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.

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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.
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“Squish like grape”

Remember this scene from Karate kid?

 

Walk right side road – Safe.

Walk left side road – Safe.

Walk middle of road – sooner or later… Squish like grape.

Want to find a pretty good deal every once in a while? Stick to the right side of the road & go to kayak.com. Sometimes you’ll get lucky on the price you’ll pay and sometimes you won’t, but you will find a flight to anywhere you want to go, any time you want to go there.

Want to spend 50% to 98% less every single time you travel? Cross all the way over to the left side of the road.

My family and I travel exclusively on the left side of the road and we average about 12¢ on the dollar for every trip we take. Thousands of JGOOT subscribers do the same, and you can too… But you have to stick to the left side of the road (read: You have to learn “The JGOOT Way” of travel.)

There are 3 simple rules to The JGOOT Way and they’re very simple.

  1. Look every day – whether you’re planning a trip or not, and schedule trips around good exceptional deals when you find them. (Our trip-alert service allows you to do this over your morning coffee.)
  2. Plan on being flexible on when/where you want to go to maximize savings.
  3. You MUST have a backup plan for the times when you can’t apply rules #1 & 2 (Because there will always be trips where you 1) don’t have time to plan ahead, and 2) don’t have flexibility on when/where you want to go.

Don’t want to follow all 3 of those rules?

Sooner or later… Squish like grape.

 

Want to try the left side of the road risk-free for 30 days? Click here.

My favorite scene from Good Will Hunting

Do you remember the bar scene from Good Will Hunting?

I LOVE that movie…

Every time I watch it, it makes me want to go out and read a ton of books, and get me some of them “smarts” for myself.

But then I don’t.

I settle back into my normal life, and whenever I go and hang out with my REALLY smart friends or family members, I say to myself “I wish I read more.” 

And the funny thing is – It really would be that simple. If I just started a daily ritual of reading even half as much as that – I really would be a lot smarter.

The key is consistency. It’s as simple as that.

(I could say the same about exercise and that I wish I was a lot more fit, but that’s a whole different story.)

Do you wish you traveled more?

Just like a daily gym regiment that will make you more fit, or a daily reading ritual that will make you smarter…

If there was only one thing you could do to ACTUALLY travel more – it would be the same, simple, thing:

Look. Every. Day.

Whether you’re planning a trip or not, by looking every day, you’ll regularly find travel opportunities that are too good to pass up. They’ll be 80% 90% less than you were expecting to pay, and the more destinations you keep an eye out for – the more often you’ll find those deals.

Many of them will be months in advance and will fit nearly perfectly with your schedule.

But there is one thing that is for sure… Those travel deals won’t wait around for when you finally get around looking for them.

So if you want to stop saying “I wish I traveled more”, and start actually traveling more, just start looking every day.

Don’t want to do all of that work yourself?

Click here. For as little as 26¢ per day, we’ll do the looking for you and we’ll send a daily summary email of travel deals that you can review over your morning coffee.

Just for fun – Here is another great scene from the movie.

Your move, chief.

The “Hail Mary” Method of Travel

In football – a “Hail Mary” is a desperation-play at the end of a game.  Although it’s great on the rare occasion event it works, it’s rarely successful.

Unfortunately, most people rely on “Hail Mary” methods with their travels. They wait until a month or two before a trip, they search unsuccessfully for days and reach out to someone in the business in an act of desperation hoping to get help… And, just like the Hail Mary, it rarely works.

Want to save 50% to 98% every single time you take a trip? Do these three simple things:

  1. Forget the concept of “planning ahead”

    • Just start looking for good deals every day and plan around opportunities when they present themselves. (It can sometimes be 1 month in advance, and sometimes 10 months. The key is to realize that it’s impossible to know when those deals will pop up or how long in advance they will be. The only solution? Look for them every day – whether planning a trip or not.)
  2. Plan on being flexible.

    • Sometimes, that might mean leaving a day earlier or going to Belize instead of Costa Rica, but the more flexible you’re willing to be – the better a deal you’ll get when you find the right trip for you.
    • Here is an example of one of our subscribers who has taken over a dozen ridiculously affordable trips she couldn’t have taken if it weren’t for being slightly flexible.
  3. Accept the fact that Rules #1 & 2 won’t always work and establish a backup plan long in advance.

    • It takes 3 to 4 months to put your backup plan in place, and the most expensive problem you can have is trying to find cheap flights within the next month, so you may as well get prepared now.
    • Here is a free quick-start guide. Implement this ASAP and you’ll have a bullet-proof system for finding the absolute best price possible – no matter what your travel circumstances are.

Don’t want to do those 3 things?

That’s fine, but those are the rules of The JGOOT Way and they are the ONLY way you can save 50% to 98% every time you travel. If you don’t want to follow them, you may as well unsubscribe from my service and go back to the major travel site you’re most comfortable with.

Of course, if you’d like to learn a consistent and reliable SYSTEM allowing you to travel for 50% to 98% less – every single time you travel, without fail – click here.

With the JGOOT system of travel, you’ll be traveling more, spending (way) less, wasting less time trying to hunt down travel deals that don’t exist, and when YOUR friends start telling you “I wish I could travel like you” – you can teach them the 3 rules you’ve learned to live by, and they can start traveling with you.

Happy Travels!

Joel

Travel tips from our awesome subscribers

Photo credit: Amirul Siyaidi

We’ve got the most awesome travelers in our JGOOT Facebook community. I asked them about their favorite travel tips, and I got huundreds of great ones, I thought I’d share just a few of them here.

Happy travels!

–Joel

PS – Are you a part of our free Facebook group? In addition to video travel tips and a place to discuss your travels with others, we often give away travel discount cards, restaurant discount cards, and occasionally even vacations! Follow us here and join in on the fun!

Saving money tips:

Safety tips:

 

Preparedness tips:

 

And finally, a couple of tips all travel addicts need to keep in mind as we addictively check so many destinations off our lists.

 

Awesome community, eh?

You should see the discussions in our private member-only Facebook group! It’s full of thousands of super-savvy travelers and is dedicated exclusively to sharing the most guarded secrets to traveling on points.  You can join us for as little as $8/month.

(If you’re already a member, you can find your invitation at the bottom of any daily trip-alert email you receive.)

 

Don’t have good credit? Try this:

As you (hopefully) know by now – “The JGOOT Way” of travel says that there are two (and ONLY two) kinds of flights:

  1. Flights you can take for 10¢ to 50¢ on the dollar.
  2. Flights you use points to pay for.

Using those simple rules, I haven’t paid more than about 25¢ on the dollar for any flight my family and I have taken in the past several years. Other than having less than average credit, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to do the same.

Don’t have points? As long as you have a credit score of 690 or above **and have responsible spending habits**, there is no reason you can’t have 100,000 points at your disposal to use whenever you can’t find trips that are more expensive than 50% off. May as well get started now. (You know what they say about the best time to plant a tree.)

Don’t have a score of at least 690?  Take a look at this chat I had with a premium subscriber for the quickest fix possible.**

 

Want help with both #1 and #2 above?  Click here.

  1. We’ll take care of #1 by sending 100+ trips you can choose from every month – with every one being 50% to 90% below market value.
  2. We’ll help you get your “emergency stash” of points with webinars, training materials, and most importantly – an exclusive member-only group of 2000+ other travelers glad to answer any questions you have along the way.

Once you start traveling “The JGOOT Way” – you’ll never pay full-price for a trip again.

Happy travels!

**Please note that this is in no way an endorsement for using credit irresponsibly. There is no need to run up credit cards with expenses you cannot immediately pay off. If you are buying a home in the near future, be sure to consult with your mortgage broker.

 

 

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.

 

Looking for new luggage? Keep these money-saving tips in mind

 

It’s time for new luggage, you cheapskate!!!

My wife has been wanting to update our 10-year-old luggage, but I’m a notorious cheapskate and have been resisting. After we agreed on some of the guidelines below (that will save us triple the cost of the luggage in baggage fees in the long run), she finally convinced my cheap-a$$ to agree.

If you’re shopping for new luggage, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) Every pound counts.

If you find yourself packing up to the 50-lb maximum (40 for some airlines), be sure to check the weight of the suitcases. Every 2 pounds saved on luggage is an extra outfit (or pair of shoes) that you can pack. (Or an extra souvenir you can bring back). Large checked bags can weigh as little as 5 pounds, and as much as 17. Buying that off-brand 17-pound suitcase to save $50 could be at the expense of several outfits. (Or worse – $50 in overage fees every time you take a trip ($25 each way).

2) Check those reviews

We travel more than the average bear, and if there’s one thing I can tell you from experience – there is nothing worse than traveling with a cheap suitcase that breaks en-route. (We’ve had at least two off-brand suitcases that didn’t make it through a single trip.) Only one brand has stood the test of time: Samsonite. If you’re going to go with a lesser-known brand, be sure they have at least 100 reviews (500 is better.) [For the record – we settled on a 3-piece matching Samsonite set.]

3) Avoid the built-in gimmicks.

A lot of suitcases have gimmicks like built-in chargers and compartments.  All those gimmicks do are add weight to your suitcase, and commit you to something you may not need in the future.

If you like the idea of compartments – get packing cubes that can be used as needed, or set aside when you’re trying to cram every ounce possible to ensure that you “make weight” for your trip.

The built-in charger in suitcases is cute, but you can buy a buy a separate charger with triple the battery life, is half the size and weight, and throw it in your bag (or not) depending on what else you need to fit in your suitcase.

Other tips

  1. Read this article by Tamera Palmer to see if being a Prime member is a fit for you.
  2. If you find yourself squeezing every ounce possible into your suitcase, one of these little scales can be really convenient.
  3. One of these tile trackers for each of your bags can be a life-saver in the event of a lost (or forgotten) bag.
  4. Here is a link to all luggage. Here is a link to Samsonite luggage.

 

 

*I might be paid a commission for any purchases you make after clicking any of the links above.

The best way to save big on lodging (that is overlooked 90% of the time.)

Today’s blog post was inspired by a question I get asked almost as often as “Can you give me a price quote for flights to _______“?

(And just as a reminder – Price quotes require a middleman paid on commission which defeats the purpose of this site. Commissions would significantly drive up the cost of the trips I help my subscribers find themselves.)

Unfortunately, it’s too late for Joe, but all the more reason to write this blog post for you.

Want to know the best secret to substantial hotel savings when traveling?

It’s so simple – you won’t believe it.

Sometimes (as in the example below) it can even mean FREE lodging with no groupons, gimmicks or tricks.

Ready?

Use Kayak to book on a major site like Travelocity or Expedia, and book your hotel at the same time you book your flight.

Why?

Because they know you’ve already got your wallet out to book the flight.

(They also know you’re a savvy shopper, and before you book with them, you’ll probably go straight to the airlines and they won’t get a dime in business.)

If they don’t get your business for the lodging right then and there – they probably won’t get it at all either  (for the flights OR lodging.)

The best way they can close the deal right then and there? Massive discounts.  Discounts so good, in fact, it will be nearly impossible to find as good a rate by booking your air and lodging separately – even if booking straight through the airlines, and straight through the hotel.

Here’s how you can test this theory yourself:

  1. Pick a destination. ANY destination and look up the price of a flight there (and multiply that price by the number of passengers)
  2. Now, pick a couple nice hotels in that location during those dates and note the total cost of that hotel. (Make sure it’s at least 3 nights because that’s what it takes for the bundle-discounts to kick in.)
  3. Make note of the total cost of flight(s) plus hotel if you booked them separately.
  4. Look up the “Package” price of booking the flight and hotel together, and subtract the TOTAL cost of the flight.
  5. Odds are, you’ll save 30% to 50% on the hotel by bundling with your flight vs. booking them separately.

Here’s a random example:

Flight to Greece: $1019 round-trip (And let’s assume 2 passengers)

(Note that I’m NOT saying that flight price is a good deal. Far from it in fact. This is just an example to demonstrate the power of bundling your flight and hotel.)

2 passengers = $2038 (For the flight alone. That’s robbery! But I digress.)

Now, let’s look up hotel prices during those same dates.

$938 for the week. Not bad!

 

We’re now at a total of $2976 by booking flights at one time, and booking lodging separately.

Here is where the magic happens. See that little link called “Packages”?

Below is an example of why you should ALWAYS click it (even if you weren’t planning on booking a hotel yet.)

 

Let’s not forget that the package prices are per-person, and my example is for two people.

So…

$918 X 2 = $2036

By itself, that’s about a 30% savings vs booking them separately.

But when you look at the price for two flights alone ($2038) vs the price for two flights plus 7 nights ($2036), your 4-star hotel is FREE.

Granted, the numbers don’t normally work out this well, but you can expect to regularly spend 30% to 50% less on your lodging by booking it with your flight vs hunting down a flight deal, and then trying to find a deal on your hotel separately.

PS – On a tight budget?

Remember how flights alone were $1018 per person?

Check out this per-person price for flight plus 7 nights at a budget hotel.

(In other words – whether you stay at the budget hotel or not, you just knocked nearly $300 off of the cost of your trip (PER PERSON) by simply bundling a cheap hotel with your flight.)

The moral of the story?

Always, always, ALWAYS check for flight plus hotel prices. Sometimes (like in the example above), you’ll find loopholes that mean the equivalent of getting paid to book a hotel along with your flight (even if you don’t use the hotel.)

The above strategy works for any trip you find yourself “the old fashioned way.”

Imagine the savings if you used this strategy after finding a 50% to 90% off flight via your JGOOT premium trip-alert service.

Happy travels!

–Joel

 

 

 

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.

Traveling during a busy holiday week? Try these 3 strategies (in this order)

Although my awesome support team do our best to individually answer most questions we get, it’s impossible to stay on top of them all. Sometimes, however, we get questions I know a lot of people have – that haven’t yet been covered on our blog, FAQ page or Youtube Channel so I do my best to answer them here.

Hey Todd,

First off – Thank you for your lifetime purchase. Subscribers like you are helping me to share my passion for affordable travel with the world, as well as funding future JGOOT improvements (and we’ve got some exciting stuff on the horizon!)

Your question isn’t an easy fit for “The JGOOT Way” of travel so I hope you don’t mind me sharing my complicated answer with the thousands of other subscribers who probably have a similar question.

  1. As a premium subscriber, your best bet is to log into your account and take a quick glance at what deals we have found in the “July” category, and see if you can change the dates of any trips that interest you to fit your schedule. If not, try June knowing that many of those trips can be changed to July too.  (But since shopping on our site is like shopping exclusively from the clearance rack at a department store (and you have VERY specific criteria date-wise) I wouldn’t spend much time if you don’t immediately see something that works.
  2. If that doesn’t work, I suggest using Kayak.com/explore. Because you’re flexible on where you want to go but not on when, use the “exact dates” feature. They’ll tell you where the good deals from your home airport are and you can go there. (It’s pretty hit-and miss, but hey – you asked the guy who pays an average of $.12 on the dollar for travel and sometimes, it takes a few at-bats before you get on-base.)
  3. Although you’re flexible on WHERE you want to go, you’ve picked one of the busiest weeks of the year to travel, so it’s going to be tough. If tips #1 & 2 don’t work, it’s time to dip into your stash of points. (Don’t have points? You should. It’s SOOOO easy, and it’s paramount rule #3 of “The JGOOT Way” of travel. You can find an invite (and required password) to our private point-hacking discussion group at the bottom of your daily trip-alerts. In addition to a quick-start guide, a comprehensive set of instructions, explanations about how to improve your credit, and webinars, we’ve got over 1000 other members who are familiar with traveling on points and can answer questions you have.

I hope those tips help!

PS – If you book a great trip at a great price, email me a screenshot of the fare you paid and a testimonial about what you like about being a premium subscriber. If we add it to our testimonials section, we’ll send you a $100 travel discount card to use toward some fun stuff during your trip! In addition to 400,000 hotels, it can be used for car rentals and fun activities/excursions worldwide. (Sample card below.)

Not a premium subscriber? Give being one a try risk-free for 30 days. Subscriptions start as low as $8 per month.

Have other suggestions for Todd? Feel free to add them in the comments section below.

 

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

“No way these fares are real.”

Whether via email, public comments, a personal conversation, or comments on Facebook or my blog, I get the exact same objection multiple times a day.

Here is my response to a “No way.  I checked and it’s not on sale.” public comment on Facebook.

 

Some other favorites:

“I just got back from Hawaii and paid over $1500, so I KNOW FOR A FACT this can’t be true.” 

“I used to be a travel agent. These prices are LIES!” (oh… the irony.)

“How can it be cheaper to fly to HAWAII than what I paid to go to Omaha?” 


Find the deals first.

Go there when you can work your schedule around them.

Just like having car insurance for when you drive, plan ahead and set up a backup plan for when you don’t have the flexibility and advance notice to find a good deal.

That’s The JGOOT Way.

Don’t want to read a bunch of travel tips from a geeky ex-Google author about how to find these kinds of prices?  We’ll do it for you for as little as $8 a month. More details here.

–Joel

Don’t look for deals on cruises. Do this instead:

Here is my response whenever I get asked if I have deals on cruises. 

Thanks for reaching out.  I solely focus on flights for one reason:

You can get a FREE cruise, and it doesn’t much matter if that locks you into specific dates that require you to pay $500 or $600 per person to fly there.

Instead, one of our 44 categories of trips is “Cruises”. Our cruise category has flights to cruise ports when we find them at 50% to 90% below normal prices.  Then, we include links to cruises that depart during those times.

By finding a $50 flight to a cruise port that normally costs $500 or $600, a family of 5 can save $2500 on their flights alone. (Even a FREE cruise that requires you to pay $500 per person to fly there would be hard to make up for compared to finding $50 flights to the same cruise ship.)

Any time you’d like choose from 20 times more travel deals than what you get as a free subscriber, our premium service starts as low as $8/month. You can try it risk-free for 30 days at JGOOT.com/upgrade

Happy travels!

–Joel

PS – The same goes for a friend’s free timeshare, and all-inclusive resorts. A good deal doesn’t mean much if you’re tied to specific dates, don’t have a backup plan, and can’t find affordable flights to get there.