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Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Lesson 28 of 32

Couples and Family Travel

Chris Guillebeau, Stephanie Zito

Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Chris Guillebeau, Stephanie Zito

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Lesson Info

28. Couples and Family Travel

Lesson Info

Couples and Family Travel

We have come all the way to lessen twenty seven and eagerly anticipated lesson all through the course we've been talking to lots of different kinds of travellers some people who like to travel by themselves but others who want to go in their dream trip with someone else crazy idea right? So they've been boring by yourself waterboarded by yourself may not be the the dream trip that's what people have in mind? S o if you want to travel as a couple if you want to travel as a family, we're gonna talk about issues related to that I think there's some benefits to it as well in terms of the miles and points world, so we'll talk about that our three goals of the day or by the way, we have a great special guest more than one special guest is going to be with us and that would be the focus of this conversation, so our goals today are to make travel work as a couple or family a book of words for more than one person. We'll talk to some people who've done exactly that and then plan strategically f...

or hotel and airline benefits, and we'll talk about how that works as well, so I'm really excited to introduce a family that I met while I was writing upgrade unlocked the spec early family and they're from portland, oregon they're currently here in seattle because they just finished. Well, not just just finished, but they finished a few months ago around the world one year long trip with their family of four and they travel hacked the whole thing through points in miles so we know you guys have a lot of questions for them and we have some questions for them, so I would really like to introduce catherine and nathan's back early. Come on out. You guys want to join us here on our six way? Obviously practiced that wonderful. So thank you guys so much for coming and joining us on creative live. And I've actually done an interview with these guys before that's one of the resource is an upgrade on lock so you can hear more about that if you were one of the people who won that prize in yesterday's lesson. So but tell us about your family. Tell us about how you guys that you guys have been travelers for a really long time tell us about how you started with points and miles and where this idea came from. Take a round the world trip with your family. Well, we haven't always been doing the points of miles thing, but we have certainly been travelers for a long time. Both of us studied abroad, nathan in high school and me in college and it's kind of just always been in the blood both our boys had passports by the age of about a month or six weeks and and we've just always just kind of taken them right along with us um just excited to be out there we love travelling as a family and it was probably one of the wds conferences that we went to that we started learning really about travel hacking got probably more focused on it at that point and kind of just took off started accumulating for this trip and so how long have you guys been earning points of miles probably three or four years or yeah, I would say right on there four years so yeah yeah it was started yeah so one of the things people have been most eagerly anticipating you know, throughout the whole filming of this course we've been kind of previewing this story we've said there's this great family you know, that went around the world you know, family of four for an entire year and I don't want to say all the places that you want it I want you to tell us about that trip tell us a little about this about this whole trip well, we just decided you know we'd love traveling with the kids we were in different countries I think they'd both been to about ten countries before we even set out on this trip but we just wanted to keep making it happen and so we start accumulating miles and trying to figure out how to make it work. We sold our house and took some of those proceeds to go toward the trip on dh that with the travel hacking um but we started in japan and made our way into southeast asia we spent about, um six seven months maybe altogether in asia and then we, uh went down teo well, indonesia australia took a flight over teo south africa and uh met up my folks they're on safari, which was really fun casting we have lynn who wants to go on safari man well, good highlight yeah, and and then we took a repositioning cruise I know you guys have talked about that, but we got on the boat. It was kind of cheaper than flying. So we all hopped on a boat for nineteen days from scape town up to england and but it was fun because we stopped in lots of places along the way on the west coast of africa that I'm sure we probably wouldn't have made it I've done otherwise and the spain and portugal and a few other places france I think on dh then then we made less the spent last summer during around europe spent five weeks at the end on the italian countryside back to the states yeah, unfortunately we had enough miles if and actually get home, maybe on site maybe we could unpack this a little bit and start from the beginning. So the first time was japan, right? And you guys were living in portland at the time, right? So okay, so portland, japan. How did how did japan come? About what? You just saw it on that. And how did you get there? Well, japan, as katherine said we had lived, she'd studied there in college for a year, and then later we both lived there for a couple of years and before getting married, we lived together there and it's really? We have a lot of friends and sort of family host family type connections there, so we decided we wanted to share it with the kids. Catherine had taken lorenzo back when he was five, but want to share it with our younger son as well. So when we finally got our trip off the ground because there was a lot of how do we plan it and where direction are we going to go with the seasonality and trying to follow? We want to pack light. We all took one bag sort of like you guys have small way, so people are impressed with the way that's awesome. Yeah, so we so we ended up deciding that way we stayed with warm weather because they had packed a little less and I'm a warm weather person, so so we started in japan in september and you know, we have had been accumulating miles mostly credit card miles not airline miles and points maybe vs vs miles and we're doing some research because we needed tio we decided we're trying to figure out the cheapest way to make this work and we found that we could go to japan on our way to bangkok with a stopover in tokyo so sort of like getting free ticket because five week stopover give you to five week stopover on dh got to pay the same amount of miles same amount of points to do that and so we stayed there for five weeks and then went on to bangkok and that was our first segment we're all four of us, you know, had free tickets for that part of it. Now I know that everybody here is really curious about how you book that ticket to get that five week stopover in japan. Well, I ee I found that a lot of it is how you go about, you know, first identifying where you want to go and what type what what airlines fly there so when you call when I call you, I want to find someone who's helpful and I never go in with I'm looking for a free miles three free trip I'm looking, I go in and this is what I want to do. I want to get to here, and if you found a helpful person there's a lot of times people be very helpful, you know? They'll be like, oh, you could do this or yeah, you know, for this pot for ten dollars more, you can make it a stopover trip or if you're out this way, it's cheaper than this way. So we found that there was a lot of, you know, people helped and way ended up doing singapore airlines there, which was portland toe think ella, and then over to tokyo, and then on to bangkok sort of one flight segment, and that was really great for many reasons. One because it was credit card, we still got miles we got miles accrued on on singapore airlines, which was, is then sort of a regional carrier out of singapore, right? So we were able to then use those miles for shorter flights, especially when we went from singapore toe indonesia job in jakarta on dh. That was really nice, because we're able to accumulate miles, even though it was a free trip, and then we use those miles directly in the next, the next sort of segment of one of the next segment, that's a great tip in that something that you guys this is the couple who wrote the ten trout the ten tips for travel hacking families, which is a downloadable resource, so make sure you download that, but that's, one of the tips that you gave in there, maybe you could explain we've been talking a lot about using your taking those chase ultimate reward points and transferring them to the airlines, but that isn't exactly what you guys did you did you used a little bit different strategy, so you get four tickets on the same flight. Can you explain a little bit more how that process works? Yeah, basically, we didn't have that much transferring directly to an airline's miles program. They tend to be a lot more restrictive, so we simply use those miles and chase, I believe, gives a one point to one point two five kick points sort of points per rebate what you need. So if if you were spending let's, say, five hundred thousand dollars on a ticket to make it easy, it would only cost you seven hundred and fifty or seventy five thousand points. So it's not one to one ratio, so you're getting a little over a dollar per per point. It was really good when you want to buy far, yes, and then it's no restrictions, whatever tickets are available, whatever price points are available and that was that first first big fight that was that first big teo away. So that was our large specific crossing over teo that's a great example of what we might come back. So so bangkok needed ricardo use most of asia eventually got to south africa. How'd you do that? Well, that was also here that was also airline points are as we develop the trip well, that was united yeah, that was united some united points. We we had found the repositioning cruise which when well, did the research, as I said, it was cheaper than four tickets flying from south africa to europe and so we decided we had sort of a hard date that we knew and then we said, okay, we're going to get from australia to too to joburg south africa so that segment we bought using united miles but they were miles that we had accumulated through united credit card, so it was credit card but airline miles so we knew that that we had a book way in advance. So we booked that way before we left for before we left portland that was one of the few that and the and the cruise with a few like hard segments that that were that were set so you took out your packed her bags and you took off and you had a couple of the pieces of the and the rest we win the rescue just had you knew you had like a stock of miles and the I knew you'd be earning some other miles along the exact this is a great strategy because I often do the same thing that they had their big pieces put together is what it sounds like you kind of filled in the small pieces along the way I think what some people do is we're going to go from this big trip I think there's ten pieces to it feel like ok what's my first you know first and second and third stops you know I think it's almost better to figure out what my first my fourth myself way want to be tied down so what if we really like the place and we want to stay here for a while or something? So yeah, we were pretty flexible no way we're writing about repositioning cruises that the other day not not everyone knows what that isthe on. How did you do find you know ideally when we were looking for tickets are we started looking into how to get from australia to cape town and we're like hey, maybe there's a boat way started looking into him instead of finding that leg we found instead this other trip out of cape town heading to europe and we knew we were going eventually make our way up there too so so that worked out really well we just decided hey, that sounded good. The price was right it was on msc cruises and you know, it was fun for, you know, like I said, nineteen days on a boat yeah, food and every andris cheaper way did that. And so then that's why we kind of started looking into how do we get to cape town before that on the flight? But yeah, it was just luck that's a great that's a great option for families and I'm sure you got to see places in africa I know in every position, ingrid, you don't stop as many places as you would on a normal crews it's a little bit different, but you still got to stop in where did you stop me way can I tell the quick story about s o my second by second grader here in seattle public schools that went to the north west african american museum and way walk in, and he sees a picture on the wall of a building with pink stairs, a pink building with pink stairs and he's like I've been there and it was a island off the coast of the car senegal and I am loathe sure, the curve curator did not believe the seven girls have been in this kind of random, obscure place on the wall so it was that was a really fun moment for me that was just in the last couple of months where I felt like, you know, this is kind of coming around again, you know, to see that kind of keep happening for him to recognize, even a year later, that there those pink stairs, I remember that place that's really neat, because that trip actually what's cheaper than it would have been if you had paid for tickets to fly and you got to stop in this place is where you probably wouldn't have gone otherwise something maybe a car, and then up into canary islands, maduro, madeira, and then a couple mainland ports to it in spain, portugal and castile. So you touched on this a little bit with that with that great story, but I did want to ask, like, what did the trip mean to your family? You know, how did it change anything for your family, something you dreamed of for a long time? And what happened with that? I think, you know, just it really brought us all together for one, I think, you know, we realized how much we really enjoy hanging out together, but also, I think, you know, there's different, we kind of start seeing life in the world through how many days of travel could that phone cost or you know how many ways I parasol pair of shoes at the mall that were really expensive how many cambodian children could that feed you know and I need to take that to my my kid's level at this age where they're not all about hey well so and so has that you know I mean to be able to really enjoy that so I think that was a big part of it you have anyone that it was it was a matter of going new places and places we've been before and having seeing it through our kid's eyes as well and the things that that we learn it really helped us again call us as a family together because as you have kids you sort of get pulled in lots of different directions no matter how hard you try not teo they want you want to give you the opportunity of doing this sport or doing this activity or doing this other activity it really it's nice to come back together and bring that back together so one example we were talking about this morning is on the road into one of the angkor wat can't temples in cambodia I saw the temple and we had to go down this long road to walk there and we're walking and I'm kind of focused on getting to the temple and my six year old is exploring a really beautiful beetle on the side of the road that was like totally iridescent colors and and those are the kind of moments where you just go oh yeah you know we're seeing this through a six year old size two you know, that's an amazing opportunity I'm curious could you tell us a little bit about where you guys spade on this whole trip? Yeah, you know, we kind of did the cheap piano hacker way yeah, but I think, you know, in the expensive countries who tried to do airbnb a lot, which is apartment rentals and that was really great because we could eat two meals at home, we could do laundry, you know, things like that, we always made sure that if we had an apartment rental it had laundry facilities, but you know, so like in japan and europe, it was really convenient could get little apartment reynolds and and things like that there's there's some differences when it's a family and we had family, a small kid, so we wanted to all be together. We didn't have kids that we thought could go in a room by themselves until so there's a lot there wasn't real challenges around that a lot, a lot of budget areas or southeast asia, even some australia there isn't really room for four and you can't get two queen beds like you can in a hotel so there was challenges around how to do that and those are you know, there are things where we would you say we have three kids, so the and one would share it no three about andre would share like a twin bed because they were small enough to do that, so those were some different challenges that we face. We also found that the that the kids having traveling with the kids gave us a different little you travel differently, we'd stay in one place for four, five days try to make sure we had the first accommodations, you know? So we had a place as opposed to earlier in our lives, we would maybe go teo, we'll find something we'll find something here, you know, it gave us a little a little different way of travelling and also when you're doing a year travel it's, not a vacation, so you actually it takes a lot of work to organize and continually do this, so there were times when the sort of took vacations within the trip, you know, okay, we're goingto stay on a beach somewhere, be a tourist s'more era, be more relaxed vacation ist I guess then go back to, you know, travel and seeing the sights and the museums and the culture of where we are and you guys were world schooling your kids during this way we don't have a ton of time to talk about that right now, but I know the people on our facebook group, the families who are interested in this story probably have a lot of questions about that shirt, and I know you guys are already in the facebook group. You've been answering questions for people this whole time, so I know you will be happy to address a lot of those questions is great. I think we actually have one more special guest is going to join us here in a moment. Is that right? But maybe first do the audience have any specific questions for happened? Nathan, just a quick one on your your stopover trip. So you mentioned that you called and just spoke to the right people. Is that kind of someone can't put you on a bit of a lead to say, well, we can keep this one ticket and you have a five week stopover. Is that this the final solution you got? I guess, uh, that sometimes I would call and find a helpful person, and then sometimes I wouldn't, and you hang up and call back in ten minutes to get a different, you know, operator type system really not operate, but like customer service person. And it wasn't a special ticket per se it was just that was available and you had to know about it you know? Yeah, I didn't know or ask or try to say we're going to here but we're looking at here is well is there a way to do a stopover what's the routing things like that more questions right way have one more special guests one of us are really children lauren so is here come on in standing come on awesome. So the other ones I imagines is in school. So how old are you? I'm eleven and how many countries have you been to now? I've been about thirty five countries amazing thirty thirty five you were probably you probably beat me in this but how was I gonna get to thirty five it's probably twenty six or something like that. So I think you're going yeah, you know, some people say like you should have go to his many countries as years old you are so you're like three times and three percent and on this on your families around the world trip what was your favorite country? Probably japan that was really fun and it was for five weeks we got toe set we've got to settle down a little bit more and see my parents funds not really nice that's really awesome and what is your dream trip well, we were trying to go to greece, but we miss that, and I really I really want to get back there and go to grace that's really awesome on that on the next around the world, you have to go to greece. Yeah, I'm sure you've got a lot of miles way exactly were so great. Thank you. No fun. No people have wanted to know about them since we first started talking of so there's more photos of them there things that's in japan, lorenzo's, favorite country, maybe just before we wrap up just a couple of quick notes about the miles and point sides of this for people who want to know, be strategic when earning for two or more s so we have a note there, complete the deals in everyone's names we were talking about, like the travel hacking deals that go out is not the idea that you can obviously, everyone, everyone whose problem your kids can have credit, credit cards, you're maybe if they're over eighteen, maybe about the astra users. No, uh, make sure everyone in your party or your family has signed up for those mileage accounts, and when there's a deal that comes out, make sure everybody in the family completes the deal because you want to be occurring miles in everybody's in everybody's name absolutely and so for credit card specifically you can actually double up on those points in miles bonuses as we've been talking about on that can help you if we need more points in miles speaking of tracking you know, we just had this great lesson with tyler too boring about tracking your miles you might want to take a look at all of them that there's one person in the family who's kind of responsible for the travel booking like it sounds like nathan was in some ways for this back really family maybe one person tracks all those miles and points collectively max out your flexible points that was a great story we just touched on it a little bit when he talked about how he booked their ticket to japan on to bangkok it's a little bit technical there so we might have to go back to it in the facebook group yeah, we can address it there and the way they book their air tickets using their ultimate rewards points through the chase for war the chase booking we actually there's a whole lot of information about that in the ten tips for trouble hacking family that's right? They're more interested in a little I think it's very because I don't actually look that way myself this was the perfect solution for them so it get it just shows you not one size fits all and it's not all about like I know a lot of people in the points of miles world if you if you're deep into fire talk by now, they talk a lot about valuation and, you know, it's all about calculating how many cents per mile you're getting out of out of your trouble, but I think a lot is the value to you, and, you know, it's, not about getting the it's about getting the best ticket for you, and that really works well for for families and couples who need a lot of tickets on the same plate, so one question we had the other day is if there are such a thing as family accounts, there's, not many of them. For the most part, everybody needs to have their own individual frequent flyer plan, which is great because lorenzo can earn miles for himself and everyone under miles. But there are some exceptions. So british airways obviously talked about british airways and iberia. You can actually share accounts between, I think, up to five members of the household and so that's great. If you're running point two miles in different places, you can put them all together in that case, great. So our workbook activity for the day is to check out those downloadable worksheets on the top tips for travel hacking couples and it's highly effective travel hacking couples and in a number of tips for trouble working families that we've been talking about written by katherine and nathan so thank you guys again for that awesome would love to know from everyone who's here today what's the most important thing you learned um a big one for me is calling I'm like I love booking online and realizing you can get a huge stopover like that by cooling is like a huge incentive for me to actually pick up the phone turn on the charm like nothing said about nathan it's a good strategy is it actually works in life and miles yes, but it's firing to see real people would have done real things like that it's a fantastic story I love it yes gonna that the reminder to see through a child's eyes when you're when you're traveling it's really cool that was true a lot of times the more more you travel a lot of times you just kind of getting the groove and you're like I'm busy I gotta, you know book the next thing and get to the next destination and sometimes you forget toe wonder and it's amazing so in awe of the spectrum really family and it's great that they took their kids around the world I've traveled with like our family has travelled since the kids were that big and people would ask, pull or your kid's good travelers, you know, the answer well, they are, but it wouldn't really matter because they're coming along anyway, waking, I look back to my grandparent's particular, who are big travelers and inspired me and gave me the travel bug and so it's great to see this family kind of laying in that dna of traveling because that problems understanding really makes you a better person and it's great to see you. We have a lot of family travelers in our community in general, and one thing I've heard several of them say, is people always ask them about that. How is this? How is this for your kids and take them time to adjust, and I don't know what you guys would say, but I often hear the statement it says, well, actually, our kids adjusted before we did like our kids, like I jumped right into it and we had to kind of follow along. So it's definitely awesome to see. I do want to say we forgot to ask them this when they were on stage, but if you're interested in more of their story, you can follow them. They have a blogger taking the big break dot com, and they're on twitter at the big break, and we'll tweet that out and share that as well.

Class Description

Who wouldn’t love to know how to earn enough miles and points for two airline tickets and three hotel nights? In Make Your Dream Trip a Reality, Chris Guillebeau and Stephanie Zito can show you how it's done. 

Travel feeds our creative spirits, allows us to discover new viewpoints, and fuels our work. In this class, you’ll find out how you can make your dream of journeying to the world’s most far-flung places a practical and affordable reality.

Chris and Stephanie have made it their life's mission to help others experience all the thrill and adventure that world travel can offer. In Make Your Dream Trip a Reality. 

Chris and Stephanie will help you: 

  • Master the system of Frequent Flier miles and hotel points
  • Set up a personal points-earning strategy – even if you don’t fly
  • Upgrade your dream vacation experience at no cost to you

In short, daily lessons, Chris and Stephanie will cover all aspects of how to plan your vacation including financing your trip. You’ll learn how to set your savings and point-earning strategy so you are armed with everything you need to relax and enjoy your vacation once you depart. They’ll teach you how to book flights and hotels so you get the very best experience at the absolute best rate. You’ll also get insider tips from professional globetrotters on traveling solo and as a family.

By the end of this course you’ll learn everything you need to know to save money, minimize hassle, and make the most of your travel experience.

Your dream destination, and a life of regular traveling, is now available to you – no matter your budget. 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

40 Ways to Use Ultimate Rewards Points

Dream Trip Workbook

7 Habits of Highly Effective Travel Hacking Couples

Dream Trip Credit Card Tracker

Upgrade Unlocked Sneak Peak

10 Tips for Travel Hacking Families

Ratings and Reviews

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Highly recommended! This is one of the best CreativeLive courses I've ever taken and a great value. There's a lot of excellent information here, presented in a fun and accessible way. The CL "boot camp" approach was perfect for this topic because it dispenses the material in bite size pieces with very doable action steps along the way. The corresponding Facebook group adds even more value and camaraderie. It's a great place to clear up any questions or confusion that may come up. What an amazing resource! By the end of the course, not only will you have learned a tremendous amount, you will actually have something tangible to show for it!

a Creativelive Student

This is a fabulous course. Stephanie and Chris are both so knowledgeable, helpful, and easy going. They clearly love and practice what they're teaching. And they're open to learning from the students too. The course is packed with information, delivered in an immediately useful way. In fact, they emphasize again and again that the point is to USE the information to REALLY take your "Dream Trip" soon! The Facebook group is the best I've ever experienced with an online course. Stephanie and Chris are remarkably present, responsive, understanding, and generous with their knowledge and experience. I highly recommend this course.