Oh, JetBlue, I really love you some times! There was this great fare sale flying JetBlue out of New York to various domestic destinations. The tricky part about many airfare deals is that they are normally for sub-optimal days; you’ll likely not be able to buy your complete round trip on a deal for a strict weekend of Friday night to Sunday night. After making sure there would be reasonable flights to return home Sunday, I snagged $30 Saturday morning tickets to Tampa for a quick weekend adventure. Luckily for us, we are pretty flexible and willing to pull the trigger quickly; various routes sold out very quickly and the sale ended by 4pm!
Ryan and I had some pretty good options to come home: $200 if we wanted a late night flight, $140 for a lunch flight, and only 8k points last minute to book a spare early morning Southwest flight in case of evening inclement weather in New York. With a companion pass this was a real steal! These Southwest flights don’t show up in results on Kayak so if you are looking to do a price comparison always check Southwest just in case! In the case of NYC-TPA, there aren’t any direct Southwest flights, but considering its great no change fee policy, it was so convenient to book a last minute connecting flight to make sure I could get to work on Monday.
We landed Saturday afternoon, checked into the Sheraton Suites, which was a bargain on points (only 3,000 for a $300 night which is 10 cents per point), then went straight off to Busch Gardens. We preordered tickets with AAA which turned out to be cheaper than plum discounts or working advantage.
So it turns out, you only really need one afternoon as fast walking adults to do the entire park. Lines were pretty short in February–the longest we had to wait was 35 minutes (just enough time to get over our motion sickness from the last ride haha!).
We left the park around 5:30 to get to Clearwater Beach to watch the sunset and grab some seafood. The drive was spectacular!
I recommend the Clear Sky Cafe for simple well executed fresh seafood right next to the beach.
Sunday morning we headed back to the airport because there was bad weather in New York. Was the short trip worth it? It depends on how much you need the sunshine and like roller coasters! Next time I want to check out Big Cat Rescue and we’ll probably skip the park.