Flying to Florida with out remortgaging

(15 Posts)
BoBoo Mon 11-Nov-13 16:38:15

Any tips on cheap flights? DH is from the States and as we've been pushed financially we haven't been back for about three years. Long overdue a trip so hoping to make it in 2014. Have 2 children in school so will be restricted to school holidays, ideally two weeks at Easter.

Doesn't particularly matter where we fly to - Tampa, Orlando, Miami, as will need to travel on regardless. Have entered every competition I've seen to win a family holiday, to no avail. Any ideas on how we could cut the costs? TIA.

The days when you could get a very reasonably priced flight to the US are long gone.

A combination of APD (air passenger duty) for all passengers departing the UK along, miscellaneous other charges and fuel surcharges have certainly made flight costs rise a lot in the last few years. Florida is also popular with families (Orlando is certainly a profitable route for the airlines) and you're also looking at Easter. It will not be cheap regardless.

You could fly indirect to FL but with children I would not recommend it as it can be a lot of hassle as well as stressful. Also such an internal transfer time can be short (you would probably need around 3 hours plus to make the onward plane from your departing UK flight (and that clock will start ticking as soon as your aircraft's wheels land).

Easter is going to cost anyway as this is one of the peak demand times. It may be that many direct flights to Orlando in particular are already now full and have been for some time, you may find the same problem with regards to Tampa (BA fly direct there from Gatwick). With Miami you have more options of carriers generally but Miami is a right dump of an airport where you can walk miles and wait what seems like a mini ice age to be processed individually. You have been warned!.

Perhaps someone like Thomas Cook could get you all into Sanford which is about 1 hour east of Orlando. I would look at Sanford.

Where would you need to travel onto?.

Littleredsquirrel Mon 11-Nov-13 18:32:16

I agree with Atilla, easter will probably be the most expensive time. State schools are on hols for two weeks and so whilst most people with children in independents tend to go at October half term when its quieter (because they get two weeks hols then too), most people with children in state schools who also want nice weather pick easter.

Sandford is a great airport. We much prefer it to the chaos and endless wait times of Orlando. Look at Thomson website. Monarch is generally cheapest but no frills (no tvs in headrests).

The only real way to reduce costs is to take a non direct flight but it will be torture and it sounds like your journey will be long anyway. Where are you going on to?

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Mon 11-Nov-13 18:39:17

We got some flights to Fort Lauderdale for next August for £400 return with Norwegian a couple of weeks ago- it's a new route for them so they were on special offer. They only start in July though, and I think the prices have gone up since anyway but may be worth a look.

Apart from that, as Attila says, the days of cheap flights (ah, £186 return to New York...I remember you fondly) are well over. The only way I have found to get cheapies is to keep my ears open on HotUKDeals and Flyertalk and be ready to book at the drop of a hat when a deal comes out or they spot a glitch.

Flying out of mainland Europe is one way of avoiding the high taxes (see the Holiday Pirates site) BUT it means you have to get a connecting flight which is not ideal with children.

BoBoo Mon 11-Nov-13 19:31:10

Hmmm. Depressing. We're eventually going to Port Charlottle, between Fort Myers and Sarisota or could also stop off at Jupiter on the East Coast. Being American, husband loves to drive, drive, drive so the distance the other end isn't much of a problem and can do stops on the way to cut down the time with MIL rest.

Ha - Thomson are coming out at £8,000!! Moneysavingexpert suggest package holiday may work out cheaper than flights (ludicrous), so will try looking at that.

Littleredsquirrel Mon 11-Nov-13 22:31:14

Can't you go at a different time? We are going in October and for four of us it was £2475.

BoBoo Mon 11-Nov-13 22:35:12

We could, but would still be tied to the school holidays and would want to go for more than a week so it would have to be Christmas or Summer holidays if not Easter. And the issue is it's been such a long time since we've been and we've suggested we might make it for Christmas and then not been able to make it so really would like to go sooner rather than later.

Littleredsquirrel Tue 12-Nov-13 00:51:36

I'd either look at early in the summer holidays or ask for permission to take the kids out of school. it will be cheaper to pay the fine if you have a fine system.

newfavouritething Tue 12-Nov-13 21:35:31

We're going at easter next year for 17 nights, indirect for £2587. This includes flights, car hire, insurance, esta and accommodation (one bedroom condo for 10 nights, cheap motels while travelling). You can spend as much or as little as you want to.

newfavouritething Tue 12-Nov-13 21:39:54

I booked flights + car hire as soon as they became available (and got 12% cashback through quidco). Then condo through expedia, again with 12% cashback. And it's for 2 adults and 2 (paid for) children.

newfavouritething Tue 12-Nov-13 21:46:28

And flying into tampa was the cheapest into florida. Where are you flying from? Manchester to Atlanta is always relatively cheap - flights for easter were about £480 when I checked a couple of days ago. It's about 8-10 hours to Sarisota at a guess, and as your husband knows it's easy driving! Motel 6 rooms are about £20-40 per night depending on where you stay, and most have a pool now. Just don't get sucked into the Disney pool of must haves - that's when the spending starts.

BoBoo Wed 13-Nov-13 19:06:48

Hmmm, Atlanta you say? I'll have another look. We can fly from any London airport. Can take or leave Disney. Girls are of an age where they would love it, but the most important thing is getting there.

newfavouritething Wed 13-Nov-13 21:39:08

Heathrow - Atlanta direct for 2 weeks at easter £2072 - if you can book through a cashback site it'll help too.

newfavouritething Wed 13-Nov-13 21:49:40

£1975 from Gatwick, although with one stop I'd be inclined to go direct from Heathrow for the extra £100. Basic car hire from £204. Quidco are currently offering 6% cashback for flights+car hire, so total cost could be about £2050 - a saving of some £6000 on Thomson - what were they offering for that money? Did it include accommodation and park tickets?

ihatethecold Mon 18-Nov-13 12:44:32

Can anyone help me with flights for late July, around the 20th.
2adults and 2 kids, one child will be 14.

Can fly into any airport in Florida. Would prefer to fly from a London airport.

When I search it's astronomical. Nearly 3k just for flights.

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