6.14.17 7

Summer Plans + How I Booked My Flights

Let’s call this Travel Wednesday because I’m more on a M-W-F posting schedule now than not–today I wanted to talk about one of everyone’s favorite things this time of year: summer travel! Many of you are probably in the process of planning at least one trip this summer, and I don’t know about you but I love hearing about other people’s travel plans. It’s sort of the “what’s in your bag effect”…a combination of being curious what others are up to and but also really excited to hear about someone’s experience. If you’ve met me in person and mentioned a recent vacation, chances are you were peppered with questions :)

We just spent a weekend in Philly and I’m taking the GRE in early July, so my summer travel is really packed into July + August. All the trips require flying and the total airfares combined ended up being pretty reasonable given that most of the destinations are quite popular this time of year. So I figured I’d share a little background on how I booked each flight for those of you who are equally persistent when it comes to finding a good deal…hopefully you found or will find a few steals, too! A note that I generally try to save my airline miles + credit card points for international travel, but ended up using some here due to a combination of likely not heading out of the country this year and recent moving expenses.

BURLINGTON, VT (early July)

Vermont has been on my bucket list since I visited New Hampshire in 2010 and discovered the beauty of rural New England. A friend is doing a med school rotation up there so four of us are doing a girls weekend in Burlington!

Booking the flights: Flights to Burlington are quite pricey (#smallairportprobz) so I’m flying into Boston on a Thursday after work, staying the night, and driving up with a friend on Friday morning. We’ll have to rent a car since it doesn’t look like we can borrow her parents’, but that shouldn’t be too much of an expense (fingers crossed). It made sense to splurge a little and fly out of Burlington later Sunday afternoon to avoid losing most of the day traveling back to Boston, and since all my friends will have cars with them, it’ll be easy to get a ride to the airport. It wasn’t fun to spend over $300 RT but was told this is a steal for Vermont in the summer. To alleviate the higher cost and offset the multiple tickets I was buying around the same time, I used 20,000 rewards points from my Venture Card and knocked off $200.

DCA –> Boston: $104
BTV –> DCA: $220
Venture miles: -$200
TOTAL: $124

NEWPORT, RI (mid-July)

I’m heading to Rhode Island with Ashlee and our boyfriends right after my birthday! We booked flights back in January (If you’re in DC, look at Southwest from DCA to PVD for a weekend trip–they tend to be fairly inexpensive!) and it’s crazy that the trip is finally just a little over a month away. We’ll be staying in a little AirBnB and eating + drinking (and photographing) our way through Newport and some nearby towns.

Booking the flights: Since we purchased tickets during a Southwest fare sale back in January, J’s and my flights were each $159 RT. Ashlee used the Southwest Companion Pass for their flights so they got an incredible deal (read her post on how to maximize it), but regardless–pretty decent even at just north of $150!

DCA–>PVD (roundtrip): $159

CAPE COD (early August)

One of our friend’s family has a house on Cape Cod so we’re heading there for five days in August! I can’t remember the last time I took such a long domestic trip that wasn’t heading home for the holidays, and it’s been about five years since I last visited the Cape. We haven’t planned much but as of now are hoping to just relax, hang by the water, and hopefully make a day trip to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard.

Booking the flights: We were planning to fly into Boston and assumed it would be inexpensive since we’re heading there on a Tuesday. Turns out trying to get back on a Sunday is where your money goes! You may have seen this tweet, but Southwest had a big sale last week and I ended up just booking all of us through Providence because the drive time to the Cape was the same and the flight times worked out.

DCA –> PVD (roundtrip): $220

DALLAS (end of August)

I unfortunately don’t make it home too often, so am trying to be better about springing for a good deal when it pops up–this time, it’s heading home early Thursday morning to early Monday morning. I’ll probably just hang with my parents, eat my weight in Tex-Mex and In-N-Out, and see a couple of friends. All great things!

Booking the flights: Booked these during the same Southwest fare sale from last week–I’m taking the 6am flight out and the 7am flight back, but my total was $153 which is pretty great, especially for Dallas this summer, which has seemingly consistently been over $250.

DCA–>DAL (roundtrip): $153


So those are my summer travel plans–should be a fun one, and a good respite from the econ class that starts up in July! J and I are also hoping to make a trip to Maine in September or October, but we haven’t booked it yet. It’s been on my bucket list for years so hopefully we’ll make it happen!

I’d love to know: where are you heading this summer? Find any good flight deals?

Image via Classy Girls Wear Pearls with text added by me

Leave a Comment


  1. Ashlee wrote:

    Can’t wait for our Newport trip! Also so excited to follow along with your trip to the Cape – it’s definitely on my list!

    So many exciting trips to look forward to!


    Published 6.14.17
  2. Sarah wrote:

    Your trips all sound so much fun, and you found some great deals! I’m going to the Cape this summer and was SO thrilled when I could use my Southwest points to book a free flight to Boston in order to get there!


    Published 6.14.17
    • Monica wrote:

      So key this time of year! The one time when flights to Boston cost an arm and a leg…

      Published 6.22.17
  3. Rachel wrote:

    Wow it sounds like you have an awesome travel schedule this summer! Can’t believe how many great deals you got on flights too! That’s always the biggest struggle with travel!

    Published 7.4.17
    • Monica wrote:

      Yeah, it’s crazy how much of a time suck finding good flight deals can be! Luckily these seem to have worked well but I can still spend hours getting lost on The Points Guy’s site!

      Published 7.5.17