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.

 

“It’s not safe to travel”

After objection #1 (“Your deals seem too good to be true“), and objection #2 (“I don’t have the funds to travel right now“), third most common objection I hear regarding travel is : “It’s not safe to travel outside the U.S.”

I couldn’t disagree more.

Other than a handful of politically unstable countries, the majority of places around the world are just as safe (if not more safe) than right here in the U.S. As long as you have a little bit of self-awareness when it comes to not making yourself a target – travel outside the US is no less safe than any big city in the US.

Nas daily – one of my favorite travel vlogs (Video Blogs) has multiple videos on the subject. Nas has even left laptops, bikes & purses out for people to take in various countries, and items that wouldn’t last 2 minutes at most big cities in the U.S. can sit there untaken for hours.

If you do want to travel more, I recommend the following 3 things:

  1. Set money aside for travel. (It takes FAR less than you think with proper planning, but without setting aside a travel budget – travel will continue to take a back seat to things like broken furnaces, braces for the kids, etc. Next thing you know, you’ll be looking back on your life – wishing you had traveled more.
  2. Follow different travel bloggers to stay inspired and informed.
  3. If you’re really concerned about your safety, take a self defense course. You’d be surprised at how little you need to know to drastically increase your odds of A) not being a target, and B) protecting yourself from the other 99.9% of attackers who have no training at all.  If you don’t want to attend a class in your town, there are plenty of great resources online. Click this link (or this one) for a couple great ones that cost less than a month’s membership at a brick-and-mortar martial arts studio.

Happy travels!

–Joel

 

“Had been wanting to visit Coeur D’Alene & your $39 flight made it possible.”

This premium subscriber just booked a bucket-list trip for $39, and saved about 500% more than the cost of his premium subscription.

Much like the majority of premium subscribers, he found a trip he wasn’t necessarily looking for, but when you find prices that good to a place that’s on your bucket list anyway – you’d be crazy not to take advantage.

Still wondering if a premium subscription is really that much better than your free subscription?  Try it out 7 days for free & see what all of the buzz is about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Scott believes the simple act of spreading gratitude has the power to change the world.  Click here if you want to join his gratitude mission.

Another fu¢#ing school shooting…

As you may know, there was yet another fu¢#ing school shooting yesterday.  Although it happened only 3 miles from where my kids go to school, and 6 miles from where my wife teaches, it hits no closer to home than any of the other fu¢#ing senseless killings that have become a regular occurrence around the world. (Especially here in the US).

I am one person with one vote and I didn’t write this post to get into debates about tax, education issues OR gun-control.

I DID write this post to say this:

  1. Teachers, school counselors, firefighters, police officers and most non-profit employees don’t get paid what they deserve.
  2. If you have a full-time career in one of the above categories, click here.
    • Not when you get around to looking for your next trip…
    • Not when you think you can afford a trip…
    • Just trust me…
    • I’ve written 3 books for Google about their search engine algorithms. Finding opportunities in the airline pricing algorithms is child’s play in comparison, and I’ll show you how to find those opportunities for FREE.
    • But the most important step is to start planning WAY earlier than you’re accustomed to, so don’t put it off any longer!
    • If the government can’t manage to find room in the budget to pay you a salary representative of the hard work you do serving our community, the least I can do is show you how to vacation as if you earned one.
  3. If you ever need help with a fundraising/charity auction, or go on strike for better wages – count me in for support.  (You know where to find me. Just send bona-fide details of the fundraiser/auction you are doing, and I’ll see how I can help.  (As a little ol’ starting business, JGOOT raised nearly $10,000 for charities last year, and I want to quadruple that this year.)

If you’re not in one of the above 5 categories:

It takes a village. (A “JGOOT Village”)

Got a question about an area you’ll be visiting soon?
Have pictures & advice to share from a place you’ve recently been?
Want to brag about the price you paid to get there?

Introducing JGOOT Village:

A free place for travelers to discuss places they’ve been, places they’re going to, and anything else having to do with “The JGOOT Way” of travel.

I literally started this group 10 minutes ago, so to encourage sharing from group members, each week, I’ll give away a free quarterly JGOOT premium membership (worth $47) to:

  1. One group member who adds a useful post about a place they’ve been – and gets the most “likes”.
  2. One group member who comments on someone else’s question with useful information about things to do (and gets the most likes).

Join the Village Here

“I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence”

I just got back from a weekend trip to Indiana with friends.

What’s there to do in a small town an hour North of Indiana in the middle of November?

Nothing at all.

But we found $77 round-trip flights, and we decided to get four couples together and just hang out at our friends Mark & Kristen’s house.

We got in Friday afternoon and the wives jumped straight into shopping and mani/pedicuring. (Cliché? Maybe, but not as cliché as what the guys did.)

The husbands grabbed the bourbon, the junk food, headed for the basement, played pool, and watched stupid movies on their 10-foot big-screen with surround-sound. (Bonus points if you can name the movie in the subject line.)

When our wives got home (pretty nails & all) we cooked a nice dinner, hung out around the fire and just shared story, after story, after story.

No expensive restaurants…

No fancy excursions…

Just 2 nights of relaxing, bourbon, wine, home-cooking & friendship. Sunday, we all headed back to the airport & went back to our normal lives.

The funny thing is – the majority of the stories we shared were of trips to places we all had in common.

Not just in recent years, but 5 years, 10 years, even stories from 30 years ago were shared as vividly as if they happened just last week.

The moral of the story?

The more you make travel a priority – the more amazing stories you can carry with you the rest of your life, and no one can take those memories from you.

Not the bank after a foreclosure.

Not your boss.

Not even your ex.

In fact, the ONLY person who can take those memories away is you…

By continuing to tell yourself you’re too busy to make travel a priority.

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Want to get inspired to travel more by getting sent trips priced so low that travel sites on commission won’t even bother to tell you about them?
Click here
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[Edit: Little did we know – this would be the beginning of a tradition of many trips together in years to come. Some with just the couples when the kids were away. Others with ALL of the kids on what we now call “Friendcations”.]

 

New York

Turks & Caicos Friendcation

 

Steamboat CO Friendcation

 

Detroit

 

High School Reunion

The most important ingredient when making Pho

Hien – one of my best friends of over 40 years is an amazing cook. He taught me to make authentic Vietnamese Pho (Which is pronounced like the first part of a certain 4-letter f-word, without the “ck”).

Anyway… thanks to $39 round-trip flights, I was recently able to escape the Colorado cold, and visit he and his brother’s family outside of L.A. While there, we fixed a big pot of Pho and had a big gathering of with their whole family.

Instead of his normal process of taking 4 to 6 hours to cook the broth over medium heat, we decided we’d try to get more flavor by lowering the heat & cooking it overnight.

Best. Pho. Ever!

It turns out the most important ingredient when making a good pot of pho is time.  Low & slow baby. Low and slow.

 The recipe is actually pretty simple: 

  • 4 to 5 lbs beef bones
  • 2 tbsp ground cardamom
  • Handful of star anise
  • 12-15 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup salt
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 5-6 bay leaves
  • 1-2 onions – grilled
  • 1 piece of ginger – charred
  • Put all of the above in about 2-3 gallons of water and simmer on medium-low for a minimum of 4 hours. (Although low for 12-24 hours will get a better result)
  • After several hours, adjust ingredients to taste, and continue to simmer.
  • When done, strain broth. Add rice noodles and protein of your choice.
  • Garnishes include Vietnamese basil, bean sprouts, limes, siracha sauce, or plum sauce to taste.

Want to pay the best price ever for your next vacation?

Hunt for your vacation the same way; Low & Slow.

  • Rather than DRASTICALLY limiting your options by trying to squeeze a vacation to a specific place at a specific time into a pre-determined amount of time, start looking for a trip sometime 6 to 9 months from now. By planning long ahead, you can figure vacation time out AFTER you find the right deal. (Don’t worry – It doesn’t usually require that much adjusting.)
  • Pick a minimum of 10 destinations you’d want to go to and set up a fare-watch on Airfarewatchdog.com for each of those destinations.
  • Check out prices every morning, but don’t plan on booking anything for at least a couple weeks.
  • You’ll see a couple good deals that are tempting, but trust me – you’re not just looking for “good deals…” You’re looking for “Are you phoking kidding me?” AMAZING deals that you think are a mistake.  When you find one that looks good, there’s no need to wonder if you should wait for it to go down any lower… You snatch that fare up before someone else does, and you do everything in your power not rub it in the face of every other sucker on the plane who paid 3 to 10 times as much as you.

By having the patience to plan well ahead, and the discipline to look daily for the deals that are out there for the taking, you’ll be shocked at how much less you’ll have to pay for a vacation (or weekend trip) to a place you never even thought you could justify going to.

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Of course if that sounds like too much work, you could always just let JGOOT take care of it all for you.
We’ll do the daily digging so you can look over the “Are you phocking kidding me?” deals in less time than it takes to sip your morning coffee.
JustGetOutOfTown.com/upgrade
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PS – My wife is a 2nd grade teacher and hates that I use the F word. But hell – when you’re REALLY trying to get a point across, “effing” just doesn’t cut it.  Besides, when it comes to travel… Do you want an “effing good deal” or an “un-phocking-believably good deal?”