Yes, we are officially on our way to Ecuador on October 1, 2010 at 11:55 p.m. A redeye from Seattle to Miami with a long layover on October 2 will allow us to have lunch with our friend Pat before we board the plane to Otavalo.
How much did this flight cost us? $100!
How did we do it? Well, like we do everything…a lot of planning.
First, we have always been good about keeping track of frequent flier miles. If you are flying without taking this into consideration, please take note. It may take a while for you to be able to use them, but when you do it can mean the difference between a vacation close to home and one you’ve always dreamed of. If you want to become a frequent flier master, check out Chris Guillebeau’s ebook. It is well worth the price.
Second, we added to our airline miles by using our credit cards to purchase just about everything (and paying them off at the end of the month, of course). You’d be surprised how fast this adds up, even when you’re on a tight budget.
Last, we’ve known for a long time now that we were starting our trip in Ecuador because friends have generously offered us the use of their home there. After checking the available airline routes, we determined which was most agreeable with our timeline and our frequent flier balance. After that, it was just a matter of continuing to check until the route was available for purchase with points (and $100 in fees).
It is so much easier to make things happen when you have a plan. You can easily see how things fit and take advantage of opportunities. The opposite is also true – you see things that don’t fit and can save time by not going down those paths.
What milestones have you recently reached on the path to your goal? It is important to mark those moments along the way to keep your motivation high.