People always ask me how can I afford to travel so much or to take the trips that I take. To be completely honest, I make travel a priority. I’m Type A when it comes to most things but when it comes to booking travel I’m pretty spontaneous.
While my travel bucket list currently has 25+ countries on it plus several destinations in the U.S., my travel is usually dictated by airline glitches or unheard of low fares. Of course, it’s important that the dates work for my schedule. Sometimes travel deals appear and I just can’t pass them up. I guess I’m an impulsive shopper sometimes when it comes to travel.
Another thing that comes in handy when trying to do more travel is to have multiple streams of income. I’ve literally have had at least two incomes since my Freshman year in college, can’t believe that was almost 20 years ago. Back then my rationale was very different. Fortunately, having secondary streams of income have allowed me to have more spending money that can of course goes to traveling. A part-time job is always an option, tutoring and mystery shopping can be lucrative too.
It’s important to keep a second bank account, namely a travel saving account, so you’re already ready in the event of an amazing flight deal that you just can’t pass up. If taking on a second job isn’t an option, simply have a set amount taken directly out of your paycheck each pay period (say $25 or $50) and sent to this account. Trust me, you won’t even notice it’s gone.
Also, having a travel credit card that allows you to earn points, miles, or hotel stays is essential. If you’re loyal to a specific hotel chain, like I am to SPG (the company that owns Westin W, Sheraton, St. Regis, Le Meridien, Aloft, Element, Luxury Collection and a few others) the Starwood Preferred AMEX is a great choice, or you favorite airline (both American and Delta have great cards and tons of incentives for their cardholders). There’s always AMEX Platinum, their $550 annual fee isn’t for the faint of heart but the benefits outweigh the annual cost for frequent travelers. Another favorite is the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred depending on what benefits you’re looking for.
It makes sense to get one of these cards when they’re offering an incentive, say 50k or 100k bonus points when you open a new account. My advice is to stick to using just one card for everything and pay it off each month so you don’t get into trouble.
For my other frequent travelers, please share any tips you give to others who are looking to step their travel game up.