Day 2527 – Repost – Love To Travel, But Don’t Have The Money? – or – How We’re Flying To California For Free (Almost)

This was originally posted February 27, 2015.


We LOVE to travel!! I don’t think we realized how much until we had more money to do so!

Before this Christmas, we tended to take the super cheap ways in travel. We’d have to get a lower grade room or sleep in our car. We even had to cut our honeymoon short. Being in debt for so long, finally paying it off and Bret landing a teaching job has radically changed our financial situation.

We’ve splurged a little over the past few months with travel and eating out. I told you a few days back that we’re taking a weekend trip to go to a concert. While booking the hotel, I realized, you know, I just learned a LOT of great tips for saving on flights…I should share that!

A few months back, we finally signed up for a Southwest credit card. I think it’s one of the better rewards credit cards out there…especially if you fly even a little.

I lucked out and signed up during a promotion; if you spend $2000 within your first 90 days, you’ll get 50,000 bonus miles.

We hope to hit that number pretty soon. What I love about the Southwest Credit Card so far is how easy it is to earn miles and opportunities for bonus miles.

A particularly awesome way to rack up the points is Rocketmiles (clicking on this link and booking a hotel will give me bonus miles, for full-disclosure). This is a way to earn rapid rewards through booking hotels. I just booked our hotel for the concert and will get a bonus 5,000 miles! I mean, that’s like spending $5000 on my credit card! So, just by booking a hotel through the website (which we needed anyway), I’m getting miles.

Let me give a practical example.

You earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on your purchases. You’ll get 2 miles for every dollar spent through Southwest and their travel partners (hotels and car rentals). I’ve noticed they send a ton of other ways to get bonus miles too. Before Valentine’s Day, they had an offer for bonus miles if you ordered flowers through 1-800 flowers.

Now let’s break down your potential based on your normal cost of living expenses. Since this can range depending on a million factors, I’m going to just use $2000 as a starting point. I’ll also use our typical travel as well.

Yearly expenses amount – $24,000 i.e. 24,000 points
Our bonus for signing up and spending the amount required on the new credit card – 50,000 miles
Our bonus for booking a hotel through Rocketmiles (clicking on this link and booking a hotel will give me bonus miles, for full-disclosure) – 5,000 miles
Rough estimate of cost of tickets to California at Christmas time for two – $1,100
Rough estimate of points for California at Christmas time for two – 76,578 miles
Rough cost of tickets to California at Christmas time after using points – $22.00

Total miles earned – 79,000
Miles left over after booking flight – 2,422
Cost to visit family for Christmas – $22

What about you? Do you have any money saving travel tips??


Day 2176 – How I Saved About $70 On Extra Expenses For Our Trip To California

You may have read my tips on how we flew to California for almost free. Today I wanted to share another tip!

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that we love to save money in any way that we can….really, so that we can splurge later on things like trips to California or gaming systems. I’ve talked a lot about the library. It’s a fantastic way to get a lot of reading material without spending the money. It’s one of those things that I’m like, how is this even possible???

I recently discovered that you can borrow magazines both physically and via a mobile app. Yesterday, I found about six physical magazines and am currently downloading 7 more. An average magazine runs about $4, so there’s 44 bucks. I also checked out two books, which run between $10-15 each.

One of my “treats” when I fly is buying a magazine or two, so this is a HUGE savings for us! And it means I can have more reading materials too!

Do you have any money saving travel tips?



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