I came across a term ‘Travel Hack’ yesterday, and with interest I started reading the internets to see what it’s all about.
I love to travel, but since RichLifeJnr came along, our trips have been limited to visits to the family, short farmstays and weekends at a beach house. My Wanderlust has not gone away though and I’ve been getting itchy feet lately.
Now that we are trying to stick to a budget in preparation for early retirement, does that mean my travel dreams get put on hold indefinitely? No necessarily…I just need to be smarter about how we might travel.
Getting to and from anywhere when you live in Australia is just downright expensive. However I suddenly remembered that I have membership with both Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity. Out of interest I logged on to my accounts and was pleasantly surprised at the number of points I have.
202,797 points. That’s enough to get returns flights to Bangkok for all three of us.
In researching Travel Hacks, I also came across ideas to boost the number of points you have. After a bit of research I discovered that ANZ is currently offering a credit card with 50,000 bonus Qantas frequent flyer points. I’m going to look into that a bit more seriously, because buying those extra points would cost over $1000.
50,000 extra points would mean all three of us could get return flights to Johannesburg, Tokyo or Honolulu!
41,437 points. For that, I can get a return flight to Fiji for one of us or all three of us to Brisbane or Melbourne return.
I haven’t yet been able to find any amazing deals to boost my Velocity points, but realised that I can add my car rental for my upcoming trip. That might add a bit.
I’ve never really been that interested in cruising, but after reading a few blogs from Families who are travelling the world in slow time, I might be converted. The idea is that if you have excess time, but limited funds you can actually use cruises to get you between locations, whilst providing accommodation, food and entertainment for a reasonable daily budget.
As an example, VacationsToGo currently has a deal where you can travel London to Boston for AUD$801 per person ($57 per night) or Vancouver to Los Angeles for $181 per person ($31 per night).
I have even seen deals where kids under 17 travel for free. Obviously this type of travel requires extreme flexibility, but I have dreams of being free enough to take advantage of such deals. It might be something we consider when RichLifeJnr is out of nappies and old enough to go to the kids club.
In Australia, I regularly use Stayz to book reasonably priced, self contained apartments or houses. I love that you usually have your own cooking and washing facilities and can live more like a local, without breaking the budget. There are probably better ways to organise longer stays, but I find short breaks have been well accommodated using this website.
AirBnB is another website I’m hearing good things about, but I haven’t used it yet. It seems Australia hasn’t quite embraced it yet, but some of the places in Europe look fantastic. Dreaming of an apartment in Prague for a month!
How about you? Have you got any Travel Hacks you care to share?
Photo by: Norma Desmond