Save big on Florida getaways

There are currently a number of airfare bargains to take advantage of for travel now through November.

If you can get away now -- as in immediately -- AirTran is offering one-way rates on trips finished on or before July 7. Tickets must be purchase through midnight, Thursday, June 7. Rates are $69.80 to Pensacola-Gulf Coast; $79.80 to Tampa or West Palm Beach and $89.80 to Jacksonville or Orlando. An advance notice of travel is not required, but rates are based on sale seat availability.

One-way rates of $69.80 to Fort Lauderdale are enticing enough to plan now for an off-season visit. This sale rate is valid on Mondays through Thursdays when booked one-week or more in advance. Travel now through June 20, or again from Sept. 5-Nov. 14. The offer is valid on both AirTran and Delta. The sale does not have a ticket-by date, so act fast to make your purchases.

American Airlines and Delta both offer a stunning round-trip rate of $139.60 to Miami. This sale is valid on trips taken through June 17, 19, or 20 and from Sept. 5-Nov. 14. This rate is not valid on Sunday travel. Give at least a one-week advance notice of travel. A minimum stay of three nights is required when departing Atlanta Sundays-Wednesdays.

Whether it's elegant luxury, vibrant nightlife, romantic getaways, or family activities, Florida Vacation Auction has got numerous offers that won't break the bank. The website partners with Visit Florida, the State of Florida's Official Source for Travel Planning, and the auction site is a member of the Florida Lodging Association and the Florida Attractions Association. As active members of the Florida tourism community, consumers can bid with confidence and trust.

The online auction offers offers rock bottom deals -- savings of up to 80 percent -- on sightseeing and hotel and resort stays. Travelers can bid weekly and most offers close at 10 p.m. each Sunday.

There is very little to do on the front side. Bidders must register their credit card (the number is purged once the auction lot closes) and the registration is simple and free.

Bids are placed in $5 increments. If you are outbid, an email alert with a link back to that auction gives the opportunity to place another bid.

Auction winners receive an email with a Adobe PDF link to a travel voucher worth the value of the bid, including any taxes. If the winning bid was $200, that's the final charge. There are no additional costs or handling fees. However, various hotels and resorts have mandatory resort fees of up to $20 per day which are collected at check-out (resort ‘extras' are defined on the live auction page).

As you plan your trip south to sunny Florida, be sure to check out the great savings at Florida Vacation Auction, www.floridavacationauction.com.

Sale airfares are always subject to change. Every seat on every flight is not offered at the lowest rate. Since only a limited supply of seats is available, act quickly to make your purchase.

I recommend starting the search for available seats at Kayak.com vs. calling an airline directly. You can also search for the sale at travel websites such as Expedia or Travelocity, etc.

Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.

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