Southwest Airlines is one of the major airline carriers in the United States that caters to over a hundred destinations. Puerto Rica, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and another 40 states are its main destinations in the U.S. While Southwest does offer travel programs, such as Frequent Flyer Miles and Southwest Rapid Rewards to their customers, there is also another interesting program called Southwest Vacations (Southwest Vacation Package). Here you will get a guide on Southwest vacations program.
In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will take a look at Southwest Vacations program and also find out if you can really save money.
Southwest Vacations (Southwest Vacation Package) Overview
Southwest Vacations allows you to book full holiday packages though the Southwest Airlines website. This program includes offers, such as flights on Southwest, hotels, rental cars, and activities.
Their holiday packages come in different forms, however, you can also buy package deals for flights and hotels or flights and car rentals. You can also lump in activities and jump on special promo deals throughout the year to maximize on your savings. It is convenient for anyone who like to fly Southwest and/or wants to book everything in one place.
Whether you save money from booking through Southwest Airlines Vacations will depend on various factors, such as where you are travelling to, the time of the year, and whether you are booking a promotion. But, for the most part, you can usually save a few dollars booking through Southwest as well as earn a few extra Southwest Rapid Rewards Points.
Booking Your Southwest Vacations Package
It is a simple process to book your Southwest Vacations package, which can be easily done online. The following steps will help you get the job done quickly.
1. Visit the Southwest Airlines website https://www.southwest.com on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
2. When you are on the airline’s website, choose the type of vacation package from the three tabs located on the top left of the site’s homepage.
Note: Southwest allows you to add more selections to your holiday package at the time of checkout. For example, you can add a rental car to a flight and hotel package or even add activities.
3. Once you have made your selection, you will then be required to provide your travel details. These include your departure city, destination city, departure date and return date. You can also select the specific details for your package such as the number of adults and rooms needed.
4. Next, you will be able to sort through a lot of travel bookings once you have provided the necessary travel details. Using the panel on the left corner, you can search and filter hotels by price, star rating, map location, amenities, experience, etc. You can also sort by price and/or ratings.
Note: If you are choosing a flight and hotel package, you will choose your hotel stay first and then your flights. If you are booking a flight and rental car, you will choose your flight first. If you are booking a rental car, you can filter by lots of different brands for rental car companies, such as Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, and National. You can also filter by car type and class such as compact, full-size, etc.
5. Once you have made the final selection to your travel package, you will see a summary of your bookings before you can make your payment. If needed, you can also add travel protection to your package.
Note: This summary page is crucial because it is where you can confirm the details of things like the hotel cancellation policy. Also Checkout: Southwest Airlines cancellation policy.
6. The last step is the checkout.
Note: You do have the option to add on a few things. If you have not added a rental car or activities, you will have the chance to do that as well.
You can also choose to add Southwest EarlyBird, which allows you to automatically check in 36 hours prior to departure and gives you a better boarding position.
More on Booking Southwest Vacations and Save Money with Examples
Below are a few examples on booking packages through Southwest Vacations.
Example: Universal Orlando Resort
This is one of the promotions that Southwest Vacations offers a few times per year. Let’s walk you through this promotion to see how much you can save versus booking direct or through other means.
1. Universal Trip Booking With Southwest Vacations
First up is the hotel. Here, we will be looking at booking a holiday trip with two people. You can also allow for a day of travel to get there, three days of park fun, and the last day for return travel to back home.
Hotels are up first and their prices may range from $408 to $969 per person, depending on how luxurious you want your living conditions to be. Since the primary purpose of the visit is for theme parks, you can go with the cheapest option of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort. It has good reviews and the hotel looks to be nice, too.
When you choose the hotel, the rooms may offer specific promotions. You will want to take note of this when booking your room in case there is any promo that catches your eye. For this booking, we will choose the standard two queen room.
Next in line is the flight. For this, you can choose a flight that will land you around check-in time. This will allow you to get comfortable with the hotel, find dinner, and get ready for your three days of park action.
Let’s say, the cheapest prices for returning may consist of a 7 am flight or a 7 pm flight. You may prefer to not wake up extremely early while on vacation to catch a flight, but this may be a personal preference. If so, you could choose the 7 pm flight.
(c) Rental Car
Rental Car is the next in line. Renting a car for a trip like this is also a personal preference. So, if you are basically staying within minutes of the park, a rental will not really be required. Instead, you can get a ride-share/taxi to and from the airport and an easy shuttle ride to the park from the hotel.
However, if you want to have the freedom to move about the city as you please, then renting a car would be an ideal option. This is another case of personal preference. Since it is only two persons and you are near the park, you may want to avoid the rental car.
Things To Do
Next will be a couple of things to do, which consists of buying the tickets for Orlando. The options are the same that you would get on the airline’s website, which consists of the options to visit multiple parks. The best deal available, for instance, would be a 3-Park 3-Day Promotion ticket that costs $245 per adult.
Now that this vacation is put together through Southwest, let us also look at the final cost of this package. The cost comes out to be $1,305.86, which isn’t too bad considering the hotel you are staying in and distance from the park itself.
2. Universal Trip Booking Direct
We have seen the price for booking with Southwest Vacations. Let us now look at booking each piece of this booking direct to see if you saved some money.
The Universal Endless Summer Resort Surfside hotel is booked directly through the Universal website. The pricing comes out to be $397.80, which isn’t bad for a 4-day stay with easy access to the resort.
When searching for a flight, there may have been many more times that you could choose. You may have been able to find round-trip tickets (non-stop) for only $236.97 per passenger for a total of $473.94.
(c) Park Tickets
The park tickets can be purchased directly through Universal. The ticket price for the 3-Park, 3-Day ticket (one park per day) is $244.99 per adult. The total comes out to be $521.84 after tax.
Thus, from the example above, we see that booking the hotel, flight, and park tickets would cost you a total of $1,355.56.
Booking everything separately would cost you an additional $49.70 over booking through the Southwest Vacations portal. This may not be a large amount of saving, but it is still less money overall. The main savings here specifically comes from the hotel and flight portion as that is the required qualification for most Southwest Vacations promotions offered to customers.
For more information checkout Southwest Airlines company contacts.
Southwest Vacations can offer you some really good value, especially if you are looking for a one-stop shop to book all your vacation needs. On top of that, you will also earn a significant amount of Southwest Rapid Rewards Points, which can further earn you free flights and more on your future travel with Southwest Airlines.