The Best Travel Credit Card

I started my blog in December 2015 and lately I’ve felt the need to take a step back. Why am I doing this? I’m not trying to brag about all the places I go. It’s genuinely a hobby and a passion.

I’ve found myself looking back at my blog posts that typically state the places I go, what I did, and how much it costs but often forgetting the most important part…how I got there.

I want to help you, your friends, anyone to make travel dreams happen. A lot of people I know can’t wrap their heads around  the crazy trips I do. Honestly I don’t spend a ton. I often use points to book all my airfare.

For those of you who know me this is something I am super passionate about. Sometimes I wonder why I’m not in sales, because I pitch this credit card to a lot of my friends. It boggles my mind how many of my friends still use their debit card.

My personal favorite: the Southwest credit card

Why?

Here is my personal snapshot on Southwest for 2015:

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Pro: After I signed up I earned 30,000 points after spending $1,000 in 3 months. DONE! So easy right? That is included in my 42,291 points shown above.

You get 2x points on all Southwest purchases and 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

You get 6,000 anniversary points.

AND no foreign transaction fees. Save 3%. Yep. I use this all the time while traveling internationally.

Con: Annual fee. While you can find a lot of credit cards without annual fees these days, I strongly believe you get more than the $95 you spend in the annual fee.

 

In 2015, I flew to San Francisco & Ohio for free using points. I would suggest using the low calendar fare and if you are flexible you can get some really good deals. Especially when Southwest has its sales. On average those flights cost about $ flying from Phoenix.

  • $321.96 PHX to SFO
  • $204.98 PHX to CMH (one way)
  • =$526.94 total savings!
  • -$95 annual fee
  • =$431.94 savings

Granted I spend most of my purchases on this card. Another thing I love about Southwest is their cancellation policy. You can cancel and use the credit. Plus, you get two free checked bags. Sometimes when you are searching for flights you have to take that into consideration. Although, a Frontier flight might be cheaper they will charge you for the seat and bags.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up here and start planning your dream travels. Right now they have a 50,000 after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months… which is even more points than I got aka more savings!

I hope to focus a lot more of my posts the specifics to get help you plan really cheap weekend trips or even a trip of your dreams. I have a few other travel credit cards so I’ll be sure to let you know in future posts what I use and how I get there. Let me know if you have any questions! I’d love to help 🙂

 

 

 

 

Maui

This is my fourth time being in Hawaii. I can’t say I remember them all though. This time we stayed on the island of Maui.

How I Got There

I actually paid this time not using points, but I recommend booking as far in advance as possible. I paid ~$500 on American from PHX to OGG. My siblings booked the same flight a few weeks later and paid over $600.

What We Did

1. The Road to Hana

The road consists of over a 64 mile drive of beautiful waterfalls and nature. Before you go consider brining: a fully charged camera, water shoes, sunscreen and bug repellant. Also, check the weather because since it is a rainforest there can be road closings.

Within the Road to Hana we hiked in the bamboo forest

It took about 1.5 hours from the spot my Dad dropped us off. The beginning of the trail looked like this… 

Then you’ll cross this wooden plank…

Then you’ll see a 3 waterfalls and have to climb up this ladder. Don’t worry there is rope! But I wouldn’t do this hike with my parents…

At the end of the Road to Hana you’ll arrive at the black sand beach.

2. Spa Day at the Sheraton Black Rock Spa.

3. Snorkel

My dad rented snorkel rentals for $10 a day which was way cheaper than getting them from our resort at The Snorkel Store.

DCIM100GOPRO

4. Haleakala National Park

Haleakala is known as the volcano that formed most of Maui. We drove up this over 10,000  feet above sea level. Apparently, the thing to do is watch the sunrise here which we didn’t do. I saw you had to make reservations. If you are an early riser, I would do this because I saw awesome pictures on Yelp. Overall, it took about a half day.

5. Massages at the Spa at Black Rock

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Westin in Ka’anapali. I would highly recommend. It’s very family friendly with a few kid pools. In addition, theres a lot of amenities on site. We went to breakfast and dinner to two of the restaurants. The rooms even have a kitchen. The only thing we wished it had was an oven. In the end, this hotel has everything you need including the beach.

Where We Ate

 Breakfast: go to the Gazebo. We got there right at 7:30am. There was already a line. We probably waited about a hour, but it was worth it for the beach view. They are known for the fried rice.

Lunch: Paia Fish Market in Lahaina

Cool Cat Cafe

Dinner: Seafood try Merrimans

Mexican: Fridas

Italian: Pulehu (in our resort)

Taverna

Colorado

I’ve been to Colorado a handful of times. I can’t believe I haven’t posted about things to do until now.

I’m so lucky that my college bestie lives there and can show me the ropes of the mile high city.

Here are a few of my favorite things…

Favorite restaurants:

For brunch we went to Denver Biscuit Co.. It was super filling and busy, but worth the wait!  For dinner I would recommend Linger l love the variety of options here. From sushi to burgers to pizza theres something for everyone.

Favorite Hotel:

The Art Hotel which is located in downtown Denver. It is super modern with different art features on every level. The rooftop bar with the fire pit is great place to grab a drink.

Favorite ice cream:

Little Man’s Ice Cream…enough said.

If you’re looking for a killer hike:

Manitou Incline Trail a little over 1.5 hours from the Denver airport.

Skiing

We went to Arapahoe Basin to skii. I rented all my equipment including skiis, boots, pants and a helmet for about $50. You can buy a day pass. This was only about a hour and a half drive from Breckenridge.


Breckenridge… although I didn’t skii here we used the time share hot tubs and walked around and shopped.

 

 

 

Charlotte

What I Did

Work work work work work. Literally. I was in Charlotte for almost 3 weeks so I had time to explore.

Hike

Thanks for the recommendation from my friend Taylor. Crowder’s mountain was an awesome hike! The only issue was I had to wait about 10 minutes for parking. There was a place down the street you could pay $5 to park and walk. Here is the link to the website with the hours and things to do at Crowder’s National Park.

Banana Suit Bar Crawl

The best $20 I’ve ever spent (including the suit). This was the 5th annual crawl. We got tickets here. If you are in Charlotte during February you have to do this bar crawl!


Shopping

My work mom Sandy took me to Birkdale Village. It was a really cute outdoor mall in Huntersville. We ate at Red Rocks which was a super nice restaurant. I highly recommend we had the best server named Lucky!

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