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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Ireland Trip 2022 – The Fruits of Frugality

Library in Trinity College, Dublin

Can you live below your means while spending more on what love? It is not only possible – it is the key to building wealth, financial freedom, and staying there.  

Why is it so important? Because we can never get enough of what doesn’t satisfy us.   But if we take the time to discern what does fill up our lives and our souls? Then binging on shopping and food and what other things we go looking for to stuff inside our houses or our bodies – well, it just doesn’t happen.  The craving for more is gone.  We don’t even want it.  Finding our spending satisfaction is one of the most important skills we can learn.

Today’s post is about one of my satisfiers -- spending wisely on travel with friends.  It might be yours too?  When I see new cultures, meet new people, visit far-flung family, create new memories with travel buddies, I’m happier and richer inside and out. 

Is Travel Your Jam?  Let’s Talk about How You Can Make the Trip of Your Dreams Happen

I am flying to Ireland with a friend to see a band play in concert.  Yep.  A bucket list event! A different friend inspired me when she described her travels to see a particular band several times a year.  Her face and life seemed to come alive.  The daily grind fell off her shoulders and her smile caught me in the enthusiasm.  So, I bought two floor tickets to see Simply Red in Dublin, Ireland January 31st, (assuming COVID-19 doesn’t shut us down). 

And I’m a lot like you.  I’ve hit my number, but I’m living a middle-class lifestyle.  There isn’t enough money for a Lamborghini in the driveway.  I can only afford to do this because of all my frugalista smart habits.  You can do it too!  

Spend wildly on things you love while being super frugal on the things you don’t care about, is something even Mr. Money Guru Ramit Sethi writes about in his book “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.”

Below is a template you can use if a trip is in your dreams.  I’m spending what I saved to go – about $3,000.  

Since I splurged in so many cases, I added at least five ways on how you could do so much better by trying a few different approaches.

 

Essential Purchase

Essential Purchase

Splurges

Total

Notes

Estimated Sat Score

 

Airline Ticket Round Trip (United Mon-Mon)

$749.95

Economy Seating Bundle $78

$827.95

Includes extra legroom and 1 free checked bag

5 of 10

 

It’s a long flight

Hotel, Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice 4/5 stars

$1,649

The hotel is adjacent to the show, so no taxi, no walking the city streets at night. 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor

$1,649

$275 per night for 2 adults

 

 

Breakfast is included

 

8 of 10

Transfers from Airport to Hotel

$180

 

$180

 

100% splurge, we just didn’t want to worry about using public transport, missing our plane.

10 of 10

Tickets to Simply Red Concert

 

$78

Floor Seats, Row K, Seat 45

$78

Floor seats!  Row K! 

10 of 10

Pub Crawls and tours

 

$81


$81

These could be great, or a bust

5 of 10

Euros for meals and tips

$368


$368

 

Exchange rates are not good between Euros & Dollars

3 of 10

TOTAL

 


 $3,183

 

 

7 days, 6 nights

 



 

 

 

 

How You Can Go and Spend Even Less

  1. You could save a lot more by booking a different hotel using hotels.com or the like and splitting the cost with a roommate.  I went through a travel agent because I wanted help during the time of travel with COVID-19.  Otherwise, I could have saved about $500 by booking the Spencer hotel, a bit further away and just as nice. And even more splitting the cost with my friend. 
  2. You could do even better using your Marriott Bonvoy Chase Rewards card and booking through that site. I pay $95 per year to use this card, but it gives me credit for at least one hotel room stay each year and I rack up points using it on other spending. 
    1. Example:  This adorable Marriott boutique in Dublin called The Moxy is only 100-150 Euros per night, half the cost of the Gibson.   The Moxy hotel only costs 20,000 points per night for a twin room (2 beds) or 107 Euros, as of January 15, 2022.
  3. You could also do better by booking your own personal transfers from hotel using Viator.  They have great deals for larger groups using vans, for example.  Even Uber might be less expensive than our personal transport.  Again, I booked through the travel agent because I wanted an iron-clad reservation.  Our trip home requires a 5:30 a.m. pickup from the hotel and I just don’t want to worry about taxis not running that early in the morning.
  4. You could also do better on the airline fees if you use your frequent flyer miles, which I did for my first trip to Europe.  It saved me $3,500 when I flew into Belgium and trained down to Italy for a week on my very first trip. I have both American Express Delta SkyMiles and now a United frequent flyer account.  
  5. You can also exchange Marriott Bonvoy card points for points on American Express to purchase Delta airline tickets.  My go-to airlines are Delta and United, no cancellations, nothing extreme, no weird seating situations.  I hear from those who love Southwest Airlines, but I’ll stick to tried and true for airline ticket purchases.
  6. You could also better with flights using American Airlines.  They had cheaper rates to Europe, but I’m not a fan of their cancellation policies, so I paid more for United.


Wrapping up – I saved for this trip for approximately one year, just $200 or so each month.  So, everything is already paid for except meals.

Have you done some travel hacking lately that you’d like to share?  Please let us know in the comments! 


 


 

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