Cheap, cheap cheap! My newly acquired, experimental Twitter account has paid off like a Vegas slot machine. Cha-ching! We’re flying to Europe for almost chicken scratch.
For a few years, I have been looking for a good price for a cruise that started in Copenhagen and stopped in Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn or something similar. Over the years I found several really inexpensive trips ($1000 – $1300 per person) but what always stopped me was the airfare. Most of the time the flights were more expensive than the 10 days of cruising so what would have been a great deal quickly turned into a $3000 – $5000 per person trip. It was much more than I was willing (or able) to spend. Not a problem because it forced me to find other adventures in other parts of the world.
A few months ago I signed up for a Twitter account. I can hear the eyes rolling now from the non-Tweeters. I wanted to see how it works so I signed up to follow travel related Tweets. One was US Airways. About a month ago they had a Twitter only sale. They would post a tweet that told you how many tickets were available on certain flights (dates and destinations) for super cheap prices.
For five days they posted trivia games and other ways to win prizes and book cheap flights. At 7:00pm, exhausted after a day at work the Tweet came – $89 each way for flights from PHL – OSL. 30 tickets were available each way. It helps to know airport city codes. Could OSL could be Oslo? I wasn’t sure. I rushed to my computer and Googled OSL airport code and YES, it was true. $89 from Philadelphia to Oslo, Norway!
Knowing that the last time I looked for tickets they were somewhere between $1200 and $1600, I jumped into action. I went to US Airways’ website, found the flights and booked them without thinking. Yes, the dates only allowed for a week on the ground after tourist season but what the heck. It was exhilarating! It was reckless! It was FUN! Within 20 minutes I had booked round-trip tickets to Oslo for a total of $250 each!
Of course we don’t live in Philadelphia so the next thing I did was look for flights that worked with our outbound and inbound flights. Those tickets ran more than $300 each so we decided to tack on a road trip and drive.
Next hurdle was that my husband’s boss said that he couldn’t have that time off! A heart stopper! In my frenzy to book the flights, it never occurred to me that one of our employers wouldn’t allow us to go. Faced with the possibility that I had a ticket with my name on it – tickets that are non-refundable or changeable I didn’t think I could let that flight go without me on it, with or without my husband. I know that sounds bitchy but that’s where my head was at the moment. I toyed with him giving an ultimatum or even quitting his job so he could go. There was no way I was going to let those tickets go unused! Luckily a co-worker of his who was scheduled for that time moved his vacation and we are now gearing up our adventure.
Crazy travelers that we are, we always push our trips to the limit so we have added most of the original cruise destinations into our trip. And after some research, the travel costs total $500 each including the overseas flight.
That’s my next post.