Jan 12 2008

Our trip to Florida: Flight & more update


Thanks, everyone, for your wonderful suggestions on my post telling you about a Florida wedding that’s in our future.

THE FLIGHT: $398 (or maybe $378) I used several strategies that have already saved me money:

  • Shopped around for the best deals
  • Inputed frequent flier rewards #
  • Tried to get a $20 rebate through my Entertainment Book.
  • Could have used Ebates, but decided to try for the $20 rebate instead (Update: I clicked through to Hotwire from my Ebates account, and got $6 back after making a purchase. Whoa.)
  • Paid for the flight using a rewards credit card

I booked our flight today. I shopped around, checking Kayak.com (I love that site as a starting point, because it checks lots of other sites for deals). We ended up booking it through Hotwire.com. The flight is nonstop and the flight times are good. Total cost including taxes and everything: $398 for two people. Hooray, we’re already $2 under my projected figures :).

Before booking the flight, I signed up for the airline’s reward program. I typed in my reward #, and I don’t know if I’ll get points, but it’s worth a shot. There is a $20 rebate coupon in my Entertainment Book for Hotwire flights. I’m not entirely sure if the rebate will apply to my flight, but I’m going to mail it in anyway to see what happens. I could have first logged into Ebates.com to get 2 percent cash back (and that would have been $8 guaranteed) but I wanted to see if I could save more with the rebate. I wasn’t able to combine offers (Update: Yes I was! I got cash back on the pre-tax total).

I paid for the flight using a rewards credit card. The flight purchase gave me enough points to finally get a $25 Amazon gift certificate and a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Those should be in the mail at the end of this month’s billing period. I hope I can use that "free" $35 toward her wedding gift. The bride-to-be has a cookbook on her registry … and if I get the gift certificates in time, I’ll put them toward that book, if no one else has purchased it yet. Otherwise, perhaps I can use the gift certificates toward something else on her registry that’s also on Amazon.


I’m already happy with my Entertainment Book for Pittsburgh, so after considering the advice of some commenters, I decided to purchase an Entertainment Book for the Fort Myers area. The list price was $25, which includes the $10 off discount and free shipping. I logged into my Ebates.com account, and accessed the Entertainment Book site through Ebates. I’ll get $6 cash back thanks to that.

This was my first purchase using Ebates. I  had $5 in my Ebates account that hasn’t yet been sent to me (your account has to reach $5.01 first, I believe). So, I’ll get $11 back total, reducing the price of the Entertainment Book to $14. If you decide to sign up for an Ebates account, won’t you use my referral link? I hope we’ll be able to save some money at restaurants, attractions and more using the Entertainment Book. I’ll be sure to keep track of how much we saved thanks to the book. When we leave Florida, I’ll give the book to my sister-in-law, so they can use the remaining coupons in their town. Total spent on the trip so far: $412

Posted under Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Our trip to Florida: Flight & more update”

  1. This is a long shot, but thought I would let you know anyway. If you have a corporate account with Enterprise rent-a-car, they do not charge the under 25 surcharge. I was blessed to work for a tiny company that had a corporate account with them (and I think its free to sign up if you qualify) and when they sent me on a month-long business trip I was able to affordably rent a car on weekends to explore. There may be other companies that do similar things, or you may be able to negotiate out of the charge???? But then there is always the matter of whether you purchase their insurance, which would double your cost, or risk it, and then gas, so you are probably better off just taking a taxi. eek.

  2. I find good luck getting the “rebate” directly from an airline as oposed to one of the consolidators like Expedia or Orbitz. For example, SavingsWatch.com has Delta, Alaska, etc. and then you are no getting charged the extra fee. That said it’s hard to beat Hotwire on hotel reservations.

  3. Just an FYI: you have to “earn” $5.01 in rewards before you receive your ebates check. I was unaware of this at first and didn’t realize why my $10 check (from sign up bonus and a referral) was not being mailed to me. Ebates carries any bonus awards points over to the next quarter if you haven’t earned enough to receive a check.

  4. Thanks for the info. Through your Ebate referral link I just ordered my Entertainment book for my area. Backordered for 2-3 weeks but still looks like it’ll have lots of goodies when it gets here. That’ll add a couple bucks to your ebate check.

  5. Hi,
    I know you said you can’t rent the car, but your inlaws might. I saw this deal and it reminded me of your post.


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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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