Wednesday 15 February 2012

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Hunting for Ducks, Boars, and the Best Airfare

Getting the lowest airfare is a point of pride for most of us. There's nothing worse than finally deciding the price is right for an airfare you want and making the purchase, only to see it drop further next week. It's like being a member of a caveman hunting party and triumphantly returning to your village with a duck for all to enjoy, only to find that Atouk over there was bringing back three wild boars and a side salad. Your duck is still pretty good, but you just want to slap Atouk upside the head.

This is where I found myself over the last week. It was time to book something for Spring Break, and no screaming deals had presented themselves to me as of yet. My plan had centered around going to Texas, and I'd begun to do some research on activities and hotels in the area. I'd even gone as far as to set up a Pinterest board for Texas so I could keep track of everything I was considering in the least manly way possible. The sticking point was the airfare. I had a price of $89 in my head for Seattle to Houston, and around $99 if we were flying in to Austin. These are the kind of prices that I'd noticed showing up during sales in the past, so I was patiently waiting for something in that range, but nothing was coming. In fact, prices were starting around $119 and were even higher on the days that I would have liked to travel. Those aren't duck prices...those are scrawny, malnourished, died from old age before you could catch it, rabbit prices.

Still, I was running out of time, so I was trying my best to make something work. Then yesterday, a member of my hunting party (otherwise known as cdavis5711 on the Flyertalk boards, although cdavis is a terrible caveman name) spotted a boar. A really fat boar. Now this boar wasn't headed to Texas. This boar was spotted in Spokane, Washington and, like all well-fed pork bellies, it was headed to Washington, D.C. Better yet, it was headed to D.C. on the days I'd like to travel. Best of all, and what qualified it as a boar, was the cost - $63 each way plus about $20 in taxes. I readied my spear (which is flat, rectangular, and has the word VISA on it) and within minutes I was headed back to the village with my own boar. Take that Atouk!

Now I'll admit that we're not talking about an apples and oranges comparison here. If you really had your heart set on going to Texas and enjoying that extra 20 degrees of weather, then it probably wouldn't matter to you that Washington D.C. was on sale. That's not the way we travel though. There's very few places we're not interested in seeing at all, so if going one place can save us enough money to take another trip later on, that's what we're going to do. Texas will go on sale again another time, hopefully at boar prices, although lets face it...if anybody knows how to barbecue a duck, it would be the Texans.

My Caveman/Playoff Beard look
So Spring Break 2012 will see us visiting Washington. My knowledge of D.C. is limited to what I've seen on Disney's Cory in the House, and I suspect that they may have taken a few creative liberties in the filming of that show, so if anybody knows of any good resources for planning a trip to the Washington, D.C. area, I'd appreciate your sharing them with me. I'm going to start by making a new Pinterest board for the area and the first thing I'm going to do is put up Atouk's picture and ram a pin through his forehead. That ought to make Pinterest feel a little more manly to me.