Plan ahead! Save money!

savemoneyPlanning ahead for travels is key to saving more!  I have a hectic schedule but if I have more of one thing these days, it’s time.  Time to travel of course.  Between running a business, which comes with it’s own load of stresses, travel is my getaway, my slice of happiness and the best therapy aside from my monthly massages.  I dream about it all the time, literally all the time!  My husband would often say “wow, you just got back from a trip a couple days ago and you’re already planning your next trip!”.  I’m certainly grateful that he is supportive of my frequent travel itch.

If you come up with a plan, you can make anything happen.  If I say I want to go somewhere for my birthday this year I start planning ahead of time.  My best resources are kayak, vrbo, turo and hotels.com.  I compare prices and look for places to stay that have great walkability to nearby attractions like the beach, restaurants or grocery store.  Why you ask?  Because it reduces my costs tremendously by not having to pay for a driver or a ride, cooking in or snacking during the day but then splurging on a nice dinner!  It does also help that I live in Texas, in the middle of the U.S., therefore going east or west is fairly cheaper then spending more to go from coast to coast, or further out.  European travel and Hawaii travel will likely be more expensive than a trip for me to go to San Francisco or Tampa and that’s where planning comes into play.

I watch my miles very closely.  I have a frequent flyer account with American Airlines, Southwest and Hawaiian Airlines.  In addition, going into 2019 I had a $230 credit with Southwest, almost close to a free round-trip ticket to Hawaii through Hawaiian Airlines and one round-trip ticket to anywhere in the contiguous United States through American Airlines, therefore I have to admit I’m off to a great start!  If you are hoping how you can do the same, here are a few steps to take if you haven’t done so already…

TIP #1:  Sign up for a frequent flyer program.  Southwest calls theirs Rapid Rewards and American calls theirs AAdvantage.  You need 12,500 points from American to earn a one-way ticket to Florida, 40,000 points from Hawaiian to earn a round-trip ticket from LAX.

TIP #2:  Compare prices for hotel stays or airbnb’s.  I have an account with hotels.com.  For every ten nights stay I get a free night or average price from my previous ten nights, to use for my next stay.  I personally think it’s easier for me to track this then to book through the American Express travel website and redeem my points.  Also, keep in mind that when you book a hotel with friends, you can divide the cost as opposed to traveling solo.

TIP #3:  If you own a business, I would strongly suggest applying for an American Express gold card.  I don’t fly Delta often but if I do, it’s probably because I earned a gift card through my American Express points and it’s normally $500-750.  I’m definitely grateful for this perk!

TIP #4:  Always check out Viator for tourist attractions in the city you are going to visit.  There’s always a great deal or discount.  Sometimes, however, I’ve found that going to a company’s direct website can sometimes be less expensive.

I’m sure there are more tips and ideas to mention but these have definitely worked for me.  If you have anything to add, please feel free to share below.

Safe travels and thank you for reading!

Haze- Blue Crush Travel

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