Ok, I may have spoken too soon earlier when I said I couldn’t find any Cyber Monday/Travel Tuesday deals to fit my travel needs.
This morning, Megabus released 200,000 more free tickets. They originally released these on Cyber Monday, but they released them ahead of schedule and they were all gone by the time I went online. I just happened to be in my email when I received the notice from Megabus about the repeat deal.
Finding a Date/Itinerary That Works
The free Megabus tickets were only available on itineraries through the end of February. But, we have two extended weekend breaks from school during January and February. I wasn’t hopeful, but I started searching for tickets.
I decided to try Austin first. We have friends in Austin, and it’s an interesting city. We’ve never really spent time there with the kids. We usually just drive through it on our way to San Antonio (my favorite city in Texas).
To my amazement, there were free Megabus tickets available from Dallas to Austin over Presidents Day Weekend in February. Wow! This could actually work.
The free Megabus tickets aren’t completely free. There is a $2.50 trip charge added, which by itself is no big deal. If I decided to cancel, I’d only be out $2.50. No biggie.
Then there’s the whole reserved seat quandary. You can reserve seats for as low as $2 per seat each way. So if I just took one kid, that’s another $8 for this trip with the cheapest seats. Again, not a huge deal, but now we’re up to $10.50. (Note: It’s more expensive to reserve seats later because you have to pay a $5 change fee plus the fare difference per this FAQ).
Next, I had to think about where we’d stay and what we’d do for the weekend. I would either have to shell out hotel points or cash for two nights. Plus there would be some Uber costs, food costs and the cost of activities. Suddenly, those “free” tickets are costing me a few hundred dollars for a weekend getaway.
Letting It Go
My family is going to Universal and Disney World next summer. Tickets and food will cost a small fortune. It’s not really the best time to start splurging on extra weekend getaways.
I decided to let the deal go. Hopefully, someone else will get those “free” tickets and put them to good use. Admittedly, it was hard to let these free tickets go. I’m a sucker for free stuff and good deals. But, the expense and timing just weren’t quite right.
Have you ever taken a free deal that ended up costing more than you expected?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.