I mentioned the budget the other day, and the great plans for it. But how will I travel and keep to my budget? That's the wonderful thing about worksheets and bonus miles and award points.
There's two adventures I have planned: the usual May adventure in Seattle, and my annual visit to Alaska with a stop-over in Seattle on the way back in July. Those trips don't come cheap. I have specific routings for those trips and specific places at which I want to stay. I know what I like, and that's what I want.
Fortunately, I've made these trips so often that I've accumulated a ton of mileage with a certain airline I came to love a little too late, one that's now going through a merger. I don't yet know if my loyalty will survive the merger (at the very least, some things have happened that do not make me feel very optimistic), and if my budget means in a few years I'll be free and clear to purchase outright whatever ticket I want to anywhere anyway, why hoard the miles? That's how I ended up with a round-trip ticket to Anchorage, with a stop-over in Seattle on the return, for all of $10. As for the hotel? Not enough points for a bonus stay, but with an advance purchase, I saved a lot of money. July is the busy season for this hotel, so anything I can save is welcome. I did use the hotel points to get a free stay the night before I leave; since it's an early-morning flight out, that will save a lot of hassle. It all boils down to the trip that would be the most expensive - yet, given my love of Alaska, is the one that's most meaningful - is already bought and paid for, and that's nice.
The Seattle adventure isn't yet booked, pending the arrival of some promised mileage into my account, but it'll be coming soon; if all goes well, I'll bring the entire trip in under budget. Even if it doesn't quite work out as planned, I'll still have saved some money while enjoying the standard I've come to expect, and I'll be happy. The May adventure in Seattle is always a hoot, and is the perfect way for me to let my hair down after the stress of a school year.
There will be a few other adventures in the coming year - there are frequent weekend out-and-about events with hubby, and we also have three or four trips we'll be taking together, but he will be taking the lead on those. The two adventures for which I have the responsibility, however, are either all done or within grasp. I like that.