Here's a top five bargain rule of thumb: If two low-cost carriers announce new service and then begin hinting at a fare war to a particular destination, that destination is likely going to make it onto this list. That's certainly the case with Ft. Lauderdale this fall, as there's new service to the region from both Virgin America and JetBlue. Add hotel sales to the mix and Ft. Lauderdale is as bonafide a bargain as there is. Keep in mind though, that late summer and early fall is hurricane season, so if you're traveling in early autumn, look for airlines and hotels with flexible rebooking policies.
On November 17, JetBlue will commence nonstop service to Ft. Lauderdale from San Francisco. On November 18, Virgin America will begin its new service between Ft. Lauderdale and San Francisco and Los Angeles, with fares from $99 each way. Ft. Lauderdale has also been a featured city in recent sales from Southwest and Spirit.
There are plenty of ways to save on arrival. Travelocity has discounts of 20 and 30 percent at Ft. Lauderdale hotels, with rates starting at $74 per night. Starwood is offering bonus loyalty points for stays through November 30, and Marriott has extra award points available for stays from September 15, 2009, through January 15, 2010. Through September 30, visitors can take advantage of two-for-one offers on tours, attractions, shows, and more. Florida residents enjoy additional savings with special rates at hotels in and around Ft. Lauderdale.