Where We’re Traveling In 2015
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As most Frugal Rules readers know, Mrs. Frugal Rules and I are avid credit card churners. Well, Mrs. Frugal Rules not so much but when she started to see we could go on vacation for free or for pennies on the dollar she got on board the travel hacking train awfully quickly. 🙂
Anywho, we’ve been banking rewards like champs lately but have done very little with regards to actually taking advantage of those sweet rewards we’ve been racking up. Not using rewards points sort of defeats the purpose of collecting them in the first place so this is the year of travel for the Frugal Rules home!
Since we have the three little Frugal Rules and the closest parent is just over 1,000 miles away we won’t be going anywhere international this year. Why you ask? When Mrs. Frugal Rules and I go on a vacation by ourselves we depend on the kindness of our friends to watch them and that usually means we’re only able to get away for a max of four days at a time.
I’d rather not spend half of that traveling so we’ll be staying domestic this year as you’ll see from our locations. However, we are planning on doing something international next year to celebrate our 15th anniversary thanks to the Southwest Companion Pass.That means we’ll likely be going somewhere in the Caribbean in 2016 for a week.
Mrs. Frugal Rules and I will be getting away at the end of April for four days, to celebrate our anniversary, which is in mid May. I’m not sharing the city now as we have family members who read the site and the destination is meant to be somewhat of a surprise.
That said, we will be VERY close to a certain body of water as well as somewhere we’ve traveled recently. 🙂 We got our plane tickets covered by the United Mileage Plus card and will be staying at a Sheraton location covered entirely by Starwood Preferred points. Save for the cost for a taxi to the airport here and some spending money this trip will be free!
As I shared about my wife and I not exchanging Christmas presents last year we ended up deciding we’d rather use the money to go on a long weekend trip somewhere nearby. We had decided on Denver so we could bring home some quality microbrews.
Well, a couple of things happened. Most importantly, one of my brothers got engaged on New Year’s Eve and is getting married in Denver this August and I’m in the wedding. We originally had planned on using some of our Starwood Points to fund the hotel portion of the trip.
There’s one small problem though – there’s no real good value for SPG properties in Denver and I refuse to spend nearly $1,500 to stay at a hotel for a week. So, we went the VRBO route instead and found a nice little townhouse that we’ll be getting for less than half the cost of a downtown Denver hotel. So, we won’t be using rewards for this trip, but it’ll be coming out of our vacation fund.
I’m a huge Dallas Cowboys fan who’s always wanted to visit Dallas but hasn’t ever been able to. We’re changing that this year when we drive down to Dallas for a week. It’ll be a two-day drive each way, and we’ll be using Marriot points to stay at a Residence Inn in Dallas in late September. This will allow us to have most of our meals in the room since it comes with a fully furnished kitchen.
The kids love going to State Fairs, so we’ll be going to the Texas State Fair and doing a few other fun things – hopefully including me catching a Dallas Cowboys game at Jerry World as well.
Like the first trip, save for the gas money and little bit of spending money, this trip should only cost us pennies on the dollar.
Writing all this makes me see how busy of a year this’ll be for us but I’ll also be going to FinCon this year in Charlotte, covered by my US Air miles. It’s also very possible Mrs. Frugal Rules and I will need to take a business trip to New York this summer. Suffice it to say, it’ll be a busy travel year for us – at least busier than most years are.
I know the destinations we’re going aren’t that exciting, but we couldn’t do ¾ of it without churning credit cards. Yes, there are most definitely risks to it and if it tempts you to overspend then you shouldn’t be doing it. However, with the benefits that are out there for the taking, I’d personally be foolish not to take advantage.
What travel plans do you have for 2015? Do you like to churn credit cards to take free trips? Where is one place you want to go domestically but haven’t been to yet?