When we booked our spring break vacation this year, I wasn’t entirely sure where I wanted to go. We’d just come back from Walt Disney World (twice), and while I did want to enjoy some warm weather, I also wanted to do something different. My husband really wanted to do something relaxing, and my kids just wanted to have fun. So, to find our perfect family vacation, I started with a list of ideal spring vacation destinations, and began to price out the flights to see which would be the best.
After reviewing everything, we settled on a trip to the Fort Myers area. It had everything we were looking for – warm weather, lots to do, plenty of relaxing activities. So, how do you get the best price on a family vacation? For us, our best deal ended up coming from vacation package deals!
There are a variety of websites offering vacation package deals, although I recommend starting with one you trust to get an idea of what you want to book. Since we weren’t completely decided on a hotel, the search actually helped us narrow it down. I started with the American Express Travel site, which is usually my preference in booking. After searching our dates and location, I found the perfect hotel – the Marco Beach Ocean Resort, located on Marco Island. I also learned that our best option flights were at night – not my preference, but the price difference was huge.
So, I had a hotel, I had flights, and I had a price. It was time to start doing some price comparisons – would American Express travel have the best deal? There were some other factors to consider too – like the fact that I’d get double Amex Membership Rewards points by booking.
Here’s where I searched:
American Express Travel
Pros: Double Amex points, the assurance of booking through Amex
Cons: Price was higher
Priceline Vacations (check out this post for Priceline/Hotwire booking tips)
Pros: No bidding required, hotels and flights are shown, great prices
Cons:Less hotel options – our hotel pick wasn’t an option
Pros: Easy to use the website
Cons: Price was higher
Pros: Best price option, extra frequent flier points
Cons: Only flight options are JetBlue flights
We ended up booking through JetBlue vacations – our chosen flight was on JetBlue so it worked out for us. I was surprised to see that the trip for the four of us was over $400 cheaper through JetBlue vacations – a definite noticeable difference! Southwest Vacations and Delta also offer vacation package deal sites which I would have checked if my flights were on one of those airlines. Don’t forget to price out what your vacation will cost if you purchase separately.
Have you booked through a vacation package deal site? What was your experience?