mind Spirit Airlines? or the cheaper alternatives? that can save you $
Know your extra costs with Spirit like baggage charges and printing boarding passes ahead of time.
When you are done and you think you have the right flight(s), try Google flights and changing up your departure airport or destination airport – THAT HAS SAVED ME A FEW THOUSAND THE LAST COUPLE YEARS!
Even trying 1 of these may help you out!
I have a page “Southwest Strategy” that outlines how for $540 CDN ($270 each) you can get about $2500 in flights through Southwest, partner flies free for rest of this year and next year, and a free week in a Cat 1-5 Marriott Hotel.
A couple of people have asked me about it lately so I went back and re-read the page and I am honestly SHOCKED what an amazing deal this really is.
This will be discontinued March 31 because my guess is so many savvy travellers were doing this exact thing. (discontinued through use of hotel points)
Now, we as Canadians don’t see deals this goooooood very often other than the Westjet companion pass but this honestly blows that away tenfold.
The math doesn’t lie -check out the page.
Many US bloggers have been going on about this strategy for years and it is about to end.
I can honestly tell you that I would bet this is the best way to use points for travelling free we will see.
I am glad I got to try this once but it takes time to get Starpoints, refer your partner and spend the money – but it can still be done.
It probably takes minimum a month and a half to acquire all these points so if you are serious about this – get moving!
Ok in the last 2 days 3 different people have told me they found amazingly cheap flights out of Cleveland rather than Detroit.
This is for the upcoming March break for Canadians.
They were legitimately shocked how much cheaper the flights were to drive 2 more hours to the Cleveland airport.
Yes, it is Spirit but some of us are OK with that.
I have done numerous posts on this, but maybe you are seeing this idea for the first time – go to Google Flights and put in your days with Detroit as you departure city.
Then click the “+” sign by Detroit and see the other departure cities available.
Cleveland won’t be cheaper every time, but it will be many times – and if you are paying for multiple flights that can add up quickly!
*****As a side note there are many Cleveland airport hotels that not only offer free shuttles but free parking for the duration of your trip and free breakfasts!!!
Check the Marriotts around there!
Remember what this dude used to say? Yes, do that!