Tag: Airfare

We stopped at our daughters for dinner and one last moment with our little grandson but as we tried to start our car…. the optimum word, tried, it would not. We found a tow company and car shop as our son-in-law whisked us away to the airport. We took a deep breath and realized we had made it in time.

We have been so busy making sure we have everything we needed for our extended stay in Australia that we didn’t really sit to relax until we were at the airport and couldn’t do anything but wait for our plane. It actually was refreshing…. Yep! The airport was refreshing and relaxing. 

Delta actually handed out treats and water while we waited as a thank you for flying the “Friendly Skies”.

The first leg of our trip… L.A. here we come!
We just got the bad news in L.A. that the inflight entertainment system was not going to be working for our flight to Australia… no problem, it’s only a 15+ hr. flight. Yikes! I know, what great adventurers we would have been.
While boarding the plane one of the attendants said that it looked like they got it fixed. Do we look a little excited?
That was until the captain came on and reported that there was MORE bad news, not only would the inflight entertainment not work, it also included the reading lights, charging stations, etc….  Now we really needed to think deep for entertainment!

We safely arrived in Sydney…. that is the most important part, right?  Just in time to board our 3rd and last flight to Melbourne. We love the service on Virgin Australia (and they have entertainment, if you download their APP beforehand, which Dale had). 


The ride to Melbourne was smooth flying …. until we reached the ground and found that we were the only passengers standing there wondering where our luggage was and everyone else was gone. Oops, somehow they didn’t make it on our flight. It was about this time that Marissa started wondering about our ‘blessed’ day of flying when the wonderful people at Virgin Australia felt our pain and offered us food vouchers while we waited. This wasn’t all bad as we checked in for our rental car, got a bite to eat and PUFF the luggage was there – that was rather quick. Now off to our new ‘pad’ for the first month of our Australian stay.

We put a lot of thought and searching into finding the apartments (and areas) that we would be staying in. It was great to have Marissa so excited about the art deco decor! 
Here is the outside of our back veranda. So hiply fun!
The first night in Melbourne we took a Tram to the city to enjoy some street performances after all that sitting on the plane and most importantly…. we needed to stay awake, we had to keep walking! 
Where was this guy when we needed entertainment on the flight?
On the way home from our Valentine’s Dinner we found a secret little walkway to our new house. What a way to end a ‘romantic’ dinner and walk……with Marissa:) 
Actually we are really thrilled to have this time with Marissa before she spreads her wings (as she is turning 18 in a few weeks). This is a last for us and we want to cherish all the time we have together. We feel blessed!
Travel Saving Tips:
We talk a lot about using frequent flyer programs to help with the cost of airline tickets. Last year Delta announced their new and improved for 2015 frequent flyer program. Here is a side by side comparison for the same flight last year and this year:
2014 – SLC to LAX – Base Miles ; 590 MQD (now needed for medallion) $75
LAX to SYD – Base Miles – 7487; MQD – $946
2015 – SLC to LAX – Base Miles 200 MQD – $40
LAX to SYD, Base Miles – 2535 MQM – $507
They have not only made it more difficult to become a Medallion member by adding MQD and then only counting less than half the dollars spent, but they also give you less than half the miles flown. Right now we would say that Delta has the worst Frequent Flyer program in the industry.
AAdvantage seems to be leading the pack right now with the most customer friendly program. ‪#‎delta‬ ‪#‎skymiles‬ ‪#‎americanairlines‬‪#‎aadvantage‬
For most families, school is over and summer has begun. Memorial Day traditionally is the start of summer, unless you live in our neighborhood where you wake up to snow on the 30th. So where does this summer take you? Most importantly, are you using the tips and suggestion you have learned from “Have Kids – Will Travel”?
For our family this summer will be a busy one. In just a few weeks we will be flying off to Prague, then Vienna and finally Italy where we will visit Venice, Florence and the Amalfi Coast. We have spent a lot of time planning this trip, but this is key to providing the best trip at the lowest possible price. We have realized a few things this time around; With the exchange rate and fuel prices up, they effect nearly every aspect of a trip and if not planned well they can cut into the budget a bit more. These are the unexpected costs that you just have to put an educated guess to. In the end, I believe it will only change our final cost by a few hundreds dollars, but still a cost that is always in flux. 
We came across a new website where we got our flights from Prague to Milan. They even beat out our old favorites, Ryan Air and Easy Jet. www.edreams.net searches all of the discount airlines across Europe and came up with a $47 airfare on an airline where we didn’t have to worry as much about our checked bags, if we choose not to carry on. 
So far we have our airfare booked and paid for. All hotels, house rentals and rental cars paid for and so with that, we are just under $2000.00 (for 6 people)……. we are left with food and fun. My guess is that we will come in somewhere close to $3000.00 for all 6 of us. Because we are moving around so much on this trip we are paying for a few more nights of hotel than we normally would. We created hospitality exchanges where we could and used our Marriott points for many, but there are a few places we just needed a clean comfortable bed and had to pay for them. 
If you’re still in the planning process for this summer here are a few tips:
1) Based on the trends, travel is up. Start looking for airfare early. Use miles when and where you can, but begin the process as early as possible. With fuel prices high, demand high and inventory low the price can only go up.
2) check for airfare late at night. Around midnight seems to be best. Business travelers tend to book during the day and inventory is moving quickly. Late at night can save you hundreds of dollars on a flight. 
3) Clear your internet cookies. If you search but don’t book, the search engine will remember your search and they will only let you see higher fares if you search again. Go to your internet browser and clear your internet cookies. 
4) Look at nearby airports. An example of this was a flight from Salt Lake City to Dallas for $450.00 on Delta. The Delta flight from Boise was only $290.00 saving $150.00 per ticket. The return flight stopped in SLC where you could just walk off with your luggage and not complete the flight to Boise. You will need a cheap Southwest ticket from SLC to Boise one way for just under $50 to start off your trip but you still saved $100.00 per ticket. A family of 6 can save $600.00 and a larger family can save more. 
5) Look for home exchanges and hospitality exchanges and save thousands on your accommodations alone.
Have a wonderful summer holiday and please let us know what you did to save on your family vacation, email us at havekidswilltravel@sisna.com 
*Originally posted 6/19/2011
Recently we worked with a family trying to get to Dallas for a family reunion. Because of the short time period, they weren’t able to implement some our ideas for eliminating their airfare but we did find ways to reduce their costs considerably. 

The biggest problem they faced was that they had 12 people traveling and would need airfare plus at a minimum, 3 hotel rooms. The costs for this trip were getting out of hand and many of the options were also limited because 10 of them were flying out of Salt Lake City, Utah and 2 were out of Boise, Idaho. They thought they would all just fly out of Salt Lake, but Salt Lake City is a very busy airport with limited options which creates the perfect scenario for higher airfare. 

We started to look around at options other than Salt Lake. A 6 hour drive to the south provided cheaper airfare out of Las Vegas, but not enough to justify a 6 hour car ride, only then to hop on a plane for several more hours, so we continued to search. Mean while additional pressures, fuel prices and summer travel getting more busy, were rapidly sending what was a somewhat acceptable airfare to a completely out of control and out of reach airfare. 

Finally we saw airfare out of Boise which was not only reasonable but also had a unique twist to it as well. The flight from Boise to Dallas was not only $290.00 RT compared to $434.00 from Salt Lake, but it stopped off in Salt Lake City on the way to and returning from Dallas. 

So taking advantage of the lower fare, the family called the airline and asked…. What if we miss the flight from Boise to Salt Lake City, could we continue on if we got to Salt Lake City in time? (which is where they live) Initially the airline seemed to be ok with this, but finally said no because of it being the first leg of the trip. So being creative again, they found cheap one way tickets on Southwest Airlines to Boise, about $50 one way. Even with this they saved nearly $1,000.00 on the airfare. 

They only needed a oneway ticket to Boise as their return flight also changes planes in Salt Lake. If they carry on their bags from Dallas to Salt Lake they just need to depart and not take the last part of their flight. You may be able to ask if you check your bags that they only go to your “new” destination, but don’t assume, always ask well in advance. 

If your ok with the risks and you have done your homework ahead of time, this is another way to save hundreds of dollars on flights. In addition the family used our tip of arranging a home exchange and eliminated their hotel costs completely. Over all savings on this trip are right around $4,000.00. Not bad for some creative thinking. 

*Originally posted 5/2011
We specialize in family travel, but sometimes mom and dad need a vacation and our motto changes to ‘No Kids – Will Travel’! For valentines Dale decided to take his wonderful wife (wink, wink:) to New York City for an extended weekend. Even with great airfare of $269.40 RT from SLC to JFK, a five day, four night stay in NYC would cost just under $2000.00. ($538.80-air, $179/night x 4 nights -$800.00 with taxes, $300.00 Broadway tickets and about $250.00 for food). 


Following the techniques in the book, Have Kids – Will Travel, (www.havekids-willtravel.com) we will do this trip for just under $600.00. or about the cost of airfare alone. Tonight we are headed to dinner and then a Jazz club, then tomorrow a day in the city and a night at the Theatre. We will keep you informed as to how well we keep to this budget and all the fun we have in New York for Valentines day. 

*Originally posted 3/2011
As our children get older it becomes more and more difficult to schedule these family trips. One of our sons will have to miss this adventure. He will be beginning his MBA at the University. So our oldest, married daughter quickly let us know that her and her husband would gladly fill in for him. So there will be Six of us traveling. Since there are no gas stations or roads for that matter from the U.S. to Prague, we opted for the quicker more conformist mode of transportation, the airplane. After a few hours with the airline figuring which route would be the best we booked our flight in to Prague and out of Milan Italy for only $98 round trip for each of us. Ok….. wait you are saying…. Did they just make a huge typo? Let us spell it out so there is no confusion… ninety-eight dollars and zero cents. Total. Air, taxes, fees. 
Fireworks over Prague


Now up to this point you were probably thinking this was going to be a cute family blog on how some rich family flew to some exotic European vacation and how jealous you would be as you lived vicariously through their words. We bet we have your attention!


 We don’t travel like a normal family and the thing is, anyone can travel this way too, if you know the secrets. These aren’t some weird ‘join a time-share or travel club that you will never use’ type of secrets. They are time tested, every day, any trip kind of secrets you can use too. Now the point of this blog isn’t to go through all the nuts and bolts of how we do this, because that would be way too boring and not everyone is going to do it the same way each time. 


There are many different ways to get airfare like we mentioned and one might work better for you than for someone else. So the best place to read on how to accomplish this can be found on our website, http://www.havekids-willtravel.com, where you will be able to order a copy of our book ‘Have Kids-Will Travel and read how you too can travel like a King for the price of Disneyland or less. 


Currently this is where we sit with our trip… Airfare, done. Michelle found out that Vienna is only 3 hours from Prague and has always wanted to go, so we will spend 4 days in Prague and 3 days in Vienna (what a wonderful husband she has:). We are looking for the best and least expensive mode of transportation now along with accommodations. In our next blog we will fill you in on how those are coming along. We hope this finds you wanting to know more!

 – May all your travels be Free – 

*Originally posted 3/11