Should You Bring The Kitchen Sink?

CONTRIBUTED BY MEREDITH NOVARIO

Is that even the right expression? On a shoe string? Sounds silly, doesn’t it? What does that even mean?

On a dime. Cheaply. On the cheap. Dog cheap. Inexpensively. Penny wise. Frugal. You know what I mean.

Katie has a question for you.

My husband and I are trying to get home to the D.C. area for Christmas. I’m pregnant for the first time and we really want to see family/friends before we can’t travel again for a while! Of course, we’re also trying to save some moolah!! So, we’re wondering if it’s realistic to think I could MAC flight to/from DC, and only buy one round trip ticket for him (who has a more definite schedule).

Either way, where is the best place to buy tickets to and from the states? We’ve found what we think are some decent fares online and have been to Omega Travel on base (but it’s still pretty pricey). Are the airfares at travel agencies out in town better? Anyone familiar with the tricks of getting inexpensive airfare/travel to the states?? Would love any advice you all can provide!!

5 COMMENTS

  1. There’s a good travel website that I’ve used several times that can usually show you when the best times to fly are. You can do a month-long search on there and it will show you the cheapest flights on every day for a whole month.

    You have to register for the site and you can’t buy the tickets directly FROM the site but it tells you what airlines are offering those rates and then you book it all yourself: http://matrix.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch

    I’ve found a lot of great deals through that site…and I love the month-long search. As far as Space A goes, I’m not even sure how that works. Hope you get to find a way home for Christmas!

  2. I don’t know how true this is or not, but I just heard that you can purchase a seat on a MAC flight instead of flying standby. That would guarantee a seat and it would be cheaper than flying commericial. I don’t know specifics though. One of my husband’s co-workers is checking into it so If I get any info, I’ll be back to update with details later:)

  3. You can MAC to the States on your own but you can’t MAC (assuming you aren’t on a direct flight) CONUS unless you are active duty yourself or your spouse is with you….sucks but it used to be that dependents couldn’t go at all, so at least it has opened up to be a bit more flexible. The only way you can pull it off if you aren’t active duty as well is to get a direct flight from either here or Yokota to the DC area and then you might still get stuck on the way back.

    At Christmas time, I would recommend paying for tickets just because the traveling is so much more hit and miss (with weather and crowds) and the MACs are harder to get on.

  4. Katie, knowing that you want to see your family for Christmas to visit and to share your new found joy in being pregnant, ask yourself a couple of questions.

    1) Could you visit in the first two weeks of December and still feel like you are visiting your family around Christmas? Travel softens up 1 week after Thanksgiving until about a week and a half before Christmas?

    2) Same question, except could you go in January?

    3) Have you looked into pricing options for regional airports that aren’t Reagan or Dulles? I don’t know where your family resides, but you might find cheaper options flying into BWI or Philadelphia and having someone meet you?

    4) If that is out of the question because you would have to get a rental car then I would play around with departure dates and go direct. The time savings and convenience may overwhelm what savings you can find.

    I hope this is helpful. I have found that booking online is the most economical and easiest, or, at least, finding your pricing and calling the airlines directly.

    May you have a fine Christmas and congratulations on your pregnancy.

    Be blessed,

    Donovan Colt Torp
    http://www.itsmyturntotravel.com

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