I wish I could say that all you need to do to travel well is sign up for a few credit cards. And voila, your whole family is flying to Tahiti on award tickets in business class (BTW, almost impossible to pull off).While collecting bonuses is easier than people realize and very lucrative, more is required. After all, even if you get free airfare, you still will have to pay for hotel, food and tours. I will try to highlight what worked for us, and hopefully someone can benefit.
Many times life is about tradeoffs. It’s especially true for those who don’t make 6 figure income. Before we had kids, me and my husband never made more than 45000 dollars per year, and usually much less from both of our jobs combined. It was due to the fact that I only worked part -time, so I could volunteer and devote my energy to something much more important than travel. Yet, in spite of our humble earnings we traveled all over Europe, Hawaii, Alaska and Caribbean. And we did stay in very nice hotels and ate in amazing restaurants, so it wasn’t even a backpacking kind of travel.
In order to afford it we did have to forgo some things, like an expensive house (with equally expensive mortgage) and new cars. We also never took on any debt unless absolutely necessary. Something else we had to do was put off having kids till I could stay home with them full time. This part is not so much of an advice but rather what worked for us. I realize, because of age or other circumstances, putting off kids may not be the best option. Also, not everyone wants to or can afford to be a stay-at-home mom. And that’s OK, do whatever works for you.
But doing all of the things I mentioned really helped us make some great travel memories that I would not trade for any shiny cars or fancy furniture. It’s not that those things are wrong, they were just not a priority for us . As everyone knows, kids are expensive. So even though we make a bit more than $45000 now, money is actually tighter. So even more planning is required. That’s where the credit card bonuses come in. In spite of our lack of money, I hope to show our kids the world and all its wonders. We will not get there in business class, but we will get there…
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