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Current airfare $$ vs picking your island destination

Current airfare $$ vs picking your island destination

Old Jul 26th, 2008, 06:26 PM
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Current airfare $$ vs picking your island destination

Which to define first, the cost of the airfare or the cost of the property? Have checked a few destinations we are interested in,
read all the reviews and think, geez this would be a great choice and then I check air $$ and start to
rethink the destination. Which do you seek out first, cost to get there or cost to stay there??
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Old Jul 26th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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Most places in the Caribbean that I would want to go are within $100-150 per person, so that little difference wouldn't influence me if I found a place I loved.

When I want to use my frequent flyer miles and I need to go at a certain time (say, for example, to fit my husband's academic calendar), sometimes I'll look first at where I can fly and then select a place to stay.

What places are you considering? With airfares becoming so expensive, I'm surprised there's that much difference in various destinations.
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Old Jul 26th, 2008, 08:35 PM
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I don't usually pick an island based on a particular place that I want to stay in. I pick the island based on things that I would like to do, see, and experience. Then I take both the airfare & cost of hotels in consideration based on my budget.

I find that sometimes, while I can get to a particular island for less, my budget only allows me to spend a week of vacation there due to higher hotel costs vs. paying for a higher airfare somewhere else but my budget would allow for twice the length of vacation due to lower cost for a hotel. Personally, 1 week somewhere vs. 2 weeks somewhere, I'm picking 2 weeks. Unless it's a place that I really, really, really want to go as a special treat. Then I might go for the shorter vacation.
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Old Jul 27th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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That's an interesting question with all the airfare prices sky high and the airlines cutting back flights. I've been looking around for next year and pricing fares and looking at scheds.

I dont like double connections and avoid those. And some of the schedules lately (since all the flight cuts) are horrible! I was looking at Nevis, but AA has cut so many flights, the returns get me back to ATL next day, and the fare is over $800!! Sheesh.

Good luck, but to answer your question, I'm looking at how to get there before I worry about where to stay.

Peace, Greenie
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Old Jul 27th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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St Thomas is what I check first for
flights as we really enjoy going to
St John. Of course the accomodations
there are not cheap so I get hit with high $$ accomodations AND now
higher airfare $$. Guess I'm looking for the perfect beach vacation that will counter-balance
the cost of getting there AND the
cost of staying there. We aren't
'cheap' , but money is a factor here so we are open to ideas for another island that falls in the 'moderate' range , if that makes any sense. Sherri
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Old Jul 27th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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When are you planning to travel?Where are your traveling from?

I started looking for next Easter and the flights are expensive from the Northeast. The cheapest I've found if I want that one-week trip non-stop flight leaving on a weekend is to Bonaire, Trinidad and Barbados. Everything else is super expensive. If I leave on Sunday and come back on Thursday, the prices drop dramatically to some of the destinations (Grand Cayman, San Juan, St. Marteen). But I've been to those places and I don't really want to go for just 4 nights.

Anyway, I don't really define one first over the other. For me, it's all about the destination.
If I think we will love the island, I don't mind paying a higher fare. I'll just stay in a cheaper place.
If I think we won't love the island, I want the cheap flight but the nicer hotel.

Good luck with your search.

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Old Jul 27th, 2008, 09:32 AM
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We go in February each year, either
cruise or St John. Lately the
cost has been more effective for
a 10 day cruise. It has its benefits, but definately not as
relaxing as 10 days on St John.
Buffalo,NY is our closets airport
and Pittsburgh is an option too..
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Old Jul 27th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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Interesting topic. I just wanted to tell you what I experienced recently. I wanted to fly from Michigan to St. Thomas in February. I got on United's website and looked at airfare. It was $1600 and had terrible connections. I had a voucher to use, so I called United on the phone to ask a couple of questions. It had an automated reservation system and so for kicks I requested my flights through that. I got MUCH better flights and it was only $788. The flight times I chose were not even shown as an option online. Needless to say, I booked on the automted phone line reservation system. I don't know if I just got lucky or if perhaps the airlines are publishing high fares online in hopes that people will just pay the price and not try the telephone. I'd suggest calling the airlines before you book online. Maybe the same would hold true for other airlines too.
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Old Jul 27th, 2008, 07:54 PM
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That is an interesting concept, would never have thought of it.
Thanks. Guess it goes to show we
tend to 'believe' the first thing
we see and go with it, ie, expedia,
travelocity , etc etc. Normally I have freq flier miles, or a voucher
to use from a bumped flight etc., so
I dont always put a lot of thought
into the cost of the flight. Im already booked for next Feb/Cruise
so it will be Feb 2010. Sounds like a long ways out, but isnt really. Still time for me to 'figure' out a way to make it happen a little more cost effectively....
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 04:33 AM
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Good question. Prices are out of control! Normally, I pick the destination and the flight falls into place, but not right now.

Ex: DH and I wanted to go to Las Vegas this past weekend for a boxing match and were flying out of Baltimore, due to a meeting he was attending and fly back in to Richmond. Even with the deal that I found on a hotel, it was not worth it for a couple of nights. Insane!

Do you fellow members go to the airline's sight directly or use another tool, such as orbitz or travelzoo? I did not have good luck the time that I used orbitz since the flights were overbooked and we got bumped. Just checking.
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 11:25 AM
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michigancouple: That's really interesting.

iw: I may use Orbitz to see what my options are but I always buy with the airlines. I've always found the same price on the airline's site. Plus, I don't want to have to deal with a middleman if there are any issues.

Sherri1: If you have flexibility, you can play around with your dates (ie leave midweek instead of a weekend). Price should drop. Also, have you tried looking at the cost of one leg with one airline and the return leg with another? It MAY be cheaper. I did that with a recent trip (to Florida though, not the Caribbean).
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...6&tid=35136356
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 01:03 PM
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Just brainstorming here:
You could try Montego Bay, Jamaica, since there are USA3000 flights from Pittsburgh. Its not very cheap, but its ends up being around $400 roundtrip. There are plenty of resorts in that area that you could find to fit your bill.
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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Caribtraveler:

Thanks....That was my thought, too.

Happy travels!
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 10:01 PM
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Great ideas! As much as I like to 'think" I have the best travel
scenarios all figured out, there are some good ideas here. Definately going to look into the
'one way' flights. Thnks/Sherri
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 07:22 AM
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A helpful site we have used for checking airfare is kayak (www.kayak.com). It searches all the airlines databases and the orbitz's of the world and then tells you the different fares. You don't book through kayak but instead you click on the link that takes you to United, Orbitz, etc.
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