People often ask me if I’m ever home. We love being at home and I can happily do it for weeks on end but I’m determined to make the most of this short time on earth and see and do as much as possible. And that means holidays!
I’m sure there are people who think we have won Lotto or are secretly running covert illegal activities but the truth is we are just a normal hard-working family trying to make the most of what we have.
So what are the things we do in order to maximise our travel and holiday opportunities ?
- Join every rewards program we can ( that doesn’t cost more than it gives). It baffles me when I hear people in the supermarket saying they don’t have a rewards card. Even my Priceline cards gets me a free lipstick every few months.
- Use those reward cards to collect points. It pays to carry around a list ( or better yet use an App like RewardWallet or Points.com) so you don’t forget to scan your cards at every opportunity. And make sure you have the appropriate links in place too – ie Woolies can now be linked with your Velocity card, Qantas had partnered with Deliveroo and Airbnb.
- Be loyal yourself. It will take a long time to earn points you can actually use if you spread your loyalty around too much. We have made the decision to book wherever possible with Qantas and their OneWorld partners which gets us to a higher status level faster.
- Make sure you’ve got the best credit card you can. Many cards are connected to airline program but lots of them are capped, whilst those that aren’t capped often have high fees. Spend time doing a thorough comparison and change cards if it is viable. But then you need to be VERY disciplined. This approach only works if they are paid off, in full, each month.
- Do Home Swaps. We have done 3 swaps in the past and have another booked for the new year. Some sites, such as LoveHomeSwap allow you to earn points that you bank and use at a later time. Home swaps are also a great way to have your pets looked after.
- Rent your place out on Airbnb. We have done this now over twenty times and that money has effectively paid for us to go somewhere else. There is a quite a lot of work involved and it doesn’t suit everyone but when it does work, it works very well. Even an unused spare room or garage can be turned into an income producing space.
- Some of our best memories have been at remarkable places where we have only stayed a night or two as that’s all the budget allowed. We all love a long holiday but sometimes splurging for one night can be just as fabulous, and in many cases completely unforgettable, as spending 3 nights somewhere else for much less.
- Read, read, read ! Keep you eye out for articles about new hotel and resort openings and subscribe to their promotions for opening specials. This worked really well for these 2 new places recently ;-
- Act quickly when you are sent a sale or special promotion email. Last week there were airfares to Bali available in February for around $400 return. This week they are all gone 🙁
- List your place with location scouts. We’ve had a couple of magazines shoots at our house and its fairly easy money. Often they only want a small space, such as a kitchen or backyard, and everday family homes are quite sought after for TV commercials. Look at agencies like Pure Locations or Qld Film Locations.
I hope this has helped provide a bit of motivation for you to get in a few more holidays, vacations or short breaks.
Don’t be afraid to get try new things – we’ve all got the same choices!
Stories to come :
- How to be an Airbnb host
- How to do a successful Home Swap