Aligning Your Travel Schedule For the Year is Like Putting Pieces of a Puzzle Together

Life is finally back to normal from the holidays.  I have spent some time doing all the things that I put in my “to do” pile while enjoying my time off.  I reviewed accounts and purchases, set up the 2020 budget and paid most of the holiday bills (ugh!).  Everything seemed rather straight forward until I began trying to lay out travel plans for the year.

Each trip is like a puzzle piece that has to fit in just the right place for everything to work out properly.  Our 2019 travel seemed to line up so nicely and then just flowed smoothly through the year.  This year I am struggling a bit to fit the pieces together correctly.

 

The Pieces

  • Currently, I am struggling to decide which airline to set for my American Express Airline Fee Credit.  I won’t need to use it for Southwest this year since I earned A-List status and I don’t know yet what other airlines I will be flying on.  That $100 credit is huge part of recouping my $250 annual fee on that card.  I want to make sure that I am able to use it.
  • I also have a few random “freebies” to use during the course of the year.  A free weekend night at Hilton, an anniversary night at IHG and each of us has a Southwest voucher we received because of flight delays in September.
  • We will also be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this year and I have been hoping to either take a trip to Portugal or explore a bit deeper in Italy.  We have to make a definitive destination choice.   I need to fit that trip in later in the year and I am hoping to use points for the airfare.
  • Did I mention that I am also trying to plan the annual Girls Getaway trip I take with my daughter.  We are hoping to visit a friend of ours in Arizona.  Typically we take this trip in the spring and it kicks off our travel season.
  • Just for fun, I suggested a camping trip with some relatives that we have really been wanting to spend time with.  I am so looking forward to hanging out with them.  We have a tentative date in August.
  • My son will be making a couple quick trips home in May and June for some wedding stuff with his friends. I will want to have those weeks free on my calendar so we will be available when he can spend time with us while he is here.
  • There is a Graduation party in June and a Family Wedding in August as well.  I need to block out those dates on the calendar too.
  • My husband and I usually travel to Texas in the fall for a football game and to visit our son…..we could skip it this year.  But I was hoping to explore some different areas of Texas this year that we haven’t been to yet.  I guess we will have to wait and see if it works out.
  • This list doesn’t even include weekend adventures for our Birthdays and such. Oy!

 

The Plan

That is a lot of pieces to fit into our travel puzzle!  I ordered a new planner (it was free with my last Boxed order) and when it arrived, I didn’t like it.  The squares for each day were too small and there weren’t tabs for ease of flipping between each month.  I passed this one on to my husband because he had mentioned he would like a planner this year.  Now I have to trod out to the store to find one I like better.  I can’t do anything without a good planner and it seems that I am kind of fussy about which ones I like.

Hopefully I will be able to find a new planner this weekend and a pencil with a really big eraser!  I know there are a lot of people who would just do all of this on their computer, but I much prefer my planner.  I am making it a priority to get these dates outlined.  Maybe I will even get some flight reservations made that will help me to know which airline to choose for my Amex Credit.

I think the first step is to block the unmovable dates and then work through the rest of the trips by order of importance.  Some of our trips involve connecting with other people, so we will need to consider not only our own schedules, but theirs as well.

I might need to open a bottle of wine for this guys!  

 

Dream, PLAN, Save, Adventure!

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