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Date locked but without a destination in mind... buy now or will airfare drop?

Date locked but without a destination in mind... buy now or will airfare drop?

Old Jul 2, 19, 4:53 pm
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Date locked but without a destination in mind... buy now or will airfare drop?

Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum but so excited to be here! I already feel right at home!

My husband and I are date locked, but not destination locked by any means! We are hoping to travel somewhere outside of the US between November 22nd / 23rd to December 1st of this year. Our travel dates aren't at all flexible, but we aren't horribly picky about a destination. We're already going to Paris, Scotland and London this fall so those are out. Otherwise, we're pretty open! Anything within a 14hr flight, that is relatively safe for travelers. We're flying out of Chicago.

We would like to wait and jump on any airfare that falls below $500? Is that even possible or are we being naive? Should we just purchase whatever is cheapest right now, and be done with it? is there a chance that flights will only continue to go up, and we'll have missed our opportunity at $600 flights? Would really, really love to spend less than $500 as mentioned!
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Old Jul 2, 19, 6:59 pm
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If you are looking at Int'l flights, that could be a plus, but your travel days line up with Thanksgiving, so I am guessing that will drive up the price, unless travel does not include connections in US @:-) If you get two days off like I used to, that is a good reason to use fewer vacation days

$500 could probably get you to Costa Rica as there is quite a bit of competition. One useful tool is Google Flights where you can pick dates and origin and the map will populate with potential destinations, hopefully under $500.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 9:24 am
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Various cities in Mexico meet your price limit, but there are enough problems in the country that I'd really carefully research specifics before I chose one.

One the other hand, I see Montreal at $381. Indeed a nippy time of year for them, but I've always found it a delightful city. They burrow in in the winter, and there is lots of underground public transport that can move you from place to place without ever going outside. And much going on inspite of the cold. Their marvelous ferris wheel runs 365 days a year.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 11:37 am
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Oh, forgot the best time to pull the trigger:

IME, about six to eight weeks normally get best price, but if there is a sale, and I like the price, I jump on it.

Southwest is an outlier IME, as once they sell out Wanna Getaway fares, they don't necessarily come back, though they do have frequent sales, which may or may not be a real sale.

Just bought a ticket to Canada and New Orleans for November and December, but one is Southwest and one is just before Xmas, so decided to lock in in case prices go up;. Now I have to look for return trip tickets ...... yes, I tend to buy mostly one ways unless longhaul Int'l.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 9:53 pm
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The whole Thanksgiving thing definitely works against you, especially in the U.S.

OTOH, ORD is one of the top gateways getting deals, and internationally some of them forget to black out Thanksgiving.

I'd check out The Flight Deal every day for a week or two or more to see if something pops up. You can look at past deals to get an idea. They usually don't last long, but Chicago is a city that often gets them.
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Old Jul 4, 19, 6:14 am
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Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
The whole Thanksgiving thing definitely works against you, especially in the U.S.

OTOH, ORD is one of the top gateways getting deals, and internationally some of them forget to black out Thanksgiving.

I'd check out The Flight Deal every day for a week or two or more to see if something pops up. You can look at past deals to get an idea. They usually don't last long, but Chicago is a city that often gets them.
Select for just Chicago by pulling down on "Deals" in the header banner. And I tell you this even though I'm desperately jealous. MSP is a very rare-show for such deals.
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Old Jul 6, 19, 8:36 pm
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Have you considered cruises? This is just an example, but there is an MSC 7 day cruise starting and ending in Miami - November 23-November 30. It is an Italian line, so already you get a little foreign flavor. Port countries include Mexico, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Bahamas. I never used to think cruises were for me, but I discovered they have so much variety that they can work for many different types of people.

You don't mention your land budget, but it is the other part of the package. And cruises can be quite inexpensive, including your room of course, but also all your food and a lot of your entertainment and transportation.

There a lots of good web sites for researching cruises, plus the cruise lines themselves have web sites. I find vacationstogo.com to be particularly functional for me. I did a "Custom Search, selecting just on a departures starting November 23 and being no longer than 7 nights. Lots of choices. On the site, the cruise I mention is #31666 .
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Old Jul 7, 19, 1:23 pm
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Are you familiar with the Google Flights map? You punch in your dates and it shows you prices for various locations around the world:

I did a quick check and I see a few possibilities that meet your criteria.
  • Dublin for $376 (11/22 - 12/1, 7h 15m on EI)
  • Barcelona for $440 (11/23 - 12/1, 11h 30m on AC)
  • Beijing for $500 (11/23 - 12/1, 13h 40m on HU)

https://www.google.com/travel/flight...:e&tcfs=UgJgAQ
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Old Jul 7, 19, 1:30 pm
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Check the Milage Run forum here on FT. IIRC there were some USA-PVG (and maybe elsewhere in mainland China) fares around $300 reported.

Due to all the domestic travel driving up prices around turkey day (and its associated ten day holiday weekend), I'd look only at nonstop international flights from ORD or alternatively to destinations that would involve only and overseas connection, such as UA/LH through FRA/MUC to alsmot anywhere in Europe.

Do you care at all about the airline or alliance? Is weather at the destination a consideration for you?
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Old Jul 9, 19, 6:41 pm
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Is your goal airline miles, fun destination, interesting destination, or ?? And is budget at the destination an issue? Some places of course considerably more expensive than others.
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