Abundant Travel Tips: Travel Hacking 101 & Palm Springs

Abundant Travel Tips: Travel Hacking 101 & Palm Springs

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Travel Hacking 101

I’ve settled back in to Austin life after an amazing ‘remote work’ week in Boulder, and this week I’ve been studying new travel hacking tips to bring down my cost of travel.  To me, why pay $1000 for cramped coach flights overseas, when you can fly free by using points for that same seat?  I’d rather spend my money on experiences, food and excursions, and not spend the money on my logistics.  I’ve become pretty savvy with flights, but over the past couple weeks I’ve been studying car rental hacking.  As you may have heard, car rental prices are crazy right now!  The rental companies significantly reduced their inventory during COVID, and now they cannot keep up with the rental demand.  For example, my flight to Boulder (if I’d paid for it) would have been $250, and my car rental was $480; that’s almost twice as much!  And, my rental was a piece of junk from an off market rental company?!  Seriously?!    I find this situation so frustrating.  Well, exclusively for y’all, below are 5 tips I’ve learned that I’ve learned during my recent research.

1.  Join the rental car loyalty programs; they are free.  Why?  Well, you get to skip the crazy long line when picking up your rental.  And, you get points and perks and sometimes free upgrades.

2.  Look online for ‘coupon codes’.  Simply google Avis Coupon Codes and see what pops up.  Websites like retail Me Not sometimes have great coupons.  This tip came from Wandering Earl and he said he recently received a 40% discount on a car rental.

3.  Decline all insurance, and make sure to pay with a credit card that has insurance, ie. American Express Platinum.  ps.  bring a copy of your car insurance as well, as some rental companies want proof of additional insurance.

4.  My last 2 car rentals, I’ve found through Hotwire.com; Hotwire has some great rates right now.  Also, book as early as possible, at least 2 weeks in advance for he  rates.  Disclaimer:  It is better if you can book the same price through the actual rental car company site.

5.  Always ask for the local office phone number as well as the 1.800 number.  If there’s an emergency with the car, you want to know how to reach the local office.

Platinum American Express

One of my favorite credit cards is the Platinum Amex.  I’ve had it for years, and I love having access to the Priority Pass Lounges when I fly.  American Express just announce the cost of this credit card is going up by $145.  It’s not cheap to begin with, but I still think it’s worth having.  With the increased cost, I needed to find out the additional perks and bonuses so I could make the best use of this card.  Below is a list of travel benefits with this card, and here’s an article from The Points Guy who is my go-to for credit card benefits.  Yes, it’s expensive, but if used correctly, the benefits out way the cost.

-Annual Fee:  Now $695
-Sign up bonus right now:  100,000 points after $6k in spending within 1st 6 months. Wowza!
-5x points for flights booked directly with airline
-5x points with prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
-Rebate for Clear sign up
-Rebate for Global Entry sign up
-Global Dining Access through Resy
-$100 free shopping at Saks ($50 every 6 months)
-$200 credit on a specified airline for seat assignment, luggage etc.
-$200  Uber cash, $15 month
-$200 on prepaid hotels through Fine Hotels + Resorts
-$100 experience credit at qualifying Hotel Collection hotels
-Bonvoy Elite Status (Marriott)
-Hyatt Gold Status
-Avis, Hertz & National car rental status and perks
-Global Assist Hotline, as long as you are 100 miles from home
-trip cancelation insurance

Abundant Travel Tips, Platinum American Express

Palm Springs

As mentioned in a previous missive, I visited Palm Springs in April for a wedding at The Parker Hotel.  There were 6 of us from Austin, and we had a ball!  Check out this video where I share tips, suggestions and ideas for a perfect weekend in Palm Springs.  Congrats to Lea & Bob; your wedding was amazing!

The Abundant Traveler would love your support!

I am building The Abundant Traveler to provide insight, inspiration and valuable travel tips, and I want to continue to provide all of this content free to you and your friends.  I’d be so appreciative if you would consider supporting the brand by shopping on Amazon through my Amazon Shop, Booking hotels through my Resources Page or becoming a patron through Patreon.    My Amazon Shop and Resources Page contain affiliate links where The Abundant Traveler would receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Patreon is a bit different; Patreon is a monthly paid sponsorship where you will receive exclusive content as well as invitations to events and meetups.

I am so grateful for your support of The Abundant Traveler!!!!

Abundant Travel Tips: Uin Shoes & Travel Sandals

Abundant Travel Tips: Uin Shoes & Travel Sandals

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Boulder, Colorado

Happy 6th of July from Boulder, Colorado.  I decided to get out of the Austin heat, and work remotely this week from Boulder.  This is my first time in this adorable town, and I’m making the best of it.  My first day was yesterday, and I hit Lucile’s for breakfast where I filled my belly with eggs Benedict (gluten free muffin), grits and coffee.  I then dropped my stuff at my cute little Residence Inn, and then I headed out to hike The Flatirons.  At the end of the hike, I stopped for a glass of wine at Chautauqua Dining Hall.  Whew, after all that activity, I needed a nap before I ventured out for the evening….3hr later….I headed to Pearl Street, and the Avanti roof top bar for dinner.  What an incredible first day in Boulder!   Needless to say, I’m taking it easy today, and currently sitting outside at my hotel, drinking coffee and writing to all of you 🙂

Reply to this email if you have any Boulder suggestions, as I’m here until Friday.

Below is a photo from my hike yesterday at The Flatirons.  I felt like singing “The Hills are Alive” with Julie Andrews.

Abundant Travel Tips, The Abundant Traveler.

Uin Shoes

Random brands reach out to me on a regular basis, from lipstick to web services, brands ask me to promote them, and they pay me by giving me a sample of their product.  Most of them are not worth it, in fact, over the past few years, I have turned down all but 1.  The only brand I ever accepted was the Tesalate towel, and I still travel with that towel today.  Well, welcome to the second item I’ve ever agreed to promote….UIN Shoes.  These shoes are so cute, fun and comfortable.  They are super lightweight, and you can have them in so many styles and colors.  Check out these adorable shoes here!  And, use this coupon code KimUIN for $5 off your purchase.  Bet you can’t buy just one 😉

Travel Sandals

As I am making more travel plans, I’m upgrading my travel gear.  New backpacks, new suitcases, a new hair dryer, and new TRAVEL SANDALS!  Check out this weeks video about all the comfy travel sandals from Amazon.  Which ones do you want to buy? 

The Abundant Traveler would love your support!

I am building The Abundant Traveler to provide insight, inspiration and valuable travel tips, and I want to continue to provide all of this content free to you and your friends.  I’d be so appreciative if you would consider supporting the brand by shopping on Amazon through my Amazon Shop, Booking hotels through my Resources Page or becoming a patron through Patreon.    My Amazon Shop and Resources Page contain affiliate links where The Abundant Traveler would receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Patreon is a bit different; Patreon is a monthly paid sponsorship where you will receive exclusive content as well as invitations to events and meetups.

I am so grateful for your support of The Abundant Traveler!!!!

Abundant Travel Tips: Amazon Prime Day & Die with Zero

Abundant Travel Tips: Amazon Prime Day & Die with Zero

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Trip Planning & Travel Hacking

I can’t help myself….As soon as I return from a trip, I have to jump on the computer and start planning my next adventure.  It’s the dangling carrot, the something to look forward to, my reason for being.  Also, this time of year, my real estate business settles down so I’m able to travel more and for longer periods of time….And, I in the past week, I’ve gone crazy and booked a trip to Boulder, Co, a trip to Guadalajara, Mexico, and a trip to Southern Spain.  Each location has it’s cache; get out of the Austin heat in Boulder, visit a healer in Guadalajara and return to my happy place on the Med in Espana.  The best part of all these bookings is that they were all FREE!  Yes, FREE!  I am a travel hacker, specifically with “credit card churning”, and I book as much as I can on credit card points.  Below are my recent savings…and I still have more points to use 🙂

Flight to Boulder: $257
Hotel Boulder 5 nights: $1066
Hotel Guadalajara 5 nights: $981
Flight to Spain Business & Coach:  $3233
Hotel Malaga 5 nights: $710
TOTAL:  $6247 SAVINGS!

Stay tuned!  I’m working on a video and program to help you travel hack.

Travel Hacking, Abundant Travel Tips

Amazon Prime Day!

June 21 & 22 are Amazon Prime Days.  There are over 2,00,000 deals available on this cyber sale!!!  Check out all the travel goodies on The Abundant Traveler Page.  Happy shopping 🙂

Amazon Prime, Abundant travel tips

Die with Zero?!

A fellow traveler and FI (financial independence) friend recommended that I read a book titled Die with Zero by Bill Perkins.  I thought, what a bizarre name for a book; what a morbid and scary thought to think about dying, and dying with nothing to your name, but I ordered the book anyway.  And I have to say, I’m blow away with this book!  The premise behind the book is to ‘bank’ experiences, not just money, and make sure to take the appropriate experiences at the appropriate age.  You don’t want to be 75 backpacking through Europe staying in hostels; you need to do that in your 20s.  I’m loving this book because it meets your retirement money fears head on with discussions about inheritance money for your kids and for charity, when you should stop working, and what if you get critically ill when you get older.  I am shocked how much this book has made me think about what I’m doing today with my life, and I think everyone would benefit from reading this book.

Travel Hair Dryers

This week’s video is all about travel hair dryers.  I’ve been looking for a great compact travel hair dryer for a while, so I decided to try all of them from Amazon.  Watch the video and let me know what you think?  Remember, you can purchase the hair dryers in the description below the video, or click this link to the blog post on my website.

The Abundant Traveler would love your support!

I am building The Abundant Traveler to provide insight, inspiration and valuable travel tips, and I want to continue to provide all of this content free to you and your friends.  I’d be so appreciative if you would consider supporting the brand by shopping on Amazon through my Amazon Shop, Booking hotels through my Resources Page or becoming a patron through Patreon.    My Amazon Shop and Resources Page contain affiliate links where The Abundant Traveler would receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Patreon is a bit different; Patreon is a monthly paid sponsorship where you will receive exclusive content as well as invitations to events and meetups.

I am so grateful for your support of The Abundant Traveler!!!!

Abundant Travel Tips: Father’s Day Gifts & Hawaii

Abundant Travel Tips: Father’s Day Gifts & Hawaii

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Wowza! Hawaii was amazing!

I’m back from Hawaii, and WOW!, what an amazing place.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve been to more than 60 countries yet never visited Hawaii.  I had an absolute blast visiting all the hot spots in Maui and Oahu.  In Maui, I hit Mama’s Fish Housesunset at Haleakala, Upcountry and took the 600 plus turns to Hana.  There was so much to do in Maui, and I didn’t spend any time lounging at the beach…then again, I’ve never been a lounge lizard 🙂   On Oahu, I visited Pearl Harbor, visited the most incredible beach called Makapu’u, and crossed off one of my major bucket list items.  I surfed Waikiki Beach…and I stood up!!!!  photo below.  Stay tuned for great videos from Maui and Oahu including know before you go, packing lists and my adventures with Air Maui.

I loved Hawaii because you could still feel the Hawaiian culture.  You can hear the Hawaiian  language spoken everywhere, and the islands have such an interesting history.  It was such a treat to finally see what was always in my own back yard.

Below are a couple tips for your next trip to Hawaii
1.  It’s in the middle of the Pacific, and the time zone is 5hr difference from CST.  You will have jet lag, so be prepared.
2.  I found most things start early in the morning, and the towns shut down early in the evening.  It’s definitely a place to be active during the day.
3.  Hawaii is very expensive, but some of the best food I had was at food trucks.  $15 for a fresh Mahi or Ono or shrimp served with rice and salad.
4.  Stay on the west side or Leeward sides of the islands.  The weather is calmer and dryer.  Of course, visit the east or windward side to see the professional surfers and tropical rain forests.
5.  Plan on at least a week per island you visit.  I felt that 7 days was enough for Maui, but 4 days wasn’t enough for Oahu.

Below is a photo from my surf lesson on Waikiki Beach.  This was a MAJOR bucket list item for me, and I had SO SO SO much fun!  Check out my bucket list here.

Kim Surfing, Hawaii, The Abundant Traveler

Father's Day Gifts

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and I always struggle to find something fun and interesting for Dad.  This year, I solved my dilemma by searching for men’s travel gifts on Amazon.  After all of my searching, I decided to  create the below 2 videos for men’s travel gifts.  One video is for gifts under $20 and one for gifts over $20.  If you need a gift for Father’s Day, watch the videos and click the links in the descriptions on YouTube or click the links to my website  Over $20Under $20.

The Abundant Traveler would love your support!

I am building The Abundant Traveler to provide insight, inspiration and valuable travel tips, and I want to continue to provide all of this content free to you and your friends.  I’d be so appreciative if you would consider supporting the brand by shopping on Amazon through my Amazon Shop, Booking hotels through my Resources Page or becoming a patron through Patreon.    My Amazon Shop and Resources Page contain affiliate links where The Abundant Traveler would receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Patreon is a bit different; Patreon is a monthly paid sponsorship where you will receive exclusive content as well as invitations to events and meetups.

I am so grateful for your support of The Abundant Traveler!!!!

Travel at Any Age – Why Travel Insurance is Important

Travel at Any Age – Why Travel Insurance is Important

Travel at any age can be rewarding! There are certainly risks that travel comes with but with the right planning and peace of mind, the rewards outweigh them enormously.  You may even make  travel memories that last a lifetime! This post will walk you through the importance of travel insurance and how to find the right fit for you! 

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Travel Preparation & Planning

A great trip starts with the right preparation and planning. Finding a destination that will suit your travel style is important. Are you looking to escape to the beach, hit a desert trail, or explore exotic cuisine? Think about what destinations you are ready to explore and comfortable with – a shorter, direct flight may be important to you and narrow down your destinations initially. A domestic trip may also be an option. Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, travel insurance is beneficial for any trip that takes you 100 miles or more from home, including a road trip! One of the benefits of traveling as you get older is freedom. You may have more PTO to use up or the ability to create your own schedule leaving more time for travel than ever before. Shoulder season travel is a great option if you’re able to take advantage of the months leading up to and after the busy season. This time of year, generally affords discounts, less crowds, and oftentimes a more relaxing and enjoyable trip.

Once you have picked a destination, it’s important to consider accommodations, transportation, and your itinerary too. I love looking into resorts that have adults-only areas like pools or even a suite tower for a relaxing trip. If you are looking into activities like scuba diving or golf, check on availability and make reservations in advance if necessary. If you are willing to leave your travel schedule more open – don’t be afraid to call the day of to book a tee time or activity, there may be a cancellation that you can take advantage of, just don’t count on this!

Travel Insurance

With any type of travel especially where you may be taking part in riskier activities than normal, finding the right travel insurance plan is important. Travel insurance should never be one size fits all. By visiting TravelInsuranceMaster.com, you can easily plug in your trip and traveler details, and let the trusted algorithm recommend the best travel insurance plan for you. You can also view side-by-side comparisons of different plans from multiple providers all in one place. The easy-to-use filters on the left-hand side will help you narrow down plans by the exact benefits you are looking for. There are a variety of benefits for any kind of trip. For example, if you are looking for coverage for activities, select one of the sports benefits.  If you are looking for Hurricane and Weather coverage, filter by benefits to protect your trip in the event your home or destination are affected by hurricane season.

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The best time to purchase travel insurance is usually within 10-21 days of making your initial trip deposit. Trip Cancellation plans continue to be the most popular option for travelers covering their non-refundable prepaid trip costs if certain requirements are met. Cancel for Any Reason plans allow you to cancel for any reason whatsoever up to 2 days before your trip for up to 75% reimbursement of your non-refundable prepaid trip costs. If you’re looking for the CFAR benefits, you will normally need to buy insurance within 1-21 days of your initial deposit. There are also time-sensitive benefits that make purchasing insurance early worthwhile. One of these benefits is the Pre-existing Medical Conditions waiver that many travelers look for. If you buy insurance within the stated timeframe from the initial deposit, usually the same day or within 2 weeks, you will get broader coverage and benefits like the Pre-existing Medical Conditions waiver depending on the specific plan.

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If you or someone you are buying insurance for has a pre-existing health condition, you should seriously consider the likelihood of it reoccurring or flaring up during your trip. Ask yourself could it cancel or interrupt your travels? For plans without the Pre-existing Medical Conditions Waiver, normally a medical condition present prior to your travel insurance policy’s effective date would not be covered. Most plans have a look-back period which means the plan investigates your medical history, anywhere from 2 to 18 months, to check if your condition was treated or appeared during that time. Comprehensive plans with a Pre-existing Medical Conditions waiver will give you coverage if you buy your travel insurance plan the same day or within a set number of days after your first trip deposit. This doesn’t usually add to the cost of the plan and is a great incentive to buy early!

International Travel Insurance

When traveling to another country, it’s important to fill the gap where your regular health insurance may not offer coverage. Emergency Medical Coverage may not have been your first priority when you first started traveling but with 2021 travel, we all realize its importance. It can save you from a costly bill if your US health insurance plan is not accepted in another country. It’s important to note COVID-19 is treated the same as any other illness, so Emergency Medical and Evacuation benefits will cover your otherwise non-refundable prepaid trip cost if you were to become ill with COVID-19 during your travels. Trip Cancellation plans give you protection if you the traveler, your companion, a family member, or your business partner become ill before your trip and you cannot travel. Trip Interruption also provides reimbursement of non-refundable prepaid trip costs and expenses for your return home if you or your companion are diagnosed with COVID-19 while on your trip. Trip Delay will cover hotel expenses and meals if you are delayed through quarantine required by a physician.

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Final Travel Insurance Thoughts

Finding the right travel insurance does not have to be complicated or time-consuming. By visiting TravelInsuranceMaster.com you can easily find the recommended plan for you from the world’s leading providers. Always be sure to read your plan details for benefits and all the information you need like proof of cancellation. Plans do allow you to buy coverage up until the day before you leave so wherever your travels take you, be sure to protect them with peace of mind from Travel Insurance Master.

Travel Insurance FAQs

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a protective policy or plan that helps you cover or recoup costs associated with changes or emergencies incurred during travel. They can cover small things like transportation costs, lost baggage, all the way up to medical issues incurred during travel.

How does travel insurance work?

Travel insurance works by securing a traveler’s financial risk should you suffer a financial loss during travel. Should something happen, your travel insurer will reimburse you for the costs you incurred.

How much does travel insurance cost?

The cost of travel insurance depends on what type of coverage you need and how long you expect to be traveling. Factors that impact your travel insurance costs include age of the travelers, number of travelers, length of your travel plans, and the type of coverage you need. For most trips, travel insurance will cost anywhere between $250 – $500.

What does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance covers a wide range of items including personal costs, medical emergencies, lost belongings, rental cars, hotel stays, trip cancellations, and travel supplier bankruptcy.

Do you need travel insurance?

You do not need travel insurance to travel, however, if you are planning a long or expensive trip, it is highly recommended that you purchase adequate travel insurance should something go wrong.

How much travel insurance do you need?

For shorter trips, adequate travel insurance will cover trip cancellation, lost luggage, and more. For longer, more cost prohibitive trips, consider purchasing more comprehensive coverage that will cover medical issues or emergencies incurred during your trip.

How do I get travel insurance?

There are a lot of ways to acquire travel insurance. For a lot of domestic and international trips, you can purchase insurance and coverage through your travel supplier, often times your travel agent, travel broker, or airline. There are also 3rd party, independent travel insurance provides that will insure your trip.

Have you used travel insurance before when traveling? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend products that I personally know and use, and the income helps to keep this site updated and free for everyone.