How to Travel With Very Little Money

Merging My Passions for Small Business + Travel

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It’s easily been 8 years since I’ve paid for a plane ticket, even though my travel adds up to about 3 to 4 trips per year. I’m able to do this, in part, because I own my own business.

Now, before you go thinking I’m a multi-millionaire with a multi-million dollar business and/ or a trust fund, I’m not, it’s not, and I don’t.

There are a few things I love in this life: innovative business model creation, connecting the right customers with the right companies at the right time, writing, and traveling. At the beginning of my career these passions took different forms, but I was able to start my own marketing agency about four years ago. I’ve built the business around my strengths and what I wanted to spend time doing.

My family and I live modestly, with our monthly mortgage well below what someone else might consider normal because we bought a fixer upper and fixed it up. We use a Southwest Rapid Rewards Chase credit card for all of our regular monthly expenses like auto & homeowners insurance, cell phone plan, utilities, and groceries.

For my business (a marketing agency),  we use a business SW Rapid Rewards Chase credit card that we use for all of our regular expenses- business insurance, Google Ads, Facebook ads, subcontractors’ payments, office equipment and supplies, and so forth.

My husband started a hardwood floor business on the side recently. We have to buy quite a bit of supplies and materials, so we have a business SW Rapid Rewards Chase credit card specifically for those expenses.

We choose to live in the Midwest, in a low cost-of-living area. Being located centrally in the U.S., I can easily fly out of Kansas City on nonstop flights and be in NYC or LA within a few hours.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I’ve earned a companion pass through Southwest and have designated my daughter and my husband as my companion at various times. This means they fly for free with me, wherever I go without even having to use points. I use points for all of my flights and only pay for the taxes that are required at $5.60/ flight. This weekend I’m taking my mom to Hawaii. Total out of pocket cost for flights for two from Kansas City to Honolulu? $89.60.

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

Last weekend I flew to New York City for work and paid only $22.40. My current designated companion (my mom) could have flown with me for just an additional $5.60/ flight, but the logistics didn’t work. A few months ago my daughter flew as my designated companion to New Orleans for a long weekend. We actually needed to be in Santa Rosa Beach, FL for a wedding, but neither of us had been to Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama, so we flew from KC to New Orleans and made a road trip out of it.

Next year, we’re hoping my husband’s business card will earn a companion pass and we can designate one of our daughters as his companion and our other daughter as my companion. We’re planning a Belize trip, since Southwest flies there. We’ll save money between now and then for an Airbnb and we’ll Uber for travel locally once we arrive.

Ah, what a time to be alive. There are a lot of stressors in life, but being able to merge my business and love for travel together makes me very happy. We should all look for those things that bring that kind of joy.

Interested in earning Southwest Rapid Rewards? Apply now and you’ll get an extra 10,000 points. Happy flying!

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