Who doesn't want to travel the world for almost free?? Let's be honest, I travel ALOT. Because I travel so much for ministry, I wanted to make sure that our family trips were affordable, comfortable and STILL be a good steward over our finances.
|Black sand beaches in Maui!|
So, my first blog, How to Travel the World for Free, was a complete success! But, since then, I have found more tips to share with you. So, I will be sharing some oldies, but a lot of new stuff!
If you don't know, I'm a huge planner. I am constantly thinking of ways for my family to GET AWAY and enjoy each other. We literally work 360 days a YEAR (yes, even on vacation.) We rarely take time off of work. Don't worry, I have my days of rest but even in the midst of that, I'm chasing down 2 kids, answering emails, getting the house together, on conference calls, writing books, blogs, etc. :). Nonetheless, while I am at one trip, I will start planning the next trip. I think what is key to any trip that you take is to PLAN ahead. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Most times, we think that traveling is unreachable because we don't have money or whatever else. Well, I pray that these few ideas help you and encourage you to save, plan ahead and ask the Lord for wisdom!
So, let's get RIGHT into it!
|Our Logan swimming in Turks & Caicos!|
2. www.SecretFlying.Com Yeah. So, this website is pretty much going to be your new best friend. I found flights the other day to Italy from Atlanta for $300. THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS. I was tempted to book the flight, but then I realized that I have two kids and an overbooked travel schedule. lol. So, if you're single in this generation, what a TIME to be single! What a TIME to travel the world in an affordable way! My friends booked through secret flying to visit Capetown, London and Italy. Total cost one way? $405. Exactly! I just check it daily for good deals.
|Kisses while still trying to hold on in Dubai! lol!|
3. Free Housing? Yes. You heard it. Well, not completely free. But, you can always book through AirB&B (P.S. if you click that link & book, you will recieve a $35 credit!) when you're traveling with friends for a cheaper option. There's another option called Mind My House. There IS a $20 sign up fee (I think it's annual) But, you would take care of someone’s house, pets and gardens while they’re away. Websites like this one help play matchmaker for homeowners and home “watchers” around the world. Even though there's a $20 fee, I think it's pretty cool that you can house-sit for FREE on an amazing property in some other country for pennies per day!
|Coffee time in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia|
5. Do you want free entry? So, say that you have kids and you want to get into Disney for free? Email them! Tell them that you would love to post about your trip on your social media. The reality is that you're going to post ANYWAY. You may as well get a couple free tickets to do so! It doesn't hurt to ask and I've known people that got into the park for FREE in exchange for a few posts!
6. I signed up with www.hotels.com. So, when you do stay at hotels, book those hotels on your points card AND rack up free nights! I just purchased a $400+ per night 5 star hotel for $5.00! I simply booked through that website and my nights added up! Perfect staycaction!
Ok, Heather, some of these things are not free. I need a way to bring in extra income!
|Thankful for these sweet memories in Miami with my family!|
Savings towards your Travel Fund!
1. I shared this before, and I have to share it again! IBOTTA! This is another site that I use that allows you to make money off of things like your groceries! So, I clicked on the link, signed up, downloaded the app and then I would go to the grocery store. After shopping, I would go home and then "unlock" rebates based on what I purchased. So, you can go on there and unlock things like "pasta" for $2.00. You scan the item + verify your receipt by taking a snap shot of it & then bam - the money is in your account that can be transferred to PayPal! Isn't that cool? So, I take that money as well and transfer it to our vacation fund. So, this is another way to make some extra money to save, give, or do whatever that the Lord leads you to do!
Remember, these are basic, everyday purchases that you're already going to make!
2. Again, I LOVE EBATES!! It allows for you to get cash back on items that you already purchase. So, I refuse to go directly to any website to book anything. Instead, I go through Ebates, search my store and then I get my cash back, coupon codes! The Christmas season is coming up and do you know what that means? It means that you can get even more back on your purchases! At times, I will order on stores like Target or Toys R Us and then do the "Pick up" option to get the cash back! It may seem like an extra step, but those little extra steps give you FREE cash back!
|Our sweet Logan in the Bahamas!|
3. Have you heard of the "Let Go" App? Simply download the app and go throughout your home and SELL the stuff that you don't need! Your items will show up and those in your particular area can purchase right from your phones. This is a great option to get rid of things quickly. Also, you can also sell your items to local consignment stores like Once Upon a Child, etc.
4. Learn a craft & sell on Etsy! What do you do for fun? Painting? Writing Scriptures on Canvases? Making jewelry? Sell on Etsy and stores like it! Take ALL of the profit and as the Lord leads you - put it in that travel savings fund! I like Mint because you can see your bills and savings all at once!
5. Host a community garage sale! If you're able, write on a post-it-note and stick it on the mailboxes of those in your community Tell them to contact you if they are free on a certain date for a community garage sale. Find a Saturday and then organize it! Put it in the paper/craigs list! This way, you can sell everything at once and bring more customers in knowing that it's a community garage sale! Not only that, it's a great way to get to know those in your community and to further spread the gospel of Jesus!
5. Umm. POSHMARK is where it's at! I just started my own poshmark account! Download the app + use my invite code for $5.00 to get started! HFUJI. What I love is that I can sell items from my closet that I no longer wear. They do take more than Ebay but I'm thinking it sells faster because it's linking all of your social media accounts.
Ok, I have to share how I traveled for $22.00 to a state and stayed for a couple nights.
|Turks + Us.|
As I have shared before, I have a couple credit cards through American Express. So, I charge those things from Ebates, our life insurance, car insurance, etc on our credit card monthly. Then I pay it off monthly so that I can get points for my trip. If you sign up for a card and spend a certain amount within three months - that is an automatic 50,000 miles or two round trip plane tickets (US). So, I definitely took advantage of that option and booked my flight and my hubby's flight. The beauty in having these cards (if you can discipline your flesh) is that they constantly have benefits and deals, cash back, etc. Find a card that will give you some time of benefit! I know Chase has some great ones as well. You may feel like, "Heather, I am not a business owner! I don't spend enough. Well, did you know that your points don't expire and your miles won't expire (with Delta anyway.) So, be patient. Little by little, add to your travel fund. Add your miles. Convert some of your American express points to airlines. And, get to traveling for free!
Next, make sure you sign up for ALL hotel and airline loyalty programs. Find your favorite one and try to stick with it. I have found that when you are in a loyalty program, you get cheaper hotel rooms, more incentives and free food! In our case, we are apart of a certain hotel loyalty program. But, we haven't used it in a year or so. So, I honestly didn't think that we had any points. I happened to check our account and found that we had about 30,000 points! WOW! When did this happen? Well, the hotel nights were 12,000 each so we were able to stay in a $400 a night hotel for absolutely nothing. We have had this loyalty program for YEARS and we didn't think that it incurred so much over the years! What a sweet surprise for our $22 trip.
I have to be honest, my heart exploded as I wrote this blog because I got to look back at all of the sweet memories with my family. There's NOTHING like the memories that traveling create in your family! And, it changes your perspective, allows you to think outside of the box and gives you a chance to spread the gospel of Jesus in an entirely new country.
What a sweet honor.
So, I pray that your travel wheels start spinning! Do you have any tips for traveling? If so, share them in the comments below!
Just a few things:
1. Find my (5) books (including my NEW book, "The Purpose Room"), purity rings, shirts & all that good stuff via www.pinkypromiseboutiques.com!
2. We have developed an APP! Think: daily post notifications + weekly devotionals, recipes and so much more! It's out NOW for iphones + Androids. Under: Heather & Cornelius Lindsey: Today With the Lindsey's
3. If you live in Atlanta, I want to invite you to our church. Join us on Sundays at 10:30am. Our churches name is: "The Gathering Oasis" 3600 Snapfinger Rd Lithonia, GA 30038
4. Register for the 2017 Pinky Promise in Atlanta, GA! It sold out last year so you don't want to miss out! www.pinkypromiseconference.com
5. As always, you can join a Pinky Promise group locally! There's about 50,000 ladies that have joined! Find a group near you by joining & checking out the intro page! Join here: www.PinkyPromiseMovement.com
6. We are headed on a Revival Tour to Kenya, Nigeria, London and Capetown. Register here: www.lindseyevents.com
God loves you like crazy,