I have grown to love vacation planning. I enjoy the searching almost as much as the vacation itself. And as I’ve become more cost-conscious in other areas of my life, I enjoy making travel (and not necessarily cheap travel) a priority for our family.
Last night I asked Josh: “So we have a hotel for our mini-trip, right?”
In early March, I am going to the last 2 days of a conference in Amelia Island with Josh (maybe trying to make up for this trip!). He asked me to “tag along”, which sounds fun and lovely and I am going to use some of this time as the ‘personal retreat’ days that I mentioned yesterday! I had not really thought about it, but he had mentioned the host hotel for the conference and I had just assumed we’d be staying there.
BUT, I recognize that not everyone obsesses about their travel plans months in advance. Including my husband. So, he hadn’t booked it. No problem; there’d be other options, right? We hit up TripAdvisor and . . .
AGHGH, very few. We lucked out and found what appeared to be the last remaining room in a non-sketchy place. It wasn’t ideal (mostly because it’s a ground floor room at a B&B), but the place looks very nice.
ANYWAY, I felt vindicated. I have currently already booked:
- AirBnB for our family spring break trip in NC (booked last fall) + flight (booked in Jan)
- Super nice restaurant & hotel (well, one night — reminds me, I need to book the rest of the trip!) for my 40th birthday trip
- A resort trip for the family in August (driving distance, so no flights needed)
- A very cool hotel suite for a family ‘fall leaves’ trip we are taking up north
- Not yet booked, but I have attempted to book (and am in a queue) for a Disney villa for our trip in December. If I don’t come off the waiting list by June, I will just book directly with Disney.
I know it wouldn’t be a tragedy if we couldn’t stay in our choice of hotel. BUT especially with a family of 5 now, accommodations can be challenging and it is SO MUCH EASIER to find them when we are one of the first ones looking.
PLUS, it’s so much fun to think about and plan the year of travel in advance! It’s like getting to go on all of these trips twice 🙂
I actually feel ready to start thinking about 2021. (I know, don’t get TOO crazy. But it’s also fun to think about what we will be able to do as G — our weakest travel link — gets older.)
Non-sponsored note: I finally sprang for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card (I’m going to let our Citibank American Airlines card lapse and close it because I can’t stand having 3984723 cards and we don’t fly AA much anymore since JetBlue and Southwest fly to so many places from Fort Lauderdale). It has an annual fee of $95 but spending $4000 in the first 3 months yields $750 worth of completely flexible travel points (!) and 2% points are earned on all travel & restaurant purchases.
Since we are both traveling a bit for work too in the next couple of months, we can put this card to work to help pay for future travel. I am not into extreme “travel hacking” but I had read so many raves about this card that I figured it was worth it (ie not getting it felt like throwing $ away).