If you’re like me, you love travel. A plane is one of the few places I feel my neurosis around getting enough work done completely leave. I think it’s the idea that there’s very little I can really do at 30,000 feet in the air. So, I pack a few magazines that I’ve been meaning to catch up on….or a book that I’m struggling to finish. Sometimes I have big thoughts.
In faraway places I also better see my home, my podcast, and my family in a true light. I feel like the process of being away from the trenches allows me the freedom to make sweeping changes to the things I want to do. It was on a trip that I decided to change the podcast. We were at a concert when we agreed to explore leaving Detroit. I was on a vacation when I pulled the trigger on exploring selling my company. Travel, and the dream of travel, is something that’s transformed my life.
That’s why I’m excited about this first list….a list of travel related things, from hacks to toys, that make me excited:
Dreaming and Scheming Our Way to Vacation
Our favorite place to go dream about a big getaway. I always see fantastic deals on Vermont hotels here. I threaten Cheryl every year that we’re going to escape to Vermont in the fall using Jetsetter. …well, threaten is a strong word, since every time I mention it she smiles and says, “Game on!”
Our favorite article about fantastic places…and alcohol. Who wouldn’t want to spend an evening in one of these spots? I could sit in a corner table at any of these and just wile away the evening….
Our favorite travel-related road trip movies. Yeah, almost nothing happens in either of these films (the plot is damned near non-existent), and the comedy is decidedly British, but the views are spectacular and you’ll find yourself wanting to leave NOW on a jet plane….
Memorabilia That Makes Me Happy I Traveled
Here’s a blast from a past…and probably our favorite present for kids who dream about flying. I wore mine out as a kid….I’d load the plane, use the baggage car to bring luggage over, fly it across the house, and then unload. Of course, I hand-made a second airport when I was seven and created a flight schedule between the cities.
…and we have to include our favorite picture book about flying. I had a thing, as a kid, about watching process in motion. Had I known what an engineer was, I would have been one. Still, to this day, I love the window seat partly because I like watching the workers load luggage and food onto the plane. The whole checklist of getting plane after plane ready to fly fascinates me, and I think it partly started with this book.
Looking for a romanticized view of travel? Not only do we love this sign, but there are plenty of road-trip memorabilia items at this fun site we found called A Simpler Time.
For us, travel bags don’t have to be just functional…they should also last a long time and be something you’re proud to carry. Here’s our favorite from the famous J Peterman catalog. This bag makes me drool. The J. Peterman story is also interesting. After a HUGELY profitable ’90’s, the company over expanded and went bankrupt. It’s good to see them back, if only to look at the one-of-a-kind merchandise.
How to Pay for it All
While not for everyone, playing the points game and then using a service like debitize.com, so you don’t run into overspending issues, can help you travel in style. You have to have a great system or this won’t work for you, which is why I like these two together.
Want to save money on hotels? As long as you aren’t worried about how many beds are in the room AND you carefully examine the reviews, you’ll score amazing deals at hotwire. Seriously….on a trip with my daughter a hotel told us they only had one bed and we couldn’t change rooms. Luckily, Hotwire customer service stepped in and saved the day, but that was an hour later.
A more positive story: I first heard about Hotwire when i was paying $125 to stay in a room in Indianapolis for my son’s swim meet. My friend introduced me to Hotwire by telling me he’d paid $65…and had the room next to me. That’s been my experience MOST times. Love Hotwire.
When traveling with kids or extended family (or when we really NEED the name of the hotel), we’ll use hotels.com. I know the hotel, the location, and how many beds are in the room. Be sure and sign up for their rewards program to score free rooms in the future.
11. Trip Advisor
We have friends who never eat at places other than chains. Huh? Half the fun of visiting a new town is diving in and finding out where the locals eat. TripAdvisor has helped us turn friends on to wonderful restaurants in Louisville (The Deli), Houston (Nick’s), Dallas (Dream Cafe) and many, many others. Get the phone app. You’ll use the heck out of it.
Of course, Nick Clements may have had it right…instead of a card with airline points, save 2% on credit card purchases. With airlines devaluing miles, your cash back will often beat scoring free trips anyway…..