In our last post, “An Easy Strategy to Save Money for Travel”, we focused on the benefits of opening a dedicated saving account as the first step in executing your travel budgeting strategy. In fact, this is the foundation for all the money-saving strategies executed by Kim, my eternally wandering friend who’s travel exploits are the stuff of legend in my circle.
So, with a travel savings account as the foundation, what comes next?
Grab a Good Travel Credit Card
Something I’ve noticed about Kim is that she uses her travel credit card for every purchase she makes, from gas to groceries to utilities, then pays off the balance monthly. She told me she would spend the money anyway, but doing it this way racks up perks faster than you might expect.
Types of Cards
Finding the right credit card that works for your unique lifestyle, financial needs and travel goals can be a little challenging, but the rewards and perks are well worth the effort. There are:
- General Travel Cards – Every purchase earns points to use for many airlines and various travel-related services.
- Airline Credit Cards – Good for earning points and perks on your favorite airline, such as priority check-in, and companion tickets.
- Hotel Credit Cards – Good for earning points and bonuses at your favorite hotel, like free nights, room upgrades and more.
Read Kari Bodnarchuk’s article, “Tips for choosing a credit card for travel benefits” for more info on selecting the type of card suitable for your needs.
Read NerdWallet’s “Best Airline Credit Cards of 2017”. They compare travel cards, helping you make a selection based on flexibility, budget, airline preference, international travel considerations and more.
Find out how you can earn free parking at SeatacPark! https://www.seatacpark.com/free-parking/
Last year, I wrote about Kim, a creative, financially savvy traveler who tours the world enriching her life with the kind of experiences most people only dream of. I mentioned that despite her middle-class status, Kim’s budgetary strategies have afforded her voyages across the globe to Europe, Turkey, Greece, Australia and more. And, each excursion crossed off her bucket list is replaced with fresh ideas of exciting, new destinations along with plans of how to get there.
Of course, Kim’s financial tactics won’t fit every situation, so I’ve explored a multiplicity of ideas and approaches people use to save money for their travel dreams, as well as tips to spend money wisely and to keep it secure during the journey.
It’s Time to Get Started
Open a Vacation / Travel Savings Account
When I was in high school I saw an incredible road bike that I wanted badly. Problem was, the bike was an expensive purchase for a young person who bagged groceries for tips. Nevertheless, I wanted that bike so much, that I opened a savings account. And, after every shift, I diligently walked over to the bank and deposited most of what I made that day. I worked hard every shift just for the opportunity to proudly make that deposit.
Two months later, that bike was mine.
This early experience taught me that a dedicated savings account actually made it easier to focus energy toward my goal by paying directly into the fund before I used the money for anything else – a strategy called, “Paying Yourself First”. A dedicated savings account also makes it easier to see balances, track your progress, and to make withdraws when the time is right.
Read “Easy And Practical Ways To Save For A Vacation” to discover more ways to plan for your vacation.
Travel frequently for work? Discover our Corporate Parking Program! https://www.seatacpark.com/corporate-parking-program/
As I begin this post, my friend Kim is somewhere on a tour traveling through Morocco, Spain, Greece and Turkey. On Facebook, she’s posted pics of herself riding camels through deserts, standing on colossal monuments and relaxing poolside sipping tasty drinks in some exotic locale. Incredible.
Over the years, Kim has visited Australia a couple of times, backpacked through Europe and skied in Whistler, Canada. She leads an exciting life, enriched by experiences most people only dream of.
On the surface, Kim might appear to be wealthy, but that is far from the truth. She comes from and is, currently, middle-class. What Kim has going for her are traits and habits that would benefit anyone desiring the experiences she’s had, but think they can’t afford.
Early in her life, Kim decided that a lifestyle of travel would be a top priority, so she began working numerous positions in the tourism industry. She works very hard at saving money, while taking advantage of specials and deals that she finds. At times, she meets her travel goals by working two jobs at a time or sharing expenses with like-minded friends and family. And Kim always keeps her priorities straight during the hard times when money, motivation – or both – is in short supply. All of this isn’t to say that Kim doesn’t have fun when she’s not traveling. She just keeps her overall goals in the forefront of her day to day decisions. And, she’d be the first to tell you it’s worth the effort.
Kim’s simple, straight forward approach works for her, allowing a major excursion every couple of years. Still, knowing her approach wouldn’t fit every situation, I decided to examine what other travelers do to afford their wayfaring dreams.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
As with most ventures in life, the approach to financing your dream trip depends on your unique situation. Some people have a great credit card with a decent rate and lots of rewards. They find a good deal to their desired location, make the purchase and go, and then pay the balance off over time. Other people begin a general travel fund and pay into it monthly. As the balance grows, they keep an eye open for deals and specials they find on the internet, along with signing up to receive notices via e-mail from online agencies. Then, when the right deal comes at the right time, they pounce. Still, some will make an initial purchase with a travel credit card and work to pay it off before they travel, which might make sense if the savings and rewards of an early purchase are just too good to pass up. Of course, many travelers use a variety of flexible methods to meet their goals.
What’s Your Approach?
In the future, we’ll explore ways to save money that may benefit your travel goals, no matter what approach you decide to take. But for now, I’d like to know what works for you and your family. No doubt, your approach could benefit someone in our SeaTac Park family. We welcome your thoughts and ideas today!
Have you checked out our new Mobile app? Available on iOS and Android, the SeaTacPark app keeps all of your parking information at your fingertips. Download the app today from our home page, sign in with your Rewards Account (or create a new one), and you can do all of the following:
- Reservations–Make a new reservation and view current or past reservations
- Rewards Card–Scan the barcode directly from your smartphone so you don’t have to carry your rewards card with you
- Parking Space Reminder–Store you parking space in your account in case you lose your space reminder slip
- Parking History–View or email all past parking receipts
We had some unexpected excitement at SeaTacPark last night. Below, read the firsthand account from our very own shuttle driver, Jim!
“Well, we had a little drama on the lot last night. After I dropped off a customer, I was driving down fire lane south to stage and saw a female duck frantically pacing around a storm drain there. Sure enough, I could hear the little screams of what sounded like a baby duck coming from down in the drain. I talked to Tony and then called 911 but learned that the Kent Fire Department doesn’t do ducks. Well, my neighbor and friend and a former driver of ours, Charlie was my next call. His wife is a big bird and animal lover so figured he’d be sleeping on the couch for a month if he didn’t help. Charlie came out with his step-daughter Nikki, and managed to pluck not one but seven baby ducks from the about six feet down in the drain. Two of the pictures are right after the rescue and the one where you can’t see the babies is about an hour after. The babies are all sleeping under Mamma as I’m sure all were pretty tuckered out.
“Kudos to Charlie and Nikki for their efforts!”
Jim (SeaTacPark driver)