In the past 4 years Jen and I have traveled to Philadelphia, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Utah, San Francisco, Sedona and Phoenix Arizona, South Dakota, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Hawaii and we are now planning a trip to Scotland. People often ask us how we pay for it. Well, don’t have kids. Ok, just kidding. You can travel also with kids. I travel with Jen and she needs naps, so that’s sorta like traveling with a kid.
The biggest tip we can provide is don’t plan to plan but plan. Got it? Good. What this means is that we have a general idea of what we want to do and where we want to go. But we are not initially fixated on a specific destination.
For instance, we wanted to attend the Ryder Cup in France in September, 2018 But when we sat down to begin looking at our options, we discovered that tickets were sold out. We then decided, on a whim, to check out if there were tickets to the British Open. Bam! There were and they were affordable. So we decided to head to Scotland in July rather than France in September.
For the Open, we bought the cheap general admission tickets and opted to camp in Carnoustie rather than shell out big money for a hotel.
So now for the airfare. We both own our businesses and expense everything on reward cards. So we have a lot of points. Yet, since I am frugal, I just don’t go and book the first ticket I can find. I use an app to track flight prices for me and set up alerts. This is extremely important because, if you travel, you know that if you look one day at airline ticket prices, the next time you log in, the prices have gone up. This is because travel sites such as Priceline, Expedia and even individual airline sites, recognize that you are checking in from the same computer. So gotcha. Using an app such as skyscanner removes this from the equation.
I begin watching my app every other day or so to see if prices are changing. Then, one Wednesday, in the middle of my work day, my travel app sent me a notification that prices have dropped by $250 per ticket.
Bam again. I login into my credit card booking page and found 2 tickets to Scotland and by using points, we are only paying $132 total. Yes, it will cost us $66 each to fly round trip to Scotland.
But wait, there’s more! On the flight back, I opted for a 21 hour layover. Why would I do that? Because it’s in Dublin and now we will be able to have dinner in Dublin and a morning checking out Trinity College’s magnificent library.