Day 3140 – 250,000 Miles Later, And This “Guy” Still Has My Heart – or – Happy Valentine’s Day To My Car

I celebrated a very important event yesterday – my car hit a quarter of a million miles. I actually pulled over to the side of the highway to Facetime with Bret to celebrate the occasion. He’s been with Sam (my car) and I for a lot of the journey. I think we figured Bret joined us around 30,000 miles.

Sam has taken me across the country three times. He’s taken me up and down the east coast many times. He’s taken me to the beach.

He was there when I had my first conversations with Bret.

I’ve loved this car so so so much. He was brand new when I got him, with only about 100 miles under his belt.

He’s hit a few deer. He’s slid on some ice. He’s been in a few fender benders.

He’s held me while I cried. He’s held me while I laughed.

Many stories have been told through his amazing sound system.

I’ve given him mid-grade gas pretty much his whole life.

Sam, it’s been great hitting such a big milestone with you dude. Here’s hopin’ we make it another quarter million miles.

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Day 3131 – Southwest Credit Card And Rapid Rewards Tips – repost

One thing I’m doing in the next few weeks is figuring out how many points we’ll need for our next Cali flight, then I can figure out how to get those points. Check out some of my tips below.

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originally posted 4/18/16
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We absolutely LOVE Southwest, the credit card and rapid rewards program. Seriously. We are not paid to say this! Though, people have asked if owned stock in them. Which wouldn’t be a bad idea! I love talking about travel and saving money (check out yesterday’s post on cross country travel for more on that!)

I wanted to share a few things with you!

First, there is a promotion going on where you can earn a nice bonus of miles:
If you’re interested in getting the Southwest credit card, let me know your email address and I can send you some info. There’s a promotion right now where I get 5,000 miles for everyone who signs up and hits a minimum. If you spend $2000 in 3 months, you get 50,000 miles, which is enough for 2 round trip tickets. We’re big fans of Southwest. We’ve gotten to fly almost free ($22 in fees/taxes), almost all the way to Cali to visit Bret’s family 3 times because of the cards. (We have two accounts with them). We’ve used the card for a while now, I’m able to pay it off online immediately (I’ve seen credit cards where you have to wait until it posts to the account before you can pay). lol, how else can I say I’m not trying to sell you something, we really do love Southwest and their credit card.

Tips to get more miles!

If you don’t have it yet, sign up for rapid rewards through Southwest. It’s free. I tell people, think of this like a grocery store’s membership card. And the credit card is like the store credit card.

First, log in to Southwest.com and check out the following:

Companion pass
Click on Rapid Rewards
The first window should show Snapshot. This is where you’ll see how close you are to a companion pass. It does look like it’s cumulative, but it’s only in one year. I haven’t hit this yet, but if you get a new southwest card and get that 50,000 AND follow some of these tips, I wouldnt’ see why you couldn’t get to the 110,000 miles.

Promotions

While logged in still, click on the promotions tab, you’ll see current deals.

Rocketmiles
You can book hotels through here and apply them to your Southwest card. They may be double/triple. Your first stay will give you a bonus 5,000 miles (not sure if that’s a constant promotion or not). Each night will give you about 1,000+ miles. These hotels cost a little more, maybe $20-30 more than we typically spend, but when we’re getting essentially $1000 worth of miles, it’s no biggie.

Dining rewards
Sign up here, you can attach up to 5 credit cards (don’t think they have to be a southwest card, but I haven’t tested it out). The points won’t count until your cards are attached. You’ll see that you can write reviews and get more points. The first time you go has a huge bonus.

A whole bunch of tips here!

A ton more ways to get bonuses can be found here.
Click through the different areas at the top – Travel, specialty, home, etc. e-rewards is found under Specialty – it’s an easy/free way to earn miles.

e-rewards
This is an easy and free way to earn miles. This is a survey site. Once you get to $100 worth of “survey money” you can transfer them to your rewards account. Last time I checked, $100 = 1000 miles! I haven’t done this in a while, but when I was, it didn’t take long at all to get to $100. This is a great thing to do while watching TV or waiting in line.

Do you have any good tips for quickly earning miles?

Thanks to Tif for my favorite airport picture, ever.

day_00793b

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
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Day 3128 – One Of My Best Experiences Was Right In Front Of My Face And How You Can Experience It Too

Eight years ago, we were drowning in debt, I was working a job that was not the right fit for me, I was struggling to build a photography business, and I really wanted to travel. It was the second Christmas Bret and I were married and we were hoping to visit his family in California. We had flown the year before, and friends, as I’ve written before, flying to California is a LOT during the holidays. I’m so thankful for Southwest and our many free/cheap flights over the years, but I hadn’t discovered this magic yet. When we started to do the math, and look at the time off we could both get, we realized that driving might be an option. It turns out that it was really affordable to drive across the country instead of flying. There is the time factor, you have to take off work (thus not make money, unless you get vacation time) and spend days in a car. But we did it, only stopped at a few hotels, and got our visit.

Here’s the thing though, we got to take a cross country trip! We did something together that people sometimes only dream about. To us, it was a way to save money, to make it work with what we had. But as it turns out, we were able to see eight states on that trip. We were able to spend days together. We took a totally epic road trip.

We used this technique two more times for Christmas visits until Bret started a full time teaching job. It wasn’t until our 2016 summer road trip that I realized I had learned a really valuable skill – how to take an epic road trip on any budget. I learned so much the hard way (and some the easy way) that I could use to help others take an epic trip as well.

It seems to me that people don’t realize how easy and affordable it can be to take a road trip. I figured out a sample budget for a trip from Baltimore to the Grand Canyon for two people under $500! While I haven’t taken that exact trip myself, I have gotten coast to coast for under $500 in gas (for my 2016 trip…but that was not a straight coast to coast, ha ha, we went all over the place on that one!)

There’s one phrase that I hate to hear when I tell people about my cross country travels – “I’ve always wanted to do that.” It seems to be quickly followed by a “I can’t wait until I retire to do it” or “once I have XZY I’ll take it” or “every other excuse in the book.” I want to shake them and say, “don’t you understand? You CAN take an amazingly epic trip on any budget!” Coming from the experience of paying off a debt of over $30,000 , I know what it means to sacrifice to save. The hard work we put in to get out of that hole really prepared us to plan and save for the road trips we wanted to take.

So friends, listen, it IS possible to take a cross country road trip. You CAN take the trip. I have put together all my knowledge over the years into a book, it’s not long, you can probably read it in one sitting. It will help you plan YOUR epic road trip, so you can be the person that people say to “Oh my gosh, I’ve always wanted to do that!” You can hand them my book (which hopefully you’ve got a physical copy of and have written all over!) and say, “here, this is how you can take one, and much sooner than you think.”

So if you want to take an epic road, get a copy of my book (which includes the sample trip for under $500 to the Grand Canyon), and then I want to hear your story of how you TOOK the trip. (p.s. If you have Amazon Prime, you can get it TOMORROW!)

Here’s us on our first epic road trip at the Grand Canyon.

When are you taking your epic road trip?

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
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Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
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Day 3109 – How You Should Spend Your Day Off Tomorrow – or – Free National Park Day Tomorrow!

There are four days/weeks every year that the amazing National Park Service offers free entry into their parks. Tomorrow is one of them!

So get thyself to the free beauty!

This is us at the Badlands.

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
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Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
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Day 3108 – Make Your Dream Come True Day

I love days like today because I’m a big believer in not just having big dreams, but actually achieving them. For years, I struggled with making my dreams come true. I was a great dreamer, but a poor executor. Thankfully, I’ve made some changes and have grown a lot in this area. Here are some things that have helped me achieve my big dreams.

Have a plan and a goal. I talk about this a lot in my road trip book (link at the bottom of this post). You gotta know what your trip will cost and then break down how you will save for that. Until you can have a clear plan to get to your goal, you’ll (likely) never get there. I have a goal of reading 300 books this year. I have systems in place to hit this goal, and have ways to read every day to make progress towards that goal.

Realize that any progress each day is progress – even if it’s super small. Some days, I’m only working on one page, or one paragraph on my alcoholism memoir. But it’s one step closer each day.

Some dreams need a deadline and others just need daily consistency. My memoir is a great example of a daily consistency goal. I have no idea how long it will take me to finish writing. But since it’s a different type of book than I’ve ever written, I want to trust the process of showing up every day and eventually get to the published point.

Make it a game. For my morning checklist (writing, working out, reading a book on book marketing, reading through Tribe of Mentors, and working on Pinterest), I printed out dated grids which I highlight every day I do them. This is a great visual reminder of what I’ve done and for how long. Seeing progress is a big motivator. We’ve talked about making a pie chart or something to show how we’re doing in each of our budgets and trying to stay under so we can put more towards other investments (whether real estate or savings or whatever).

Realize it will be messy and hard. Going after any dream will have challenges. I think knowing you will experience them helps the process.

How are you making your dreams come true today?

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel