We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
213 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

Hi I would really like some advice on when to purchase flights.

My husband and I have booked our flights from Australia to LA then San Fransisco return to Australia. 19 th July until 9th August 3 weeks in total.

I have roughly planned 3 nights LA 6 nights Vegas, 5 nights New York, 4 nights Los Cabos Mexico and 3 nights San Fransisco, not necessarily in that order.

I would love some advice on best time to purchase the flights to get the cheapest deal and also whether to spend more or less time in any places mentioned.

We are in our 40's we like sight seeing but also enjoy going out for a drink and joining in the night life.

Any suggestions appreciated Thanks Carmen

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
52,493 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

We are strangers here so it is hard for us to give you advise without knowing what you want to do. Why 6 days in Vegas and only 3 in LA. You are going all over the country? do you not want to to see the countryside, national parks, the Big Sur along the Ca coast ?

As far as when to book, please look at www.kayak.com or www.bing.com and it will tell you when to book and the lowest fares for the US sectors. Also look at www.southwest.com which will not show up on those sites

Going East will add time for travel and do you take that into account when you fly to NY or to Cabo even though it is in the the West. 3 nights in SF means 2 days which is half of what most people recommend. It may take a week to see NYC depending on what you want to do and see.

Edited: 1:04 am, March 16, 2013
Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
15,783 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

I'd try www.southwest.com for internal flights - they also fly to Los Cabos and they're generally one of the cheapest airlines - plus they let you have two checked bags per passenger (whereas most other airlines are no free bags or 1 free bag and then $25-50 per extra bag). 6 nights Vegas for most people is too much, especially when you're allowing far less time for SF and LA when Vegas is a smaller city. I'd take 1-2 nights off of Vegas and add them to LA, SF or even NY. And you'll basically be taking up to full days travelling from the west coast to New York and back - the flight is over 5 hours plus New York is 3 hours ahead of the West Coast.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
54,417 posts
422 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

More nights in Las Vegas than NYC, LA and San Francisco? What do you have planned for 7 days in Las Vegas?

For transcontinental you can use any discount site, Kayak, CheapFlights, Hotwire, etc.

For travel on the west coast I'd check Southwest Airlines, JetBlue and Allegiant.

What kind of activities do you enjoy?

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
31,433 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

Another plea to shorten your stay in Las Vegas unless, of course, you are 'mad gamblers' or you plan to include an overnight excursion to the Grand Canyon National Park (not "Grand Canyon West" which is something else). To men, 3 days is plenty there but I know that some would disagree.

For internal flights, be aware that there are many airports in each of the cities you're visiting that handle 'domestic only' travel so in addition to the 'big airports', there are regional airports that you might get a less expensive fare going into or out of. Here is the list:

a. In L.A., LAX, BUR (Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, just north of Hollywood), LGB (Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, just south of downtown L.A.), ONT (Ontario Airport in Ontario, east of downtown).

b. In San Francisco, SFO, OAK (in Oakland, easily accessible to SF)

c. In New York, JFK, LGA (La Guardia Airport, the airport closest to Manhattan), EWR (Newark Liberty Airport, in the state of New Jersey on the west side of the Hudson River -- on the opposite side of Manhattan than the other 2 airports).

Have a great holiday!

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
213 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

Thanks for all your quick responses. Not sure why I'm thinking I'll enjoy Vegas more then anywhere else...I don't even gamble..lol

I'm just thinking I'd love to see all the big hotels with themes,the night life and Grand Canyon.

LA I'm presuming is much like Australia beach wise,so just want to see touristy things like Walk of Fame, Universal studio and Venice Beach. We won't be driving so don't want to travel far.

New York I don't know what to expect its just that everybody says you've got to do NY. I'm thinking Times Square, Central Park, Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero and maybe some shows. And yes the NY leg is a bit of a long haul. Hope I'm doing the right thing. Still open to any suggestions

Thanks Carmen

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
18,431 posts
249 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

Frankly, you do not need to do anything! New York is a full days' journey to and from. NYC is terribly hot and humid at that time of year (that's why New Yorkers flee to the Hamptons). And what about the other magnificent East Coast places you can't even consider: Washington DC, beautiful countrysides of New England, Boston, etc., etc. The East Coast is a separate trip which should include 3 days in NYC.

I strongly urge you to pick up a guide book or four and start reading about your destinations. In fact, you should go to each forum and thoroughly read the right side of each for general overviews of each place.

What are the things you hope to see and do? What are your interests?

I would be sure to see: The redwood forest, San Francisco bay area, Yosemite, Sequoa & Kings Canyon, Grand Canyon, Vegas (you only need 3 days at a maximum), Los Angeles, Malibu, beach towns of Orange County (Laguna, for example), San Diego.

Your money will be better spent seeing things that are reasonably close to one another via automobile rather than eating up your time and money in airports. You can stay in more comfortable accommodations with the airfare you will save, too.

Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
25,711 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

Add to the list of airports HSJ mentioned John Wayne Airport (aka Orange County/Santa Ana/SNA), they just opened a new Customs Processing facility and have many flights to/from Cabo using multiple airlines, so there is good competition and easy of customs when you return (only one flight at a time).

Just to clarify, Southwest does not fly to Mexico. Their sister airline, AirTran does, and they used to have a partnership with Volaris, but that ended on February 22nd, 2013 as Southwest is trying to go only with AirTran. (Note, AirTran does not have the same Free Luggage policy as Southwest does).

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
52,493 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

This is how I feel your trip is

We are going to Australia. We will spend 6 days in Melbourne and 2 in Sydney and in Brisbane and then 4 in Fiji and 3 in Perth

Would you feel this would be a good use of our time having flown all the way ?

My point is that there is nothing wrong with visiting or spending time in the cities you mentioned but you are missing out a lot and spending a lot of time traveling

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
54,417 posts
422 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

>>>We are going to Australia. We will spend 6 days in Melbourne and 2 in Sydney and in Brisbane and then 4 in Fiji and 3 in Perth <<<

I thought of the analogy too although I thought it sounded more like 6 days in Alice Springs (especially in July) and 2 in Melbourne 3 in Sydney and then 4 in Fiji and 3 in Perth.......

United States
Level Contributor
2,141 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Advice on when to book internal flights and where to go

Vegas is hot at that time of year but a two day drive to Zion National Park/ Bryce Canyon or thereabouts would be lovely. Then a circle down around the Grand Canyon and back to Las Vegas, you've got 4 days of your "vegas trip" covered already, and you haven't even seen Valley of Fire, Red Rock Canyon and Lake Mead yet (nor the lights of Las Vegas!) .

Does your planning already include all the travel time involved? Does "3 days san Fran" mean that day 1 you fly in, day two you explore, day three you depart in the afternoon? If so I think you need to eliminate one city from your plans.

Edited: 6:21 pm, March 16, 2013