So how do we afford our working fitness vacations?
Amy and I are hard working Group Fitness Instructors + work day jobs. We have one daughter in college and a second getting close. In other words; we don’t have a lot of disposable income, but we refuse to let a year go by without a trip on the schedule. Beyond the booking fee your only other cost is Airline Tickets, which can be substantial. So what’s our secret?
We use an Airline Rewards Credit Card.
I know it takes a lot of discipline, but if you pay your bill each and every month (not paying any interest charges) you can rack up enough miles for 1 -2 trips every year.
Typical tickets to Jamaica (from Minneapolis) run about $700.00 each so these miles have a lot of value! There are a dizzying number of rewards travel cards out there so research the Airlines that serve your area and understand where and when they offer travel to the Caribbean. Many offer intro perks that promise to give you additional miles when you sign up. Delta just gave us a voucher for a $100 companion ticket when we agreed to renew our card for a second year, offsetting the $95.00 annual fee. We have looked into bank cards offering “no black-out dates” and “double miles on any airline” but every card we looked at turned out to be less than what we first expected. I can’t offer anymore card info other than stick with an airline if you can.
Charge everything you buy…and I mean everything!
Lunch, coffee, groceries, your cell phone bill, everything. You would be amazed atÂ how much $$$ you spend each year that you can get miles when you use your credit card.
All this takes some planning on your part.
Start now because many reward programs limit the seats available. Amy and I normally plan at least 6 months in advanced. Lets say you want to travel to Jamaica and teach in February 2011.
Here are the steps I would suggest:
- You need to register at FitProTravel and get yourself approved as a traveling pro. Even though many of the best resorts are booked up to a year in advance THERE ARE NO BAD CHOICES. Every resort FitProTravel has available has been personally inspected. Amy and I have been to at least 15 different resorts and all have been very acceptable to us. There is no cost to register but they do offer additional membership levels that offer additional benefits.
- Confirm flights and seat availability for using your rewards card.After registering, review the resorts…what fits your personality?Â Check out the reviews on Trip Advisor to help you decide where you would like to go.
- Check out availability for the resorts of your choice.
- Start coordinating flights with the weeks that are available.Â We find that we need to be flexible in travel weeks and with the resorts.Â This way we can find a week where we can fly on miles from Sunday to Sunday. To my knowledge travel is always Sunday to Sunday – you will teach Monday to Friday, possibly also on Saturday at some resorts.
- Have someone take a picture of you “in action”… teaching your favorite class and print some 8 x 10s.Â You will need this to promote your classes at the resort.Â The resorts want you to print up a little flyer about yourself with a picture.
- FitProTravel will send you a confirmation letter.Â That is all you will need upon arrival at the hotel for your room.