by Hiyaguha Cohen

Want to come to the conference but worried about high airfare costs? Here are some tips that might help.

Airfare Sales:  You can be almost certain that fares will go down in time to get to the conference. Right now it’s high season, but the conference will be held in low season, when airfares and hotel rooms go on sale. You can be almost certain of getting a lower fare in late October or November. If you want to track prices, go to a site like Booking Buddy and check the box that says “Alert me when Booking Buddy finds low fares from…”

Beat of Hawaii. If you want to come to the Writers Conference, you owe it to yourself to subscribe to Beat of Hawaii. This newsletter will notify you when reductions in ticket prices are available. Here’s a link to a Beat of Hawaii article predicting great rates around the time of the 2016 Conference: http://beatofhawaii.com/the-cheapest-time-to-fly-to-hawaii-is-coming-soon/.

Priceline:  If you don’t want to wait for a fare sale, you can always try Name Your Own Price at Priceline. You can also use Priceline to find a great hotel or car rental price. We’ve personally used Priceline to find hotel rooms with spectacular results. Bid low, like 50% of the asking price. Priceline will counteroffer with a suggested amount after your first offer gets rejected. Always go lower than the suggested amount and repeat the process, going slightly higher each bid, until you hit the magic number.

Check Multiple Sites:  Prices really do vary from one site like Orbitz to another, like Skyscanner. Also, it pays to go directly to the airline site, particularly Hawaiian or Alaska, as you may save on fees.

Choose to Fly Midweek: Generally, fares are lowest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and highest Fridays and Saturdays. If you have any flexibility in your schedule, check multiple dates.

Chop up the Flight: Sometimes when there are fare sales, you’ll save money by flying in segments that you book separately. For instance, if Virgin America has a great sale from New York to California at $195 each way, it would be cheaper to take that flight and then try to find a reasonable flight from California to Hawaii rather than book a pricey flight directly from New York to Hawaii.

Top Airlines to Watch: Alaska Airlines has some direct flights to Kaua’i (no Honolulu stopover) from the West Coast, as well as good flights from the East Coast, and you’ll find frequent sales. Also, watch Hawaiian Airlines for the best deals and for a direct flight from New York to Honolulu. From the East Coast, both JetBlue and Virgin America will get you to the West Coast, often for less, and then you’ll have to take a separate flight to get to Lihue, Kaua’i.

Hope this helps! Note that we did arrange great reduced hotel rates at the Courtyard Marriott (you have to tell them you’re attending the Writers Conference), and we’re checking into finding cheap rates elsewhere. If you want help arranging your travel, don’t hesitate to call me at 808-639-4517. I’m not a travel agent (I’m a writer, like you), but I’d be happy to steer you in the right direction.

 


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