Jennifer books $87 round-trip flights to St. Croix!! (Video)

Jennifer kindly added this comment to one of our Facebook ads, and I asked her if I could interview her about her experience.

In this 14 minute video, we talk about

  • Her $87 round-trip flight for her and her husband ($174 total)
  • JGOOT compared to other services she’s used
  • Checking travel restrictions before booking
  • Finding dates that worked for her & her husband
  • Other travel deals they have been tempted by
  • How they added a week in an AirBnb for $500 for a total vacation cost of $678.
  • etc.

Don’t want to watch the full 14 minutes? Watch it directly on Youtube & click links in the comments to skip to the part you’re interested in the most.

What’s the best post-COVID deal YOU’VE booked?

Tell us about it in the comments below.

Webinar Recording: JGOOT Lunch and Learn

Watch this member-only video where we discuss various ways to travel for 50% to 95% less with a few simple changes (I call it the “Triangle of Travel”, and I reference it quite a bit in the webinar. Here is a link to that blog post.)

Don’t want to watch the whole video?  Feel free to click a link to skip around to topics that interest you most:

  • 1:15 Watching close-by airports that JGOOT to increase odds of finding the best deal.
  • 3:46: How to get to deal for all-inclusive Mexico or Beach vacation (Here is a blog post about the Triangle of Travel I mention)
  • 8:05: Question from San Diego Subscriber: How to watch Mexico flights originating from across the border. Here is the blog post I reference about how to do this.
  • 11:56: How do I decide what travel credit card is best?
  • 24:53: Simple advice on getting started with point-hacking without getting overwhelmed
  • 27:40: How do I plan a trip to Barcelona/Portugal/Italy?
  • 30:22: How important is it to book flight & hotel at the same time?
  • 33:40: You gave me a $100 discount card as an incentive for signing up for your service, but it doesn’t seem to save me any money.
  • 34:50: Do you ever publish direct flights, or do they require multiple layovers to get that rate?
  • 42:00: How do you collect so many frequent flyer points?
  • 43:47: We mostly fly on AA and have 600,000 points on AMEX. Should we transfer our points to AA so we can use them there?
  • 45:24: I don’t have much time so I like quick weekend trips. How do I find those on your site?
  • 50:05: Why do some of the trips I look up say “error” or “not found”?
  • 52:55: Advice from a listener: Chase sapphire reserve gives perks
  • 54:38: Advice from listener: Just use one card for everything (and my response – including how we used two cards to fly in a first-class private suite)
  • 56:21: My response to “I’ll kiss your feet if you can find anything to Vienna or Bonn”
  • 57:13: Thinking out of the box: How one of our subscribers flew to Portugal for $290 round-trip, and took a $12 ferry to get to Morocco.
  • 58:30 We have a cruise in Hawaii May 7. What are average prices?
  • 61:00: We had a nightmare while traveling and had our cards frozen.
  • 62:05: Where do I find your point-hacking resources?
  • 62:54: Why can I never find the same fares you find – even when clicking the link you provide? (And here is a link to a blog post/video with more info)
  • 66:09: Shout-out to the amazing Brooke Merkle – who is the one answering all of your email questions!
  • 67:40: What is the best way to get to Maui this Summer?
  • 69:40: I’ve heard about travel sites falsely raising prices to get you to buy. Is this true, and do you do this?
  • 72:25: I’m going to Manila, PH. How do I find those fares?
  • 73:45: In Summary: If there is nothing else you take from this webinar, I hope it’s this. (And here is a quick-start guide to help you get started on preparing your backup plan.)
  • 75:30: One last question: “Why can’t I find anything for Christmas of 2020 on your site? [11 months from the time of this webinar]


Tips for Traveling with kids who have Food Allergies

“Wow, your kid has such severe food allergies, that must be SO hard.”

“How can you possibly travel with a kid with those allergies?”

“Wait you’re taking him out of the country to a country where you don’t speak the language and he has food allergies?”

Yep. We are!

As a matter of fact, we take him everywhere.

Nope it’s not hard.

Yes, we travel to lots of countries where we don’t speak the language.

We have never let John Paul’s food allergies limit us. While it’s not hard, it does require a little bit of extra planning. Below are some tips for how we travel with our kiddo who has severe food allergies:

  • Take an epi-pen everywhere. Put one in your purse, one in his backpack, one in your carry on, one in your checked luggage. 
  • Take Benadryl (in a travel-sized bottle). 
  • Tell the flight attendants. They’re more than happy to help! If your kiddo cannot be on a plane that serves nuts tell the airline ahead of time, then tell the gate agent, then tell the flight attendant. 
  • Bring snacks! As a fellow JGOOTer David once told me at a local JGOOT gathering; “when traveling with kids never travel with less than 5,000 calories.” According to him we could be stranded in the Amazon and survive a week based on our snacks alone. Bring snacks that your kids love. I don’t do a lot of sugar in my house, but I always pack some kind of special treat for the plane. I pack things that my kids might not get at home. I always pack a sandwich and a protein bar. I also pack something chewy to help with their ears as the elevation changes in the plane. 
  • Order groceries in advance and deliver them to your hotel room using Amazon Prime Shopping.
    • Not only does this allow you to control the food you’re bringing in, it also helps save a ton of money. We always request a mini-fridge in our room. We have small staples delivered for breakfast and picnic stuff for lunch. 
  • Know the menus of every fast food restaurant. They’re posted online. Look them up before you go. Know what things your kiddo can and cannot have at McDonald’s Chick Fil A, Taco Bell etc. Knowing these things means I can always have a fall back if we’re delayed in an airport or running short on time.
  • Use an app. There are lots! If your kiddo (or you) have Celiacs there’s an app that can tell you all the local restaurants that have Celiac friendly menus. It gives it a rating from 1-10, so if you’re kiddo has severe celiacs you would want to pick a level 10 that has zero gluten crossover. There are similar apps for nut allergies.
  • Know your go-tos. I know that Chiptole will always have options for John Paul. I know that Applebees does not. 
  • Ask, then ask, then ask again. Can I see the ingredient list (U.S. law requires all restaurants to have an ingredient list available to the public)? Just to be clear are you sure there are no nuts in this? That it has never come into contact with nuts? Can you double-check on that for me?
  • Print a card ahead of time. When traveling to a foreign country print out a card ahead of time. We made one that was business card sized and made several dozen. John Paul always has one in his pocket. In Germany we could hand the card to the server that says (printed in German): “My son is allergic to milk and eggs. Does this item contain any milk or eggs? Can you suggest something that does not have milk or eggs?” In the Dominican Republic we could use the same card printed in Spanish. This was our standby when our phones weren’t with us or we didn’t have wifi. John Paul always had one in his pocket. 
  • Use Google Translate! Use it both ways. Have the baker, or the server, or the restaurant owner speak directly into the google translate app (Using speak to text) and press translate. Use it yourself to ask questions in the local language. If the server seems unsure double-check. If the baker can’t remember ask again. If there’s nothing on the menu dive into that bag of snacks that you always have with you. 

This article was contributed by Brooke Merkle.

Brooke is a mother, wife, teacher, JGOOT subscriber, and after her 10th JGOOT trip – our director of customer support. She used to travel to visit family, and, if it fit-in, take a vacation every two or three years. Now, she and her family travel 8 to 12 times a year, and she is a regular contributor to the JGOOT blog.

Comment below & let her know what other travel advice you’d like to hear from her.