Getting to WITS ’16 the Affordable Way Written by Ariel Goldberg on November 2, 2015


You know what one of the most amazing things about WITS being held in Irvine, CA is? John Wayne Airport (SNA) is practically right next door to Irvine, Long Beach Airport (LGB) is 22.7 miles away, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is 45.3 miles away, and — if you really want to push it — San Diego International Airport (SAN) is 85.6 miles away. Several airport options offer countless affordable ways of getting to WITS ’16.

8! 8! 8 is great!

According to the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), travelers purchased the least expensive airfares eight weeks in advance of their departure for U.S. domestic routes and 24 weeks in advance of departure for international destinations.

ARC also discovered that the least expensive airline tickets were purchased on Sunday, regardless of a domestic or international destination. During the traditional Monday through Friday workweek, tickets bought on Tuesday were lowest.

Stay Alert!

February 5, 2016 is eight weeks out from WITS ’16. Some of your favorite flight booking websites offer the option to create a fare alert. Some send them daily, others as flights go up and down, and some will only send an alert if they think they’ve found the best deal.

Our best advice is to set up the alert now. When February 5 rolls around, you’ll be ready to go.

Don’t Mind Getting Up at the Crack of Dawn?

The most affordable flights are usually the ones that require you to wake up before the sun rises (especially if they’re the first flight out in the morning). Occasionally, you can snag a pretty nifty deal on airlines that offer red eyes, but these are often limited.

airport board

Can you come in early?

I’m not one to gossip, but rumor has it that if you can fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday you can find a pretty good deal. If you are able to book both legs of your trip on one of these days then you’re in even better shape. If you ARE able to come a day or two early (or leave a little later), don’t forget that there will likely be all sorts of activities to do in and around Irvine for both pre- and post-WITS.

Wait! Wait! Don’t forget your miles!

Check your mileage statement. You just may have enough miles to get you to WITS ’16! Some airlines allow you to buy miles if you are short in order to complete your award travel purchase.

The holidays are also coming up. Consider finding a card that offers mileage to purchase gifts. Some airlines have websites where you can make purchases and receive miles regardless of what credit or debit card you use.

Lastly, check with your bank to see if they offer a debit card that offers mileage. My bank does and I LOVE IT! There is an annual fee, but just by purchasing things that I will have to purchase anyway using my debit card, I usually end up with three roundtrip tickets every year.


All Aboard

There are many factors at play here, but it’s definitely worth it to consider taking a train to Irvine. Airfare prices may drop if you book eight weeks out, but as of this past weekend, a roundtrip ticket on Amtrak to Irvine from Chicago is $240, versus a roundtrip flight for $523 to Orange County, and $307 to LAX. Amtrak also offers free basic Wi-Fi service in select trains and stations throughout the country. Depending on where you are coming from and the amount of time you have, this could be an amazing (and bloggable!) adventure.

The Road Less Traveled

If you really need to get to WITS in a pinch, and have a couple of days to spare, a bus ride is also an affordable option. Or better yet, grab your favorite girls (or guys), rent a convertible and pull an Oprah and Gayle (can you say ROADTRIP?)! There are so many amazing sights to see, places to eat, and conversations to be had on the roads that lead to Irvine (and we’re sure that adventure could inspire plenty of blogs).

No matter how you get there, we’re all excited to see you in Irvine for WITS ’16. Purchase your ticket now before they sell out!

This post was written by WITS ’16 planning team member Jennifer D. Turner. Featured image courtesy of WITS ’16 Global Ambassador Sasha Hoffman.

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