Happy New Year
It’s January 9th. Happy New Year!! I can still say that, right? It’s not just a phrase reserved for December 31st and January 1st…at least I hope it’s not. Are you still plugging away at your New Year resolution or have you already puttered out??? Me…I’m not really sure. I haven’t actually made a New Year resolution in many years. I do, however, always try to strive to be some better version of myself…sometimes I hit the mark and sometimes I totally miss it, but the goal is there nonetheless. Side note…the last time I gave myself a resolution it was to be better at sending out cards…you know, greeting cards, birthday cards, thank you’s, etc. I’m terrible about it…better than I used to be, but still could use some work.
Back to the subject. While not a resolution, I’m always on a quest for better health…my close friends can attest to this truth in my life. So, I decided that the first trip for the blog and the New Year needed to be somewhere with healthy living and beautiful weather to soak up some Vitamin D! So, like any traveler I start making a short list. On the list…San Diego, Miami, Phoenix, Sedona, Denver sort of makes the list, but the weather isn’t what I want for this trip. Then, one of two things happens for me…I either start looking at flights, or I check out hotels. Those are typically your two biggest expenses on any trip. From time to time, there are ways around those expenses with flight miles and loyalty point programs, a subject that hubs has mastered, and a subject that I’ll talk frequently about here. Ever wonder how our family of 6 travels as often as we do for as long as we do…points! The truth is most people do not know how to use them, so they seem to have little value to most…I hope that by following this blog that I’m able to change your mind about that a little.
Phoenix, Actually Scottsdale It Is
After a little research, I was able to find airline tickets on United Airlines for cheap. The deal got even sweeter when I added frequent flyer miles to mix. My round trip ticket ended up costing me $72! I applied frequent flyer miles for the trip to Phoenix, and paid $72 for my return trip back home. Now, $72 is crazy cheap, so cheap that I opted to save those precious miles on the return trip and pay “cash” for that part.
Here are a couple of other tips when looking and booking airline tickets…Tuesdays around midnight is the best time to book a flight…lots of people know that it’s generally cheaper to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. What most people don’t know is that the cheapest time to book flights is around midnight on Tuesdays…experts say travelers save on average about 6%. So, tuck that away in your memory, and the next time you need to book a flight…set an alarm and go to work!
Here’s my next big secret. I haven’t paid for a room in 8 years. Points, points, points! In some way, shape, or form our family accrues or pays for points, but to actually pay cash or use a credit card to secure a room…hasn’t happened in 8 years! With that being said, I only stay at Starwood Properties…Starwood is a parent company for Westin, Sheraton, St. Regis, Le Meridian, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Aloft and Element…and in a merger last year it now also includes every Marriott hotel, including The Ritz Carlton properties. Without getting into to much detail right now…hubs made some smart vacation decisions for his family starting back about 10 years ago. It’s a system that just works for our family, but that’s a completely different post or 2!
So, grand total for Scottsdale trip for airfare and room…a whopping $72. No brainer…YEP, I’ll take it! Last thing I need to secure is a car and a friend to go with me!
Car…check! Friend…check! And just to drive home that point value again. Through Hertz, I’m able to take the points I earn from their Hertz Gold Rewards program and have them go into my United Airlines frequent flyer miles program. See, all kinds of things that you can do with points if you know what your doing! Plus, I got a deep discount and a class upgrade on the car from the vacation ownership program hubs bought into years ago. Lots of people look down on these programs, but if I’m honest I can only think of 1 other person that could travel the way that our family travels…if she’s reading this I’m sure she knows I’m thinking about her.
So, for a grand total of less than $250 I’m on a girls trip with my person (if you don’t know what a “my person” is go watch Grey’s Anatomy), enjoying the most perfect weather and hoping to get in a couple of health activities to start this New Year off right! Next post will be all about the Scottsdale, promise! But today, I wanted to start opening eyes and educating people about the possibility that good travel can be affordable and fun!
What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten on travel? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!!!