I’m just going to get this out of the way right off the bat. I don’t think that using airline and hotel points for travel is always the best and cheapest option to see the world.
I’m a HomeAway junkie, I’ll own it. Whenever we decide to make a trip, HomeAway is my first stop to find accommodation. We’re usually traveling with at least three children, and like any parents we like a little bit of privacy.
Two weeks in single hotel rooms with two double beds and a roll-away is a recipe for disaster. Also death threats. Possibly sanitarium time. Definitely a need for a vacation-from-the-vacation.
That’s where my obsession with HomeAway comes in.
This summer I’m sending my husband on a very short trip, but one he has been dying to take since… forever.
Shanghai? Kuala Lumpur? Sydney? No. No. No.
A fantasy and gaming convention. You’re welcome, honey.
But of course, I want to get him there cheaply, and I don’t want to waste our precious airline miles on it. Done and done – how?
Every year we take a big trip around Christmas time. There are a few reasons for this – first, the kids’ school lets out for about a month around that time and we have a free travel schedule. Second, if you plan your travel right (and far ahead) and aren’t too worried about methods, you can get some seriously excellent travel deals. Third, and this is probably 75% of the reason for us right here, we live in a climate that isn’t very Christmasy and I feel a deep urge to go somewhere pine trees are an indigenous species.
We all have our priorities.
Our first major overseas Christmas trip involved thirty days, three countries, five major cities, two overnight train trips, several smaller train trips, a bout with norovirus, an anti-austerity demonstration in Spain, and business class travel both to and from Europe for under $5000 (not including food).
It was absolutely fantastic.
Anyone with kids is well acquainted with the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days that accompany life as a parent.
It’s not that there aren’t nasty days when you don’t have kids, it’s just that when the nasty days show up post-kid you have to factor them in to your reactions. This single fact is probably why those of us with a few mosquitos in tow don’t take off to recharge when those hideous days rear their inevitable heads.
Last year I visited six European countries and three African countries. I also visited four American states, one of those for the first time. It was fun.
It would have also been very, very expensive if I didn’t have a few tricks up my sleeve for just such occasions.