The Number One Hack To Get Traveling

If you want to start traveling but don’t even see how it is feasible financially, I will give you the NUMBER ONE trick to get you going.

The absolute first thing you need to do, is get a travel rewards card. I am not talking about some random bank card that gives you rewards or “cash back”, I’ve tried those and I am telling you that I NEVER saw a benefit to using it. There was always a loop hole to when you make your payment, and if you don’t roll over a balance you don’t get the points, and if you try to cash out your rewards at a certain time there may be a black out date…

NO! Get a REAL rewards card for REAL travelers. Get a TRAVEL CARD.

Here is what you want to look for:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No black out dates
  • Free checked bags or VIP perks
  • Mile bonuses (loyalty rewards)

Foreign transaction fees- what is this? When you’re in a country with a different currency and choose to use your card, most credit card or debit card companies will charge you a fee per swipe to do the currency exchange. (It can be super risky to use a debit card over seas, so check with your bank before packing one with you.) These fees can add up quickly, no foreign transaction fee means that the bank accepts the cost of the exchange.

No black out dates- Choose a card that is not going to have travel restrictions. If there is a seat on the plane, you should be able to purchase it with your points.

Free checked bag and VIP perks- If you choose to travel with a bit more luggage, a checked bag fee varies from airline to airline, and can cost more when traveling domestically. Booking with a travel card can often wave several fees and make checking in and boarding easier.

Mile bonuses- The more you spend the more they deposit into your miles account. There are often entry bonuses with travel cards, spend $3000 in your first 3 months and receive 50k in bonus miles; that is about a round trip ticket to Europe with most airlines. The way most miles are earned, is for every dollar you spend you receive one mile, but when you go to book a flight with miles, they are not dollar for dollar… So having a card that will have bonus months, or perks for signing up can really help get those miles in your account.

Keep in mind that MOST travel rewards cards do have an annual bonus fee for carrying the card. I have never had a problem paying an annual fee, because the flights I have earned would have cost me 5-10 times what the fee is per year. 

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I have an American Express Platinum Delta Skymiles Card

I went with this card for a number of reasons, the number one reason being, I live in a small town with a small airport and Delta is one of the only airlines to have consistent flights coming in and out each day. There hasn’t been too many occasions where I have had to book with other airlines, so being limited to flying with Delta has not affected me too much, and loyalty is rewarded!

Pros and Cons in my opinion:

Pro- I received a 50,000 mile bonus when signing up for my original Gold card and another 70,000 mile bonus when I upgraded to the Platinum card a year and a half later.

Pro- 1 mile per dollar spent and 5 miles per dollar on Delta purchases.

Pro- Every approved referral from me earns me 10,000 bonus points.

Pro- First checked bag is free with every flight- that saves me a minimum of $35 each way.

Pro- Bonus miles for hitting spending goals

Pro- Extra miles for shopping with small businesses (as a small business owner, I love that this is a thing), and benefits for making every day purchases which vary from month to month.

Pro- SUPER safe, I have had no fraudulent issues (knock on wood). I don’t have to notify my card when traveling, it knows my spending habits and doesn’t reject purchases made by me. I get alerted when my card is charged and not present, and notified of large purchases immediately.

Pro- Extra coverage and warranty with large purchases- I bought a laptop with this card and its warranty is extended and extra year just by using my American Express.

Con- Many places do not take American Express

Con- Limited to flying Delta when redeeming reward flights

As you can see, for ME, the pros out weigh the cons… there are many cards out there, you just have to do your research and decide which one is best for you.

I use my card for EVERYTHING I possibly can, all of the purchases I would have to make just go on my card, including groceries, online purchases, product orders for my shop, fuel, automatic payments, etc… At the end of each week, I just pay my card off and watch my miles rack up!

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Obviously I am not suggesting you go out and make a bunch of huge unnecessary purchases, just to earn some points… that would be incredibly counter productive, so watch your spending and use these tools wisely!! BUTTT if its a payment or purchase you already have to make, why not reap the benefits.

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Happy Traveling,

XoXo

-Tia

In Response to What The Health

With all of the buzz circulating about the latest pro plant-based documentary, What The Health, I had to put in MY two cents in the only way I know how… a blog post.

After some hours (yes hours) of digging I was able to uncover a few photographs of my past self… I thought I had destroyed all evidence of the creature that ate Tia, but low and behold I found them. I don’t call that version of myself a creature for derogatory reasons, but more as a way of totally encompassing what had happened to me. I was completely absorbed in destructive emotional behavior and it was reflecting majorly in my skin, weight, and health. I hated myself; the way I looked, the direction my life was taking and the way I was behaving, were all signs of this. I was not a healthy human, and wasn’t nourishing myself physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

After a few hard life lessons, I realized it was time to make a change.

It was time to give up the poison that had entered my existence in the form of self loathing, guilt, body shaming, emotional eating, chemical dependence (in “food”), weight loss plans, and a clouded sense of self-worth. It was time I started treating myself the way I treated most everyone else, and it was TIME that I had a real conversation with my spirit about how I was doing in these areas.

I thought I had confidence and good self-esteem and I always felt like I was loved and able to love myself… but when I took a good, hard, look at what I was fueling my body, mind, and spirit with, it was a rude awakening.

I learned that I was eating addictive substances in the form of chemical additives, sweeteners, sodas, and processed foods. I realized the body shaming and guilt cycles of diets and the ups and downs of being insecure about my weight were toxic for my soul, and were all, quite possibly, the culprits for true joy being sucked from my life. I didn’t feel good so I started really putting in the time to research and invest in my wholeness and well-being. By some guidance, from a previously unknown internal source, I had slowly converted to a 100% plant-based diet, and had no idea exactly how I had gotten there. The results were incredible. My face and eye color changed, brightened, temperament relaxed, I had regained passion for living and was able to make business goals and quickly become more successful in my career. I lost 70 pounds and went from a size 15 to a 3. The dark cloud had cleared from my mind, and I was reborn.

This transformation took 2 years and when I looked back, it was like I had boarded a train and wasn’t sure of exactly where it was going at the time.

With this intense physical detoxification, I also spiritually, emotionally, and mentally detoxified. Choosing carefully what I filled my spare time with, and ensuring that anything I was reading or watching was fueling me on every level in a positive way.  Health has always been something I don’t view as a destination, but a journey, constantly evolving and growing. As I educate myself and work through the deepest and most buried conflicts within my overall energy and material body, I find that my greatest passion is becoming the best possible version of me.

True and authentic reflection of the soul. 

In relation to the documentary, I will just say this… these outlets of information are meant to make you think. To make you stop and question the things you do mindlessly everyday that are leading you to a lack of health or happiness… sure they may be exaggerated or “cherry picked” facts, BUT if this is what it takes for you to turn inward and evaluate whether or not you’re doing the best you can for your ultimate well-being… well, then watch away and let yourself be shocked. As an adult consumer you should ALWAYS gather as much information as possible and then use personal experience, factual evidence, internal guidance, and intent in choosing the right lifestyle options for you.

May you all find self-love and inexplicable happiness.

XoXo

-Tia