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How to Find Cheap Airfare

Trunk Bay, St. John (February 2023 pic)

I was perusing social media yesterday when I came across a post lamenting about expensive airfare. I am hopeful that airfares are trending down, but in the event that you are unable to find inexpensive airfare, here are a few tips that I have found to be helpful over the years.

Look at One-Way Tickets

You can always save money by purchasing one-way tickets. If you are traveling in the United States, you can often find deals when buying one-way tickets. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly to St. Thomas on JetBlue and fly home on Delta, for example. It’s also easier to make changes or cancel a ticket when you purchase a one-way, because you do not have to make changes to your whole trip. The only time that it is cheaper to purchase a roundtrip ticket is when traveling to Europe or overseas.

Set Up Fare Alerts

If you are looking at specific dates or a specific time of year, you can save money by setting up airfare alerts. You can do this on several websites including Google Flights and Skyscanner. On Google Flights, for example, all you have to do is type in your airport information and dates. Then click “Track prices” and you will be asked for an email. If you are already signed into Google, it will already have your email. Then every time the flight that you are tracking drops, you will get an alert. You can even set it up to watch flights for a specific month, as opposed to exact dates. It’s a pretty handy tool for those of us who enjoy saving money.

Set up fare alerts with Google Flights.

Check Flights to Puerto Rico

There are a few airlines that do not fly to St. Thomas, but they fly into Puerto Rico. The San Juan airport (airport code SJU) is just a quick 20-30 minute flight from us depending on the airline. I’ve flown this route numerous times and it’s about 17 minutes on JetBlue and closer to 30 minutes on Cape Air. It’s possible that you can book a one-way ticket on Southwest or Frontier – two airlines that fly into Puerto Rico – and then you can take a quick puddle jumper over to St. Thomas. Cape Air, Silver Airways, and JetBlue all offer numerous daily flights between San Juan and St. Thomas.

The one downside to this is that you really shouldn’t check bags. If you check a bag, you would have to leave security to retrieve it. You would then have to recheck it, which means paying for the bag again. You would also have to go through security again to get back inside of the San Juan airport.

Buying Tickets at Certains Times or Days of the Week

Honestly, I am not a believer in this. I do not think that there is a magic time or day to buy tickets. I think you are much better off signing up for fare alerts than trying to buy a ticket at midnight on a Tuesday, for example.

Perhaps Drive a Bit Further to a Different Airport

JFK is historically one of the cheapest markets when flying to St. Thomas. I’m planning on visiting my family in Connecticut soon, so I have been perusing flights myself. A one-way ticket on Delta into Hartford was $941 one way, which is insane. I can fly into JFK that same day, also on Delta, for just $241. That’s a huge difference and worth the extra hour-and-a-half drive. So for those of you reading who are within a few hours of JFK airport, consider driving there, rather than leaving out of Boston, which is always more expensive. I’m sure this holds true for several other airports around the country.

How to Get Here

For those of you who are new to St. John, you may be curious about how to get here. Click here to read a post that details exactly what you need to do when flying in and out of St. Thomas, which is the island you need to fly into when visiting St. John.

I have mentioned this a few times lately, but it’s worth repeating. The island is very slow right now. It’s a fantastic time to visit. The beaches are not crowded. You don’t have to rush to the beach to get a parking spot. The water is warm. All of the restaurants are open, and open tables are plentiful. And even better, lots of villas are currently discounting their rates. So start shopping for those airfares using the tips above! ūüôā


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