I have written before how we travel with our large family on a shoestring budget. I have to mention that we did it again. I just booked 6 airplane tickets from the west coast to Washington DC for a total of $375. (baby is free)
Now, I actually could have gotten it cheaper, or even closer to free. Actually, last time we flew to DC, it was free. (My family lives in the DC area). However, I just wasn’t able to get the airline awards/miles on the different airlines to line up. I was tired of trying, so gave up and paid for one ticket. But hey, 6 people for $375 is still a pretty good deal in my eyes!
How did I do it this time? My husband and I both signed up for the Delta Amex card when it had a 50k sign up bonus. With the bonus and the miles from the spending to get the bonus, we had just enough with both cards to get 5 round trip tickets. The fee was waived for the first year, so it cost us NOTHING to get the miles.
We also have plenty of American Airlines (I actually just got a bunch more of their miles), a ton of Alaska miles, and some SouthWest miles. Delta just worked out the best for this trip, so we went with them. Since I still have the card, we will also get FREE checked bags for our trip – SCORE!
I probably could have gotten the extra ticket cheaper had I watched for a sale, BUT we needed the extra ticket on the SAME flights/days/times for us all to fly together, so I just paid the price it was at the time of booking. $350 isn’t a terrible price to DC, but not the best either. A good sale to there would be about $225-275, but considering our restraints, it could have been worse! If we had paid for the extra 5 tickets at that price, we would have paid $1750 MORE out of pocket ($2100 for us all to fly). Let’s say I found a sale, and we had gotten them all for $250. That is still $1250 ($1500 for us all to fly) that we saved. $1250 is ALOT of money to me! Not too shabby for 2 credit card signups! We paid another $25 in taxes for the free miles tickets
This is the way we manage to travel with 5 kids. Once the baby hits 2, we’ll need to hoard even more miles for all of us tickets, but I’ll figure out some way to work it out! There are many blogs out there to tell you when good sign up deals are available. If this is something you are interested in, I HIGHLY recommend you look some up, do your research and decide if it is something that would work for you. Most importantly, remember to use credit responsibly, only charging what you can pay off EACH month. Interest fees negate any savings you get from deals! ALWAYS use credit responsibly! We pay our cards off every month, have a very high credit score that has actually gone UP since I started this. Please do your research before you think this might be something you can do too!