I love to travel. WE love to travel! There is nothing cooler than going somewhere new and/or different.
Everyone has their “thing”. Ours is travel. My husband and I often go to Lowe’s (I despise that place), furniture stores, flooring stores and so on to get ideas for our home. We come home and take a pen to paper to estimate the cost of a new purchase or project. 99% of the time when we see the bottom line one of us will say “or we could go to–” (fill in the blank with a fun destination) and we decide on a trip instead. It took us nearly 4 years to put down new flooring in our house because we kept choosing a trip instead. And ya know what? For us- that’s just fine.
This summer we have: NYC, Dallas, Memphis and Cabo on the agenda. If only there were time to squeeze in one more. Due to our constant travel, I can safely say we have it down to an art. Here are some tips we have found that help expedite and iron out the trip kinks.
1. Use a point credit card
Yes I know that SOME are pathetic with their rewards programs… but not ALL. I am typing this post from somewhere in the sky between Little Rock and Charlotte from an airplane for which we paid $21.00 out of pocket to be here. We use AA Advantage but I’m sure there are others that are just as good. We booked with points (2 tickets to NYC) and we were only out the required $10.50 per ticket fee. Another PLUS: when you book with points you can change your flight. I originally had us booked leaving at 10:57 this morning because I wasn’t thinking about it being Saturday and I booked the flight thinking I would have to get my kiddo off to school. A week later I realized what I had done and I called and changed it with ZERO fees. Not too shabby! The points add up! We use it for everything. Pay everything you can on your credit card then pay it off. You get the points without the debt.
2. Buy the TSA Pre-Check. It’s $99 dollars. My husband flys more than me (for work) so it’s in his name. But if you book a flight for more than the one who has the TSA pre-check, the rest of you get it too! That saves so much time in larger airports. Doesn’t make a difference out of a small airport like Little Rock but major airports- it’s totally worth it. It’s good for one year. (Possibly 2).
3. Don’t check a bag! Now with our AA Advantage card we each get a bag checked for free. That’s nice if we are all 3 flying or if we go somewhere that requires a TON of stuff, but otherwise we don’t check a bag. We go to Mexico every summer without checking a bag. We take a roll on small suitcase (carry-on) and you still get a personal item. So right now I have my carry-on suitcase full of clothes packed away in the over head bin while my backpack full of shoes, makeup and books is tucked away under the seat in front of me. This means that, yes, we have to keep up with them, but we don’t have to wait on bags at La Guardia. No chance of losing our luggage or watching the luggage roller thing go around and around until we finally see our luggage THROWN onto the belt.
4. Keep 3 ounce items handy! I’ve never understood the 3 ounce thing and I find it ridiculous, but it’s the rule. I hang onto samples that come with my Itsy or Mary Kay orders and stash them away in a travel bag so that when it’s time to go somewhere they are always handy. My husband spends a ton of time in hotels and he keeps me stocked with the individual makeup remover wipes and lotion. Do it- you will be glad you did!
5. Sign up for hotel points. Even if it takes you years to rack up enough for a free night, it’s FREE! I typically begrudge my husband being going so much but those free nights in NYC and Cabo make it worth it. Not only do we earn free nights on a regular basis but we get perks like free wifi, free breakfast (beyond what’s laid out for everyone to pick from), late check outs and early check ins, free drinks and snacks, and more! It’s all about the FREE!
6. Map it out. Sounds simple but few do it. Look up restaurants online, view menus and know what prices to expect, sign up for mailing lists from places you’d like to visit so you can get the free appetizer emails or discount coupons. Totally worth it.
Touching down in Charlotte. Hope this helps you plan your next trip!
Thanks for stopping by,