Abundant Travel Tips: Travel Hacking 101 & Palm Springs

Abundant Travel Tips: Travel Hacking 101 & Palm Springs

The Abundant Traveler, YouTube influencer, travel vlog, laid back luxury travel, female travel blogs, luxury travel website, luxury experiential travel, top travel influencers, video influencers, travel influencer, luxury travel expert, luxury travel blog, women travel guide, travel essentials for women, YouTube travel influencers

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

The Abundant Traveler, YouTube influencer, travel vlog, laid back luxury travel, female travel blogs, luxury travel website, luxury experiential travel, top travel influencers, video influencers, travel influencer, luxury travel expert, luxury travel blog, women travel guide, travel essentials for women, YouTube travel influencers

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: My Favorite Duffle and Day Trips From Austin

Abundant Travel Tips: My Favorite Duffle and Day Trips From Austin

The Abundant Traveler, YouTube influencer, travel vlog, laid back luxury travel, female travel blogs, luxury travel website, luxury experiential travel, top travel influencers, video influencers, travel influencer, luxury travel expert, luxury travel blog, women travel guide, travel essentials for women, YouTube travel influencers

Hawaii, here I come!

It’s been a great couple of weeks in Austin; the weather continues to be perfect, and life is returning to a more normal non-pandemic pace.  I’ve loved going out to eat with friends again, and I’ve loved trying new restaurants like Nixta Taqueria.

Sunday, I fly to Hawaii for 12 days; 7 on Maui and 4 on Oahu.  I’ve booked several things in Maui like the bike ride down Haleakala, and a doors off helicopter ride.  I’ll also be snorkeling, boating, driving the road to Hana , and drinking a few cocktails while in Maui.  On Oahu, I’ll be visiting Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Village and The North Shore.  I’m making this an adventure Hawaiian trip rather than a loungy vacation; maybe next time I’ll book a resort and lay on the beach for a week…not likely :).  

There’s been small challenge getting ready for Hawaii though…Hawaii requires a negative COVID test within 72hr of flying, and I’ve been reading up on what is required, who can give the test, how long it will take, and what paperwork I need to fill out prior to arrival.   Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted on my tips and experience traveling to and between the islands.

Helicopter in Hawaii, Abundant Travel Tips

Day trips around Austin

It’s the perfect time of year to have outdoor adventures in and around Austin.  The weather is perfect and destinations aren’t overcrowded since kids are still in school.  With the help of Mandy from Plan To Explore, we created a blog post about 10 great day trips around Austin.  Whether you’re looking for shopping, swimming holes or a spa day, this article is a great resource for fun filled weekends.  Ps.  We’ve included some fun hotels and B&Bs in case you decide to spend the night.

Read the article Here

Dripping Springs, Day Trips from Austin

My New Duffle Bag

Last time, I shared my new travel backpack, The Samsonite Backpack.  This week, I’m sharing my new collapsable duffle bag that I recently found on Amazon.  (Can you tell that I’m replacing all of my luggage in preparation for LOTS of travel?)  I’ve always loved carrying a collapsable duffle in the bottom of my suitcase for my shopping.  When I travel, I love to buy textiles and other trinkets, and so do my friends, so by the end of a trip, we combine forces and stuff my collapsable duffle to the gills, then simply split the cost of one extra piece of luggage on the flight home.  I love this Gonex because it’s super lightweight, very flat when folded up, and comes in several different sizes and multiple colors (I bought the 100L).  Click here to see this duffle bag.

Duffle Bag, Abundant Travel Tips, Amazon

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: Vaccine Passports & Travel Backpack

The Abundant Traveler, YouTube influencer, travel vlog, laid back luxury travel, female travel blogs, luxury travel website, luxury experiential travel, top travel influencers, video influencers, travel influencer, luxury travel expert, luxury travel blog, women travel guide, travel essentials for women, YouTube travel influencers

I love weddings, and Palm Springs!

I cannot believe that it’s the last week of April; this year is flying by!  As mentioned in my last missive, I was headed to Palm Springs for a wedding at The Parker Hotel, and wow, wow, wow!  What a fun and beautiful wedding it was.  I LOVE weddings, and this event was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen as it was framed by The Parker’s lush grounds and surrounding casitas.  My friend was a beautiful glowing bride; we had perfect weather, and it was fun to sip watermelon cocktails with my Austin friends.  

The city of Palm Springs was also a blast; we hiked Andreas Canyon where I came within 2 feet of a giant ‘rattler’…. I accidentally backed up to him while my friend was taking a photo of me; I swear I felt the breath on my ankle.  When I heard him, I jumped out of my skin, and ran back to my friend almost knocking her over while screaming my head off.  Below is the video clip I shot about 45 seconds after the encounter; I was visibly shaking, and thanking my lucky stars I wasn’t headed to the ER!  In addition to that adventure, we visited the Robot Lights (bizarre place), shopped in all the retro shops (channeling Frank Sinatra), and brunched at the famous Cheekys (Bloody Marias anyone?).  It was such a great weekend, and I cannot wait to share my upcoming video with you.

Vaccine Passports

What is a Vaccine Passport?  Are certain countries requiring the vaccine to visit?  There’s a lot confusion and misinformation about travel restrictions and the vaccine.  Although, I touched on this subject in my last email, I thought it was important to share the latest news.  These articles include the latest updates on important questions like,  “Will the white record vaccine card be enough, or will you have to have the yellow vaccine card?  Will you have to have the vaccine app? Can countries actually require you to have the vaccine to enter their country?”   

Vaccine Passport, Abundant Travel Tips

My New Backpack!

I’m always looking for the perfect piece of luggage.  All of my pieces have to be sturdy, but lightweight, super efficient and have lots of pockets.  Additionally, the pieces have to look nice, but not too fancy (I don’t want my stuff stolen just because I have a nice piece of luggage).  Well, I have found the perfect backpack for my travels! I’m so excited because it has 3 zippered external pockets, fits my large Mac book, has internal zippers and pockets, and it’s really comfortable to wear.  It even has the strap on the back so you can slide slide it over my rolling suitcase handle.  The best part?  It’s really beautiful so I can carry it as a purse to a nice restaurant (albeit a large purse).  Check out my new Samsonite Backpack here.  Ps.  It comes in 3 colors.

Travel Backpack

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: Bluebonnets & Bahia Resort in Mexico

The Abundant Traveler, YouTube influencer, travel vlog, laid back luxury travel, female travel blogs, luxury travel website, luxury experiential travel, top travel influencers, video influencers, travel influencer, luxury travel expert, luxury travel blog, women travel guide, travel essentials for women, YouTube travel influencers

Bluebonnets & Travel!

Yippee!  Springtime bluebonnets and upcoming travel; how can life get any better?  Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been driving around central Texas seeing the bluebonnets pop up in every direction.  April is my favorite time of year in Austin; cool mornings, warm afternoons and thanks to Lady Bird Johnson, bluebonnets are growing in every corner of the state.  If you want to see some of the best spots in Central Texas, check out this link.  (A big shout out to my amazing real estate company Realty Austin for this bluebonnet blog post and interactive map.)

As for the travel, I’m headed to Palm Springs for a wedding this weekend.  The wedding is at The Parker, and I’m so excited to see the design elements and retro architecture in this hotel and around the city.  We will be playing bocce on Friday night and dancing the night away on the lawn on Saturday after the wedding.  Even with all the wedding festivities, I’ll have some free time, so please let me know if you have any suggestions for fun things to do Palm Springs.

Palm Springs Hotel, Abundant travel tips

Have you had your vaccine?

The vaccine is the topic de jour around Austin.  Most of my friends have had at least the first shot…Conversations of Pfizer, Moderna or J&J are on everyone’s lips, and everyone’s discussing how they felt after each shot.  I feel the tension and general underlying stress starting to lift as more and more people are getting their vaccines; it’s so interesting to watch my city become more lighthearted and busy again.  Not only is there more ‘movement’ around Austin, there’s also more movement around the world, and this morning I read this article about the countries that are allowing vaccinated visitors.  Who’s ready to go to Iceland or Croatia or maybe the Seychelles?

COVID Vaccine, Abundant travel tips

Bahia Principe Luxury Akumal

And the final note for today: do you like all inclusive resorts or do you prefer finding new spots for every meal and cocktail?  Honestly, I prefer smaller boutique hotels, and I love the hunt of finding great restaurants and wine bars, but sometimes it’s great to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ease of an all inclusive.  This weeks’ video is all about The Bahia Principe Luxury Akumal.  I stayed here in October, and it was a fantastic relaxing few days of lounging and over-eating :).  Now you can sit back, grab a cocktail and enjoy this video of The Bahia Principe Luxury Akumal on the Riviera Maya.  Do you have a favorite all inclusive?

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: First Trip Overseas Part 2 & Beyond 9 to 5

Abundant Travel Tips: First Trip Overseas Part 2 & Beyond 9 to 5

The Abundant Traveler, YouTube influencer, travel vlog, laid back luxury travel, female travel blogs, luxury travel website, luxury experiential travel, top travel influencers, video influencers, travel influencer, luxury travel expert, luxury travel blog, women travel guide, travel essentials for women, YouTube travel influencers

The world is opening back up...

How do you feel about the world opening back up?  Do you feel safe to go to a restaurant or to the gym?  I ventured out last week to a restaurant, and ‘got my nails did’; both experiences felt so luxurious and decadent.  Isn’t it interesting to see what we have taken for granted for so long.  A mere 2 months ago, getting my nails done was a time suck necessity; now, it’s a a special treat.  I truly believe that there will be some great things that come out of our collective pandemic experience.

Rachel off Duty | Stories Beyond the 9 to 5

Rachel of Rachel Off Duty recently started a series called Stories Beyond the 9 to 5, and she interviews women who have full time jobs, who are passionate about travel, and who choose to spend their free time and money on new adventures.  I’ve read every interview in this series and I’m so inspired and encouraged by the women that Rachel interviews.  I’m excited to say that I was interviewed for her 6th episode, and I hope that my story inspires other women to buy that plane ticket and follow their travel dreams.

Kim, Beyond the 9 to 5, The Abundant Traveler

Let's go to San Miguel!

A couple weeks ago, I shared everything you need to do in San Miguel de Allende, and now I have the perfect 48hr itinerary for you!  From hotels to restaurants to shopping, this itinerary will be the perfect guide to this Pueblo Magico (magical town).

Ready to travel overseas?

This is the second in my series of how to plan for your first trip overseas.  This video shares some of the best practices and ideas when you first at your destination.  Hope you enjoy, and please let me know what you think in the comments on YouTube.  Enjoy!

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.