I'm sitting here editing pics from our Tulum trip and thinking about how we're always getting questions on how we travel so much, mostly from our fam.. hey fam. 😘 Questions like how are we able to leave work all the time? How do we afford it?
So I'll start by saying that we don't have kids yet, I work from home, and Danny's job allows him to be somewhat flexible with his vacation days. We also plan pretty short trips- typically we'll leave on a Thursday and come back Monday. Basically we're young and free, so #whynot. It has felt pretty crazy at times, and I've caught myself really missing my couch and my house. But we have made some amazing memories and I know we'll look back on this busy time of life and be so glad that we did it.
A huge factor is our Southwest Companion Pass. Companion Pass = your companion flies free with you every single time you fly. No joke. It's amazing. This article sums it up really well, but basically if you have the SW credit card and you reach 110,000 points in one calendar year- then you get the companion pass for the remainder of that year plus the ENTIRE next year.
(So for example. When we went to Belize, flights were $450. Once I bought my ticket, I just added Danny on as a companion and his ticket was totally free, minus fees. It's not like standby where you might get on and might not. Your companion has their own confirmation number and their own legit ticket- every time you fly.)
It really is amazing and the timing of it could not have come at a more perfect time for us. When we were in the process of getting the pass we didn't even know that Danny was about to start working in Seattle at least 6 times a year for two years. The pass allowed me to be able to go with him, (even when he had to book a super last minute, expensive flight) take my sewing machine, and work from Seattle flying free every time.
As far as other expenses go, we try to keep it cheap and travel within a reasonable budget. We stay in affordable AirBnB's which usually have a kitchen for cooking some of our own meals. We choose our activities carefully and don't spend tons of money on private excursions and guides.
Typically we rent a car so we can drive ourselves, which usually ends up being cheaper anyways, not to mention gives us total freedom. Driving around the country side in Costa Rica with the radio playing local Spanish tunes and stopping in little grocery stores has been one of my favorite travel memories yet. Driving yourself in a foreign country is a super unique experience and I think you'd enjoy the adventure if you tried it!
So why all these Caribbean beach trips? Since a big reason for our travel is the Southwest companion pass we're obviously flying to Southwest destinations. They've recently started adding several international flights to the Caribbean, so while we have our pass the most expensive flights are our top priority. With all of the work trips and vacations we've been on I would say we've easily saved at least $4,000 in 2017 alone. Plus we've grown to love the beach and it's hard to convince me to go anywhere but there these days.
All of that being said, Southwest has a 60,000 point bonus available right now, which is the highest I've ever seen. If you're interested in getting the card or companion pass this is the best time to sign up and snag all of those amazing points. Here's the link to apply. And if you have any questions feel free to ask me!