Carpe Diem - The Bogota Colombia Edition

Three days ago I wasn't thinking about a trip and today we're booked for 19 days in Colombia. Yes, that's Bogota- as in Colombia South America! Sometimes our travel life moves so fast my head is spinning. Even though I'm the one who booked it I wonder how did this happen? On the blog I've talked  about the different ways we make travel work in our lives. Yes, we spend a great deal of our income on it, but we also use a variety of strategies which I've written about; frequent flier miles, renting out our house, getting the best deal on hotels etc. It's about getting the most for your travel buck, but a key component of this is leaping on the deals when you see them and luckily D. has  the flexibility in his work life to do this.
You have to be decisive, because these deals don't last for long. I try to stay up to date on cheap flights by following Flyertalk and They cover most of the mistake/deal fares  out of the US and they're where I found the ridiculously cheap deals to Colombia. It's apparently a fare war between Delta and American, as a pacifist this may be the only war I can get behind! I wasn't planning a trip, but Colombia was on our very long list of places we'd like to go "sometime" and it has the added advantage of being affordable. I would be far less likely to jump on a deal to an expensive destination. Though I did book a currency mistake deal on an overwater bungalow at the Hilton in Moorea ,but that's another story
This is no time for agonizing, just do it!
The Details: I found a $289 roundtrip from San Francisco to Bogota in March (2016) though others were reporting  flights for  $200, but I wasn't sure I wanted to take a trip in March. D. suggested I try to combine Columbia with our New York plans. I hadn't booked our roundtrip to New York where we'll be mid Nov to late Dec, so I spent a few hours playing around with the routings and sometime after midnight I came up with SFO-NYC, NYC-BOG, BOG-SFO for $520 including taxes! The flights are at good times with reasonable layovers on a combination of American, Lan and United. I was looking at spending about $550 for the roundtrip flights San Francisco to New York so we're getting the flight to Colombia for free. We will be in Colombia for a couple of weeks from just after Christmas into mid-Jan, coming home on a flight from Bogota to Cancun and then San Francisco. 

Carpe Diem: We've seen lots of great places because we jumped on a deal. Luxury Link was great for this when it started, one day D. went out for lunch only to find I'd booked seven nights at the Luxury Collection's Haciendas for $700. There's a deal I'll never be able to match. We went to Morocco  and Thailand at short notice because we found cheap flights and our three months in London was all about quickly committing to a great deal on a rental when it came up,  even though we had to book almost a year in advance. Sometimes it's a balance between spontaneity and patience but it's always about committing to the deal when you see it. I've never regretted a trip and I'm sure we'll find plenty to see and do in Colombia, now we're going I guess I should start learning something about it.

Update: Here's the itinerary we're planning
3 nights Bogota 
3 nights San Augustin (for New Year)
2 nights Tierradentro 
2 nights Popayan
2 nights Pasto (Carnaval)
3 nights Medellin (Christmas lights!)
3 nights Cartegena
1 night Bogota

When I casually mentioned Colombia  (for the first time) on the phone to my mother  yesterday morning she just started laughing and said, "I know where you're going next". She's used to us mentioning a place and five minutes later saying we're off! 

So the message is : Just go for it. Here I am taking my own advice with my mother in Paestem in southern Italy!

Thanks to Great Circle Mapper for the map above.