I am often asked how I am able to afford to travel so much. No I have not won the lottery, I have just made smart decisions in my traveling. In this post I will give you some of my travel tips to help maximize your traveling. I will break them into areas that consume the most amount of money.
- I made a couple smart decisions a few years back and purchased a couple Wyndham and a WorldMark timeshare on eBay. You can get them dirt cheap and the resorts are a great place to stay. If you do a search on my blog you will see that I have stayed at several of the resorts. The nice thing with the timeshare resorts is you only pay your monthly dues after you have purchased the timeshare (if you look and wait you can find some great steals on eBay). With this just know that you will get pressured to purchase more credits, if you are firm when you go to the meetings you can end up with some free stuff. Just be firm when you say you don’t want to purchase from them. If you love the lifestyle you can purchase a few credits to get some of the perks that are lost on the resale market. But only if you enjoy yourself and the experience.
- The second is I have found a hotel brand that I am loyal to. Given I own a business I was able to sign up for the business program at Best Western and as the owner of the business I get an automatic upgrade to the highest tier rewards. So when I am not staying at a resort of Wyndham or WorldMark’s I am staying at Best Western’s hotels. I get tones of rewards and they add up to tones of free stays. They had a promotion going on this summer for bonus points the road trip I took allowed me to get almost 4 free nights. Thats a pretty quick reward.
- If I am able to drive to my destination I often prefer to drive. There is so much you can see and do along the way plus who doesn’t like a good old fashioned road trip. I used to do a long term lease from a rental car company but it cost more than purchasing a car and the maintenance of the car when it came time to renew. So I went on True Car and found a dealer that had a base model Ford Escape. Something I could run 100,000 miles into in 5 years without it costing an arm and a leg. Plus who needs all the fancy stuff in the car when your doing so much driving. It means more of an expense and your going to end up wearing the car out anyway with the milage. For example I purchased my Ford Escape in January and Im already at almost 18,000 miles in less than a year.
- If I have to travel by air I use http://momondo.com to check for flights. A friend of mine turned me onto this website and I have used it since. I may not book through them, but I do find the flights I want. I am very loyal to my brands and for flying I love to stick with United. Because I love legroom and they have economy plus. If your going to do tones of flying in the year the subscription is a good value. After landing I usually pick up a rental car from Avis. I have used them all and by far the best price, service, and quality of car has come from Avis. It does help that I get my corporate rewards and discounts as well.
Food – This is one of the most expensive parts of travel. If you stay at a resort being disciplined and going to get food from a local grocery story helps save tones of money. For a weekend your talking about $50 to $60 bucks for the several meals and thats about the price out for 1 meal for 2 or 3 people depending on the restaurant. If I am not staying at a resort I always get a hotel with a breakfast, limit lunch to fast food type places (something you would spend $20 or less on for 2 or 3 people), and then dinner is a nice restaurant where you could spend $50 to $50 bucks. This helps keep the costs low even though you are eating out.
Hopefully you guys find this information useful and it shows you how I am able to travel around so much.