Ok, it's not as bad as it sounds. I got some great deals!
Since the early part of the year I have been planning for two late-year trips: After 5 Christmases on the east coast indulging my family, it's time to head to CA for a LaLa family xmas. I had also thought in April that I'd visit my grandparents (and friends) in Orlando...but that was my first true "we can't afford it" moment after seeing the "savings light" so we post-poned our trip until November (the irony is that my grandparents have since sold their home, and are moving into a one bedroom apt - in a retirement community - without so much as a pull-out couch)
I've been keeping an eye on airfares a bit and Sunday was the day I bit the bullet to lock in a couple of really good prices. We're heading to LAX for $513.80 (Song was having a promo, and i love that airline...TVs, people, TVs!!!) for both round-trip tickets and to MCO for $310.80 (again for two RT tickets, on American). The timing of the health care reimbursements means that I can immediately pay for these tickets rather than dip into any savings.
I purchased the LAX tickets with my Delta Skymiles Amex card because Song is owned by Delta and I get bonus miles of some sort that way (my friend, the travel gnome, would be horrified at my imprecision) so this gets me a chunk closer to having two tickets worth. I put the MCO tickets on my Citi Dividend so someday I'll see about $3 back from that.
As a bargaineering sidenote...I was using several online travel sites to compare prices for the Orlando trip (bookingbuddy, expedia, travelocity, even newcomer kayak) and the lowest I found was about $161/each on American Airlines. I went to AA.com to buy the tickets, re-did the search and found a lower fare on their website by about $30! I guess it's a new thing with them to guarantee that their lowest fares are only found on their site. Huh.
Anyway...money in, money out...
BUT I knew this was coming...have saved for it...and I got good deals. Not too shabby.