Finally, we get to travel!
We’re recent empty nesters who have not been able to travel much for the past 20 years. Besides the kids being grown up, a few other things aligned to make 2021 the (first) “Year of Travel” for us.
After reading alot of travel blogs and watching other travel channels, we decided to share some of our travels as well as some of the different ways that we’ve been able to take some awesome trips on a very, very low budget.
Why Do We Get To Travel Now?
Besides our youngest leaving for college, I’ve got a new job where I’m traveling some for business. Sandra (aka Zuzu) has a very flexible work schedule so she’s able to travel pretty much any time she wants.
But by far, the biggest reason that we get to travel is that I’ve discovered how to responsibly use credit cards to earn a massive number of points and miles.
I had pretty much always been a debit card user. After setting up a new company with a partner, I realized there would be a chance to get some benefits from having either a rewards card or a cash back card.
On Dec 31, 2020, I got my 1st rewards credit card, a Chase Sapphire Reserve. Since then, my wife & I have added several cards and have amassed over 1,500,000 points.
We’ve redeemed those points for ~$60,000 of free travel!
I’ve been shocked at how quickly we’ve been able to parlay our normal spending habits into massive travel benefits.
The main reason for this blog is to share how we’ve been able to finally travel.
My hope is that we can inspire you to do some of the things that we’ve been able to do. And hopefully learn from both our success and from our mistakes.
Subscribe to our newsletter to come along as we document where we’ve been, what we’ve learned, the mistakes we’ve made and how we’re trying to make sure every year is “The Year of Travel!”
Between work and pleasure, here are the trips we made in the first year when we were learning to travel hack.
- St. Louis, MO
- San Antonio, TX
- Playa del Carmen, Mexico
- Houston, TX
- Dallas, TX
- Austin, TX
- Clearwater Beach, FL
- New Orleans, LA
- Miami, FL
- Confidante Hotel Miami Beach
- Key West, FL
- Hyatt Centric Key West
- Charlotte, NC
- Nashville, TN
- Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Daytona Beach, FL
- Phoenix, AZ
- Dominican Republic
- Chicago, IL
- New York City
And here are the trips that we made in 2022.
- Cancun, MX
- Knoxville, TN
- Grand Hyatt Denver
- Thompson Denver
- Gaylord Rocky Mountains
- Rocky Mountains National Park
- Puerto Rico
- Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico
- St Martin (Sint Marten)
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Hyatt Place Pittsburgh North Shore
- Gulf Shores, AL
- Grayson Hotel
- Panama City Beach, FL
2023 started with a disappointment. We had a romantic trip to Secrets Akumal in Cancun booked, but Zuzu & I both came down with Covid right before the trip. Fortunately, we made up for that with a Spring Break trip to Cancun with some of our travel friends!
Here’s our current list of travels for 2023. Most are free trips on points but a couple are business trips & a family vacation paid for by Grandmomma!
- Austin, TX
- Playa del Carmen, MX
- Secrets Maroma Beach
- Secrets Moxche Impressions
- Sioux Falls, SD
- Nashville, TN (free Staycation at the Thompson Nashville!)
- Nassau, Bahamas
- Myrtle Beach, SC
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Secrets Cap Cana
- Hyatt Ziva & Zilara Cap Cana
- New England
- Portland, ME
- Bar Harbor
- Cancun, MX
- Hyatt Ziva Cancun
Recommended Credit Cards
The biggest reason that we finally get to travel is that we’ve started using credit cards. (I know that sounds crazy to some of you. It would have sounded crazy to me just 2 years ago!)
Click here to get our eBook with exactly how we get to travel for FREE!
Best Personal Cards
- Chase Sapphire Reserve – Apply Here
- Chase Sapphire Preferred – Apply Here
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards – Apply Here
- Chase Freedom Flex – Apply Here
- Chase World of Hyatt – Apply Here
- AMEX Personal Cards – Apply Here
Best Business Cards
- Chase Ink Business Preferred – Apply Here
- Chase Ink Business Cash – Apply Here
- Chase Ink Business Unlimited – Apply Here
- Chase World of Hyatt Business – Apply Here
- American Express Blue Business Plus – Apply Here
- American Express Business Platinum – Apply Here
- AMEX Business Gold – Apply Here
Which Credit Card is Right for You?
In our 14 page eBook, you’ll learn the exact steps that Zuzu & I have used to get over $60k of free travel in the last 2 years! Download the eBook and it will help you see how we got started traveling. More importantly, you’ll see how easy it is for you to travel for free.
If you’re interested in signing up for any of these cards, please apply by clicking my referral link. You’ll get one of the cards that I think is really valuable and I’ll get some free points for referring you.