Travel Blog with tips, guides, reviews and inspiration for family travel

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

That travel bug...

I've been bitten - by the travel bug. Every time I get home from a trip and am super happy to crash in my own bed, and I've done all the laundry and unpacked, I start itching again(um no I didn't bring home bed bugs!) That itch to plan a trip and look forward to the anticipation of exploring some new corner of the world or going back to an old favourite.

Of course, this makes for some higher than average bills to pay and a cranky hubby! When thinking of planning travel I always turn to the resources at hand to help alleviate costs. This mama likes to save where she can, and here's how:

- Credit Cards: check them out, see what yours has to offer. Personally I always log onto our VISA Infinite Aventura program by CIBC to see how many points we've accumulated to help pay for flights, hotels, car rentals etc.

- Aeroplan: there may be some annoying blackout dates and restrictions, but somehow points often add up enough to send one of us someplace (and back!).

- Hotels: I've been going to booking.com to explore the different accommodation options that are available in my chosen destination.  Booking.com has options for free cancelations, so once I've done my research I can go back to easily make changes.
Another recent favourite has been to go to VRBO.com. When travelling as a family, we often look for accommodations with more space a kitchen and two bathrooms are always ideal for a family of 5! For our recent trip to Maui, I found a great deal for the Westin Nanea on VRBO that was less than what the west webpage was offering.  I saved even more money when the vacation rental company contacted me for booking directly with them.

- AMEX: I've been working on getting my centurion AMEX working for me lately.  Like most credit card companies with travel benefits, they have a dedicated travel concierge team to help me with my planning.  I always ask them to provide the properties that they are affiliated with so I can see what benefits and perks may work.
For our family trip to New York City, I chose The Loews Regency from their Fine Hotels & Resorts Program.  This program gave us early check in, late check out ( so I booked a later flight out to capitalize on the that final day in the big apple), breakfast included for 2 people, a $100 food and drink credit and upgraded rooms upon availability. The hotels in this collection are often expensive, but sometimes with the extra benefits it works out!

- Hotel programs: For our adult only trip to Bermuda (post coming soon!) - I took advantage of our benefits at Fairmont and used our two free nights for a quick weekend away. We had early check in and guaranteed late check out so we were able to book early and late flights to stretch out our two night stay into a full three day getaway.

-Airline Subscription Emails: to stay ahead of the game I pay attention to the Air Canada and West Jet emails we get with their special flight offers and use that to plan ahead for future travel. I mean, after all if I'm saving money on airfare, then I'm basically winning at the travel math right?

What travel planing tips do you use to help save money? This mama wants to know! Comment and let me know!


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