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  1. #1

    Default Getting to Jamaica Question

    We went to Couples Tower Isle last April and are planning a return trip this coming April. Since our return, we have been making a conscious effort to rack up miles in our AA account to either pay or help pay for the plane fare. My question is how early should one book plane fare using miles? Right now I could book and have the trip paid for but am hesitant to do so because a lot can happen between now and next April. Anyone else ever experienced this dilemma? Any advice. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Yes, I have had the same thing. I fly 60-80 connections a year so get quite a few miles but not so many that they don't matter. If you flexibility in your travel, you can save miles. You will note days where the number of miles required are much less. We played that game this year and saved a lot of miles by not traveling on the weekend (vacationers) or Monday/Thursday (business travelers). Tuesday, Wednesday are cheapest, followed usually by Friday.

    Keep in mind that if you wait, you may spend 2x or 3x miles. But, if you have to change flights, it will cost you even more.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by imacfrog View Post
    We went to Couples Tower Isle last April and are planning a return trip this coming April. Since our return, we have been making a conscious effort to rack up miles in our AA account to either pay or help pay for the plane fare. My question is how early should one book plane fare using miles? Right now I could book and have the trip paid for but am hesitant to do so because a lot can happen between now and next April. Anyone else ever experienced this dilemma? Any advice. Thanks!
    This has been a dilemma for us in the past with or without miles as the cost to make flight changes now can quickly eat up any benefits from booking early if you have to change.

    The worry is that you will have to shorten your trip and lose money, but the worst is when you realize you could stay an extra day or two but the cost to change flights means it's quickly out of the question!

    Throw in the difference in cost between flying on different days and there's been times when staying an extra day would cost $1000 or more

    Thus, how do you max out your money/miles but also lock yourself in...

    We have found that the best course when booking early is to plan your vacation around the cost of the flights. In our case - flying on Tuesdays is much cheaper than flying on any other day.

    Thus, we book our vacation for the longest possible nights and try to fly from Tuesday-Tuesday (2 weeks this year) and then we watch the flights - I know the lowest cost so if I see it, I pounce - in the past the lowest price has shown up as early as 10 months in advance, or as late as 45 days in advance so you just have to watch.

    Once booked, we do our best to stick to that schedule but in 10 trips, some things have come up - but since we know we paid the lowest possible price for the room & airfare we know we're not about to lose a ton of money for switching so it's OK if we need to.

    That's really the best you can do - there really is no such thing as too early unless you really just aren't sure of the dates at all...

    Personally, I have found that the earlier we pick the dates and book, the more likely we are to stick to that schedule as everything then gets scheduled well in advance around vacation. I have even planned surgery around vacation.

    I also find that booking early helps me plan/budget so I typically have everything paid off before we even step on the plane so even in the years when we add more days, I know what the final cost is well in advance.

  4. #4

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    Your incites are much appreciated. Planning on traveling with two other couples but being a teacher my available dates are limited to school breaks so flexibility is not an option. Because we all live in tourist areas, they only one with flexibility in the summer is myself. Really considering booking next April ASAP! Want to get back so bad! LOL

  5. #5

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    Your incites are much appreciated. Planning on traveling with two other couples but being a teacher my available dates are limited to school breaks so flexibility is not an option. Because we all live in tourist areas, they only one with flexibility in the summer is myself. Really considering booking next April ASAP! Want to get back so bad! LOL


  6. #6

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    Thank for your incites. Trying to coordinate this for three couples should be interesting.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by imacfrog View Post
    We went to Couples Tower Isle last April and are planning a return trip this coming April. Since our return, we have been making a conscious effort to rack up miles in our AA account to either pay or help pay for the plane fare. My question is how early should one book plane fare using miles? Right now I could book and have the trip paid for but am hesitant to do so because a lot can happen between now and next April. Anyone else ever experienced this dilemma? Any advice. Thanks!
    When we were looking to go in June 2018, I followed prices almost daily, then right at Christmastime, price packages with Couples customer service booking had a special and I actually booked from the passenger seat of car on Christmas Eve for a good June 2018 deal. Specials were available again around December 2018 for the 2019 dates but I missed out because I couldn’t coordinate specific date. However, the Memorial Day sales sucked me in and we are now going September this year instead of June. So excited to go again this year. Going to Couples Negril. Good luck to you.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelAndKristin View Post
    We have found that the best course when booking early is to plan your vacation around the cost of the flights. In our case - flying on Tuesdays is much cheaper than flying on any other day.
    Same here. We book our trips way in advance to take advantage of specials (we are currently booked for Dec 2019, April 2020, Dec 2020). We book Couples and flight separately in order to give us flexibility and because flights are not available when we book so far ahead. As others are saying, once flight times and costs become available, we look for the best for us (1. earliest arrival, 2. cost). Sometimes we will need to adjust our stay, moving it a day or two in either direction based upon the preferred flight. We book the Couples portion through an awesome TA (she is a Couples specialist), and she is always able to move our trip a day or two either way while retaining our deal price/resort credit.

    Generally, we fly Jet Blue out of JFK because they are direct, have very good prices and often have one of the first flights into MoBay in the morning (I think this past December we were having a Red Strip with Marvia Marriott at the Couples lounge long before 10:00 a.m., talking to Donnavon on the beach at CN well before noon).

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