Divorce lawyers, Taco-Tuesdays & vacationing with reckless abandon

It was 2012 and I was in the middle of a brutal divorce.

Although the kids’ Mom and I were doing a decent job of shielding our kids from our disagreements, our lawyers were duking it out like the final fight scene of Rocky IV. All of my assets were frozen, and after paying the majority of my income to maintenance (AKA “alimony”), I was left with about $2000 per month  in order to keep me from “wasting money on frivolous travel.”

Screw that!

Having gone from living large on two incomes vacationing every chance we had – to living in a sad and lonely apartment complex… From eating out as a family 5 nights a week – to taking the kids out on Tuesdays because Tacos were 39¢…

…Travel was one of the ONLY constants I could give my kids and I wasn’t about to let some asshole divorce lawyer tell me I’d be in trouble if I did it.

So when I stumbled across cheap flights to Houston that aligned (almost) perfectly with my kids’ Fall break – it was time for the first-ever vacation with just the three of us.

“Don’t do it! Her lawyer will destroy you.” my lawyer told me.

I didn’t care. For the prices I paid, this was a vacation I NEEDED to give my kids. It was a bonding experience the three

Sure enough… A month after our trip, my lawyer dragged me into her office to go over a letter from her lawyer demanding explanation and details for my latest frivolous vacation. Her lawyer claimed if I could afford to travel like that, I must have been hiding money.

“Tell me about this flight to Houston over the kids’ fall break.”
They were $41 each, so I couldn’t resist.
“OK, so $82 times 3. That’s not bad.”
No, $41 was round-trip, so $123 total.

“How about the all-inclusive cruise?”
That was what sealed the deal on the vacation. It cost us $184 each and included all meals and entertainment. Between birthday parties, bowling parties, presents, and bouncy-houses – we’d have spent more than that just staying home.

 

“The kids told their Mom about a cool limo ride from the airport. What about that?”
I had planned on taking the bus, but our flight was delayed so we missed it. Cabs were quoting $120 each way, so I went to the “departures” section of the airport and found a limo driver dropping someone off. I asked him if he was free for a ride and he said he’d take us to Galveston for $50 cash (The bus was going to be $75). He enjoyed my kids’ excitement so much, he offered to pick us up for the same price when our cruise returned.

“Well, that shouldn’t be too bad since you only spent $775 for a 6-day vacation for three of you.”
Especially considering we spent more than that paying you AND her lawyer $350 an hour to argue about it. [I ended up firing that lawyer.]

Although we’ve taken dozens of trips since, my kids still talk about that vacation. Despite being broke at the time… Despite the legal fees as a result of that trip costing more than the trip itself… Despite being about the worst timing possible… It was the best money I could have invested towards my kids’ and my future memories.

Thanks for listening to my weekend stroll down memory lane.  If you’ve got a fun travel story to share, feel free to send it to me. Maybe I’ll even publish it on my blog.

Happy travels.

Joel

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A rarely known hack that can pay for a vacation (or three) per year

As you (hopefully) know from reading my blog, I’m a big advocate of using frequent flyer points any time you have to go somewhere that is going to cost more than the prices I share on Just Get Out Of Town.

I’ve used frequent flyer points to fly round-trip to:

  • Hawaii for $22 (Because the best cash price I could find was $1326)
  • San Francisco for $11 (On a week’s notice when flights were $380)
  • L.A. for $11 for a last-minute funeral when flights “the normal way” would have cost over $300
  • $47 to Cabo (Which was supposed to be over $500)
  • $86 to Puerto Vallarta (when flights “the normal way” were $465)
  • $96 to Turks & Caicos over a holiday weekend (instead of $650)
  • etc.

But wait! There’s more!!!

If flying for pennies on the dollar isn’t motivation enough, if you can get your credit score well above 700 – you can actually EARN enough extra spending cash for an extra vacation or two a year.  It’s called “credit piggybacking“, and people with excellent credit can earn several thousand dollars a year (if not tens of thousands of dollars) from doing it.

Here is a link if you’re interested in learning more about earning some extra cash through credit piggybacking.

But be warned – None of the above is possible without a score that is above 690. Fortunately, if you don’t have a score at least that high, fixing your credit is usually a very easy fix.

Since I met Tomika Davis, I’ve boosted my credit score to nearly perfect with just a few strategies she teaches. Personally – having good credit has been worth tens of thousands of dollars to me over the years.  (That’s a screenshot of MY score as I write this article).

If you’d like to boost your credit score so you can start traveling more through point hacking OR  maybe even earn some extra travel money with credit piggybacking – give my friend Tomika Davis a call for a confidential consultation. 720-507-5575

I was not paid for recommending either Tomika OR BoostMyScore. I just want to see as many people as possible benefit from the perks that credit hacking has to offer. If a less than perfect credit score is holding you back, Tomika knows her stuff and can probably help you easily solve that problem.

Here is her number again: 720-507-5575

This site is not for you if…

Actual screenshot of a text from a subscriber

Actual screenshot of a text from a subscriber

Yesterday, I got a text from one of my subscribers, Brooke Merkle, while she was on vacation.  When CBS News profiled her less than a year ago, she had taken her family on 3 JGOOT-inspired trips and was going on her fourth trip to Hawaii. She’s now gone on ten trips that she found with the help of her $100 per year JGOOT subscription. TEN TRIPS at an average savings of $350 per person, per trip.

Granted, Brooke is a teacher, and she gets out of town more than most of us she and her husband travel just about every time their kids have a school break…

BUT…

Brooke’s schedules aren’t the primary reason they are traveling more than they used to.

  • The reason Brooke’s family is now traveling more is that they no longer occasionally look for a vacation, painting themselves into a corner asking something like “What will it cost to go to Cabo for Spring Break?” (For a family of four, that can easily be a $5000 to $10,000 question.)
  • Instead, they now watch for deals every day with a slightly different question in mind; “What exceptional travel deals that fit my schedule in the next several months can I take advantage of?” (Which can easily be a $500 to $2500 question. Yes… For a family of four, and yes – during peak times like weekends & holidays when everyone is out of school.)

This site is not for you if…

  • If you tend to wait until a month before a trip, and you have a very specific timeline to work with.
  • It’s also not for you if you’ve got your sights set on a specific place at a specific time every time you travel.

You don’t need my services in either of the above scenarios.  You have two choices:

  1. You can keep looking the way you always have, find exactly what you’re looking for on Travelocity or Expedia, and pay the prices they’re charging.
  2. Or you can read this free report at least 3 months before you expect to take a trip (preferably 6 or 8 months in advance).

Either way, you don’t need a JGOOT subscription. The fares I share on JGOOT have about a zero chance of helping you if you have little to no flexibility on when/where you want to travel. If that’s the case for you, I don’t advise wasting another minute on my site.

Although The JGOOT Way WILL allow you to take a family of four on vacation for the same price as what 90% of other travelers pay per person…

…it simply won’t work if you aren’t willing to make some slight adjustments to take advantage of the deals that are there for the taking day in and day out.

  • Sometimes, that might mean snatching up a trip to Belize, Aruba, or Thailand instead of Cabo (Yes, when you travel The JGOOT Way – you can vacation in Thailand for the same freakin price as what most people pay to go to Cabo.)
  • Other times, that might mean vacationing the second week of July instead of the third week…
  • Maybe it means taking the kids on a Thanksgiving trip instead of Winter Break because the same destination is 1/3 the cost
  • Or maybe taking an extra day off of school/work to save $2500 on airfare.

Bottom line:

If you want to start spending less than what 90% of travelers spend on travel – you have to stop thinking like them.

Little adjustments to how you travel can mean massive savings.

Is JGOOT the best site for you to save big on your next trip?

I don’t know.

Although my premium trip alert service is stupid-cheap, and you’re more at risk of missing out on an amazing deal that saves you thousands – than the twenty bucks you’ll save by putting off upgrading another couple months…

…There is no sense in even trying it out if you aren’t willing to change the way you approach finding travel deals. If that’s the case, feel free to continue to receive my free trip alerts and check out the free tips on my blog &  Youtube Channel until you’re convinced that “The JGOOT Way” will save you tons of money on your travels. If you don’t agree with my way of finding travel deals, feel free to use the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any email you receive.

Happy travels!

–Joel

[UPDATE: Upon returning from her 11th trip (a $450 first-class round-trip flight to the Dominican Republic) Brooke responded to an announcement that I was hiring. Now, she works on the JGOOT team, and has taken  12  13 JGOOT – inspired trips! Click here to read a letter from Brooke.]

“A Star Is Born” and and unexpected reaction

A Star Is Born

Photo Credit: Amazon Movies

Last night, in hopes of cramming one last Oscar nominated movie in before tonight’s award ceremony, my lovely wife Michelle rented “A Star Is Born” for us to watch.

After a long day skiing (and a 4 hour drive back due to a 2-hour road closure on I-70), I wasn’t expecting to be able to stay awake, but man was I wrong.  I was either on the edge of my seat, cheering, or sobbing my eyes out throughout the entire movie.

Not only that, but we watched every “bonus scene/video” possible, and THEN we decided to watch it again.

I think the pivotal moment in the movie was how Jack surprised Ally with a “once in a lifetime opportunity” – knowing she didn’t think she was ready (but he knew she was).

And She F**king Nailed It! (I’d include the clip, but it’s 1000 times better if you watch how they got there in the movie.)

Michelle was surprised at why this movie touched me so much, and quite frankly, so am I.  I think the biggest reason is because of where I am now, and where I’ve been in my life.  More specifically – the opportunities I’ve seized, and the opportunities I have let slip by because of being caught up in the grind of daily life.

It wasn’t until my mid-40’s that I discovered travel as a way to grow…
to find perspective…
to unplug from work…
to plug in with my family…
to find myself…
to visit more friends and family…
to have more friends & family visit me…
to give my family gifts that won’t start collecting dust two weeks after I give it to them…

Ever since that discovery, I’ve been making up for lost time. Even when I can’t travel myself, I look for travel deals that I hope one of my friends or family members can take advantage of.  (And as long as you’re reading this blog, I’m not going to let the opportunity slip by to inspire you to visit more friends, family, or new places either.)

If you want to start visiting more friends, more family, and more new places, there is nothing more powerful than doing this one simple thing:

Whether you’re planning a trip or not, simply watch for opportunities to JGOOT (Just Get Out Of Town) every day.
  • If you’re subscribed to my paid trip-alert service, that’s as easy as opening my trip alerts every day.  (Don’t wait until you’re ready. Open them every day.)
  • If you’re not subscribed, here are a TON of free tips showing you how to find unbelievable trips yourself. (No, not last minute, not redeye flights, not standby flights, and unless absolutely necessary, not even using points. Just travel deals that are so low – you can’t help but consider getting out of town.)
Sound like too much work? No problem, but it sure would be unfortunate if the exact same Summer trip you’ll end up paying $400 per-person for  – could have been snatched up 5 months in advance for $47 during a 48-hour flash sale.  (Especially if you’ve got a family of 6.)

Happy travels!

Joel

 

Abe Lincoln, sharpening axes, chopping down trees, and traveling for pennies on the dollar

We all like to think we’re good at finding deals when it comes to travel. (And most of us are.)

But The JGOOT Way of travel isn’t about finding “good” deals…

Anyone can find a good deal…

The JGOOT Way is about finding deals so freakin’ cheap – the stories from the price you paid eclipse the stories from the trip itself.

Stories like when you’re going through a divorce, you’re forced to live on $2000 a month, and you to take your kids on your first vacation with just the three of you. How? By finding $41 round-trip flights to a cruise-port that perfectly fits with their days off of school. Since it was Fall Break (and cruises are dirt-cheap) you hopped on an all-inclusive 5-night cruise for less than what you would have spent taking them to the five obligatory bowling and bouncy-house parties that were planned that week. 

Stories like when you’re dating a girl, and it’s getting serious (but not THAT serious yet). You stumble across $29 round-trip flights to her home-town in two months. Together, you laugh about the rumors flying about why you flew home to meet her friends & family.

Stories you get to tell your kids (and future grandkids) about how you woo’ed that same girl by taking her on a vacation over Thanksgiving at a fancy all-inclusive resort. (Not because you were Mr. Money-bags, but because you found $110 round-trip flights to Cabo, and you booked an all-inclusive resort that got a 65% discount by booking it at the same time you booked your flight.)

I don’t care how good you are at finding “good deals” you are… It’s not physically possible to find a travel deal that came-and-went when you weren’t looking.  Other than occasional dumb-luck, the ONLY way to find a price so cheap you get to brag about it for the rest of your life is to do one simple thing:

Look.

Every.

Day.

I know, I know – You’re probably expecting this blog post to be a build-up to convince you to pay $97 per year to subscribe to my daily trip-alert service, but…

Screw that. I’m not even going to include a link.

Here’s a free tip on how you can do all of the above yourself for free:

Just promise me you’ll stop thinking “I’ll get around to that when I’m ready to plan my next trip“.

That’s the reason people think travel is so expensive…

That’s the reason I had to hire an assistant just to tell over 100 people a week that my service won’t be of any use to them this time around, and that there is no way around them having to pay $650 per person for what would have been $124 flights had they started looking two or three months earlier.

Just trust me…

This isn’t a pitch for my paid service.

It IS a pitch to convince you to stop looking for travel deals the way you always have done it.

Whether you’re planning a trip or not, set up some fare watches today using the free tip in the video above.

Look at those prices every day and I promise you one thing;  There will come a day when the price you find is so low – you simply won’t be able to resist the temptation to just get out of town.

“It’s five minutes of dreaming and fun” – Robert Horvick

Below is a recording of a conversation I had with JGOOT premium subscriber Robert Horvick after he left these kind words on our Facebook page.

Robert & his wife live in Raleigh, NC. Since joining my trip-alert service, they’ve only travelled domestically, but they’ve taken 3 trips and saved $600 to $800 so far.

They watch for trips every day but even when none of the trips interest them or work with their schedule, he describes opening his daily trip alerts as “Five minutes of dreaming and fun.”

Don’t have 30 minutes to watch the whole video? A list of highlights is below.

  • Intro: “We got married young and travel was limited to road trips. Now that kids are older…”
  • 1:05: $97 Delta direct afternoon flight Raleigh to Austin that we’ve paid $350 for multiple times in the past.
  • 3:30: $63 mid-day direct Raleigh flight to Minneapolis (not-last minute. Months ahead.)
  • 4:50: Plans for Paris next Summer
  • 5:30: Using points as a backup plan
  • 7:10: Orlando/Disney flight that added two days to their vacation for the same cost
  • 8:45: WAY cheaper to get a great deal on a flight and a bad deal on a cruise, than a great deal on a cruise and a bad deal on a flight.
  • 11:00: Opening JGOOT emails is like scratching a lottery ticket. Even when you don’t win, it’s five minutes of dreaming and fun.
  • 14:10: How we saved $600 to $800 in the 6 months since we subscribed.
  • 15:20: It’s as fun to dream while sitting at home as it is to be traveling when you are able to get out
  • 15:50: The benefits of building travel plans around deals vs Planning to travel, and hoping to find a deal
  • 17:45: Co-worker paying $3000 flights to Shanghai vs $600 including 7 nights.
  • 18:35: Getting your butt on the plane for cheap, and then getting a business class upgrade for less than the cost of lunch.
  • 22:20: How we get these trips at the price advertised.
  • 25:30: How we used to travel vs how we travel now.
  • 29:20: Recap of the two strategies behind “The JGOOT Way” of travel.
  • 31:30: Robert’s final suggestion to get the most out of your JGOOT trip-alerts

An epic Vegas bachelor party… On a budget.


Years ago, my brother-in-law was getting married. (We’ll call him Kenny, and we’ll call his fiancé Kelly.) I was his best man and he wanted to have his bachelor party in Vegas.

When he gave me the list of friends he wanted to invite he said “These guys are all in grad school and most of them are on REALLY tight budgets.”

Dude…

How are we supposed to have a bachelor party in Vegas on a tight budget? Cover charges for one night of club-hopping alone was going to break the bank for most of these guys.

OK… Challenge accepted. Let’s roll our sleeves up & get this figured out.

Two of us had a ton of points, so a couple free flights and a couple free rooms added money to the dance club-hopping budget.  But still, $20 to $25 cover charges and $10 to $15 drinks can add up fast when you’re on a tight budget.

A few guys were within driving distance so they said they’d bring a couple cases of beer. Pre-drinks for 10 guys will save another few hundred bucks. Not exactly living the dream, but hey – you gotta do what you gotta do when many in the group are on a beer budget but have champagne taste.

Then, during the planning stages, LIGHTNING STRUCK!

We realized we were going to be there during Mardi Gras. Granted, we weren’t going to New Orleans, but what the hell – we could have a little fun with some mardi gras beads. We hopped on ebay and found about 500 sets of beads from China for under fifty bucks.

Knowing people in Vegas would get arrested for public displays of boobs, we came up with a different plan.  We had Kenny wear a t-shirt that had had a bunch of checklist items custom printed on it with a list of things people could do to “earn” a set of beads.

Things people could do to earn beads included:

  • Yelling “I love Kenny!” (at which time he was obligated to yell “I love Kelly!”)
  • Buying drinks.
  • Asking Kenny to dance (and he HAD to say yes.)
  • etc.

About 400 of the beads were regular beads that cost less than a nickel a piece.  100 of them were “special” beads. They were extra large, and were things like beer extra-large hearts, dice, a pair of aces, etc. They cost 5 to 10 times times as much as the normal beads at a whopping $.25 to $.50 each.

Little did we know how much those beads would change the course of our night.

People. Ate. It. Up.

Saturday morning, we realized the beads were so cheap they stained our shirts, but we didn’t care. We wore them out Saturday night too.

By the second night, people were greeting us as we walked into clubs yelling “I love Kenny!” People were buying drinks, they were making Kenny feel like a king, we were ALL dancing non-stop.  Not just the girls either. Big, buff dudes were greeting us with “I love Kenny!!” in the middle of a crowded dance club!

THEN there were the “special” beads…

We made sure Kenny was the only one of us who had the special beads. He only had a couple at a time, and people almost always asked “What do I have to do to get a set of THOSE beads?” Kenny named the terms at first and it was initially stuff like dancing with him.

BUT we quickly realized that people REALLY wanted those beads and were offering to do things we wouldn’t have even imagined.  I think our record was someone offering to buy us a round of drinks.  The guy easily dropped $100 buying us all drinks so he could get his girlfriend a set of coveted heart beads…

Fifty-Freakin-Cent-Heart Beads.  (Out of respect for them, we waited until we left that club before pulling another set of heart beads out. 😉

It was better than we ever imagined, and we felt like celebrities all weekend. Not bad for a bunch of grad-school dorks (and an even dorkier over-the-hill brother in law walking around with a backpack full of beads.)

The moral of the story?

Travel memories hold a special place in your heart, and stick with you forever.  That trip was one of the most tight-budgeted trips I’ve ever been on, and it was over a decade ago. But those memories still seem like yesterday, and will forever bring a smile to my face.

An unexpected ending:

Bleary-eyed and hung over Sunday afternoon, we said our goodbyes at the airport before heading to our respective terminals. As Kenny and I got on the tram to head to our terminal two girls came running up beating on the window yelling:

“I LOVE KENNY!”

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If you’d like help creating more surprisingly affordable travel memories of your own, become a JGOOT premium subscriber.
(*Beads not included) 
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Reach out and touch someone

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In the late 70’s – long-distance calling was extremely expensive ($.10 to $.25 per minute), rates were very confusing, and most people only called for really special occasions. So AT&T launched a campaign about how their new calling plans allowed you to “reach out and touch someone” for $.02 to $.10 per minute and forever changed how people treated long-distance calling.

Now, nearly 50 years later, at $.10 to $.25 per mile, most people think flying is too expensive, meaning traveling across the country to visit a friend or loved one “just to say hi” is reserved for special occasions only.

Just like AT&T revolutionized the way people stayed in touch 50 years ago, “The JGOOT Way” is changing the way friends & family stay in touch today.

Every week, I share a few dozen different flights with my premium subscribers that are between $.02 and $.05 per mile.  That’s about 1/4 of what most people pay to fly, 1/10th of what most people pay to drive, and believe it or not – a better value than what you would pay when using frequent flyer points. (Here is an article describing that math.)

As a JGOOT premium subscriber, any time you see a trip alert in a city where you know someone, you can either:

  • Have one-click access to the flights I found so you can go visit them
  • Use my “reverse search” link & fly them out come visit you.
  • (Fares I find in the Domestic US are rarely over $100, and as low as $29 round-trip, so there is rarely an excuse for not “reaching out and touching someone” you care about.

Don’t want to pay $.26 per day to have me find those deals for you? No problem. Here is a post on how you can regularly find $.02 to $.05 per mile flights yourself for free.

Just for fun, here are a couple more AT&T commercials:

The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working.

“The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working.” – Ernest Newman, Born Nov. 30, 1868.

One of the best copywriters I am proud to know (Colin Theriot) wrote an article using the above quote as inspiration for copywriters experiencing writer’s block.  I couldn’t help but think how applicable it is to travel as well.

“Take our whole family for the cost of one person” trips don’t wait for when you’re ready to plan a trip.

They pop up and disappear in a matter of days (sometimes hours), and the odds of them being available “when you’re ready to look” are slim-to-none.

The key is to watch for them every day, whether you’re planning a trip or not.

I don’t care if you subscribe to my service or set up a couple dozen free fare-watches on AirfareWatchdog

Make travel a priority by watching for great deals every day and guess what:

  • You’ll stumble across $29 round-trip flights to your soon-to-be fiancé’s home-town over a weekend and you’ll go to meet her friends & family. (True story.)
  • You’ll take your first vacation in 10 years because you stumble across a trip you can take to London that will cost under $1200 including flight and lodging – for both of you. (True story.)
  • You’ll re-discover yourself on a solo trip as a newly divorced parent on a $58 trip to Costa Rica. (When you WERE planning on staying home feeling sorry for yourself while the kids are on vacation with their Mom.) True story.
  • You’ll find yourself spending Thanksgiving in Cabo because you stumbled across $110 round-trip flights. (True story.)
  • You’ll stumble across cheap flights to Turks and Caicos & book your family of five for less than what others on the same plane paid for one person. You’ll then text your friends around the country who also travel “The JGOOT Way”. They’ll join you, starting an amazing lifelong “Friendcation” tradition. (True Story.)
  • Although you weren’t planning on checking Hawaii off your bucket list until retirement (when the $1300 flight will fit in your budget) – you’ll go for your 10th anniversary because you found $341 flights. (True story)
  • You’ll tell your out of town parents about a flight they can take for less than the cost of a babysitter. During their visit, they’ll watch the kids while you get to go on a long overdue date-night.  (True story.)

My blog and my Facebook page are open books on how you can travel anywhere you want for pennies on the dollar using a few simple strategies I call “The JGOOT Way”. Feel free to poke around, and if you ever find a trip using “The JGOOT Way” of travel, let me know!

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Don’t want to do all of that digging yourself?
We dig for the most affordable 1% of trips on the internet every day, and share them with our premium subscribers.
Feel free to check it out.
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Thanksgiving musings

It’s the end of the day on Thanksgiving. Our friends & family have left & the dishes are done.
Today, I watched in amazement as my teenage kids were not only engaged in something other than their phones, but were excited and enthused to be involved in conversations with friends and family who came to our home throughout the day.
  • My daughter was enthusiastically telling a group of kids about visiting one of the biggest amusement parks in the world and how she and her cousin made a pact to ride the legendary 120 mile-per-hour roller coaster.
  • My normally quiet son was the center of attention as he told a group of adults about SCUBA diving with sharks in Turks and Caicos…
  • Although they rarely get along, watching them tag-team a story about our dive instructor in Honduras who pronounced “Joel”, “Jason” and “Julia” as “Yoel”, “Yason” and “Yulia” – had everyone laughing hysterically.

Sadly, if I traveled the way most people traveled, not a single one of the above stories would have happened (because none of them would have fit in the budget.)

And sure – I travel more because I can take my whole family on vacation for what most people pay for one person…
BUT for me – “The JGOOT Way” is not just about saving money on vacations…
  • My kids are learning important skills in life (conversation and story-telling)
  • They are learning about humility & compassion by visiting third-world countries
  • We’re maintaining better relationships by visiting more friends and family.
  • They have amazing memories that NO ONE can ever take from them – no matter what tangible assets they will inevitably lose in the future.

Today, I am thankful for you reading this right now. I hope that means you’re interested in more travel, and whether you read the free tips on my blog, are getting free trip alerts or premium trip alerts  – I look forward to hearing about your next JGOOT-inspired trip. Feel free to comment below, or drop me an email any time.

 

JGOOT rule number 3: You MUST be flexible

Actual screenshot of a text from a subscriber

Actual screenshot of a text from Brooke Merkle

As you hopefully know by now, there are 3 simple rules to “The JGOOT Way” of travel.

  1. ALWAYS have at least 50,000 miles for when rules #2 & 3 don’t work.
  2. Look for trips every day (whether planning a trip or not)
  3. You must be flexible. (Case study below)

Since being interviewed by CBS News over a year ago, Brook Merkle, her husband, and their two kids have gone on ten trips that she found with the help of her JGOOT subscription.

TEN trips!!!

But all the trip alerts in the world wouldn’t do her a single ounce of good if she looked at each of them thinking “Nah. That doesn’t fit perfectly with my schedule.” If you want to save 50% to 90% every single time you travel, you’re going to need to have at least a little bit of flexibility.

Don’t worry though. I’m not talking about massive changes to your schedule.

  • They went to Hawaii for less than what most people pay to go to Cabo by snatching up a trip she found 6 months ahead of schedule and working all future plans around that trip. (This saved them nearly $1000 per person on their flight alone.)
  • Another time, by taking a 4-day weekend over MLK weekend, she snagged $78 flights to Florida to visit family (saving about $1800 compared to everyone else who paid $450 to $600 per person for a 3-day holiday weekend flight).
  • By booking a Thursday-to-Thursday flight to Vancouver instead of Saturday-to-Saturday, they saved enough to take a private helicopter tour.

Do you need JGOOT to have flexibility?

Absolutely not. This rule can be applied to any trip you take – and at the very least – I hope it helps you get out of town more affordably.

We just make it interesting by sending you 4 or 5 of the most affordable 1% of trips on the internet each morning – for you to dream about over your morning coffee.

Happy travels!

–Joel

 

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Want daily inspiration of trips you thought you had to wait until retirement for?

My team and I analyze 500 to 1000 destinations per day from your home airport. You’ll have access to hundreds of trips we’ve already found, and over 100 new ones every month.

    • We’ll alert you whenever we find:
      • Domestic flights between $29 and $100 (These fares also work in reverse so you can invite friends to visit you.)
      • Caribbean/Mexico flights between $100 and $400
      • Europe/South America, Hawaii & Asia between the high $200’s & $500
      • Australia, India & Africa between $ the high $500’s & $1000
      • I also include business class fare discounts, one-click lodging options on Travelocity, Expedia, VRBO, AirBnB & Hostels.com, and one-click access to Flight+Hotel prices for 1 to 6 travelers.

All for as low as $8 a month (If choosing the annual plan.)

Click here for more details.

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Coming to you from the future

Hey. I know this is weird, but this is the future you, and I just got in a time-machine. I’m contacting you from 6 months in the future because I’m (we’re) in a bit of a bind…
So our friends John & Sally are going to have to cancel their holiday weekend trip in exactly 6 months due to a family emergency.  They’ve got a two bedroom penthouse unit at an all-inclusive resort, and the whale sharks are migrating. They’re going to call and tell you (us) that if you (we) want to go – all you have to do is buy the flights.

Rights purchased from: https://www.123rf.com/profile_macsim

Unfortunately I (future you) have been  trying to find decent flights for the past two days, and I can’t find ANYTHING for less than $1200 each. (If it weren’t for that damn A/C going out last month, we’d have room in the budget to fly us and the kids out, but $4800 is just too much.)
In a panic, I called that Just Get Out Of Town guy – Joel. He said he’s not a travel agent and it’s too late for him to find anything better, BUT… All we have to do is cash in that emergency stash of 100,000 frequent flyer points he showed us how to get 6 months ago. Then, instead of $4800 – we could fly there for a couple hundred bucks.
Needless to say, I (we) had to tell John & Sally that we couldn’t make it. They then called the F^@#ing Smiths – who are now plastering pictures of themselves swimming with whale sharks all over f^@#ing Facebook.
Damn Smiths…

Do our family a favor, and do the following two things right now:

1) Print out this free report from Joel and try it out.  (Trust me – it’s not nearly as much trouble as the trouble I (we) are going through right now scrambling for an affordable flight (to no avail).
2) Upgrade to Joel’s premium service. The dude is wicked-smart (like “writing books for Google” smart). He’s going to post an amazing mistake fare tomorrow and we could go on BOTH trips for less than the cost of what we normally spend on one vacation. But if you don’t upgrade your subscription, it will sell out before you get it.

No time to talk. I’ve got to get back to the future.  (READ THAT REPORT so my future involves whale sharks and umbrella drinks, instead of vicariously living through the Smiths’ Facebook pics.)

Oh yeah. One other thing:

Call the A/C repair guy. Not having A/C for two weeks this summer was a bitch, and the guy who replaced it for $7000 said if I (we) had re-charged the freon for $250, it wouldn’t have broken down (and we’d be the ones swimming with whale sharks).

Sincerely,

Future you

Formula for a cheap vacation AND free babysitters

Need a quick getaway without the kids, but don’t have family in town to help watch them?

This little trick will take 3 or 4 months of advance planning, but it is sure to:

  1. Find a dirt-cheap vacation to a place you didn’t think you could afford.
  2. Find free babysitters you can trust while relaxing on the beach.
  3. Get you lots of brownie points from family who will be elated at your generosity of flying them into town to spend quality time with your kids.

Step 1: Download this quick-start guide that will show you how to get 50,000 to 100,000 frequent flyer points in the next 30 to 60 days.

Step 2: Once you have earned your points, keep a close eye on the 50% to 90% off mistake fares you get through JustGetOutOfTown.com

Step 3: When you see a fare that fits your schedule (and budget), look up how many points it will take to fly Grandma & Grandpa (or the friend/relative of your choice) into town during your trip, and fly them out for a visit. (By using points you can easily pick dates that work around the cheap vacation you found, and since those flights will only cost $10 to $50 – it’s cheaper than ANY babysitter in town.)

Step 4: Grab the mistake fare and Just Get Out Of Town!

OR… If the mistake fare is REALLY good, save your miles for a rainy day and take grandma & grandpa with you.

Nikki Sandschaper - Happy JGOOT Subscriber

As a travel-obsessed parent and a teacher, I am thrilled that I can search for deals during school breaks!  We found such a great deal to Cabo over the Winter holidays that we took the grandparents too! Thank you!”
Nikki Sandschaper

Since becoming a JGOOT premium subscriber Nikki and her family have been to Florida, Mexico, Europe, and most recently – Asia.  Check out her inspiring travels on her Facebook page.

Driving without car insurance = Traveling without frequent flyer points

Have you ever had to go somewhere like a wedding, family reunion or funeral and been utterly shocked at the prices of flights or lodging?

That’s exactly what happened to us for a family gathering this Summer.

My wife’s Grandmother turned 90 this month, and family from all around the country flew in to celebrate.

Unfortunately, it was 4th of July weekend – the busiest travel weekend of the year.

Although I’m great at finding amazing travel deals for vacations & fun weekend trips…

…I’m not a magician.

Sometimes, finding a good deal “the traditional way” simply isn’t possible.

(Especially when you have to go somewhere specific at a specific time.)

  • In this case, the best prices we could find (despite watching fares for months) was $400+ round-trip.
  • For a family of four traveling “the traditional way” – that would mean being forced to pay $1600+ in airfare.
  • So instead – I used my backup plan and dipped into my stash of frequent flyer points and we flew there for $11 each.

Don’t have frequent flyer points? You should.

EVERYONE should (no matter how often they travel).

It’s called point-hacking, and trust me – it’s WAY easier than wasting countless hours scraping and scrounging to find affordable flights when affordable flights don’t exist.

Here’s the trick.

Just like you can’t get car insurance after the accident…

You can’t decide to give point-hacking a try after you commit to a trip and can’t find affordable prices. By then, it’s far too late.

You have to plan 3 or 4 months ahead so you have the points ready for when you need them.

My advice? Don’t over-think it.

Just go to Chase.com and pick a travel card that pays 40,000 to 100,000 points and save them for when you need them.

Already have a travel card? Switch to ANY other card, and get a 50,000 to 100,000 “signing bonus” that can be used toward $1000 to $5000 in free travel when you need it.

Seriously…

Don’t wait until tomorrow.

Not when you get around to it.

Just go and do it today.

Why?

Even though it only takes about an hour of your time to get a new card – it can take 3 or 4 months before you can use your points.

When you find yourself in a bind and can’t find affordable flights or lodging, you’ll be glad you prepared in advance and have a backup “insurance plan.” Instead of getting raked over the coals and not being able to do anything about it – you can go there for nothing but the cost of taxes.

 

BONUS: 

Pick a premium travel card & get $50 to $100 in free food & drink EVERY TIME you visit thousands of eligible airport lounges and restaurants all around the world.

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Thinking you don’t want to go through all that trouble?

That’s what our premium trip-alert service is for.  Believe it or not – every trip we share with our subscribers is actually a BETTER deal than using points.

We have savvy points-travelers in our group who have over 500,000 frequent flyer miles. That’s a lot of free flights! But they still use our service for finding vacations so cheap they’d be better off paying with cash. That way – they can save their valuable points for:

  • Exotic destinations around the world
  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Guys’ Trips
  • Girls’ Trips
  • Unexpected emergencies
  • First/Business Class Flights

(In other words… Flights that are virtually guaranteed to cost an arm-and-a-leg because of their lack of flexibility.)

After you go and get your new travel credit card, click here & join our premium trip-alert service. We’ll help you find vacations & fun weekend trips so cheap – you can save your newfound points for the unexpected expensive stuff.

Between using points, and the ridiculously cheap vacations you’ll be able to take advantage of – you’ll always have the cheapest seat on the plane. You can spend (or save) the difference however you like.

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Tips from an expert: Taking better vacation photos

Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Nearly a decade ago, I got to go on a photo-walk with renowned photographer – Trey Ratcliff.  (Click here to see some of his work.)

I’m not a professional photographer, but ever since applying things I learned from Trey – I’ve been asked to shoot weddings, events, and births of babies – all because of personal vacation photos I occasionally post to Facebook.  More importantly – the photos I bring home from vacations become heirlooms that my family and I get to keep forever.

If you want to bring home more memorable photos whenever you travel, I highly recommend any of Trey’s training materials.

He has:

Again – here is a collection of some of his amazing work.