$700 Mistake

I’m getting married in August. The honeymoon is in Hawaii. It’s going to be expensive, and for someone frugal like me I’m counting every nickel. On Saturday we finally booked the flight and it cost us $700 more than if we had booked between May 25 and June 5.

We booked the hotel in May and got a great deal. $199 per night with breakfast included at a very nice hotel in Maui. So I watched flights to Kalahui, the airport cloest to Maui. For about 10 days at the end of May and beginning of June, it came to be $560 per person, which at the time I thought was a lot. We were trying to decide if we wanted to push the schedule or go up on Saturday and arrive late. This proved to be our undoing. Push the schedule means that you leave the night before, and get a red eye flight. Ours would have had a lay over in LA, and would leave early Saturday morning arriving bright eyed and bushy tailed in Maui at 10am instead of 7pm when we left New York at 6am on Saturday. It seemed like a good deal, but we were having a hard time deciding. Rather than sitting down and deciding once and for all, we kept putting it on the back burner. This cost us $700.

On June 6th the price went from $560 to mid $700s. I was freaked out, but foolishly hoped it was a one day influx. I was wrong. On June 7th the price jumped to $800 and by June 10th it was up to $1000+. I have been watching the Hawaii prices all month long, waiting, begging, and praying for the price to come down. On Saturday we booked the flight for $934 per person. We tried Priceline’s name your own flight, that didn’t work, nothing worked. And it cost us $370 per person more than exactly one month before.

Lessons Learned

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to plan a year in advance. Granted we got engaged in November, but that is when we should have decided and started looking at prices for honeymoons. We are going to sit down and plan where we want to go, then use Kayak.com’s alerts to track prices on flights, see what the trends are like.

When I started, I should have done the research to find out what a normal flight to Hawaii was. This is what my teachers meant when they said ‘do your homework.’ Foolishly I didn’t. $560 is a lot for me, but if I had done research, I would have found it was well worth it. Next time, I will prepare before I get in hot water.

It’s not always about money. This was the place we wanted to go. We thought about many others, but this is our dream. Regardless of how much we spend, it’s well worth it. Yes it’s expensive, this is why I skrimp and save, so I am in position to spend that savings on our dreams. This is why I buy 99 cent menu instead of $3 meals. It’s not a $2 savings, it’s a trip to Hawaii. Every little bit adds up, and I am thrilled to put all of those bits to use for a $700 mistake.


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