Traveling the Globe on a Dime in 2016

I have a beautiful, galactic passport. 


I obtained it almost a decade ago as part of a work commitment to travel to our office in Europe. At the time I was depending on my ex-husband to be a parent and care for our daughter for a week while I worked in the United Kingdom, but he flaked of course and the rest is working mother fail history. An additionally pathetic footnote to this story: my passport photo does not look as fly as His.


The last 3 years have gifted my family one tragedy after another. I keep everything to myself so even the people closest to me have no idea what my family and my loved ones are going through, but I've reflected enough to conclude that I can: A) wait for things to get better or B) accept that these situations suck, will probably get worse and move on. I've chosen the latter. Reality is good a place. 

So this year I am finally using the passport. Maybe only two times, hopefully a third. The number of times not as important as the actual journey(ies). My preliminary travel schedule for 2016 looks like this:


This list doesn't include local short Bay Area trips (e.g. Monterey, San Francisco), Prince concerts, unforeseen good or bad circumstances and last-minute trips. Regardless, the name of the game is saving money. So far this year I have spent 4 nights at the Disneyland Resort for a whopping total of $347. Utilizing my Southwest Airlines points and Disneyland Annual Pass, the only additional costs inured during that Star Wars Half Marathon weekend were on food and transportation to and from the airport. I kept all expenses extremely minimal and paid cash. That's the plan for all 2016 travel.


I kicked-off 2016 with some serious financial goals that didn't include traveling. Or Prince. I started cutting costs at home by canceling subscription services and avoiding the usual impulse purchase traps. So far I am saving $150 per month in recurring monthly subscription bills. Since overseas travel wasn't in my original plan, my next goal is ensure none of this travel happens (or Prince) with a credit card. My philosophy is: any expense that incurs interest charges is an expense I can't afford. Period. So I am picking up more work as a freelancer and cutting back on another huge waste - idle time. (OK, really I have no free time. I barely sleep, but I will MAKE time to make money.)

My plans for saving money while traveling are as follows:

  • For race weekends lodging: I'll be using the buddy system and will hopefully have a fun roommate to share the costs with me. I'll use Hilton Honors points overseas for free nights in Paris.
  • Flights: Book within 45 days of travel for the best fares, utilize points for international travel. On shorter domestic flights, if I have to make more than 1 stop to save money I will.
  • Disney: Use my Disney Visa card for deferred payments and use my rewards money to eat at WDW and Disneyland Paris.

I have a few more money-saving tricks up my sleeve and plan to journal all of the stages of my travel planning here. Stay tuned! If you like John Candy and know how much bad luck I have - this ought to be some quality entertainment.