A weekend for two in Chicago, IL for $266: How I made it work

Trip length: 3 days Number of people: 2 Total cost: $266 Vacation days used: 1 Why Chicago for a long weekend in October? Why not?! In reality, the impetus for this trip was the notification that US Bank’s Club Carlson credit card would no longer be offering the last night free on award stays as a perk. This […]

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A weekend for two in Portland, Oregon for $235: How I made it work

Trip length: 2 days Total cost: $ 235 Vacation days used: 0 What are holiday weekends for if not travel? With a long weekend looming, my boyfriend and I researched destinations that might be doable for a couple of days. Since I was sitting on 12,000 unused IHG points, I checked out IHG’s PointBreaks list and […]

NYC Skyline

A December weekend in NYC for under $800

  Trip: 3 Days Total Cost: $785 for 2 people Vacation days used: 1 Ah, New York at Christmas. There’s nothing like it. The Fifth Avenue shops decked out in ornaments of all colors, carefully detailed window displays lining the streets, and ice skating rinks with people laughing and swirling around – what’s not to […]

Diving headfirst into travel hacking

Ever since I found out about the world of travel hacking and the points and miles game, I’ve been obsessed. It all started a couple years ago with a letter in the mail letting me know that I had been pre-qualified for the Delta Gold Amex with a 50,000 mile sign up offer. I’d never […]

We stayed near the French Quarter in New Orleans - ideal for exploring

How to make the most of a work trip

Work trips can be stressful… or they can be a lot of fun. Many people see traveling for a job as a burden, taking them away from family and friends, making them spend long hours by themselves or with colleagues they don’t like, and wasting precious time away from home. Sure, they can do all […]

Baltic Sea Cruise for $5000: How I splurged

I usually like to show people how I travel for cheap in this series (How I’ve made travel possible) but I’m spinning things in a different direction today. The vast majority of my travel is on a budget and I try to do as much as possible to make trips affordable. So when someone recently […]

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A week in Banff and Glacier for under $900: How I made it work

Trip: 7 Days Total Cost: $887 Vacation days used: 6 Glacier National Park had been my dad’s #1 bucket list destination for years. We tried to make a trip out there a few years back but had to cancel last minute because of job issues, so last year I committed to making it work. As […]

San Francisco

A weekend in San Francisco for under $500: How I made it work

Trip length: 2.5 days Total cost: $463 for me ($613 for mom & me combined) Vacation days used: 1 For the past couple of years, I have taken my mom on a mother-daughter weekend trip as a Christmas gift. I don’t typically have a lot of flexibility with vacation days around November or December, so […]


5 Days in Ireland for under $1400: How I made it work

Trip length: 5 days Total cost: $1385 Vacation days used: 2.5 It wasn’t the cheapest trip I’ve done, but you’re hard pressed to do a fully paid trip to Europe for under $1500. A lot of people pay close to that in airfare alone! What I was most proud of on this trip was making […]

columbia river gorge

A weekend in Portland, Oregon for $400: How I made it work

Trip: 2 days Total cost: $407 In all honesty, this was more of a run for airline miles than a real trip, but I still got to get away for a weekend and experienced a place I’d never been before. Tips to make it work: Domestic trips, even those across country, are great for long […]