Air NZ

Flying For Free!

Flying for free

Everyone loves free things don’t they!? I know I do, especially when it comes to travel or being able to save up to travel. That is why I try and take advantage of as many rewards programs as I can, whether it’s for a

A lot of times while at home it’s the boring things you absolutely need to spend your money on – mortgage, utility bills, groceries…(and I’ll be honest the occasional online Lululemon or Sephora shop). So while I’m not travelling, I’m trying to get these necessary expenditures to do some work for me!

Rewards credit cards are where it’s at!

The best way that I’ve found to earn points, which I feel like Canada is midway for opportunity for – Americans have a lot more options but European countries have much less, is to find good rewards credit cards to use. There are definetly a few different ways other than credit cards, but I find they have the best return for your money.

The main rewards program that I use, which is one of two big airline rewards in Canada, is Airmiles. The other program is backed by Air Canada and also has some good options and that’s Areoplan. Airmiles is nice because it is widely accepted, has a pretty decent miles – rewards ratio, and are generally pretty easy to earn.

I actually switched my banking over to Bank of Montreal as they have both chequing accounts and credit cards that you can earn Airmiles with. I would suggest checking these out, but waiting for a bonus offer before you sign up. They generally have some sort of ‘welcome’ offer on their credit cards which can make a big difference. I just checked and the one they are offering for their World Elite card (which is the one I use), you get 2000 bonus miles right now, enough for two flights! That is a paid credit card, but I have found the yearly fee well worth the rewards.

The yearly fee is something to consider. Of course there are free Airmiles (or other rewards) cards, so you want to be sure the fee is worth it. Generally you’ll earn more per dollar spent and sometimes get flight discounts or other perks, like access to airport lounges, on a paid card.

Another card that I use is the Capital One Aspire Travel Card. I got this card before I went to Australia and used it to book most of my travel. This card is great because you just book any type of travel related item, whether it’s a flight, hotel, hostel, train ticket, etc. and you can go onto the website and redeem your travel points that you’ve earned right away and it gets taken off of your bill. I did like using this card, and loved the ease with which you could redeem your points on the website, however as I don’t have much actual travel going on at the moment I’ve been sticking to my Airmiles Mastercard to earn some miles.

I do have the club cards for most hotel chains that I’ve stayed in, but I’ve personally found that I don’t use them enough so far in my travel experiences to earn much with them.

All in all I would say that if travel is something you’re interested in, use those dollars you’re already spending to your advantage! It is a bit controversial but I use my credit cards for everything, from a $1 coffee to large purchases. If I’m going to be spending the money anyways, I would like to get something for it. That being said, know yourself, if you can’t control your spending those free flights aren’t going to be worth much when you’re thousands in debt.

What do you use to earn free travel, any other suggestions??

 

Wintery Weekend in Victoria

You typically don’t picture Vancouver or Victoria B.C. as snowy places, but with my luck that was what I got when I went for the weekend!

My trip started off with a delay of flights because of snowstorms in Vancouver. What was supposed to be two flights, from 7:30 arriving at 9:30, turned into not getting into Victoria until 1pm and my first experience with flying standby! As annoying as that was, I do understand that the airlines have no control over crappy weather, and it really bothers me when I see people taking out their frustrations on the airline staff.

Victoria

First boarding passes of 2017!

Not gonna lie, I was pretty happy when I ended up on the flight I was on standby for rather than a miserable woman who spent her time at the airport yelling at the check in attendant…karma?

After the ‘exciting’ trip down, Allison picked me up at the airport and we made our way through the snow into the city! It is so nice to get the chance to catch up with her, since she’s moved away we don’t get to see each other a ton. After a late lunch and a quick shopping trip we met up with some more friends and spent the night out dancing and drinking. After dinner we went to the Bard and Banker pub, which had a great vibe and such an awesome band. I think we were even so keen we tried convincing them they needed to play at our friend’s wedding next year…no word if they’ve confirmed or not.

Victoria

One thing I love about Victoria is the abundance of cool restaurants and bars…something that is largely lacking in Kamloops. I love being able to go somewhere with live music and a good ambience, something that is easy to find in Victoria!

Saturday, after a bit of a slow wake up from the night before, I headed out to East Sooke Park with a couple of friends. Despite the rainy conditions it was gorgeous. I think I’m always happy to be by the ocean, regardless of the weather! We took a short little walk and enjoyed the views and maybe some wine on the beach.

East Sooke Park

Sunday was another rainy day but we made the most of it by going for a nice long walk down Dallas Road on the beach and through Beacon Hill Park. Luckily we made it home before a serious downpour started and spent the rest of the afternoon watching movies. This was my last night so we made a nice big family Sunday pasta dinner! It was so nice to be able to spend some time with my friends in one of my favourite cities…one day I’ll move to Victoria!!

Monday morning Allison and I headed to the Victoria Airport bright and early…which was a semi waste of getting up early because yet again it was snowing in Victoria and Vancouver, which basically means total chaos for anywhere on the coast. I think the exact words given over the announcement at the airport was “gong show”.

Luckily I had a good book to read and nothing to do at home that afternoon so I wasn’t too bothered. Again in Vancouver I was put on standby, but luckily got on the last flight out as the rest were cancelled!

Victoria

Never get tired of these views…

Now it’s back to reality and work and the neverending winter here in Kamloops. I’m getting the travel bug itch again, been looking up some potential trips!

Quick Catch Up

February 1st! Does that mean that it’s almost time for spring to come? Considering when I woke up this morning it was -15 Celsius I kind of doubt it. (Someone remind me again why I left Australia to come back to winter in Canada..!?)

January was a pretty good month, one of the first I’ve had in a while with zero travel. However I have gotten my salon at home all set up and am back in business which is fantastic! It’s been so nice to catch up with all of my clients again and even gaining some new clients this month.

img_0979

A few of my colour clients from January!

Getting my new apartment set up has been fun too (not to mention, costs all the monies!). I will eventually get some photos posted, but you know when you just feel like you’re missing a few pieces, or a room will never be done. I think an Ikea trip will be in my near future…once the highway through hell is a little more reliable.

Visiting my goat friends up at my sisters farm!

I do have a little mini trip coming up this week. I’m flying down to Victoria for 3 nights and I’m super excited! Victoria is one of my favourite cities in Canada. I have quite a few friends that live down there I’ll be staying with and I cannot wait to spend some time by the ocean. Victoria also has some fantastic restaurants and cafes that I’m really looking forward to checking out.

Considering the home purchase I do think that this year might be more of the small weekend get aways and less of the long term travelling. (Back to a budget..wahh) Honestly though that is okay with me, living in Canada and especially British Columbia there are so many amazing places to visit that are close by. Don’t quote me on this though, of course I’d love to get a big trip booked!

Do you guys have any trips coming up? Any fun suggestions of favourite places to go?