How I Afford To Travel. You don’t have to be rich to travel like a jet setter. Really, you don’t. There are so many tricks and tips I am going to share with you to travel like a rockstar. These are all tips I personally use to take my weekend getaways & travel excursions.
The irony in this is that I’m actually writing this post at the airport. I’m on my way to Indianapolis (check out my Indy travel guide) and I paid nothing for my flight. It was completely free. You don’t have to be a blogger to make this happen. Trust me, no one cares to give me free flights just because I have a blog.
There are a few key things that will really change the way you see your finances and travel. It’s completely do-able and I’m going to teach you how right now!
How I Afford To Travel
Create a plan! I’m a big fan of planners an journals because they help me stay organized and brain dump all of my ideas/thoughts in one place. I’m all about this Erin Condren travel planner– it’s going to get you SO excited for your next trip! It will keep you organized and there is even an expense area to keep track of your spending.
Get credit cards that give you points to fly for free. I’m no longer spending money on plane tickets in 2020. How am I going to do that? Basically I have the golden ticket where I purchase a plane ticket and my husband flies for free. YES, for FREE.
- I have the companion pass from Southwest. Basically, anytime I book a plane ticket on Southwest my husband flies with me for free to the same destination.
- I first got into the companion pass when when Southwest was offering a promotion for the companion pass for free for one year with a credit card sign up. After that, you have to accumulate points to maintain it. Let me tell you, it’s worth it. We accumulated enough points to get it for a second year. It seriously saves me SO. MUCH. MONEY.
- There is not any other credit card that will give you this kind of perk. They usually do the free companion pass option once a year (January or February) so make sure to look out for it (sign up here). If they don’t give you the companion pass as a sign up perk they will give you TONS of free points which means free plane tickets and gets you close to earning the pass. You need 125,000 points earned in one year to get the pass. So if they give you 65,000 sign up bonus points you are more than half way there! Plus, those points can instantly get you free flights!
- I’ve racked up so many points with Southwest that I use points to fly for free and then use the companion pass to book my husband so we pay nothing! Well, you have to pay $11.95 for the 9/11 taxes. But that’s it!
How I Afford To Travel
Get access to airport lounges. Why? Free food and alcohol! This will save you some serious money at the airport. I use the American Express Platinum card to get free access to the Amex lounges which allows me to eat chef driven food and unlimited top chef alcohol. Yes, FREE alcohol. Hello champagne before take-off! There are no other lounges as nice as the AMEX lounges. With the platinum card you also get a priority pass which gives you access to hundreds of other lounges if you are in an airport that does not have an American express centurion lounge. This is seriously one of my favorite cards!
Earn a ton of points by booking hotels through reward partners. Ok, this is my BIGGEST way of earning a sh*t ton of points. I just booked a hotel for a wedding and I’m earning 20,000 points for a 2 night stay. What I do is go to the Southwest hotel portal and book my hotel through them. I use my southwest card at checkout and after your stay at the hotel you will see the points in your account in a few days.
When searching for hotels look for hotels that give you BONUS points. It will show you in bold blue letters the exact amount of points you will receive. The key is to book a hotel that will give you the most amount of points. This is seriously the fastest way to earn the companion pass and get free flights. If you don’t have this card you are seriously missing out on free plane tickets!
Know when to travel! There are serious deals to be found! You just have to go at the right time. Travel in the off seasons. Go to Florida in the summer (hotels & flights are cheaper). Spend a weekend in Chicago or NY in the winter (serious deals on hotels and flights). If you can avoid going to destinations during peak season and travel during off-season you will save a lot of money!
I hope these tips help you! This is what I do to afford to travel so often and I know you can do the same! Feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions. Check out my other travel posts!
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