How to Travel More Often

In this episode we’re giving you all our “secrets” for how we take trips every month, and how YOU can travel more often too. 

We share how we schedule travel around work and other life priorities and the tips and hacks we use to travel for free to travel cheaper so we can afford to do more of it! Things like flying home early on Monday mornings instead of Sunday nights and strategically using point sales to make ticket prices cheaper – everything helps even if it’s just one more experience you can fit in!

We all work so we really focus on how to travel omre with a full time job so you can see how we do it and be inspired to incorporate travel more into your life regardless of your work responsibilities.

We tell you how to travel more often:

  • Traveling when you have a full time job, how to work your PTO
  • Budgeting for travel – Savings for travel and making extra money for travel
  • Taking the initiative to book the group trip
  • Efficiency tips for weekend trips
  • Hacks to make travel cheaper
  • Planning tips to get the most out of your vacation, no matter where you go or how long your trip is

How to Travel More Often – Episode Transcript

2 (53s):
Hello travelers. Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad Podcast.

3 (59s):
We are not taking you to a specific destination. Instead, we are going to give you some tips, tricks, and advice for how we travel often and how you can too.

4 (1m 8s):
People think that you can’t work. If you want to travel or that you have to take a sabbatical, or they think that vacations are once a year events, which they aren’t. If they even take the vacation at all,

5 (1m 20s):
However, we want to show you that traveling often is possible. We travel almost monthly, even if it’s just a quick weekend getaway.

3 (1m 29s):
So we get all kinds of crazy comments and questions about how we travel. And to be honest, I’m kind of annoyed by them because we’re not rich. We all work. We make travel happen often because it’s a priority to us,

4 (1m 45s):
Make a point to do it.

3 (1m 47s):
And that’s really it. And that’s the end of the episode.

2 (1m 51s):
So get out there and do it

4 (1m 52s):
Kind of simplifying it a little too much, Kim, but for the most part, yeah, he just really have to get out there and make the effort to say I’m going to do it. It’s really in a nutshell, I don’t want to say that simple, but making it the priority to do it.

2 (2m 8s):
When you make a decision and you go all in, then the universe will conspire to make it happen for you not to sound corny, but it’s a hundred percent true. Guys. You just have to start by making a decision to do it and then follow through.

5 (2m 21s):
I think I can speak for all of us. When I say that people always ask us, do you ever work?

3 (2m 27s):
Oh my God.

2 (2m 29s):
I can’t think of a time when I’m not working.

3 (2m 31s):
So yes, I work. I’ve worked since I was 16. I work at a digital marketing agency. I do PR and marketing and I do work full time sometimes on the weekends.

5 (2m 43s):
Yes. I’ve also work. I’ve been working since I was 16. Also, currently I am a full-time registered nurse and I work for a local agency here in San Diego. I pretty much work eight to four 30 Monday through Friday. And then I do have to pick up a shifts once a month, at least.

4 (3m 1s):
Yeah. And for me, you know, I kind of have the luxury of having my own business. I have my own insurance brokerage firm. I am in a partnership, but my partner travels often just as well. So we kind of time our trips. So we don’t technically have to answer to the man to get the time off, But I have to answer to my clients. So really going on vacation, you know, I have to answer to them realistically. So it’s not, even though I have the luxury of having my own business, I still, it’s not like, oh, I just can get up and leave whenever we have to plan it right. To make it happen.

2 (3m 38s):
Yeah. And I’ve been working, gosh, since I was 16 or 17 years old. And in my early twenties, I was working at a place in my hometown and they were very flexible with me. I was able to leave for extended and long periods of time. And I always came back and I always had my job. So that was very nice. But let’s see. So now I work in an insurance carrier and I also have my own coaching business. So I feel like I’m constantly working, but I do take my computer with me when we travel late at night, I have my computer on my lap when I’m in bed. And I even remember sending emails with Jamal. When we were in South Africa, we had to sacrifice having drinks in order to work.

2 (4m 21s):
But

3 (4m 22s):
Then we managed to right?

2 (4m 23s):
Yeah, Japan. I was busy prepping for a webinar that I brought to my audience in January. So every single evening I was working on that, but it’s a pleasure to be able to do that. And I feel very lucky.

3 (4m 37s):
The other thing I want to say that I get all the time. People think because I work in marketing that my business sends me on trips and that Tom traveling so much, and that is completely untrue. I’ve only gone on two trips with my company for company business. One was to Seattle. One was to New York. Seattle was like a really quick trip. I just squeezed in like a rooftop bar real quick. And then New York,

4 (5m 1s):
Jim rooftop bars. I can’t tell you how many we’ve been to Kim with on vacation,

3 (5m 6s):
Love a rooftop bar. The other one was to New York, which I was able to extend the day, but I was by myself. So that’s it. The other 5 million trips I’ve been on were not funded by my company.

5 (5m 17s):
So once people realize that we actually do work, the next most asked question is what kind of PTO does your company offer? And there’s a big range amongst the four of us. I’d say, for example, when I first started at my company, I think they offered two weeks of paid vacation. However, I’ve worked there for three years now. And so I’m, I have more vacation time than that, but my company does allow me to take unpaid time off. So if I have the funds saved up, I can choose to take unpaid time off and just use that time to travel if I wanted to as well.

4 (5m 51s):
One thing I just want to jump in on about your time off Brittany. I mean, I know you said you had the two weeks vacation and you know, unpaid time off, but that’s not including your sick time. I hear a lot of people and I know a lot of people that actually just like, oh, I don’t feel like going into work today. And they actually just call in sick and use their sick time. And I always think to myself, well, why are you doing that? Why would you not actually use your sick time in conjunction with your vacation time to actually take a trip that will more recharge you than just sitting at home? Doing nothing?

5 (6m 28s):
Yeah. I never used my sick days ever. I would have to be on my death bed to use my sick days.

3 (6m 35s):
Can’t you also play with your schedule so that your weekend, you have to work where your holidays you can kind of.

5 (6m 42s):
So if I work a holiday in a 30 day period, I can take any day of my choice off. So usually if I work a holiday, so for example, I’m working, I worked at the 4th of July and Jamal’s birthday is Friday, July 26th. I took that day off so that we could do a weekend getaway in Ventura and go to the channel islands.

3 (7m 8s):
I’m so mad. I’m not going by the way.

2 (7m 10s):
Me too. I know it’s only 50% of the squad.

5 (7m 18s):
I’ll use my holiday days to either take a Friday or a Monday to extend the weekend so that I can get a little bit of a vacation.

2 (7m 25s):
Yeah. I get 7.6, nine hours. But now that I’ve hit five years, I don’t need very

5 (7m 30s):
Specific.

2 (7m 32s):
It was just, it was so easy to remember, you know, 7.6 months. Why wouldn’t you? Of course. So I don’t know what I get now because it’s to random nine point something number. And for sick time, I don’t know, last year at the time of this recording, we’re talking in 2019, but last year, 2018, I got sick a lot. So I ended up using a lot of my sick pay, but still I had so much accumulated. So it’s still there for me when we go on vacations. A lot of times I come back in and people are like, whoa, you just got back this morning. Or you just got back last night at one in the morning, like in your here at work. That’s crazy. But I would just rather not take the PTO and save it and

4 (8m 13s):
Exactly,

2 (8m 15s):
Exactly. Yeah.

3 (8m 15s):
How many times I would have loved to have just a date of relax after a trip.

2 (8m 19s):
Seriously. My

3 (8m 20s):
PTO is telling me otherwise.

2 (8m 23s):
Yeah.

4 (8m 24s):
But yeah, just to kind of touch on that point, you know, another way to circle around to people asking, well, how we do it often as, yeah. It’s not fun getting home early Monday morning or late Sunday night and going in the next day or morning of, but we do it and we don’t let that be an excuse to say, oh, well, I got to work on Monday. You know, this trip’s just going to be too much of a time constraint and too rushed. We make that happen and troop it out

3 (8m 51s):
With your company, being a business owner, you don’t really have PTO. Right.

4 (8m 56s):
I

3 (8m 56s):
Kinda just work it out.

4 (8m 58s):
I just work it out with my partner partner. I work it out with my partner when he’s out of the office, I’ll be in when I’m out, he’ll be in. But for the most part, for me, it’s really more so about. What’s a busy time at work. Like when do a lot of my groups have their renewals, when is open enrollment for regular health insurance, for individuals, things like that. And I dictate the longer vacations around that, but we can vacations are we work on Friday? Come back on Monday. So it’s not even time off from work. It’s just, we do it on the weekend. Yeah.

2 (9m 34s):
And I think Jamal and I are lucky in the sense that as long as I’m still in my nine to five, until I leave, of course, we’re in the same industry. So my busy time is the same as Jamal’s busy time. So it really, it aligns well, at least for us squad. Yeah.

3 (9m 51s):
My situation’s a little bit different right now. I’m really blessed with the company that I have, but I’ve only been there for four months before that though, I was still blessed. I had a company that had four weeks of PTO and I use them all. Every last one of them. I don’t understand those people that don’t use their PTO and that like are forced to use it in a week of staying home, doing nothing it’s crazy to me. But the company I’m at now has a flexible, unlimited PTO policy. And my first two weeks of working there, I then left to take a two week trip to Italy. And then I took another trip to Mexico and I’m taking another trip to the Caribbean soon.

3 (10m 31s):
And so it really is a policy. They stand by, you know, I’ll check in like today, it’s a Sunday. And I did a little work before I came over here to do the podcast, but I have a good, and I think more companies are moving in that direction. The more modern,

4 (10m 48s):
More younger startup type companies are going towards that. But I, you know, I want to point out too, like you said, you’ve only had that job now for a limited amount of time. The majority of the traveling you’ve done, wasn’t in the situation where you have,

3 (11m 3s):
I had three or four weeks, but the point is like, if you have it, use it, if you have a benefit that has one week or two weeks or unlimited take full advantage of it.

2 (11m 14s):
And I think it’s just so interesting that the policy that your company has, because I know a lot of people who don’t use their PTO. So they ended up having to not having to, but they can cash it out. Or when they leave, they cash it out where people are forced to take half days because they’ve accumulated too much PTO. So when companies are moving in the direction that your employer is, it’s crazy because I feel like people aren’t taking PTO so that, although it seems like, wow, that’s such a crazy benefit to have it actually benefits the employer. Since most people aren’t using their PTO. So

3 (11m 51s):
Yeah. It’s your benefit? Use it to your benefit. Otherwise it’s the company’s benefit.

2 (11m 56s):
Yeah. You deserve it. And on that note, let’s talk, saving for travel. How do we say for travel guys?

3 (12m 3s):
Okay. The one tip I can give is that I save in two ways. One, I automatically have money come from my paycheck straight to my savings account. I never see it. My checking. So it’s stored away. It’s not intended for any purpose. It’s just there. The other one is an app called capital with a Q not sponsored, but I do love this app because every, you can set up different rules. I have it set to do like a dollar a day or like a percentage of my paycheck or if I buy something, it rounds up the change. So if it’s five 50, it rounds up 50 cents. So it builds up a savings account very quickly. And I’ll have like a few hundred dollars in there. When I want to book a trip to say, Chicago on a whim. Like we just did.

5 (12m 43s):
I have to say, I’m on the opposite. End of that spectrum. I am a budgeter,

4 (12m 48s):
I guess Brittany and I are the mom and dad are the group the responsible.

2 (12m 51s):
So yeah, I take from every, every time I get a paycheck or whatnot, I’ll put some money aside, but it’s very little, it’s more like that spending money when we go on vacation and just things work out.

5 (13m 3s):
So Jamal and I do put a specific amount in a travel savings account every month and we do overspend occasionally, but I do try to keep it balanced. So if I spend a little bit more this month and I try to spend a little bit less next month to help equal.

2 (13m 18s):
And I think the other thing too is you just have to know where your priorities are. You know, if you have something that’s high priority, you’re going to find the money to do it. And so for us, I think travel, being a priority. It just, it happens.

4 (13m 31s):
Yeah. Well, like you’re saying about the priority, you know, a lot of people ask, you know, about the money issues and yes, we budget for it. I know you and Kim said not necessarily so, so much, but I don’t think any of us have basic cable that costs $80 a month or you know, anything like that. And so it’s the little things of where you’re going to prioritize and we’re not ragging on people that have cable, but we’re not a Starbucks every day type person.

2 (14m 0s):
It just like, you know, I know a lot of people always hear save the $3, save the $5 from your morning latte. Don’t spend that. But I just, the only reason I say that is because I do get that probably at least five times a week. And I’m still able to live the lifestyle that I want because

3 (14m 18s):
By the time at work and I go out to lunch all the time at work, I worked downtown San Diego. So I always walk somewhere and get stuff. There is always a balance. What’s something that you guys splurge on. Often

4 (14m 30s):
Travel, travel,

3 (14m 31s):
Besides

5 (14m 32s):
Eating out.

3 (14m 33s):
You’re eating out things for your home.

5 (14m 36s):
We love to go to state your

3 (14m 37s):
Homeowners. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. You’re a thousand dollar meal in Vegas.

4 (14m 45s):
Your wedding anniversary

3 (14m 47s):
Splurge. So you don’t have to give up everything to travel is the

2 (14m 50s):
Point. I was not expecting you to say, we love going to steak houses.

4 (14m 54s):
That’s our favorite place to go out and we love

3 (14m 58s):
Ramsey. The one you love.

5 (14m 60s):
We love a Gordon Ramsay steak in Las Vegas. We also love island prime

4 (15m 5s):
In San Diego.

5 (15m 6s):
And we also love steak and Cora Nado. I mean, I could keep going on and on.

3 (15m 10s):
Okay. So next time Jamal is making a steak for us.

4 (15m 14s):
I mean, steak,

2 (15m 15s):
Jamal is a good cook guys. Jamal takes care of them

3 (15m 18s):
Today. He made a vegetarian puzzle. That was so good.

4 (15m 21s):
I’m glad you guys enjoyed it.

5 (15m 23s):
We haven’t always had a lot of money. Like I was a student for a long time being a nurse. I had a lot of prerequisites. I was in school full time. And so during that time I drove for Lyft and Uber to get some extra cash. And For vacations, I know that as

2 (15m 38s):
Well. I did the

5 (15m 39s):
Three of us here at the table. Did,

2 (15m 41s):
Oh, not only did I drive for Lyft and Uber, but I also donated plasma, which pays very handsomely.

5 (15m 47s):
And then I’ve also opened an interest free credit card and charged a vacation on it. And then just kind of slowly paid it off over the year or for however long the promotion was for just so that I didn’t have to pay that all up front. Okay.

3 (15m 60s):
I actually did that on the cruise that I went on, they had a, I wanted a little backpack and they had these at the table and they said you had to apply for the credit card to get the backpack. So I did, but it also came with a $200 bonus if you got approved. So I got $200 off my bill at the end of the cruise.

5 (16m 17s):
Yeah, that’s amazing. I never

3 (16m 19s):
Used that credit card, but I got, got the 200 bucks.

5 (16m 21s):
I love to open credit cards, but they have like $150, $200 statement credit once you spend a certain amount.

4 (16m 29s):
Yeah. And you know, touching on like Brittany was saying about when she was in nursing school, she couldn’t really work full time. So she drove for Lyft. I obviously did the same thing just as well. And you know, that income from Lyft was specifically, obviously some of it went to Ward’s normal bills, but the majority of it was, this is a designated travel fund. So if I knew we had an upcoming trip or want it to go on one, I made a specific point to work so many hours supposedly make so much money that day. And that was definitely one of the things that we did was just driving and using that income specifically for travel purpose.

5 (17m 12s):
We paid for our Alaskan cruise vacation solely through Lyft.

3 (17m 17s):
I had a side job for awhile that I dedicated solely to certain expenses so that I can afford other things like travel. So before we get into more tips on actual things, you can do. I just wanted to say a few ways. You can actually like get the trip to happen. Cause that’s really the biggest part is people always talk about travel, but then they never do it or they make excuses. And so one thing, if you’re with a group of friends or family, and you’re talking about taking a trip, be the one, be the Brittany, be the, that books it and then sends everyone the booking and says, you owe me this amount.

2 (17m 56s):
Well, only if you really trust the person, write at least a book for yourself and then send other people your itinerary. Yeah.

3 (18m 2s):
You know, we’d been talking about it a lot for new Orleans. It was not with you guys, but another trip last year. And we’d been talking about it for so long that finally I just booked the Airbnb and was like, Hey, I booked it. You guys now get your flights. And like everyone went, we had a great time. And that was great.

4 (18m 16s):
Someone just needs to take the initiative,

3 (18m 18s):
Take the initiative, be the one that takes the initiative. Cause everyone will thank you and they will follow. And then the other thing is, half of the trips I’ve been on are because of somebody else saying they’re going and I just jump on. So if you’re

4 (18m 33s):
Like China, like China,

3 (18m 35s):
Cuba, like a tons of trips. And so if you’re hearing and you’re getting invited on a trip, don’t make an excuse. Don’t tell yourself you don’t have enough money or time or you need to stay home and do laundry. Or you need someone to watch your dog or any of these other dumb excuses that you’ll regret later

5 (18m 51s):
What happened to Africa, Kim?

7 (18m 52s):
Okay.

3 (18m 54s):
I can only say this because Africa is my biggest regret in the world and I’ll never get that trip back and I will regret it for the, until the day I die.

2 (19m 2s):
Yeah, it was. So we went to Africa last year and Kim was just not,

3 (19m 7s):
It was a very expensive trip, like around five grand. And at the time I was like, that’s just so much money. I don’t know how would afford it. And so I decided not to go and I hear stories all the time and I just want to cry and go back in time and bucket.

2 (19m 22s):
Yeah, it was, it was the most amazing trip. And I missed Kim because Kim and I are always each other’s plus ones on these trips. And so I had these big rooms and every time I walked into a new room in a new city, I thought, oh my goodness, Kim would love this. Look at this. We even have two beds. We don’t even have to share a bed tonight. So, but yeah, people will follow suit. Like another example at the time of this recording, we were getting ready to go to Chicago. Brittany took the initiative, she sent us an itinerary and said, Hey guys, Southwest airlines is having a sale. So I booked for Chicago.

5 (19m 57s):
So we do have a few tips for travel. And me personally, I have a huge long list of all of the places I want to go. I pretty much just want to go everywhere. So a lot of the time sales dictate where I go next, not necessarily the destination, I have so many destinations. I just look, whenever I get an email saying that there is flights on sale. I just look to see where all the destinations are and kind of see what the best deal is. And I just spoke the best deal.

2 (20m 23s):
Yeah. So we’re not partial to anyone place, what place on the list of places that we want to go is on sale. And that’s how it becomes the next destination. And that’s how we went to China.

5 (20m 36s):
And that’s why we’re going to Chicago in October. Yeah.

4 (20m 38s):
I had the best sale out of San Diego for that one. Didn’t that? Yeah. I mean, you know, Chicago was a lovely city that I want to go to. We haven’t been there yet. Stay tuned for the episodes who Nicom

3 (20m 52s):
Breakfast.

2 (20m 53s):
Yeah. It is my dream to do a podcast recording from the breakfast spoofing,

4 (20m 58s):
But that was really it, you know, there were a bunch of sale places and Chicago is on the list of places to go, but not high on it. So we don’t hold out on where we’re going to go just simply because no, it’s not someplace. I want to go. If someplace is cheap and you can fly out there on Southwest sometimes for $49 or cheaper. Why not?

5 (21m 21s):
Yeah. So for example, two, we’re going to Arkansas in November and there was actually really cheap flights to Dallas and Dallas is a four-hour drive to Arkansas. And we are leaving on a Friday night and doing our flight to Dallas. And then we return home on a Monday morning before work. But at the same time, while we’re in Dallas, we’re going to be able to visit my sister. We’re also going to be able to go to Arkansas and visit hot Springs national park. And we’re also meeting up with our friends who live in Oklahoma that are meeting us out in Arkansas

3 (21m 56s):
And friends that we met on our trip to China.

5 (21m 58s):
And we met them on our trip to China and they also traveled with us to Japan. So I feel like we’re really getting a lot out of that one weekend getaway.

3 (22m 7s):
Yeah. We actually did that too. When we went to Bryce canyon national park and we stayed in Vegas and we had to wake up at like three in the morning to return the car and get to the airport and then fly back and go straight to work, which was brutal, but worth it.

2 (22m 21s):
You know, the hardest part is waking up, but once you’re actually woken up and maybe have a coffee, it’s all smooth sailing from then

4 (22m 29s):
Once it’s booked and you have to do it and you’re committed, what else is there to do, but do it

2 (22m 33s):
Exactly. Exactly. So, you know, another tip is leave on Friday nights. So we’ve already talked about this a little bit, but it’s one of the easiest things to do to do a quick, we can get away. You know,

4 (22m 46s):
Even if it’s not a flight, I mean, how many have we gone on where it’s been a road trip after work on Friday and we’ve driven somewhere within California or we’re fortunate enough to be close to Arizona and Nevada and make our way out there. I mean, we drive after work. Yes. There’s traffic, but we have Saturday pretty much all of Sunday and budget. The drive time for Sunday to be back on Monday. If it’s not a flight, if it’s a flight, we come back on that Monday morning.

2 (23m 12s):
Oh, for the grand canyon, we drove eight hours. I think we left a little bit early that day, but still, it was pretty

4 (23m 19s):
Much PM. That’s really

2 (23m 23s):
Early for us guys, but yeah, it was an eight hour drive and then we even had an hour change by the time we got there. So we lost an hour, but we rocked the trail the next day. Yeah.

3 (23m 34s):
And it’s not to say that we won’t take a Friday or Monday off. We do do that as well. Just one day off work. It’s no big deal. We also really look at holiday weekends. So if there’s a, three-day already booked in the calendar and you don’t have to take a PTO day off, we’re definitely mindful of that and use that to our advantage to,

5 (23m 53s):
Especially when you want to go to Mexico, we live really close to cross the border into Mexico, into Tijuana and travel into a different country that way. So we’ve gone to Mexico city several times. We went on, I think a labor day weekend.

2 (24m 8s):
It was my birthday

4 (24m 9s):
And it’s not a us holiday there. So the flights aren’t expensive because of that either. Yeah.

2 (24m 13s):
And it’s a domestic flight, so it’s so perfect. We just crossed over the CBX crossing station, which is like this airport terminal from San Diego.

3 (24m 21s):
No way. Did you guys notice how much they raise the price?

4 (24m 24s):
Yeah. It used to be $12,

2 (24m 26s):
But yes, they have seriously raised the price, but they’ve gotten so much more organized.

5 (24m 33s):
That’s true. Yes. Now that we don’t have to fill out our own information, they can help like fill it out

3 (24m 37s):
For us on the computer too.

4 (24m 39s):
So for some context, when Zena said, see backs, that stands for cross border express and what it really is, is a airport terminal to the Tijuana airport. That’s on the United States side. So you basically enter from the United States, cross the bridge into Mexico and you’re directly into the airport.

5 (25m 1s):
And you can only use it though, if you have a flight within the next 24 hours

3 (25m 5s):
Pro tip though, for crossing, because they’ve raised the price. If you buy a round trip, cross there and cross back together, you’ll get a discount.

2 (25m 13s):
Yeah. I remember being in line to cross and this is before they got organized and it was just, it was chaos on a Friday night. The people in front of me actually drove there from Los Angeles because it was such a significant savings to fly domestically in Mexico. Then from Los Angeles to where they were headed to.

5 (25m 32s):
And when you go on these weekend trips, you should always just pack a carry on bag. I mean, there’s no point in packing a checked bag because then you’d waste a lot of time at the airport waiting for your bag. So, So when we go on weekend trips, we always travel with a carry on.

3 (25m 47s):
I think it was when we went to Vegas this last time they took our bags or no, it was Mexico city. And we were like, we were like about to cry there on the tarmac, like what? You’re going to take her bags.

4 (26m 2s):
Yeah. They said there was no room left in the overhead bin. So as we were boarding the plane, they took it from us and we had to check it. But in that type of situation, you don’t have to pay the check fee as if, you know, you’re normally checking it.

3 (26m 15s):
You

4 (26m 15s):
Still have to wait. Yeah, Of course, of course.

5 (26m 19s):
So you guys know that I love a good deal. And so there, we do have a few Hacks to make travel cheaper. For example, I love reserving hotels that offer free breakfast included in this

4 (26m 31s):
Before you get further in that topic, can you just tell us about the last time we booked a hotel and you found out I had free breakfast unexpectedly. Just tell us about that.

5 (26m 43s):
So where were we guys?

2 (26m 46s):
I

5 (26m 46s):
Had booked a hotel in Bryce, like a year in advance because I really, really wanted to go. And it was like the perfect right time. And I was just waiting for the ticket for the flight to go on sale. So we get to the hotel that I booked at and they were like, we don’t have your reservation on file. And I almost shit myself because I was so Offended that they lost my booking. Well, it turns out that because we booked so far in advance and they, they filled up, they moved us to their sister location, which was like an upgrade

4 (27m 18s):
Across the street

5 (27m 19s):
And it was across the street. So we go across the street, we check in and they tell us that free breakfast is included and it’s a breakfast buffet. So once a guy tells me that there is a free breakfast buffet, I leave the key to the hotel room inside and I run out to the car with Kim and vena in the car. And I’m like guys, guys

3 (27m 40s):
From our point of view where it means and are waiting for mom and dad to come back with the keys. And Brittany’s like flailing her arms. Like I think it’s, we’re like, what the hell is wrong? We’re like scared. And she flings open the door and it’s like, oh my God, guess what got

2 (27m 58s):
Free breakfast.

4 (27m 60s):
And then we’re so excited because the hotel was actually quite a large one. It was like a large. So I mean, where the check-in was, you may want to drive to the front door of the hotel of where your room is actually located. And the bellhop actually had to come running outside to catch us because he’s like, you guys forgot your key. Brittany was so excited about the free breakfast that she left without grabbing the key. And he had to run out to the car and catch us. And then,

3 (28m 27s):
And when she told us we were like cheering and,

2 (28m 32s):
And that was a dynamite breakfast. I mean those kids.

4 (28m 36s):
Yeah. The biscuits and gravy where some of the best businesses and gravy that I’ve had. But nonetheless, the hotel that we originally booked was within our budget of what we wanted to pay for that weekend. And didn’t include a breakfast. We got upgraded to the nicer facility with the free breakfast, but normally we do try if we can to find a place that includes a breakfast, whether it be continental or not and

5 (29m 1s):
Affordable price. And

3 (29m 2s):
I’ve gotten really lucky with some good ones too.

4 (29m 5s):
Yeah. It definitely helps save at least for one meal of the day. And that way you can put the money towards somewhere else on that trip or even towards the next day.

2 (29m 12s):
And you know, we’re four people, Zoe, even if it’s a seedy hotel, we’re four people and we’ve got a guy.

4 (29m 19s):
Yeah. Speaking of four people, we like to get cozy just as well. And on at least on the weekend getaways, another thing that we do to save money is we definitely share a room. I mean,

3 (29m 32s):
We used to,

4 (29m 33s):
Oh,

2 (29m 36s):
There’s some shade at me,

4 (29m 37s):
Kim calling out, calling out Zayna well, on the last, the Mexico city, one, Kim wasn’t quite committed yet. For whatever reason. I don’t remember as

3 (29m 48s):
My grandma was going to be in town.

4 (29m 49s):
Right. Okay. I knew it wasn’t because you didn’t want to go something else. And Zayna had booked a room and she got really excited about it. And basically I was like, well, I wasn’t expecting you to come. And I want the room all to myself now and made Kim get her

2 (30m 5s):
Fun. Was it though when you were getting, cause we went to Mexico city for a wedding and to have your own room to get ready and

3 (30m 12s):
I got ready naked. And that was pretty cool.

2 (30m 14s):
That for the most part, when we travel, we’re four of us in a room, two double beds. I mean, Kim and I we’ve shared toothbrushes Several times. We share a bed.

4 (30m 29s):
I mean, it, it definitely gets a little crowded, but we’re all really good friends. You’re my sister. Zaina Brittany is my wife, Kim. I consider family. It’s not a big deal. And it’s like, why would you get two rooms and pay the extra money, especially for such a short amount of time. If it’s longer like a week long, I can see it. But the short weekend getaways, great travel tip to save money. Yeah.

3 (30m 52s):
And if you’re traveling, right, you’re not going to be in your room very much. Anyway,

2 (30m 55s):
I was just going to say that for us, we don’t even use the room except to shower and to sleep

4 (30m 60s):
By the time we get back, we’re ready to crash anyway.

3 (31m 2s):
Yeah. So the other tip is where for people that traveled together and that reduces costs significantly. So if you’re going on a solo trip, more power to you, but find a squad, find anyone that’s willing to go. Because if a hotel room costs a hundred dollars with four people, it costs 25.

2 (31m 20s):
You have to be careful though on who you do choose. Because just because you’re a really good friends with one person doesn’t mean that you can travel with them. We’re very lucky that we’re like minded and we travel well together. But just because someone’s your best friend, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be your best travel. Yeah.

3 (31m 36s):
We have a whole episode. We’re planning to talk about travel buddies and just stay tuned for that one. It’ll be good.

5 (31m 42s):
As we talk about sharing the room, I mean, we also rent cars, we split gas and then we pretty much pay for our own meals, but splitting those shared items help reduce the cost significantly.

2 (31m 55s):
And I think, you know, we’re lucky because again, Jamal and I are brother and sister. And I think because we know each other all so well, because we’ve traveled together so much that I think that when you do split costs, you just have to be careful who you’re doing it with. Right. Because sometimes you don’t always get your money back.

3 (32m 12s):
Yeah. There are people there. I have heard many horror stories of people that they’re like, oh, okay, you get the cab and I’ll get you back. And then you never get it back.

2 (32m 20s):
I think we’re just really lucky that us four get along so well in that sense and that we’ve got each other’s backs,

5 (32m 28s):
Usually why I take the initiative to book the trips. Cause I’m like, all right, they’re going to go. They’re going to pay me back. They’re going to book it.

3 (32m 34s):
Oh. And if you are taking the initiative book, a hotel that has a free cancellation policy.

5 (32m 38s):
Yeah. Usually do a book, a hotel that has a free cancellation policy. Or even if I book an Airbnb, I tried to do one that is flexible so that we at least have time to look at the location and the reservation to see if it’s something that we all want to do together.

2 (32m 53s):
I always trust Brittany though. I don’t necessarily need to look at it because fun fact, when Brittany and Jamal moved to San Diego, Brittany got the apartment that me Jamal and her would live in for two years. And I signed the lease before I even saw it. Brittany drew like a little bit of a map of what the layout looked like. And I said, okay, sounds good. So we signed the lease and then they gave us the keys and I got to city apartments and it was a phenomenal apartment. And you know, I just trust Brittany. It

5 (33m 20s):
Served us well for two years.

4 (33m 21s):
Yeah. And one of the biggest expenses that you can get when you travel is actually eating out, you know, you don’t have the luxury of having a kitchen to cook your meals or anything like that. So it definitely can add up. But one of the things that we do is if we can, depending on the location and Airbnb is sometimes equivalent to the cost of a hotel, it will have a kitchen. So you can prep, at least your breakfasts buy things to refrigerate make sandwiches. But when we’re in hotels and we don’t have that opportunity to do that, we at least head up the grocery store to buy snacks, whether it be fruit, granola, bars, things like that.

4 (34m 1s):
Instead of sitting down and having full meals, we obviously do have full meals, but the snacks go a long way versus just sit down restaurants all the time that can get expensive.

3 (34m 12s):
So the snacks are key when you’re out adventuring and you just like are starving. You don’t want to have to stop and go find a place and get something and constantly be buying things like these stocked and ready. So last thing we want to cover about how to travel often and how to afford it is probably the most important piece in all of it. And that’s planning it. Brittany knows a lot about this.

5 (34m 35s):
I always book vacations very far in advance because I want to look at the options. I want to go to get a good rate. And I always book with free cancellation policy. So if I see a better deal later, I have the opportunity to cancel the original reservation and book something better.

3 (34m 51s):
For example, we haven’t booked this yet, but we’ve been planning Lebanon 2020 for like two years

2 (34m 58s):
And we know what’s going to happen.

4 (34m 60s):
Yeah, for sure. We just haven’t booked it because we’ve had other things that we’ve booked first. That’s how far in advance we book our trips to make sure they happen. Once you’re booked, you’re committed.

5 (35m 11s):
I also book like not just hotels, but I also book rental cars in advance. So let’s say we’re flying somewhere on a weekend getaway. I will book the rental car in advance and sometimes it’ll go on sale later and I’ll just cancel the original reservation. And there’s no cancellation fee. I think we saved at least a hundred dollars when we did that. When we went to Orlando.

4 (35m 31s):
Yeah. When we went to Florida, we had booked our rental car a long time at advance. After we had booked our flights and whatnot. And as Costco members, we could rent cars through Costco travel and you can rent them without putting down a deposit or anything like that. And a lot of rental car companies do that just as well. I don’t think a lot of them do require payment upfront, but when you get closer to the date of travel, whether it be car rental or even hotel, if you have a non-cancelable fee for the hotel, definitely look as you get closer, you may find something cheaper. And a lot of times we’ve saved a lot of money that way by booking, when it gets closer, when we’ve purchased or pre-booked things that have no cancellation fees.

2 (36m 12s):
And then another tip is figure out the transportation ahead of time. I actually have a fun story about that. I don’t think I’ve told you guys this, but recently I went to Atlanta for a conference and I didn’t look up anything about it. I just saw that, oh, I can take the Lyft or an Uber to the hotel. So while I was on the airplane, I sat next to a really sweet older lady. And she was asking me how I was going to get to my hotel. I told her Lyft and she said, oh, don’t do that. There’s going to be so much traffic. You know that they have a subway system. Right? And I looked at her and I was like, wow, they have a subway system. So once we taxied our plane, she helped me go online and figure out the subway. She told me what I should do. Go here, call the hotel.

2 (36m 53s):
I completely did not plan anything. And she saved me.

3 (36m 56s):
One other story of mine. When I was in Italy this past April, I got a train ticket from Florence to chink LATERA and bought it the night before. I don’t know what happened, but the morning train the next day, it had a layover in PISA and it was supposed to be really quick one. But when we got to PISA, the next train didn’t come. So we were like, okay, scrambling, looking on the app at the itinerary. We’re like, okay, we can just jump on this next train. But what we didn’t know is that the trains are by different companies. So in the middle of that next train, a guy comes around, checking tickets and says, you’re on the wrong train. You either need to pay or get off. So even though we’d already bought the ticket, we then had to pay another 30 euros, which our original ticket was only like eight, because this was like a higher-class train that we got on that we weren’t supposed to because we didn’t plan the itinerary and do our research.

3 (37m 47s):
Good enough.

4 (37m 48s):
You gotta have mom with, you

3 (37m 49s):
Know, I needed her.

2 (37m 52s):
Did I ever tell you when I was in Rome? I don’t think I did. This is like back in 2010 and I was trying to get to a hostel. And I asked, I guess a taxi cab saw me standing there. So he asked me, you know, like, do you need a ride? And I said, no, I’m just trying to figure this out. And he looks at me and he says, oh, that’s so far away. You can’t walk there. And I looked at him and I was like, really? Cause I think it’s close by. So just trust your intuition because in the end we negotiated $20 for him to drive me. And then it was really around the corner. So he totally, totally saw me coming and took me A watch for scammers and trust your intuition.

4 (38m 29s):
Yeah. I mean, that just goes to show even us sometimes I don’t want to say necessarily like airs, but I know we give advice. Sometimes You live in, you learn. Sometimes people get the best of us just as well in certain situations like Zana described there.

2 (38m 43s):
I couldn’t even be mad, man. He saw me for me.

5 (38m 46s):
And another quick tip about planning out a vacation, we’ve done several vacations and kind of re remote locations where you might not have access to Google maps or it might be offline. So I typically do download the offline map in advance so that I can look at where we need to go without being lost. Essentially

3 (39m 5s):
Offline maps come in clutch

5 (39m 8s):
And they work in different countries too. So if you download the country that you want to go to, or the area you’re going to be staying in a different country, download it before your trip so that you at least have that to look at and reference while you’re away.

3 (39m 20s):
Awesome. So we’re about out of time, but do you guys have any other travel tips or advice that you can give before we part ways

2 (39m 28s):
Don’t let your fear make the decision for you? I know we talked a lot about groups traveling, but you can do it on your own. Just make sure that you do your research. I traveled a lot by myself in my early twenties. I’m very grateful that I have a squad now, but don’t let excuses hold you back or the excuse that you don’t have anyone.

4 (39m 48s):
Yeah. I just feel realistically that making the priority to travel is half the battle. Once you’ve made the priority, whether it be to save or specifically make the time or not have excuses, the travel will come easily to you. And I just want to say one last thing Brittany did mention about, you know, we use to end the past open credit cards that were having promotions of zero interest for 12 to 18 months, sometimes longer. That’s definitely a very useful thing to do that way. You don’t have to pay for a trip all up front, but just be mindful to not do something like that. If you’re not going to be able to pay it off within that amount of time, but it definitely gives you a good amount of time to pay off the trip slowly.

4 (40m 33s):
So you don’t have to worry necessarily about budget constraints in that moment

3 (40m 38s):
Traveled at always being the responsible one. All right, guys. Well, thank you so, so much for tuning in again and listening to us today, I hope that you enjoyed learning about some of our travel tips and I hope that you got something out of it. Most of all, I hope that you start traveling more often.

4 (40m 56s):
He’s subscribed to our podcast and definitely leave a review and let us know what you like and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes from us, the Travel Squad.

2 (41m 6s):
And if you aren’t already be sure to follow us on Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast,

5 (41m 11s):
To make sure to pack your bags because next week we’re going to Sequoia and Kings canyon national parks. Woo.

3 (41m 17s):
I can’t wait.

keep the adventures going

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