It’s not a lie, traveling is one of my most favorite things to do in life hands down. I think I work just for the chance of being able to travel somewhere new.
Today's podcast is all about Travel Secrets That Every Millennial Must Know.
Let’s focus on these key areas: How do you pay for this all, Deal sites you should know about, everything airfare, tips and tricks for traveling abroad and finally unique ideas for where to rest your head.
How Do You Pay For This?
The first thing you need to learn about traveling, or really anything in life, is that you can negotiate EVERYTHING. I know it seems weird and may be out of your comfort zone, but listen, if you can negotiate a hotel rate 20-30% off, maybe even more, why wouldn’t you at least try?
Here are my favorite sites:
With Credit, Please
With all the competition out there, credit card rewards have become really rich. Rather than signing up for those frequent flier cards with airlines, get yourself a credit card that earns rewards. For example, let me run down a few of my favorites.
The old classic card is American Express. They were the first, and although they’ve lagged a bit in innovation, they are adding benefits faster than you can send out a new tweet. One of the cards I love with Amex is the Starwood Preferred Guest CC. Starwood owns all kinds of hotel brands for budget, like Sheraton, to high-end like St. Regis and everything in between.
I’m not going to go into the nitty-gritty details, but the power of this card is STARPOINTS. You earn starpoints on all your purchases, which you can then use for free flights and hotels across the world. And now, I’m so excited for this, you can use your Amex points to redeem stays at Airbnb properties. Score- more on my love for Airbnb later.
I’m also a huge fan of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card because you can earn some mega points that you can use for all sorts of things, and you aren’t tied to one brand or one airline to redeem them. It’s like having your cake and eating it too. Who doesn't love a good piece of cake?
I also have an American Airlines AAdvantage Citi card. I fly American a ton, and they have a great alliance network. That means that I can use those points on many other airlines here or abroad. The best part of an airline card is that I save money on those silly baggage fees. With this card, I can get two free checked bags every time if I’m flying American. That alone saves me $100 round-trip for my husband and me.
Now for some strategy: if you are a responsible credit card carrier, put all your regular monthly expenses on your card- like groceries, eating out, books, etc. Pay the cc off each month. You are helping build your credit score, while also scoring some major points. I just recently found out about a company called Charge Smart- look them up online. You can set up an account to pay your utility bills, student loans and other bills that you normally can’t put on a cc. The perk is that you are getting points for all of this.
The goal then is at the end of the year, combined with your sign up points, and your yearly points, that you could easily take a trip with a free flight, and free hotel rooms. See how easy that is?
If you are looking for super good – low-cost deals, Groupon Getaways should be in your bookmarks. They change what they offer all the time, but you can get cool local trips all the way to international trips to Europe and beyond.
If you are looking something a bit more, say we say upscale, check out Luxury Link. While some of their packages might be a tad above your budget, you can find some great deals. If you are splitting with a friend, then it gets even better. They also have an option where you can straight out buy a package, but you can also place a bid through their auction feature.
Shannah Compton Game is a podcast host and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER of the top-rated Millennial Money podcast. Millennial Money has over 6-million downloads in 164 countries. Shannah’s years of experience as a skilled Certified Financial Planner have set her on a mission to revolutionize how people think, act, and feel about their finances…and have some fun doing so.