TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REWARDS POINTS –
If you don’t mind a little extra work and energy you can travel for cheaper or for free by utilizing bonus offers on credit cards. Do not spend more than you normally would and pay your balance off in full EVERY month. However, if you take advantage of these offers and are strategic about it you can travel for free. I really enjoy the math behind this strategy and will write more in a more detailed post later but for now I will say this.
1- The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my favorite card currently.
2- They are offering a 50,000 point sign-up bonus if you spend a certain amount in the first 3 months of having the card. That equates to about $800-$1000 in free travel.
3- The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with lounge access, Global Entry, trip protection, trip insurance, a travel credit of $300 (including Uber) and you can earn 3X the points when you spend on travel with this card.
BOOK FLIGHTS DURING THE WEEK –
Tuesday is the cheapest time to fly. If you can schedule a trip or vacation to leave Tuesday or Wednesday you can save a TON! Almost 40-50 percent off depending on where you are going.
CALL THE HOTEL DIRECTLY TO BOOK A CHEAPER STAY –
Sign up for the rewards program your hotel offers (Hilton Honors, Hyatt Rewards, etc.) for extra points and perks during your trip and to take advantage of their discounted rate for “rewards members” – ( it is free to join these programs).
NEGOTIATE A SPONSORED STAY
If you are a full-time blogger or influencer or blogging is just a hobby or passion – consider reaching out to hotels or other lodging to negotiate a sponsored stay in exchange for content. If you are traveling during a non-peak time and the hotel or place you are staying has vacancies they wouldn’t fill anyway – it’s a win-win for both you and the business you are dealing with.
TRAVEL IN NON-PEAK SEASONS
Some destinations are beautiful all year-long. Consider spending the holidays at home with your family and instead schedule your trip for a non-peak time.
GET A CARD WITH LOUNGE ACCESS
Some people don’t realize that a lot of airport lounges include free food and alcohol and if your credit card allows it you can bring guests. When I travel, I can bring up to 2 guests into the Priority Pass Lounge. This membership came with my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
ONE “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” – This is old advice but it is true and it is accurate. Focus on what you can control and let go of the rest. In both your professional life and your personal life you should prioritize and then act.
TWO Set up systems and processes – This means setting up automatic and routine systems to make your life easier, that might be automatic bill-pay, a certain amount of money transferred into a retirement account every month, cleaning a certain part of your house each day (kitchen, vacuuming, etc.) – whatever the process is make it easy and automatic and let autopilot do the rest.
THREE Outsource what you dislike – I learned this the hard way. There is a finite number of hours in the day and you cannot do it all and you will be better off if you don’t try. Research suggests that if we outsource what we don’t like we are happier and more relaxed overall, this ties back into setting up systems and processes. If you don’t like cleaning and work long hours, hire someone to clean your house and make sure they come on the same day every month. For example: set up your cleaning on the last Friday of every month and set a calendar reminder, it will become routine and you’ll remember to leave money or set up an automatic payment method.
FOUR Take calculated risks – You will never have all of the skills required for the dream job you want and that’s ok – you will learn it and it will be OK. Find the balance between sitting on the sidelines and being reckless with your time, energy and finances… remember “Fortune favors the bold.”
FIVE Invest the surplus. If you have extra cash or capital do one or all of the following: pay it forward, reinvest in an activity or venture you love, invest for the future
SIX Everything is negotiable. Remember that not everything is financial – you can negotiate other perks for yourself such as more paid time off, remote work, education, increased healthcare benefits, etc… just have the courage to ask and advocate for yourself. 9/10 times the worst that will happen is someone will say no and that’s not such a bad things – you’ve learned valuable communication and negotiation skills and upped your resilience and courage.