How We Vacation For Nearly FREE
If you have been following TOTS for a bit, you know we have a large family.
My husband and I work hard and make a good, but not crazy good, income.
As a large family with a reasonable income, vacationing is considered a luxury.
However, that hasn’t stopped us over the last few years.
Last year, we took our family of 6 on a 19 day vacation, which included a Caribbean cruise, 4 days in Puerto Rico and 3 days in Houston.
Our total cost for the trip was only $1200.
For just over $1000 our vacation included flights, the cruise, hotels, meals, rental cars and excursions.
Want to hear how this was possible?
Earning the Vacation
Much of our vacation was earned and not paid for out of pocket.
I do not mean EARN in the generic, go to work and EARN a paycheck kind of method.
Like most families, the income earned through both my part-time and my husband’s full-time job, are used to pay the mortgage, tuition and food.
Very little is left for vacations.
Through loyalty card points, we were able to pay for our travel and other expenses for our vacation.
As with any large family vacation, ours always takes a significant amount of planning.
Not only do I plan what we are going to do on the trip itself, but how I am going to EARN our vacation.
Many credit cards offer points that can be redeemed for travel or cash back.
I like to get the best bang for my buck and have done extensive research to find a card that gives me the flexibility of redemption, but also many ways to earn points.
It is not too difficult to find a credit card which gives points when shopping.
Just finding a card which gives you loyalty points is not enough.
To fully take advantage of the points you can earn I always look for a card that provides increased points at partners that I know I will shop at.
I also use my credit card and charge everything.
And I mean everything.
Instead of having the money come out of my bank account I just transfer my payments from my bank account to the credit card.
Use Rewards card on Groceries
I typically shop wherever retailers accept my rewards card.
What does this mean?
It means that I earn Rewards points per dollar I spend.
Some of the creative accounting that I do in order to pay for our vacation may include redeeming points for groceries the month before our trip.
We use that budgeted money for our food during our holiday.
Other Ways To Earn More Rewards
We set up automatic payments for our landline and mobile phones and our Cable and Internet services. So we earn points on payments that we must make anyways!
Keep It Fun
I know that not everyone is a self-proclaimed ‘nerd’ like myself, but I love the challenge of finding ways to earn rewards and redeem them in the most efficient way.
I make spreadsheets and do the math.
Think and rethink ways to make it all happen and achieve my goal.
Not only do I enjoy the problem solving, but it also makes the vacation even more rewarding knowing that we worked hard to make it happen.
Next time you vacation EARN it instead of paying for it. Use a points or rewards card.