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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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ConstanzaElisabeth

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Someone mentioned in another topic the great idea of all-you-can-fly unlimited passes. I've been looking around to find one for audition season without luck. Has anyone out there found one being offered this year for Feb./March? Other ideas I am looking into are Amtrak and Greyhound passes, although not ideal and I don't even know if they are offered. If anyone has suggestions or experience with this kind of thing, please pass on the wisdom!

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I know Air Canada has "flight passes," but they aren't for unlimited travel. You purchase a package of one-way trips, and it's supposed to make the actual booking a little easier. I've never needed to buy these, so I can't comment as to enhanced ease of booking.

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Amtrak is so ridiculously expensive, it costs about as much as flying. And the passes have so many restrictions! If you want to travel long-distance, you can only take a certain number of 'segments,' and the unlimited passes restrict you to very few lines. I did find good passes on Greyhound, up to two months for under $600 with no limitations and lots of partners, but then I worry that by the end of the first month I'd be so sick of buses that I would forsake all the rest of the auditions! And then there are all the classes I'd have to miss for the two days' travel between stops...Unless I plan it out really well, I can't see Greyhound being the best option, even though its the most affordable.

As far as Air Canada (and Sun Country, and Hawaii, and even JetBlue), all of the passes I've found barely cover the cities I'd want to go to. If any. So maybe it will be Greyhound after all. Or I'll tell my husband to live without the car for a month while I destroy it by driving everywhere, then arrive at my auditions too tired and stressed to dance.

Boy, I'm a ray of sunshine today! Still looking forward to auditions.

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We've been lucky in some of our airfare purchases by planning well in advance. That doesn't mean we actually BUY the tickets in advance, but we know the trends, so we know what day of the week will offer the least expensive options, we've analyzed which routes are most likely to go UP the closer to the travel dates, etc. For example, when booking a trip to San Fran for our son, we bought the ticket early, afraid that it would go up the closer he got to departure date. It actually went down about $200. That was a little frustrating. We've tracked that flight over the last several months and a decrease in airfare on certain days does, in fact, happen for the flight our son took. We've done research and know which other destinations are most likely to go down like that, too. And which ones traditionally go up - like Boston. Though it's not a guarantee.

 

We also look at every possible airport in the area. The less expensive airlines (and smaller) will travel to those cities, opening up some interesting flight options on Southwest, Jet Blue, etc. Maybe you can fly into one of those cities and then use the bus or train to get to the larger destinations.

 

For example, my mother-in-law is coming to visit. The ticket she purchased has her flying into Norfolk, VA. She will have to fly out of Washington, Dulles, though. But the cost of Amtrak to DC was low enough to rationalize buying such an odd ticket. Sometimes when my husband goes to San Fran he will fly into San Jose for a significant reduction in air fare. Or Sacramento. When people fly into DC they tend to look at Dulles. But US Airways will have inexpensive flights into Raegan aiport (National) and BWI is serviced by Southwest so often has some good options. If you were to do a simple search on Expedia looking for options, though, they won't necessarily show US Airways (sometimes they do) and they don't show Southwest at all. So you have to know to go and look at those airlines individually. And at least one of the online services (I believe it's Orbitz) has dropped Jet Blue so won't show their possible flights, either.

 

If you let others know what cities you are looking to fly into or travel to then they might have some more concrete ideas, especially in regards to low cost but reliable carriers and smaller airports. You might also be able to hook up with some people in those cities who would be willing to help out with local travel.

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If you're traveling back and forth between the US and Canada, you may want to consider Porter Airlines. They have pretty frequent (about once a month) deals with up to 30% off listed ticket prices. If you're flying to Toronto, the airport is located on the downtown harbour island rather than at Pearson so you can save $100 in taxi fare.

 

Porter Airlines

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A really cheap bus alternative is Megabus. Daughter used them for traveling to and from auditions. If you order your ticket early, your ride could be super cheap. On occasion, she has paid under $10 from NYC to DC. A year ago, I traveled from Philadelphia to NYC on Megabus, getting my ticket last minute and it just cost me $12.

 

Daughter also recommends Boltbus.

 

Megabus

Boltbus

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