I guess I must be rusty at this whole travel planning thing, at least when it comes to air travel. Hopping in the car last minute for a multi-day road trip is so easy, and I do it so often, it seems like second nature to me. But when it comes to traveling by air (and forget about long distance train travel, which I’ve never done), I break out in a cold sweat. Maybe it’s the hefty price tag of air travel, or the hassle of getting to the airport on time (no, it’s definitely the money), but I was nervous about making the purchase of plane tickets to Austin.
So my first step was to take a look at some of the emails I receive from the airlines. For some reason, airlines don’t seem to send that many emails out anymore, but most of them have some kind of fare alert feature. If not, they generally will list fare sales on their websites or on social media, so last week, I checked JetBlue’s fare finder, and there it was…a relatively cheap flight to Austin. My mind was made up for me.
I took a look at my Chase Sapphire Preferred rewards site, since buying the ticket through them affords me more earned points on the card. I plugged in the destination and the travel dates, hit submit…and BAM! There it was. Austin, Texas, for around $250 round trip. That’s really hard to beat.
But as my mouse pointer hovered over the purchase button, I hesitated. Thoughts of wasted money and lost work days danced in my head. Why was I going to Austin? What else would I have to spend money on while I was down there? Could that money be used for anything else? Did I even have enough?
Those thoughts, of course, were the devilish voices of negativity. Any trip to a new place is usually well worth the money, and I do have enough to cover the trip, if I play my cards right. I have a friend whose couch I can crash on (not ideal, I know, but free), and with a little research, I’ll find some great, inexpensive things to do and ways to get around.
Next time, I’ll get into the research I’ve done ahead of time to get ready for this trip. And when I get back, I’ll have a series of posts about what I did, where I went, and how much I spent, as well as the long-form 2 Days In article. Stay tuned!