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.

 

That feeling when you’re driving and you see a radar gun pointing at you

Have you ever been driving down the highway and have your heart skip a beat when you see a police car on the side of the road with a radar gun pointing at you? Fortunately, I just got a new car that has a pretty cool sign recognition technology that keeps track of that for me at all times.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m a safe driver, but it sure is nice to know my car is “watching” for the speed limit, even when I’m not.  Now, whenever I see a cop with a radar gun pointing right at me, I’m a lot more relaxed because I know the exact speed limit  (not just 10 miles before I started zoning out on a long-stretch of highway and stopped paying attention.)

What does this have to do with travel?  Even if you’re good at finding OK deals whenever you want to take a trip – If you don’t have a system in place to watch fares FOR YOU every day, day in and day out – you’re going to miss a lot of amazing deals that will have come-and-gone by the time you get around to looking for them.

Here are three options.

  1. Flexible on when you want to go? Airfare watchdog is great, and you’ll get alerts for the best prices possible for as many destinations as you want to watch.  (Don’t forget to watch domestic flights where you have friends & family too. $29 and $49 round-trip flights across the country happen all the time, and it’s pretty cool when you get to call a long-lost friend or family member and say – “Hey – I just found $39 round-trip flights from your city to mine. Want to come out & go to the big game?”)
  2. Have specific times you need to go? You’ll end up paying slightly more when you don’t have flexibility on departure and return dates, but mistake fares still happen during peak travel times, so watching every day will pay off.  Either Google flights or Kayak.com are GREAT for setting up fare watches for specific dates.  The more destinations you watch – the more likely you’ll find not just a good deal – but an unbelievably good deal. You’ll be surprised at how often you’re looking at your calendar to see if you could make a $224 flight to Paris work, or whether or not you could fly your parents out for a visit for $29.
  3. If watching 2o to 100 fare alerts a day to find a deal sounds like too much work, I have a paid service that finds the best 1% of travel deals on the internet every day – so you don’t have to.
    • I watch 500 to 1000 destinations per day from your home airport, my team and I share the best deal we find in the following categories:
      • Domestic, Caribbean/Mexico, South America/Europe, Asia/Australia/Africa.
    • I also include business class fare discounts, one-click lodging options on Travelocity, Expedia, VRBO, AirBnB & Hostels.com, and one-click access to prices for 1, 2, 3 or 4 travelers.
    • It’s like having your very own personal assistant who will save you countless hours of research – for 26 cents per day. Click here for more details.

Just remember to watch every day.

No matter what method you choose – be patient and remember that finding these kinds of deals is a marathon, not a sprint.  Actively watching every day will out-perform “looking when you’re ready” every time. I assure you – you’ll be traveling sooner than you thought, spending less than you thought, and going to cooler places than you ever planned on.

Happy travels!

PS – Speaking of police cars, if you drive one for a living – don’t forget that you (along with other first responders, teachers and non-profit employees) are eligible for a FREE lifetime premium subscription. Click here for more info.

What’s the catch?

I had to brave the crowds at Costco this weekend to get one thing, and one thing only: A brisket for some neighbors we were having over for dinner.

As I was filling up on free samples of stuff I had no intention of buying, I realized something;  The free trip alerts I offer with a basic JGOOT subscription are the exact same thing as what Costco does every single weekend by giving out free samples.

The “bite sized” free trip alerts I’m giving you are fully functional and can do the job if you’re patient enough to wait for the right deal to come along. If you see a trip you like, you can click through to Travelocity, Kayak, Priceline, or wherever I found the deal, customize it to your liking, and book it directly through them.

That’s it.

  • No catches.
  • No fine print
  • No timeshare presentations.

If you ever decide that you want more options than what you’re getting for free – you can upgrade your subscription. If all you want to do right now is fill up on free samples, that’s fine too. I’ll be here when you’re ready. (I recommend 6 to 9 months before your next trip to get the best deal.)

As one premium subscriber put it: “A basic subscription vs a premium subscription is like showing up at a 90%-off apparel sale at the end of the day hoping to find the right sized jeans… vs getting let in an hour before the store even opens.”  

PS – The Aaron Franklin inspired 17 lb brisket took 11 hours on the grill, and was the juiciest one yet. Totally worth the Costco crowds. 😉

Success

People don’t travel as a result of their success…

They’re successful as a result of their travels.

If you’re a workaholic like me, travel is a great way to force yourself to take that time off – even when your instinct tells you that you’re supposed to be working harder.

–Joel