Airlines

How Do I Do All This Travel?

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When people first become acquainted with my love (lust?) for travel and hear about recent adventures, usually the first question I get is “oh, you must do a lot of travel for work?” I actually do no travel for work. Which I’ll admit, makes it really difficult to keep top tier status on an airline and expensive to keep status with hotels. In this regard I greatly envy Jeanne.

The next, understandable, question is so “How do you do it? How do you go all these places? You must be out of the office all the time!”

Two key points here:

  • The nonprofit I work for does have a very generous vacation policy, although I usually only take one long trip of 1-2 weeks a year, the rest is a day here or there, with the bulk being used for spending holidays with my family.
  • I devote most of my discretionary income to travel (you’d laugh if you saw how basic the electronics and furniture in my place are). And this is a great lead in to shamelessly plug making any Amazon purchases through our site to help fund mine & Jeanne’s travel 😀

So, how do I do it.

I love weekend trips. I understand that for many folks only being at a new or favorite location for a day or two wouldn’t be enough for the cost. But for me it is. The thrill of eating brunch overlooking the California mountains when early that morning I was looking at the DC monuments is incredible. New topography, sights, and sounds refresh and inspire me even if plane travel tires me. They require very little time off. With a weekend trip, at most you’re just leaving early on a Friday and best of all, you’re only on the hook for a hotel 2 nights, sometimes only one, which makes it cheaper!

At Haleakala Crater during a weekend in Maui

I live by my motto “If you like it, you can come back.” You don’t have to see everything in one visit, just see enough. That worked out well for my first 29 hour visit to Singapore which then resulted in my most recent trip in Singapore Air First.

I eschew redeyes. They always seem  like a good idea AND a cheaper option, but they leave you tired, worthless, and you lose all sense of being inspired and refreshed about one hour into the flight, if not the hour before you board.

I’m opportunistic. Much of my travel is decided by cheap fares. I have places I really want to visit for the first time, but when a <$300 fare to California pops up, or a $60 fare to Pensacola, I go there.

I only use my miles for trips in international first. I know it’s tempting, but spending 25,000+ miles for a $250-$500 domestic coach ticket isn’t worth it. 5 such tickets, which will usually wipe out a year or more of miles saved, could get you first class to Hong Kong on the amazing ANA flights, worth $13,000+. Or 90,000 miles gets you there in an awesome business class product. With that in perspective, was not having to pay for flights to a wedding two states over really worth it?

Dining together in Cathay First

Sitting together for dinner in Cathay Pacific First Class (140K miles)

I put everything on my credit cards. This is not for everyone — however you best handle your finances is how you should do it — but I put everything possible, from $1 sodas to $1,000 work expenses (when I can get them) on my mileage earning credit cards. The $1 might not seem like a big deal, but everything adds up.

I laugh a lot. That point has nothing to do with travel, but lest the post sound a little too self-important I thought I’d throw that in there 🙂

Puerto Rico coast

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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

3 Comments

  1. Becky @ New Girl in the Air

    April 12, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I love reading how other people fit in travel 🙂 Like you, I don’t travel for work so it’s all on my own dime and with time off restrictions from work, I tend to do a lot of shorter getaways as well. Happy travels and looking forward to hearing about your next weekend trip.

  2. Pingback: The Travel Advice We Get Asked for the Most: How Do We Fly So Cheap? - Heels First Travel

  3. Pingback: The Travel Advice We Get Asked for the Most: How Do We Fly So Cheap? | Hack.Travel

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