Depending on where you live, spring break is either just around the corner or literally days away, but there is still time to book that last-minute flight for your family. You might be thinking that booking this late in the game will cost your family a good-sized fortune, but luckily, there are still many flight opportunities available at a decent cash or award price. Couple this with the IHG PointBreaks hotel deals where you can book family-friendly hotels for fewer points than normal and you might be pleasantly surprised to see that taking your family on vacation is still do-able.
Jump on the JetBlue 20% Off Deal
Today is the second day of a two-day promotion where they are discounting base fares on Tuesday and Wednesday flights this spring by 20% using promo code GLITZ at JetBlue.com/promo. Blackout dates includes: 4/16–4/24/19.
With this promotion, you can fly cross-country from New York to Los Angeles for less than $200 a person. Los Angeles provides a ton of activities for families, between the beaches of Santa Monica and the rides at Disneyland. There are many points-friendly hotel options in Anaheim, and in Santa Monica you can cash in the last of your Wyndham points to stay right near the Santa Monica Pier before that award chart changes in April.
Since this is a limited-time promotion, book now and then think it over within the next 24 hours as the discount code is not valid after today (Feb. 27). With JetBlue, you have 24 hours to cancel for a full refund. If you are fully flexible with dates, you’ll also want to try JetBlue’s fare finder, which gives you a calendar view of all prices between two routes.
Some other current cheap JetBlue flight options out of New York include: New York to Palm Springs, New York to Orlando and New York to Ft. Lauderdale. Of course, other JetBlue hubs are offering great deals as well and, fortunately, many of them happen to be around for a March spring break timeframe enjoyed by parts of the country. Unfortunately, for those who have an April break, you may have to juggle your plans a bit to avoid the offer’s blackout dates.
Your Kids Can Fly Free With Frontier Airlines
Frontier is still offering its “Kids Fly Free” promotion that can even be coupled with its current $29+ fare deal on certain dates. With the Kids Fly free promotion, all kids 15 and under can fly for free with a paid adult ticket — one child per adult. The only caveat is that at least one member of your family must have a Discount Den membership, but for only $59.99 for the year, you might find the savings well worth it. Similar to many other promotions, there are only certain dates available for this promotion. If you are looking to getaway for spring break during the March or April timeframe, you are limited to these dates for Frontier Kids Fly Free:
- March: 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
- April: 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
That means you are looking at only Tuesdays and Wednesdays for your kids to fly for free, but it you are able to have some flexibility, it can be well worth it. This could also be an opportunity to fly Frontier Airlines one-way and a different carrier the other if all-in pricing works out better.
For example, if you are based in Houston and looking for another chance to hit the slopes in Colorado, a family of four could potentially fly for just $78 one-way ($39 per adult and both kids fly for free) on an eligible date. Of course, if you do not have a Discount Den Membership already, you are looking at another $59.99, but for a total $138, that is still one heck of a deal. And then you’ll continue to have the membership if another good deal pops up later in the year. Here are tips for flying Frontier with your family.
One way to offset your cost of the adult tickets or any extra fees you incur (i.e., carry-on baggage, seat assignments, etc.) is by using points you’ve earned from the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. In both cases, points you’ve earned can be applied as a statement credit against travel purchases (though factor in the $100 minimum redemption requirement on the Arrival Plus when buying really inexpensive airfare).
Redeem British Airways Avios on American
British Airways Avios are often the hidden gem in redeeming miles for a free flight. Since they have a distance-based award chart, there are certain routes that will cost you only 7,500 Avios for a one-way nonstop award flight of up to 1,151 miles in distance. While you might be thinking to yourself that British Airways is an international carrier and you’re just looking for a close-in getaway, you can use those points on American Airlines partner flights throughout the United States, Caribbean, Canada, etc. British Airways Avios are extremely easy points to earn since British Airways is a transfer partner for both Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.
For flights up to 1,151 miles, British Airways will only charge 7,500 Avios points, which is less than the 12,500 miles American Airlines will often charge you for saver awards on the same flights. For a family of four in Dallas looking to hit the beach for spring break, you can fly into Miami (MIA) for just 60,000 Avios points in total. Those 60,000 Avios will get you four round-trip tickets on an American Airlines nonstop flight. And, best of all, there is still availability for using your points during many spring break dates! If Miami is not your scene, you can always head south to Key West or slightly north to Ft. Lauderdale Beach or West Palm Beach.
Fly United from 7,500 LifeMiles
Should you live at a Star Alliance hub and want to take advantage of something similar, look to Avianca LifeMiles to fly your family on United-operated flights. Avianca is in the Star Alliance and is a transfer partner of both Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points. You can even transfer Venture miles to LifeMiles from the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Unlike when redeeming United miles to fly on United, you won’t pay a last-minute booking fee to fly United for spring break using your LifeMiles.
Avianca uses zones to price award flights in the US on United, so there is a distance-based element, but it really comes down to which zone you want to travel within or to. Prices start at 7,500 miles each way — just like with British Airways. Head here to learn more about maximizing LifeMiles for your family’s spring break flights.
By taking advantage of some of these flight deals, getting away for spring break is still absolutely a possibility without spending a small fortune. Your best bet is to be somewhat flexible in dates and destinations but after a little bit of research, you can make sure you and your kids are not just sitting at home while school is out of session. Whether it is sitting on the beach, hitting the slopes or seeing friends and family in another city, there is a good likelihood that there is a deal to be had!
Featured image by Shelby Soblick for The Points Guy