Weekend Internet fares
Earlier, we said not to reply on airline sites for your fare information.
These sites—those of the older airlines like United—are usually your worst sources for low fares, except when you're booking far ahead.
However, exceptions are the last-minute weekend specials found on most major airline sites.
While these don't tend to be as good as they used to be,
some still are attractive.
Weekend "Internet Specials" work best when you have no specific destination
"I want to get away from this wickedly cold weather" works
better than "I want to go to Tucson."
Finding weekend fares
Check airline sites to find out when their weekend Internet fares go on sale.
You'll want to be first in line to book.
Most airlines will put you on an email mailing list to let you know what they have available.
Every week (except around major holidays), usually Tuesday or Wednesday,
airlines in Canada and the U.S. post fare specials for the following
weekend on the Web. Some airlines list Internet bargains for
trips starting two weeks away.
Why? Because once a plane takes off with an empty seat,
the chance to sell that seat is lost forever.
True, there are disadvantages.
Depending on the airline, you may have
to travel solely between Friday and the following Tuesday.
And, make sure that suitable hotels are not sold
out before booking your flight. Destinations like Honolulu and Las Vegas may run out of hotel rooms before they run out of room on flights, especially during peak times like New Year's weekend.
Obviously, last-minute Internet fares are
cheaper and more likely to be available when you avoid the crowds.
Alternatives to airline weekend Internet fares
These types of weekend fares may also be available on sites like Hotwire.com and Priceline.com.
Using these, you may have more freedom to travel on the dates you want.
HOWEVER, we do not recommend using Hotwire's "Hotwire Limited Rate" or Priceline's "Name your own price" services for a 3-day trip.
Why? Because you do not pick your departure times, you could end up leaving late on the first day and coming back early on the third giving you just one day at your destination.
Sample itineraries from Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, or Washington, DC
A student or other budget traveller in this region could realistically plan the following trips on long
- Early September: Denver to visit Rocky Mountain
National Park before snow closes its main road.
- Early November or early December (avoiding
U.S. Thanksgiving period): Orlando and nearby attractions
via a less popular airport like Melbourne or Jacksonville if Orlando is not
- January or February: Toronto nightlife
- March or April: Quebec City or New Orleans.
Sample itineraries from Southern California
Similarly, a student or other budget traveller
in this region could plan to visit:
- Early September: Denver for Rocky Mountain National
Park before snow closes its main road.
- October or early November: Las Vegas or
Honolulu (during the slow season for each).
- January or February: San Francisco or
Austin, the live music capital of the United States.
- March or April: Tucson (or Tucson via
- Early May: Reno Airport for the Lake Tahoe area.
Make sure you check out fares from all the airports in
Most of all, don't be fixated
on one destination or one date.
Go on to Budget airlines.
Be flexible, and get a super bargain!
For more airfare savings tips:
Go to >> Airfare savings introduction
Go to >> Finding cheap fares
Go to >> Last-minute fares
Go to >> Combining fares
Go to >> Open jaws & circle trips
Go to >> One-way (single) airfares
Go to >> Bereavement flights
Go to >> Weekend internet fares
Go to >> Budget airlines, or
Go to >> Bucket shop fares
Go to >> Visit North America fares