Americans have earned reputations as workaholics. We accept that “working our butts off” is necessary to succeed so we’re left scrambling for “life balance” to avoid burnout.
Rather than rely upon therapy or medication, some people switch things up by pursuing a hobby or setting aside time for their loved ones.
I, like many people I know, take exotic trips to reignite the feeling of adventure.
We envision cobblestone streets and sailing the seven seas—but trip planning is rarely an inspiring part of this process
When to go?
Where to go?
How do I get there?
Can I afford it?
These details stand in the way of making our dreams a reality. I’ve jotted down 4 ways to plan an affordable trip with little effort.
1. Credit Cards for Travelers
Most airlines offer branded credit cards that provide customer loyalty rewards. You must spend with the card to qualify, but priority seating, VIP lounges, and free flights can prove valuable on lengthy trips.
Airline cards are worth it if the carrier flies directly to many places you like.
An option that I prefer is a travel credit card branded by a bank. Travel credit cards provide a predetermined amount of points assigned to certain categories of purchases.
For example, purchasing gas may accrue two points per dollar which is more than the standard 1 point per dollar.
Points can be exchanged for cash and gift certificates, but the most valuable redemption levels are reserved for travel perks.
My favorite card over the last 3 years is the Capital One Venture.
Recently, the annual fee dropped to $59. I used the purchase eraser feature to remove $550 of travel expenses from my credit card statement.
How many products can claim that customers receive 10 times the benefit paid for it?
To make the deal even sweeter, all foreign exchange fees are waived so it cost me nothing to use the card.
The sleek metal card’s heaviness leaves an impression when handed to someone.
Let me know if you have any questions about the card, visit my referral link at Capital One Venture.
2. Use flight aggregators
An aggregator pulls real-time prices from multiple sources which makes it a valuable research tool.
Savvy travelers reduce search time by sorting airfares according to date, location, and price points. Some aggregators handle purchases inside the application to make buying easier.
I used to struggle with comparing data in 10 different browser tabs and now I don’t have that problem anymore.
Google Flights, Expedia, and Skyscanner are popular websites that provide this service.
3. Subscribe to Scott’s Cheap Flights – U.S. only
Scott’s Cheap Flights is the ultimate convenience. All you do is sign up with an email address and choose a USA airport to fly from.
Relevant deals are sent directly to your inbox throughout the week.
I was living outside the U.S. when I subscribed at first so I didn’t realize the benefit of paying for it yet.
Upon my return to America, I took a chance on the premium service based on a friend’s recommendation.
So far, the $39 annual subscription clearly delivers awesome deals more often than I expected.
This is what you’ll receive from the service…
Sometimes 2-3 emails arrive within a day showing destinations I’d ordinarily disregard because the fares were too expensive the last time I checked. Using Scott’s Cheap Flights, I plan trips at bottom rates without any effort.
Subscribe to the free service without submitting payment information. After seeing how it works you can upgrade to premium level when you’re ready.
If you use my link I get referral credit for sharing this with you, thanks in advance! Scott’s Cheap Flights
4. Fly into Capitals, Continue Domestic in Latin America
Air Travel to and amongst Latin American countries can be relatively expensive when the destination isn’t a capital city.
On the other hand, domestic airfare prices are accessible to the average citizen, so American visitors buy at a steep discount because of our strong currency.
This tactic takes more planning than booking a direct journey from home, but it can save hundreds of dollars.
That’s all I have for now. Travel well!
Freedom is a Choice,