This February my wife and I went to visit my family in Arkansas. It was the first time my Little Rock family had an opportunity to meet my wife and it was over the long Valentines day weekend. Normally I would just stay with my Aunt “B” in her spare bedroom but this time the spare bedroom wasn’t available. So we got creative, we wanted to stay close enough to be there quickly but not so close they felt like we were on top of them. So we searched in AirBnB.com and found a couple options between Benton and Little Rock. It was cheaper than a hotel, included breakfast (read frugal) and had amazing views of Lake Norrell (read Amazing).
Cindee and her husband were great hosts. They made us feel so welcome, catered to our dietary needs but best of all we were refreshed and relaxed which made our visit with our family wonderful
Little Rock Getaway!
Don’t worry if you aren’t a member of AirBnB, we want to help you out. Follow our referral link here and you’ll get $40 off a home booking of $75 or more or $15 off an experience of $50 or more. Now we want to be clear AirBnB is going to give us some credit if you use our referral as well.
Last year Shana and I were talking about our trip to Greece and I said what about our anniversary that is coming up? At first she said it was too close to the trip to Greece and that we should not worry about it. Well I pushed a little farther and found an all inclusive in Puerto Vallarta that I could book completely with credit card points. Then my wife found direct, round-trip tickets we could get using her credit card points. We stopped ‘fighting’ about it and just booked it. I’ve gotta say I’m glad we did. This has been the best year of my life and I’m very blessed to be sharing her. Here are the highlights.
My wife and I like to travel, but we like to travel ‘on the cheap’. I like to say in my most Daniel Tosh smugness that “I’m a baller on a budget”! To keep it cheap we use credit card points and plan ahead, way ahead. We like to get a good idea of several places that we want to go and start planning about 13 to 14 months out. This gives us time to find the essentials. These will be first of a 4 part series:
A Place To Go
A Way To Get There
A Place To Sleep
Something To Do
Generally speaking we try to have at least six places that we want to go to at any given time. Our schedule is a bit dynamic in the sense that we have different time periods that we’d like to go to. We fit them into 2 basic categories; quick trips or long trips. A quick trip is something that is a direct flight from our hometown and our stay generally is o 4 – 7 days. Usually we extend a long weekend that has a national holiday so we don’t eat into too much vacation time. Long trips generally are international trips and will run for 7 days or more, you don’t really want to travel to spend half of your vacation on a plane do you? For ‘Quick’ trips we feel it’s essential to go places you can get to without plane changes. We live in the Dallas / Forth Worth area so that means direct flights from DFW and Love Field. I like to use flightsfrom.com to see what the possibilities are. By looking at the routes we can get keep our flight times below 5 hours so for places like Barbados we can get there in time for afternoon drinks and the sunset. Our current lists look something like this (my wife may have her own list) and how they break down.
Barbados – Quick or Long
Puerta Vallarta – Quick
Monaco – Long
Marseilles – Long
Portugal – Long
Malta – Long
Mazatlan – Quick
St. Kitts / Nevis – Quick
Bermuda – Quick
Curacao – Quick or Long
Italy – Long
Spain – Long
Japan – Long
London – Long
You’ll see some could be both, typically those are on the edge of length of travel we like to go for 4 – 7 day trips. In these cases a lot of time we’ll chain together a couple place that make sense and make a long trip out of it. In fact on long trips we’ll usually do this. For example we probably will go to Monaco, Spain, Italy on the same trip. You basically turn your stops into 3 to 4 day excursions. You’re going to find that getting there can be the most expensive part (until my wife finds out that you can fly on points, more on that later). So why not capitalize on being on that side of the world and knock a few out all at the same time.
Now we look at our calendar. For us in odd numbered years we have opportunities to travel (alone, sorry kiddos, most of our ‘long’ trips are going to happen during these windows of opportunity) during spring break and Winter break. On even numbered years we have Thanksgiving and Summer vacation. The key is to plan ahead, anticipate opportunities for travel and know when your windows are. At the moment we’re looking for Winter break trips 12 months from now. Now we use the google machine for what it’s good for and search for tips for where to go on the country or continents you’re interested in for the time period you want to go. For example “Best Places to travel in Europe in December“.
It is described as “Parts of Andalucía are further south than the African coast so expect mild temperatures in winter. Accommodation is cheap, and crowds are smaller at standout attractions like Granada’s Alhambra or Seville’s cathedral. Plus tapas and nightlife in the cities are as enticing as ever.” What makes it my jam is that it has mild temperatures and reasonable accommodations. At the end of the day you’ve gotta put yourself places you’re going to enjoy being. I know I like warmer destinations.
Now I have “A Place To Go”. The next entry in this series will be “A Way To Get There”. Thanks for taking the journey with us.