Tonight I’ve been plotting a few personal domestic trips.  Dayton at Easter, Tampa in July to meet up with MrsMJonTravel after her Zumba instructor’s convention (and visit with the in-laws), and Seattle/Vancouver to attend Travel Blog Exchange 2011 (TBEX11).  Some of this is out of pocket, some with miles, and all of it is fun to think about.

I don’t know if the growth of Southwest Airlines is behind this or not, but one change that’s come to most domestic travel over the last year or two (or three), is the availability of one-way fares at discount prices.  For example, I can book United from Dulles to Orlando on a Saturday in June, and then fly US Airways from Tampa to DCA on the following Monday, paying the discount one-way fare, each way.  That’s not always advantageous, but in this case, it’s a great deal for me, and a great timesaver.  I know I could probably pull this off a little easier through Expedia, but I’m just as happy to figure it out on my own and book directly with the airline.

In July, I’m burning 80,000 Delta SkyMiles to travel First Class from DCA to Seattle.  On most airlines, the same trip would only cost 50,000 miles.  I was able to find availability at that level of miles on American and United, but nothing less than 80,000 miles on Delta.  That’s ok by me as Delta miles seem to be pretty easy to get, and I received a nice bonus recently from a Membership Rewards transfer.  I want to love SkyMiles as much as AAdvantage or Mileage Plus….but I just can’t right now.  I could fly directly into Vancouver for the same 80,000 miles to attend TBEX11.  Don’t ask, but I want to take the train from Seattle to Vancouver.  It just seems to add to the sense of adventure for me.  Silly, I know, but I want to do it this way, so I am.

And I haven’t even talked about Easter.  We’re flying Southwest from BWI to Columbus, and driving down to Dayton for the weekend.  Typically, that’s how we get to Dayton as the fares directly into DAY tend to be high, and the schedules poor.  So that will be my one obligatory trip on Southwest for the year!

Three trips, one night, one computer.  Isn’t it amazing what one person can accomplish in an hour or so?  🙂 OK, not nearly as amazing as a multi-segment around the world itinerary in F on great airlines like BA or SQ…..but I’m still having a good time.