2015 A year in travel review

Ima tell u guys a little secret, I don't even like flying that much.  I don't like being that close to other people AND I'm always convinced that the flight I'm on is going to crash *This is the big one Elizabeth* but I'm not big on road trips so in the air we go.  Another secret... I'm not that adventurous with my travel locations, I just want to get to a dayym beach.
Previous years my travel goal was to top the number of carnivals I did the year b4.  This year I had a new goal, to top the number of trips I've taken in a year.  By skipping Barbados carnival that freed up $2000 to add on numerous trips.  This year I did Trinidad, Jamaica, Atlanta, Hollywood, and Miami carnivals, but next year I plan on only doing Trinidad, Atlanta and Miami carnivals (and I'm taking a break from Trinidad carnival in 2017). I love carnival but dammit that's an expensive habit and having added so many other travels to my calendar has brought me year long, nonstop happy happy joy!
So here is a look at where I went in 2015…
 
Started of the year on a trip with my honey bunny when I scored a crazy cheap,
last minute cruise to Mexico
 

Trinidad Carnival

Cabin in the woods/ North Georgia Mountains
 

Jamaica Carnival

Barbados
 

Hollywood Carnival

4th of July in Miami with my guy
No blog because…
 
Before traveling to Dubai I spent a day in NYC in tourist mode, I like being a corny tourist

 

Abu Dhabi & Dubai
 
Nashville for the Titans vs Falcons game with my guy
No blog…  
 
Panama
 
Miami carnival
 
Miami again

More Miami

Curacao for Thanksgiving 

White House Christmas tour

Mid-December in Miami
No blog cause I think you guys are probably tired of me talking about Miami.  $30 roundtrip flight to Miami on Frontier Air.  Used travel hacking for free lodging.  $2.65 South Beach bus for transportation.  $20 boating excursion on Groupon.  Pimped my friend out for a free night out on the town. Miami promoters are like sharks trying to fill the clubs with girls so they can in turn charge guys thousands for bottles.  They give girls free entry, VIP and bottle service, so I had her text a promoter a photo and a request to get on his list. Team work makes the dream work, thanks Rachael!  So ladies if you are ever in Miami and wanna party for free... look this guy up on IG.


 


Christmas in Naples & Miami with my honey bunny.  No blog cause again you guys are probably tired of me talking about Miami. I found a cheap, last minute flight to Ft Myers, rented a car and drove to Miami and flew out of Miami. Even after renting the car I saved $100 on the cost of flying in/out of Miami. Found an online discount for an Everglades excursion and used travel hacking for lodging. 


All together the cost of ALL the 2015 flights and the cruise was about $1800, 4 of the flights (including Trinidad carnival) were purchased using airline points acquired via travel hacking. I’ve heard people say that they don’t travel because it is too expensive, it doesn’t have to be if you plan it properly.  Paying a travel agent is unnecessary (unless you just have $$$ to blow and wanna save time).  I can't tell u what trips 2016 holds (other than Panama, Trinidad, Houston, and Los Angeles in the 1st quarter) because I let the flight deals determine my travel destinations and dates. I’ve said in numerous blogs that the first thing I do every morning is check the various outlets for flight deals. When I find a great deal I book whatever dates are the cheapest and from there I work on cheap lodging.  For hotels I use the travel hacking method a lot (discussed in old blogs) to secure free lodging.  If you are one that can't travel hack via credit cards, maybe you are working towards a big purchase and don't want to mess with your credit score, you can save on lodging by researching travel discount codes.  For instance when I can’t hack… when I stay at a Hyatt I am an IBM employee, when I stay at Hilton I am a General Electric employee, when I stay at Marriott I am a Coke employee. I’ve never been asked to provide proof, but if they did what is the worse that could happen? They make me pay the rack rate that I would have had to pay anyway? www.hiltonfamilymvp.com offers 20% off the rack rate and anyone is eligible to use it, but that’s not always the biggest savings.  Another option is using Google to see if there are any big conventions/events that would have discount rates at nearby hotels.   Also renting an apartment/condo and splitting with friends tends to be a cheaper route than hoteling.  I don’t use Airbnb and similar sites often because I don’t like the hefty cleaning fees they charge so I like to look for apartment hotels that don’t charge cleaning fees. 

I always search Groupon, Living social, and similar discount sites for discounted fun excursions at my destination.  If you need a car here is an Avis discount code for 35% off  AWD: K817165 (anyone is eligible to use it) if you search the net, you can easily locate discount codes for other companies. 

Safe travels in 2016 everyone!!! 

4 comments:

  1. Winner winner chicken dinner! Cheers to another year of hacking!

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  2. Great recap and one day I will be half as good as you!! :)

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  3. This is the perfect inspiration for my 2016 travels, thank you!

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  4. Omg I just died laughing. "When I stay at the Hyatt I'm an IBM employee".... That's how you do it. Thanks for sharing your great ideas. I cyah wait to meet you at cooler fete this year. I always see your big flag and I'm like my people!!!!!!

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