“Travel leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

My wife and I have amazing friends.

Smart friends.

Caring friends.

The one downside to that is that whenever we get together in a group – I’m often forced to be a fly on a wall as they have these in-depth talks about anything from faith & religion, to economics, to sports (I’m a fair-weather sports fan at best.)

But last weekend, we had a gathering with 4 other couples and as the girls were socially distanced in the back yard, the guys were gathered around the kitchen.

I was the normal bystander, listening passively to as my super-smart friends talked about the Broncos. Suddenly, a commercial about travel brought up our last trip to Asia.

For about a half-hour I was the center of attention among a group of guys who are infinitely smarter than little-ol-me. All because they wanted to know all about our first-class flights, our visit to the Great Wall, how the “reflection pool” in Bali isn’t actually a pool at all, glamping in the jungle (oh… my… GOSH!!!), how you get your choice of Dom Perignon or Tattinger in first-class, and of course – how we were able to take the whole trip for under $3000.

Want to travel more without spending more?

Want to create stories you can tell your future grandkids about?

Stop looking for deals two or three times a year when you get a hankering to go somewhere.  Flights at 50% to 90% below normal market rates are out there every day, but those prices will not wait around for the two or three times a year when you decide you need to plan a trip.

Search every day for bargain flights – whether you’re planning a trip or not.  There are plenty of sites you can search for free. When you see a deal that intrigues you – book it, plan your calendar around that trip – and you’ll stretch your travel budget two to five times farther.

But you can’t tell yourself you’ll start looking tomorrow. You’re on your computer reading this now, so…

  • Go visit Google Flights right now.
  • Pick a date that works for you, leave the destination blank, and see if any trips inspire you.
  • If you don’t see anything today – look again tomorrow (because most of today’s good deals will be gone tomorrow, but rest-assured – more amazing deals will replace them.)

It really is that simple.

Don’t have the time to search for trips every day?

Click here. For about a quarter a day, you can start your search for your next story now.

 

Coronavirus, Travel, & Social Responsibility

I’ve gotten a lot of heavy criticism from subscribers stating that I’m irresponsibly encouraging travel during this critical time and I wanted clear a couple of things up for anyone who might feel the same.

One of many responses

To be clear:

I completely agree with the social distancing that is going on. Given what we know about the highly contagious aspect of COVID-19 – I agree that – even if we aren’t showing signs of being sick – we have a social responsibility to avoid crowds and unnecessary travel in March (possibly April). If you still feel that the shutdowns are an overreaction – two of the most compelling articles I read are this one about Philadelphia vs St Louis’s response to the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and this more recent one from the New York Times about Italy.

HOWEVER…

“The JGOOT Way” of travel has never been about last-minute travel, and we’re certainly not encouraging last-minute travel now.

“The JGOOT Way” of travel is about two things: Planning ahead by looking for deals every day, and being flexible to take advantage of those deals.  Those are the two most important pillars of affordable travel, and they’re even more important given these current events.

In fact…

If you like to travel without breaking the bank – you’re missing out on the best deals of this decade if you’re not watching for future travel deals now.

That’s what everyone else is doing, and two things are going to happen as a result:

  1. The very second scientists get a hold of this virus, people will resume their travels again. But the damage to the airline and hotel industries will already be done.  There will be few good travel deals for those who react quickly enough, but the surge in demand will cause prices to skyrocket higher than they’ve been in a long time, and they’ll remain that way for a while to come.
  2. The people who are watching for deals right now will snatch up Summer, Fall, even 2021 Winter trips – and those trips will likely be the most affordable trips they’ve ever taken in their lives.

So am I encouraging unnecessary travel in the next month? Absolutely not.  (In fact, we canceled plans for two trips in March, and if necessary – we’re prepared to cancel a trip we booked for May.)

But am I going to discourage my subscribers from watching for future trips that could very well be the most affordable trips they ever take?

Hellllll no.

Sure – sit the rest of March out. And if you book a trip in April or May, make sure it can be canceled or changed.  But if you’d like to take a vacation this Summer, Fall, or even winter – the time to watch for those deals is right now.

My Two Cents:

At this point – Coronavirus has the potential of doing the same thing to the airline industry in 2020 that 2008 did to the auto industry. (But instead of encouraging Americans to buy cars to stimulate the economy, I predict that politicians will start encouraging us to get back on planes and start staying at hotels again.) However, by the time they start telling us to do that – prices will have already skyrocketed. Everyone dreaming of affordable travels will have to push those dreams off even farther.

Mark my words: There will be a small group of people who will be at the forefront of re-stimulating the economy by traveling after we side-step a Coronavirus disaster. It will be the people who booked their late April through January trips in the next 30 to 45 days.

In summary:

Should you travel in the month of March? Not unless you absolutely have to.

Should you be looking for future travel deals every single day during the month of March and April? Abso-freakin-lutely.

 

 

Nothing like stealing $2 million with a worthless hand in poker

In a poker TV show called Shark Cage, they pit various celebrities against actual poker pros. (It’s like Dancing with the Stars, but with poker players).

The majority of hands are pretty boring and get edited out because most players fold most of the hands they get.

But in one very exciting hand – Sara Chafak (Miss Finland 2012) was playing head-to-head against poker pro – Ronnie Bardah.

So to set the stage – we’ve got a table of eight, six have folded their hands, and Sara (who doesn’t play much poker at all) takes down a full-time poker professional.

The best part? He had the better hand, but she beat him with an absolutely worthless hand.

In the world of poker, it doesn’t get much better than STEALING what should have been someone else’s chips with nothing but a bluff. (So when an amateur poker player (who happens to be a woman in a male-dominated game) sits at the same table as a professional poker player and bluffs him out of $2 million in chips – stories about it get told for years.)

Want to get the same feeling by sitting on the same plane, going to the same exotic destination as other more seasoned travelers – but paying a tiny fraction of what they paid?

Just click here, and read the email we’ll send you each morning.

Much like in poker, you can look it over in a few seconds and decide if the hand we dealt you is of interest to you.

If it doesn’t interest you, you’ll sit that round out and wait until you get dealt another hand the next day.

Every once in a while…

You’ll get dealt a really good hand (you’ll see a trip that is to a place you’ve always wanted to go)…

It will be at a price that is a tiny fraction of what you’d expect to pay…

And when you book it – you’ll have to do everything in your power not to tell the other passengers that you “bluffed” your way onto the same plane as them – for a fraction of what they paid.

Here is that link again for your convenience. We’ll even let you play your first 30 “hands” for free.

A lesson that had NOTHING to do with travel, but EVERYTHING to do with travel

I’m sitting here on a plane returning from my last trip of 2019 thinking what an awesome year it has been (and was so impacted – I had to share so I typed most of this post out on my phone.)

As 2019 comes to a close, I’m reflecting on how my family’s traveling life has changed because of a simple little lesson I learned over 7 years ago.  Although it had NOTHING to do with travel, it had EVERYTHING to do with how my family travels (and how many of our subscribers now travel) for about $.10 to $.20 on the dollar.

When I was going through difficult financial times in 2012, one of the best things I did for my mental-health was to take up new affordable hobbies.

One of those hobbies was photography. I had a decent eye for composition, but I really struggled with things like my kids’ basketball games, band performances, or just about anything in low-light situations (and relying on a flash almost always seemed to make it worse.)

It wasn’t until I took a few classes that I learned how much I DIDN’T know about how to take a good shot in less-than-optimal lighting conditions.

One of the most revolutionary things I learned was a concept called the “Triangle of light.” (And man – did learning about it ever make a difference with my photos.
 
Once I learned those 3 basic rules – I had all the knowledge I needed to get the best shot possible – no matter what lighting conditions I was working with.
 

For example:

Blurry action-shots at your kid’s indoor basketball game? Crank up your ISO, open up your aperture, & your action shots will be crisp & clear.
 
Want a clear picture of a still object at night? Slow down your shutter speed & take the shot on a tripod.
 
Don’t have time for a tripod because it’s nighttime and you’re hoping to catch a shot of a celebrity walking into a donut shop to sell to The Enquirer? No problem. Crank your ISO as high as it will go, and you’ll get the shot without even needing a flash.
 
In fact – I’d be willing to bet that if you ask ANY photographer when they learned about the concepts of “the triangle of light” – they could tell you the exact time and place they learned about it.
 
IT’S THAT POWERFUL

Want to know something funny?

I applied a similar philosophy to my travels, and despite being broke – I traveled more than ever before.
 
I call it “The Triangle of Travel” and when you implement all 3 rules – there isn’t a single travel problem you can’t solve. (And you’ll be able to do so for pennies on the dollar – every. single. time.)
 
A word of warning though: It’s best to forget EVERYTHING you know about travel if you want these seemingly simple concepts to work.
 
Seriously – try to apply the 3 tips below to the way you’ve always traveled and you may as well quit reading now.
But ignore your old travel habits and give the triangle of travel a try???
 
There isn’t anything you can’t do.
 
  • So broke you can “never” travel? The triangle of travel will help you more than people who travel 6 or 8 times a year.
  • Last minute flights? No problem.
  • All-inclusive resorts for less than what you’d expect to pay for a Motel 6? Done.
  • Take a whole family on a trip for less than what the solo traveler cramped up in the middle seat behind you paid? Piece. Of. Cake.

 

Ready for the 3 magic elements of “The Triangle of Travel?”

 

Ok – but don’t forget… You MUST forget everything about how you’ve always traveled. 
 
Here they are:
1) Consistency
2) Flexibility
3) Backup plan

Let’s break them down:

1) Consistency

This probably sounds simple, but it is the biggest thing most people miss (and is the biggest reason your old habits are getting in the way of bigger/better/more travel.)
 
You see – most people decide to take a trip, and then spend hours on end (for days at a time) looking for a good deal. What they don’t realize is that half a dozen AMAZING deals came-and-went in the weeks/months before they started looking.
 
Look every day whether planning a trip or not and you’ll be AMAZED at the number of options you’ll find (many that fit quite nicely with the plans you have for a vacation that is months down the road).
 

2) Flexibility

Note that I mentioned that many of the trips you find ”fit quite nicely” with your vacation plans and not ”fit perfectly.”
 
Want an ok deal that allows you to take a nice vacation every year or two? Great. There are plenty of mediocre deals out there that fit PERFECTLY with your Friday to Sunday nine-day vacation.
 
Want a deal so good – you can take two to five vacations for what everyone else is paying for just one trip? Plan on being a little bit flexible.
 
Don’t worry though – it’s not as hard as you think, and the amount you save will almost always be exponentially more than the changes you might have to make to your schedule.
 
*Sometimes that might mean a Thursday to Thursday vacation.
*Other times it might mean going to Costa Rica instead of Cabo.
 
But either way – a little bit of flexibility goes a LOOOONNNG way when it comes to stretching your travel budget to unfathomable lengths.
 
Combine rules 1 & 2 by looking for good deals and planning vacations around the good deals you find? You’ll be amazed at how much less your vacations will start costing. (Or how much more you can spend on stuff that matters – like seat upgrades, room upgrades, or activities/excursions.)

3) Have a backup plan

The best part about rule number 3 is that the more you implement rules number 1 and 2 – the less you need rule number 3.
 
But when you need it? Trust me – you’ll be REEEAAALLLLY glad you have it in place.
 
The idea is to have at least 50,000 frequent flyer points readily available for when rules 1 & 2 don’t work for you.
After all – Murphy’s Law says that when you
1) don’t have time to plan ahead and
2) don’t have the ability to be flexible…
Other than occasionally getting lucky – paying cash is going to be EXPENSIVE.

Why rely on luck when you can put a backup plan in place that will be there to rescue you whenever you need it?

When you have a backup stash of points available – that family emergency that you need to fly 4 of you out for and can’t find flights for less than $750 each – goes from “unexpected $3000 travel nightmare” to “This was so cheap – let’s fly aunt Sallie out too!”
 
Want to travel more in 2020? Put the concepts of “the triangle of travel” a try. You can implement all 3 tips yourself for free and I guarantee if you do them:
 
You’ll travel more…
 
You’ll spend less time hunting down deals…
 
You’ll travel more comfortably…
 
All for a budget so low – you’ll wonder what took you so long to start traveling more.
 
Here’s to an adventurous travel-filled 2020!
 
–Joel
 

PS – If you’re a premium subscriber – you can find help with rules #1 & #3 in the trip-alerts you receive every day. (Rule #2 is up to you. 😉

Not a premium subscriber? Give JustGetOutOfTown.com/upgrade a try risk-free for 30 days.

We eat, sleep, and breath “The Triangle of Travel” and are certain once you give it a try – you’ll never go back.

Time flies when you’re having fun. But what if…

They say “time flies when you’re having fun”.

But, what if it didn’t have to? What if there was a way to slow time down so you could really drink in every moment? Really get the most out of your time and money spent?

On all of my trips this summer, I began using mindfulness practices from my everyday life while on vacation to really capture the essence of the place I’m visiting.

I use my camera as a reminder to really look at what I’m seeing…pay attention to the details…and capture them for later.
I’ll set an audio reminder on my phone to stop for just a moment and pay attention to the sounds and the smells around me…to pay attention to any sensations I’m feeling.

Just these little things make you get out of your head, slow down, and enjoy the whole experience more.
You’ll come home more enriched by your experience, more aware of how your travels impacted you, and with better photos for your memory books. The experience will stay with you longer and impact your life more. And best yet, the time will seem to stretch as you slow down, even for just a couple of moments, and really take it all in.

This post was contributed by JGOOT Subscriber & veteran traveler Teri Aranda Hales. If interested in having a successful & flexible career (or a “side income” that will allow you to travel more) – give her a follow on Facebook or Instagram!

Want to travel more & spend less? Give JGOOT a risk-free 30-day trial at justgetoutoftown.com

This recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser

This dish is not served often enough. Most people think it takes too much time to plan, but when done right, it takes less time than just about any dish you cook “the traditional way”.

It’s guaranteed to please the whole family, but the best part isn’t the dish itself… It’s the stories that follow for the rest of you & your loved ones’ lives.

Oh yeah – and if done well – the price you’ll pay will be a story in itself.

It’s called “Vacation”.

Most people don’t serve it nearly enough because, when done the traditional way, it’s time-consuming and EXPENSIVE.  Until we discovered this recipe, my entire family (myself included) thought that too.

But ever since trying “The JGOOT Way” of travel, both sets of parents are loving it. Our brothers, sisters, friends and cousins are visiting each other more often. By traveling smarter, they’re not wasting hundreds (if not thousands) on airfare alone and they’re taking more vacations. They’re staying at nicer resorts and doing cooler excursions.

All-in-all – “The  JGOOT Way” of travel has become a family favorite, and if you try the free recipe below, I think you’ll like it too.

Vacation “JGOOT Style”

  • Average cost: 50% to 90% less than what others on the same plane are paying
  • Time required: A few hours a week
  • Ingredients: Hawaii, Maldives, Paris, Cabo, Australia (and season-to-taste with any other destinations on your bucket list.)
  • Optional ingredients: Any destinations you have friends & family you wish you visited more.
  • Secret ingredients:
    • Advance prep. (6 months is recommended. 10 is better. Heck – Don’t even worry about how far in advance. Just start looking whether you’re planning a trip or not.)
    • Flexibility. (This is key. Painting yourself into a corner and going to Maui June 20th to June 27th leaves absolutely no room for cutting costs. It’s virtually guaranteed to cost you 3 times as much as watching flight-prices to all islands in Hawaii in late June – and island-hopping if needed. (And it’ll cost you 5 to 7 times as much as what you’ll pay for Caribbean destinations in late June.)

Step 1:

Go to AirfareWatchdog.com, enter your home airport, and enter any and all ingredients at this time.  (Don’t forget — the more destinations you watch, the better your odds of finding something.

If Hawaii is on your list, keep an eye on cheap flights to all islands. You can usually grab a $20 to $50 flight to island-hop to a specific island you have your heart set on.

If any destinations in Europe are on your list, enter neighboring countries too. You’ll exponentially multiply your odds of finding not just a good deal, but a deal so amazing – you won’t give a second thought to shortening or lengthening your vacation to take advantage of those prices.

Step 2:

Watch and wait.

Check your alerts every day. You’ll mostly see mediocre deals. Don’t waste your time on them (those deals are for the suckers who didn’t plan ahead.)

What you’re waiting for are deals so amazing – you won’t be able to resist. You’ll be able to fly four of you there for what the family sitting right behind you will pay per-person, and since the trips are usually months in advance, you will easily be able to plan your schedule around them.

Don’t want to do all of that work?

Join thousands of premium members who have delegated that work to us for as little as $97/year. We’ll search 365 days a year, cherrypicking the best deals of the day and we’ll tell you about them when we find them. You can peruse them over your morning coffee, and wait for one that strikes your fancy.

When you see a trip you like, you’ll know you’re getting maximum savings because you’ll book it straight with the airlines or Travelocity/Expedia – with no expensive commissions or “convenience fees” going to a middleman.

If you’re not thoroughly impressed within the first 30 days, you can cancel and ask for a full refund.

 

 

Honey! I shopped “The JGOOT Way” at the grocery store & saved 46 percent!

“Honey! I shopped The JGOOT Way at the grocery store and we saved 46 percent!”

Although my wife Michelle usually plans all of our meals out well in advance, it was a busy week for both of us. So rather than planning at the beginning of the week as normal, Michelle went to the store, grabbed the sale flyer at the front of the door, and planned dinner based on what was on sale.

  • She saw that NY Strip was 40% off so steak was our staple. (Cheaper than chicken breasts that weren’t on sale!)
  • Although we might normally make potatoes with steak, asparagus was 60% off.
  • We haven’t had couscous in a while, but guess what?!?! They were 25% off, so couscous it was.
  • Although ready-made salads aren’t normally our thing, a bag of Caesar salad was on sale for $1.99 (From $4.29).

Had she walked into that store with a pre-planned dinner in mind, we’d have spent a nearly twice as much on our grocery bill. Guaranteed.

By creating our dinner menu based on the 1% of the items in the store that were significantly on sale, we also got to step out of our normal routine with a lovely steak dinner on a weeknight – at a great price to boot.

Simple, right?

Want to choose from nothing but 50% to 90% off flights for your next vacation?

Stop thinking “What are flight prices to Vegas?” or “How much is it to go to Paris?”  That’s a guaranteed recipe for paying high prices (or getting a mediocre deal at best.)

Start asking one simple question: “What is on sale?

When you find a trip you like at a good enough price, plan ahead and go there.

Want to review the best priced flights to take advantage of over your morning coffee?
Give our premium trip-alert service a try risk-free for 30 days.

 

Extra credit:

Whether you subscribe to my paid service or look for trips yourself…

Start searching for what is on sale every day and just watch what begins to happen to your travels.

 

The more often you look – The luckier you get

I’m flying my family of four across the country for only slightly more than what most people would pay for one passenger and just had to share…

I was about to admit defeat and pay more than I’ve paid for a flight in over 2 years: $222 per person to fly my family from Denver to Raleigh. (I even did a video to document why I was going to suck it up and pay $222 vs. flying for free by dipping into my backup stash of frequent flyer points.

But then, GUESS WHAT?!?!

I.

Got.

Lucky.

Because Rule #1 of “The JGOOT Way” of travel is to watch fares every single day starting as early as possible, I waited a couple more days, and stumbled across a Frontier sale. It turns out we got those same flights for under $100 each – round trip. (That price is WAY better than a “free” flight that would have cost my family of four 120,000 to 150,000 frequent flyer points. (And I can save my frequent flyer points for what they’re supposed to be used for: As a backup plan when flights are too expensive.

Want to travel for $.10 to $.50 on the dollar EVERY time you travel?  It’s not rocket science.  Watch fares (and watch for sales) every. single. day. You’ll be surprised at how often you get lucky. Here are plenty of free tips showing you how. Don’t want to read? Try my YoutubeChannel.

Don’t want to go to all that trouble? Click here and let my team of analysts watch for them for you. For as little as $8 per month, we’ll watch for trips day in and day out. We’ll alert you of the ones we find that are so inexpensive – you would be better off paying cash than using frequent flyer points.

Whatever the case, I wish you happy travels!

–Joel

PS – You know what’s even better than flying your whole family across the country for about the same price as what most people pay for just one person? Being able to get there plenty early, relax at the lounge, and feed your whole family for free.  Here’s a quick video from the archives about how we do that almost every time we travel.

Here’s that link again if you want to give our trip-alert service a try.

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 I wanted to have for the three of us during this delicate/fragile stage of our lives.

Sure enough… A month after our trip, my lawyer dragged me into her office to go over a letter from the kids’ mom’s 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. My son and I were $184 each, and my daughter was free. It 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 $491 for a 6-day vacation for three of you.”
Especially considering we are spending far 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.

Happy travels.

Joel

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Want 3 free tips on how YOU can travel for ten or twenty cents on the dollar? Click here.
Want to hire my army of researchers for as little as $8 a month to find those kinds of trips FOR YOU? Click here.
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Mother & son fly to Belize for $320 to get SCUBA certified

I recently got this video from a Mother about a recent trip to Belize. She and her son flew there for $320 round-trip to celebrate their birthdays and got SCUBA certified. In the spirit of Mother’s day, I thought it would be appropriate that I share her story today.

Their secret?

  • They watched airfares every day until they found something that interested them.
  • They eventually found one that was several months in advance, they worked their schedules around that trip, booked it on Travelocity and saved over $1000 on airfare alone.
  • Since Travelocity offers significant discounts if you book airfare & hotel at the same time, they saved even more by bundling their cheap flight with a hotel. (Here is a blog post describing how you can sometimes even score FREE hotels with this strategy alone.)

Follow that simple formula yourself & you can travel just about anywhere you like for less than you’ve ever spent in the past!

Want help from a Commercial real estate expert who also has a passion for travel? Click here to contact Amanda Hardin.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Want to review the most affordable 1% of travel deals on the internet over your morning coffee?

Click here to try out my premium trip-alert service risk-free for as little as $8/month.

Meet Brooke – Our Senior Support Rep

 

Hi There,

I’m Brooke and I’m the newest member of the Just Get Out Of Town team (abbreviated JGOOT)!

I help Joel keep on top of correspondence with his blog subscribers, so if you reply to an email from us, it will probably be me who will be helping you. In addition to helping customers, I’ll be adding my unique perspective on travel to the blog.

Like many of you – I stumbled upon JGOOT from an ad online. Curious, I clicked on the ad and signed up. I did plenty of research and read all of the reviews. Incredulity satiated I began to poke around. I wanted full access to the site so I subscribed for a premium yearly membership.

I received a welcome e-mail from Joel McDonald, founder of Just Get Out Of Town, along with some great, user-friendly videos on exactly how to use the site. It was a bit of a learning curve but within 20 minutes, having carefully reviewed the videos and read the blog, I’d gotten the hang of it.

Since I have school aged children I popped over to the section that was vacations and deals exclusive to school holidays. There are 44 different sections so feel free to find the one that is right for you! We had wanted to take our children to DisneyWorld so when I saw Orlando I clicked on it immediately. What I found was direct, nonstop, roundtrip tickets to Orlando for about half the price I was seeing on other travel websites. The key was, I had to be just a tiny bit flexible. Instead of flying home on Presidents Day, we had to fly home the next day early in the morning. That wasn’t a problem for us, so I clicked, booked, and a month later off we went to Orlando. When we left Denver it was -8 degrees at DIA. 5 hours later we were on the beach in Florida where it was 78 degrees. 

Being so thrilled at the service I sent Joel an e-mail with a photo of us on the beach, thanking him for the amazing deal he had for us; that a teacher could take her kiddos on vacation for such a reasonable price was beyond comprehension! After Joel found out that I was a teacher he offered me a free lifetime membership (he does for teachers and other peace officers). While delighted, I politely declined. The small sum I had paid for my membership had already paid for itself 10x over. 

After that, I was hooked! I’ve since gone on 11 JGOOT trips, each one as unique as the next. While sometimes we found trips that we had been looking for anyway (we planned ahead and watched vigilantly), sometimes the deals were just too good to pass up and we planned our vacation around the deal that JGOOT had found. 

I am passionate about travel and excited to share that with you. I think my favorite part about JGOOT is that you, the end user and consumer, can book everything directly. Joel finds the deals, sends them to you, and you can take it from there. Instead of spending hours scouring the internet I am just a few clicks away from vacations all over the world. And if it were possible to have a second favorite part, it would have to be working with Joel. He’s spirited and brilliant and passionate about his business and his customers and it shows. He has such an extensive background in business, including authoring books, and I am thrilled at the opportunity to learn beside him.

Happy travels!

Brooke Merkle
11-time JGOOT traveler and Director of Customer Support
support@justgetoutoftown.com

 

[Edit from Joel:]

Since this writing this letter, Brooke booked her 12th trip and holds two records among JGOOT subscribers:

        1. The cheapest domestic flight: $105 for 4 round-trip tickets to Austin.
        2. The cheapest international first-class flight: $450 round-trip to Dominican Republic

Want to become a member & beat one of Brooke’s records?

Click here.

 

 

Jerry West’s trick to getting business class flights for 1/2 to 1/3 of what people paid for their coach seat

Jerry West is a master negotiator, seasoned Europe traveler, and JGOOT premium subscriber. In this video, we chat about how he put a combination of his JGOOT subscription and his negotiation skills to work to score two different business class flights for less than what most people on the same plane paid for their coach seats.

Warning: He cusses twice in this video but once doesn’t really count since it was a mispronunciation of “Phuket.”

Here are some bullet points from our conversation:

  • How he found $400ish tickets to Thailand when most sites were charging $2300 to $4000.
  • How much he HATED Bangkok.
  • How much he LOVED Phuket (which is a $30 to $100 flight from Bangkok)
  • How little we Westerners know about “spicy” food and what it can do to the bowel system.
  • How he found $298 tickets to Paris and a $62 flight to Belgium when most sites were charging $1200 to Belgium.
  • How he got TWO different business class flights for about 1/3 of what most people paid for their coach seat.
  • How AWESOME airport lounges are in Asia compared to anywhere else.
  • Hanging out in a bar. On a plane. At 35,000 feet.
  • Amazingly cheap (but really good) food, even better prices on lodging, and three foot massages a day.
  • How Jerry can help online business owners get more free traffic to their website, AND get more out of their site traffic (visit JerryWest.com)

If you are unable to watch the above video, you can also find it on our Youtube channel.

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Want to travel like Jerry travels, and pay the prices Jerry pays?
Give JGOOT a try risk-free for 30 days.

While supplies last:
Use discount code “Phuket” at checkout and I’ll throw in a $100 travel savings card.
(If discount code no longer works, I’ve run out of cards.)

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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.]

Exploiting the airline industry’s “Achilles Heel”

Whether dealing with discount airlines, or one of the big three – all airlines use extremely expensive software and algorithms to extract every dollar possible out of every seat on every one of their planes.

But much like Achilles’ heel, even the millions of dollars airlines put into predicting how much customers will pay for a seat on their planes, they don’t always get it right.

About .1% of the time, the airlines get their “supply and demand” charts wrong and they find themselves in a bind. As early as 10 months before a flight, if they don’t have at least 15% of their seats booked, they realize they’re not on-pace to fill enough seats on the plane.

The way they fix that problem and get to their 15% target? They drastically slash prices on a handful of seats. Since staying on pace to fill as many seats as possible is EXTREMELY important to the airlines, these price slashes have to be enough to get someone’s attention so they can fill those seats in a hurry.

You never know when or where those price-cuts will happen, but one thing is for sure… They disappear FAST, and as soon as they do, the airlines go back to charging what they know passengers will pay.

Want to spend less than everyone else on the same plane as you?

Watch every day and look for the .1% of seats in planes that are 70% to 90% below normal prices.

Not when you get around to it…

Not 1 or 2 months before you’re ready to plan a trip…

Every. Day.

Unbelievably good deals to destinations all around the world are out there every day, and all you have to do is watch for them.

Don’t want to look every day?

That’s fine, but Murphy’s law says that perfect trip 6 months from now will pop up in the next week or two, and when you get around to planning for it in 3 or 4 months – you’ll probably pay double to triple than what you could have paid if you watched for that trip every day.

Don’t think .1% gives you enough options to choose from?

Think about this:

  • If the average international airport flies to 700 destinations around the world…
  • If they have an average of 4 flights to those destinations per day…
  • If there are 365 days in the year…
  • If there are an average of 250 seats on those planes…
  • That gives you 204,000,000 options to choose from. (700 * 4 * 365 * 250)
  • If you only took flights that were among the cheapest .1% of those 204,000,000 choices, you’d have 204,000 options to choose from (per year).
  • With that many options it’s virtually impossible not to find something that can work with your schedule.
  • Besides, how many trips do you need to take a year?

Is “The JGOOT Way” perfect?

No. 

Will “The JGOOT Way” get you to exactly where you want to go, when you want to get there?

Absolutely not. 

Will it allow you to take an annual vacation or two to amazing destinations at a price YOU are willing to pay (vs what the airlines (and hotels) are charging everyone else who doesn’t know any better?)

Hell yes.

Want someone else to look every day so you don’t have to? Try my trip alert service for a buck.

 

 

 

 

“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