Why I Started this Blog
A few weeks ago I was in Hawaii with my family staying at the HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com. I exited the tram at the lobby, to find my two youngest daughters holding and petting a parrot. They were so enthralled with the animal that I let them continue undisturbed while I looked around to find my husband. He was sitting at a desk signing us up for a Time Share presentation to get free luau tickets.
I approached the desk and sat down. The woman behind the counter asked me a few questions to make sure I qualified for the Time Share presentation. One of the qualifying questions was, "Do you make at least [such-and-such] dollar amount per year". It wasn't an exorbitant amount of money so I jokingly responded with, "Would I be here if I didn't"? I didn't realize asking that question, at that moment, in that place, would have such a profound impact on me. Or maybe I should say, it wasn't necessarily the question that made the impact, but her answer back to me. She responded with, "Well you'd be surprised at how many people save for years and years, sometimes a whole lifetime, to be able to come on a vacation like this". The small talk continued, revealing we had booked our trip the day before. The woman behind the counter looked astonished at me and said, "You must've spent a fortune booking last minute to Hawaii"!? Proudly, I responded back to her, "Nope! Round-trip, non-stop flights for all four of us, plus a week here at the [4-star] hotel cost me $2,500.00". She responded with "That's unheard of".
But you guys... I'm here to tell you, 'No, it's really not'. The only way I travel, the only way I can travel, is on deals and discounts. Like most of us, my budget dictates what we do and where we go... or not.
Now I get that $2,500.00 is still a lot of money, but comparably, it's really not. Remember, I booked the trip one day in advance, during Spring Break, for four people in Hawaii, at a 4-Star Resort. The trip included, as I said before, round-trip, non-stop flights, on HawaiianAirlines.com, which includes meals and a Mai-Tai. The Hilton Waikoloa average cost per night, is around $300, which means we basically got our flights for free. It would've been less had I chosen a different hotel, but that was the one I wanted to visit. I compared the same flights and hotel independently and it came to thousands of dollars more. In fact, I also checked CostcoTravel.com, and it was almost more than 2xs the amount for the exact same flights and hotel.
The Hilton Waikoloa Village on the big island of Hawaii has a lot to do for the kids, and the Hula lessons, ukulele lessons, lei making, tram rides, gondola rides, animal viewing and of course the water slides, and more are all included.
So back to why I've created this Blog... It makes me feel good to tell other people about my tips and tricks so they too can experience the joys I do when traveling. It's my passion to be able to help others; and I'm constantly being asked by my friends and acquaintances, how it is that I can afford for all of us to travel so often? So I kept thinking about what the woman in Hawaii told me about how people save for a lifetime to be able to go to Hawaii. If people are saving for lifetimes they must not be putting in the effort and the research I do to find discounts. Maybe they don't know where to look? Now believe me, it's not like all trips I can afford without saving, and I have yet to experience a bungalow over the ocean in the Maldives or Bora Bora, but there have been so many thus far and I feel obligated to share my tips, and not let all of my research go to waste. Then I was thinking, well I'm just a working mom, there's gotta be other working parents out there whose ideas, I too could benefit from... And so this Blog was born.
I have no expectations, but I'm hoping someone will benefit by my suggestions and countless hours of research and planning, and I'm hoping to use your experiences to help me plan my dos and don'ts for my next family trip, and all my trips in the future. Please subscribe to my Blog and participate in this Forum, I'm waiting to hear your ideas!