While I’d love to travel for free every time using my miles and points, every once in a while I have to earn miles on my travels rather than burning them. When the opportunity came up to head to Arizona for a weekend getaway, I knew paying cash for everything was in my future. Thank goodness it’s still possible to travel on a budget! Here’s how I managed to get away even though I was strapped for cash.
Flight: $50 out-of pocket (and $18 in earnings toward the next trip)
My round-trip flight was $290, but I lessened the sting by using a voluntary bump voucher for one direction on Delta and an AirTran credit from a flight price drop I claimed earlier this summer. Overall, I only paid $50 for my flight.
The best part? My flight from PHX dropped in price after booking, so I was able to request a credit for that as another voucher for a future trip. It’s a brilliant way for AirTran to ensure I’ll book with them again!
Hotels: $187 out-of-pocket (and $67 in earnings toward the next trip)
I stayed one night at a Fairfield Inn, one at a Hilton resort, and two at independent hotels. I earned hotel rewards points at the Fairfield and Hilton, and grouped with promotional bonuses, I value the ~8500 points at about $42 toward future trips. Throw in a $50 gift card from a best rate guarantee claim, which I’ll split with my sister, and I didn’t pay too much overall.