July 21st, 2022 Last Updated on: July 27th, 2022
Join Paul G to discuss how you can save $ for travel.
Over the years we've traveled all across North America as a family.
Want to know how we have saved money to travel so often?
Travel was a priority for us. I'll tell you the strategies we used to save money for these trips!
Paul Gowder: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Pow Wow Life podcast from powwows.com. I'm Paul Gowder, the founder of powwows.com. Thank you for being here. I appreciate you listening. If you're new, or if you're a longtime listener, make sure you subscribe so you get all the latest episodes, were available on Apple podcast, Spotify, and all the other podcast players. If you're listening on Facebook, I really appreciate you listening. However, Facebook is discontinuing its support of podcast. So it's really important that you head over to Spotify, or one of those other Apple podcast, networks or company or apps or whatever, and subscribe to us that way, so you don't miss any of our upcoming episodes. Today, I want to talk to you about ways that we as a family have saved money and have been able to travel. My daughter is graduating from high school soon. And we made it a priority, and really set our mindset that travel and experiencing things together as a family was important. Many of you know we're big Disney fans. And over those 17 years, we have taken her to Disney World 40 times, that's crazy. And so I'm going to tell you some of the ways that we have been able to afford those trips and all kinds of other trips that we've done throughout her life. So look forward to that. But first, I do have a couple of announcements. I want to say a special thank you to all the members of our Patreon community, you can join over at powwowsnation.com. These folks are the booster club of powwows.com. And their monthly contributions help us do things like hire new writers, send our teams out to stream more Pow Wows and really help us move what we're trying to do forward here at powwows.com. So thanks for them. We're doing some really cool things with our Patreon groups, we're having monthly zoom calls, where we all get together on Zoom and talk and get to know each other. I've got new exclusive gifts that aren't available for sale that are some of our Patreon is are getting sent to them each month. And starting soon, we're going to have watch parties so that we can come together as a community and watch things like reservation dogs or Rutherford falls, or even the new show that's coming out on AMC. So look forward to that. And I hope you'll consider being part of our Patreon community, you can find out more over at powwowsnation.com.
Now if you're looking for a Pow Wows near you, be sure that you go and check out our calendar, we're adding new events every day. Pow Wows are back and they're still sending information. Lots of changes and things happen in early 2022. So we're still getting the information sent to us. So be sure to check back to the calendar often. If you don't see something near you keep checking back, it'll probably get listed later this summer. So head over to powwows.com/calendar to find out more. If you want to find one in your state, we've got a quick easy link that's powwows.com/powwowsnearme. If you're new to Pow Wows, and they haven't been to one before, or maybe you haven't been in a couple years, because you know, we've all been stuck at home for quarantine. We've got an email series that's free. That'll send you out a few emails over the course of a week. That will really help you get started and understand what Pow Wows is all about. The emails focus on what the dance styles are and what they mean. What Pow Wows singing is all about and even talk to you about the etiquette and what to expect at your first power. So you can find that over at powwows.com/powwow101. All right, everybody. Hope you enjoy today's show. Please let me know in the comments or email me what's your best tip for saving money on travel? Alright, and I will say that so I recorded this podcast ahead of time. We are actually over in Europe right now traveling for my daughter's high school graduation. But I hope these tips will help you get out there with your family and enjoy some travel.
So like I said, my daughter, we have started and in 2016, we have gone 40 times as well as going on several cruises. And also we've taken her to New York State, to California, to Albuquerque to Canada. Local Places, Myrtle Beach, and Charleston and all over the mountains. We've done all kinds of trips. And I get asked a lot, you know, how do we get to travel so often, so I want to tell you a few things that we've done over the years, that helped us save money because travel can be expensive. So there's a few things I hope this will help you. And I'd love to see in the comments, posting some of the ways that you save for travel, or some of the things your family does to help travel. So my first tip, I've got two really important things that that you need to start with. One is, especially for bigger trips, whether it's a cruise or going to a sandals on all inclusive or something like that, or going to Disney World, some of these bigger trips, you know, it's going to be expensive. Try to plan those out as far in advance as you can. One that helps you save money, but two, prices are going to be less the further out you book them, the closer you get to some of these travel, they'll go up in price, you know, supply and demand. So as they start to sell out, they will raise prices at some of these places. So plan ahead as much as you can, it really does help. Two, especially for cruises, for all inclusive sandals, those kinds of things beaches, for Disney World, or theme parks, any of that kind of stuff, go find you a travel agent, that is super important, and they can help you get the most bang for your buck. They'll help you find savings to help you plan it because some of these things are really overwhelming the choices and the options. We're trying to book our first royal. Well, we booked it when we're trying to understand and go on our first Royal Caribbean cruise this fall. And we've never been on Royal Caribbean. And it is overwhelming all the choices they have with the drink packages and the meal packages and all this other stuff. It's crazy. So it really does help when you have somebody who's been on that before and can help you. So go find a travel agent. If you're interested, my wife is a Travel Planner. You'll have to go, you don't have to get her but go find somebody. Travel agents are 99% of time, they are free. My wife services are free to you that the travel companies pay her so you can go check her out powwows.com/travelplanner, but go find your travel agent that is one of the best tips. And before she was a Travel Planner, we used one ourselves. And for a long time Linda Norton, she was our Travel Planner and helped us for a long time plan trips. Alright, so those are my first two tips to really get started.
Our first, I guess, the next thing, not the first. But the next thing really that that helps us in doing travel and saving money for travel is that from an early point in our marriage, and really even before we had Brooke, we made it, we changed our mindset. And we said it as a priority that we wanted to have experiences we wanted to travel. That was the kind of thing that was important to us as a family, and so we changed that mindset. And we really did enact that in everything we did. So over the years we drove cheaper cars, we didn't. You know, like I drove for a long time, probably 10 or 12 years, I drove a Honda Civic. I had a few of them over the years. I like to change them out when every time there was a new deal. We had a friend that worked with 100 dealerships. So when there was a deal, I'd go get another Honda Civic. So it's a great car. I loved it, but it was a cheaper car. And so we were able to save some money that way. That was one of the mindset things we did. Over the years, I've taken on tons of side jobs. You know, so I did family portraits in photography. I sold photos online, produced iPhone apps in the early days of iPhones did a ton of eBay selling those kinds of things. We worked hard and tried to find other ways that we could make money in addition to our jobs, especially early in our marriage when we were just starting out in our careers and didn't make as much so that was another thing, we just made it a mindset for that. We also didn't, you know, a lot of our friends would go out on weekends. And, you know, they spend all weekend out it at bars or restaurants or whatever and really, you know, have these big weekends. Or, like a lot of our friends, we live in a college town, so a lot of our friends were avid football fans, and so they bought the package. We did that for a few years and then we stopped, we stopped doing season tickets. Even though we both graduated from the University of South Carolina, we love sports. We stopped doing that, because we wanted to travel more. And we found that we were missing football games because we were traveling so we got rid of that bill. And we didn't go out and do the weekends and stuff like that. We saved our money for those experiences in those travels.
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Paul Gowder: Over the years, another kind of mindset thing we did is that my wife and I really don't give each other big gifts for birthdays for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, those kinds of things we'll give ourselves we'll buy presents, but usually it's smaller things, things we might need, or sometimes it's just a gift card to take on our next trip, we save the money that we would have given for gifts to either put it toward travel, or just to make sure that Brooke gets a nice Christmas or a nice birthday, something like that. But for ourselves, we kind of minimize that and use that again as another way to save money. We also over the years, we went on shorter trips, we would we'd love weekend trips, if there was a you know, especially in elementary school, you know, they were out all the time for Martin Luther King Day or Presidents Day or Labor Day, all these little, you know, extra weekends that you get one extra day we would hit the road, and we'd be gone somewhere. So we use smaller trips and shorter trips to still be able to go out and traveling and have experiences. But it was a little cheaper and easier to do. There were some times where we combined business trips with family trips. So you know, we went, I don't remember what year this was, but powwows.com took us up to a Pow Wow in New York State. Well, while we were up there, we went a couple other places, in addition to doing the work that we were doing for the Pow Wows, you know, we went and had some experiences, we went to Niagara Falls for a day, you know, those kinds of things. So there were times when my company in my day job would send me on trips or whatever in Chile to and we would try to you know, use that as a way to get in a couple of extra attractions for the family as well. So that was really our mindset. Now some more direct ways that we save money, I got a couple of tips for you there. So I said we're I'm actually out of town right now I'm in Europe traveling for my daughter's graduation. I started an investment account in 1997, I started putting just like $20 a month in it and started really small. And it took a long time for that to build, but we used a lot of money out of that account to pay for this year trip. That was how we saved for that we started that. Brooke was born in 2004. So I started that almost eight years before she was born. But we knew we wanted to save towards something big and that's what we used it for. Fortunately, it was over the years it grew big enough that we didn't have to close the entire thing to pay for our Europe trip but we use there's probably half of it we put toward our Europe trip. So investment is a great way to do it. You know there of course there's risk and this isn't investment advice. I'm not an investment advisor or anything like that. But that is something you can consider and making small little investments like that over time does add up. Now another one that we use all the time and still use it is we have several different savings accounts. So a couple of strategies that we would do over the years.
Our first cruise we did this, because we've never taken a cruise and we knew it was going to be a little bit more money than we were used to spending on trips. So we plan that again, going back to my early tip, we plan that about 18 months ahead. And I don't remember the total cost, but say it was maybe $2,500 for seven night cruise. So 18 months ahead of time, we knew the bill is going to be $2,500. And then we figured in like what our tips would be gratuities. Any extra things we might know on the ship that we were going to pay for like shore excursions, those kinds of things, we figured all that in, and then divided it by 18 months was how long we had to pay for it. And I went in and made every month made deposits into that account for 18 months until we got up to the total amount, and then we would pay it off. I have other savings accounts and I just have automatic transfers set up in my bank account, they just go into several different accounts. And that way, I don't even notice it. And if you do it on pay days, you don't see that money, it's gone, it's just put into those other accounts. And that really doesn't make a difference. I've still got I think there's like three of them right now that I've got that take money in and put it into those savings account as soon as we get paid. And that adds up fast, it's a really great way to do it. We also, we've done this a few times is do the weekly challenge. You may have seen this, it comes up like every January. So people post it on social media, or other places. And that is to every week, take $1 and put it into a savings account. Next week, you add $1 to it. So the second week is $2. The third week is $3. Fourth week, it's $4 and you would think that that's not a lot of money. But over the course of a year, that adds up to $1,387. That's a lot of money that'll pay for a pretty nice trip that will go a lot of a long ways and that's just a year. And at the beginning, you're not going to notice it at all.
Now toward the end, when you're having to do $40 a week, you're gonna feel that a little more than you did when you were doing $4 a week, but it adds up. There was one year and I don't remember what trip we use it for. But there was one year that I said, Okay, you know what, we're gonna do, we're both going to contribute $1. So we're going to do $2 a week. And then next week, we doubled it to $4. And they added $2. So it was $2, $4, $6, $8, $10. And it got up to that. And so at the end of it, we had $2,600. That was great. Now again, toward the end, you got a little they've got a little harder to do. But you have that money in the bank in case something does happen, it's sitting right there, and you can go grab it, that was those kinds of things are really, really good to make sure you get that money over to the side, and you can use it for travel. Whether again, whether it's to a Pow Wows to something else you want to do any kind of travel, it's really great to have that money sitting there so that when you do plan, that trip, you have that those bucket list trips you want to do, there's the money, and you can just grab it and go. Another one that we've done a lot is trying to find discount clubs or memberships or things like that we can do. So we made sure that we had some credit cards that had rewards on it like so we have a Disney Visa card, and that gave us Disney dollars to be able to spin we went to Disney World. We have an American Airlines credit card that, you know, when we do things on that we get miles. Now credit cards are tough, and we've a lot of people get credit card debt. And we've of course struggle with that over the years too. So be careful with doing those. But if you're disciplined and can do that there's great rewards in some of those kinds of cards. We also tried to find ways that we could maybe buy annual passes to something or buy a longer pass to an attraction or something so that we could save money and use it over and over again. We we've done annual passes to Disney World before and again going back to those three day weekends, Labor Day and Memorial Day, those kinds of things. When we had annual passes, it was easy for us to take a weekend trip down to Disney World because we didn't have to pay for tickets again. All we had to pay for all we had to do was find a room and it's Orlando, you can find a cheap hotel room somewhere. And boom, we were in Disneyworld again. We did that one year. And I think we went like eight times. And we were paying really inexpensive rates for hotel rooms. And we were just able to go down for a weekend and have a little fun like that. So that was a good way to do it. And we of course make sure you're joining airline frequent flyer plans, join all the hotel reward programs, rental car rewards, make sure you join all of their membership rewards so that when you do use their services, you're going to get something back for it. That's really important.
Alright, the last one is the over the, you know, we have talked about our big trips. You know, we've been on cruises and flown out to California, Hawaii. We've had some really amazing trips. Some of our favorite memories though, to our win. We've explored a local area for a few years. And unfortunately, we're gonna miss it this year because we're gonna be in Europe. But for a few years, we've really enjoyed doing this tour. It's tour, they call it a tour, but it's called the Agon Art tour here in South Carolina. And so on weekends in June, different counties in our state, have farms that open up and they will, they'll bring in artisans and craftspeople. But they'll also open up their farm and give demonstrations and sometimes tasting of the products they're making. And we have really enjoyed that and being able to go out in our state, the counties that we sometimes I've never been to, and go and see, you know, attractions and businesses that we've never been last year. It was really cool because a farm here right in Lexington where we live opened up and we've been by there dozens of times, it's right by my daughter's High School. So we up and down that road all the time. And we were able to visit that farm and see how they operate, never would have been able to do that otherwise. So they're really cool local attractions that you can do. That's a really recommend that so we've even spent like during, during the heavy part of quarantine, you know, we were missing being able to travel. So we took one weekend and we just drove we made a list of historical markers that were close to us. And we drove around all day. And found all these local spots that were historical places, and just went and explored those super fun. It was you know, just a day we spent in the car together. We also enjoyed going out to local festivals. I don't know about where you live, but here in the south. There's a festival for in every small town, we've got the Chitlin festival, we've got the Oak restruck. My hometown in Sumpter has the iris festival, there's a peanut festival, than we have a crawdad festival. We've got all kinds of festivals here in South Carolina. And those are super fun to be able to travel around, visit different cities and local areas that you've never been to. And then they have everything you know already there for you can go and visit it whether it's food and local artisans and businesses set up. And then they bring in all the kind of stuff that goes on in the area and all the little local attractions, super fun to be able to go to some of those local festivals.
So remember that your trips don't have to be an eight hour drive away, visit your local town, local state, there's places right near you, that you can go and have a great time as a family, and it's really close, he might not even have to stay in a hotel, you might be able to do a day trip and just go and enjoy it. So look for that, too. So those are some of the ways that we have saved for travel and really had our mindset, it's that our priority was to have experiences as a family, to be able to spend time together traveling, you know, in really getting out there. And those were the memories we wanted to make. And so from beginning when Brooke was born, that was a commitment that we made, and really was, it's been amazing for us. You know, I've got a joke that Brooke is the most photographed kid in America. One because as a photographer, I take a lot of pictures. But we've also traveled so much. So I literally have 10s of 1000s of pictures of us and her in all these different places. And it's, it's been wonderful, that's really been a great way for us to stay bonded and connected and have some memories. And now that she's graduated, we will look back on these times. And that is time that you can't get back. The one thing we don't have enough of and we can never get more of his time. So use travel as a way to spend time and connect with your family. It's been awesome for us. I'm really excited that we're gonna get to spend all this time together in Europe traveling. We've been looking forward to it for so long. As she now transitions and moves away to college. It we're really going to cherish this time, and I'll tell you more about it when I get back but hope this helped. And I hope you will take some of our advice and get out there with your family and travel. You know, gas is expensive right now and things are still a little crazy in places. But you can do a few of these strategies and hopefully it'll help you get out there on the road. So thanks for being here. Again, my name is Paul Gowder. I'm the founder of powwows.com. Live usually love every Thursday night at 9:00 except when we're traveling. So thanks so much for being here. I'll talk to you soon. Remember those tips. Don't forget to if you need help. Kelly, my wife is a Travel Planner and she can help you with those needs. So reach out to her. Thanks again to our Patreon for supporting us. We really appreciate all of their support. And thank you for watching owl. We'll be back in July. So look forward to seeing you there. Have a great week, and I'll see you soon.
Thanks for listening to another episode of the Pow Wows Life podcast. I'm your host, Paul Gowder. Thank you for being with me and I hope you'll find ways to get out there with your family hit the road, and really make some incredible memories. Thanks again for being here, and I'll see you soon.
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