Minhee and I enjoy traveling but like many others, we have financial limitations or restrictions. So over the years, we’ve learned to be creative as well as some tricks to save funds.
In addition, when you have three children – airfares add up and the “stress factor” must be taken into consideration as well. Flying with three kids over long distances is not an easy task. Single folks that suggest to us, “Just give them Benadryl,” have no idea what they’re talking about. This is probably why we enjoy driving to places around the Northwest. Our favorite destinations are: 1) Vancouver, BC, 2) Lake Chelan, 3) Whistler, BC, 4) Cannon Beach, OR, and 5) any local parks in the greater Seattle area.
Minhee and I have similar values on finances and stewardship so it makes traveling fun since we rarely have arguments over money. We enjoy traveling but we’re also both bargain hunters.
We’re in Hawaii right now. Yesterday, I blogged about the flash flood warnings. While we didn’t see any floods, we saw rain like we’ve never seen rain before. It poured like crazy for about an hour. The hotel we are staying at for couple nights became deserted except lo and behold, our three children who braved the rainstorm and managed to get in a good half hour swim at the pool. I was one proud daddy.
So, back to bargain traveling:
- Round trip airfare to Hawaii from Seattle: $264. That’s cheaper than our flights to San Francisco. Why? It’s not the holiday season yet.
- We mostly book our hotels via Priceline. You’re concerned that you have no idea what you’ll get? We use priceline but we know 90% what we’re getting. We bid on priceline and got the hotel we wanted – about 45% off their hotel rate. How? We love using the information available on Bidding for Travel. Study it before you use it. We occasionally use Hotwire but their fees are higher than Priceline. If you want to know which hotels are featured on Hotwire, we use Better Bidding.
- ALWAYS ask kindly for an upgrade and you’ll like get one especially if you’re enrolled in their hotel program. We got upgraded to a great large corner room overlooking the beautiful ocean and they threw in free breakfast for our ENTIRE stay [valued at $20/person] because we’re enrolled in the program. For the five of us, that’s a huge savings.
- When we travel, we rarely ever do any shopping. We rest, eat good food, bring good DVDs, and enjoy our time together. Shopping = waste of money.
- Accumulate as much airline mileage as possible. At one point, I had accumulated over 500,000 miles which was used for lots of great trips.
- I signed us up for Home Exchanges but have yet to use it. However, we’ve had numerous requests from around the world. We’re signed up with HomeExchange.com.
- We use CraigsList for local travel. We find incredible condo deals for our summer travel to Lake Chelan .
Do you have bargain travel secrets or suggestions? Share away! Happy travels – by car, train, boat, or plane.