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Is a Kauai Luau Worth $200?

The price of a Kauai luau is $200 for a family

You won’t be hearing much from me for the next couple of weeks. Our trip to Hawaii is almost here! Our main costs for this trip were just over $500 because we used rewards from our Hawaiian Airlines Visa, Chase Ink cards, and Barclay Arrival cards. That includes 3 round trip flights, 7 nights in Kauai, and a rental car for the week. There will be other expenses, and I’m reaching out to my readers to decide how much we should spend and on what. The main thing we are trying to decide is whether or not to spend almost $200 for a Kauai luau plus a few other things we’d like to do. I’d love to hear some opinions. Oh Yeah, We’re Also Going to Vegas Did I mention that Hawaiian airlines only flies out of a few mainland cities, mostly in the Western US? The closest to us was Phoenix, but it was 15,000 points less to go out of Las Vegas, which is only an hour longer in driving distance. We are going to spend two nights in Vegas before our flight and one night there on the way back. The last time Jim and I went ...

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Culture Clash: Towaoc to Aspen

private planes in Aspen

I went into a bit of culture shock last week. I spend Thursday on the reservation town of Towaoc doing vision screenings for 22 three year olds who will be going into head start this fall. On Friday, I was having lunch at the Red Onion in Aspen. I honestly can’t believe these two places are in the same country, let alone the same state. It made me wonder if success is truly based on life circumstances. Maybe where you’re born does dictate your fate in life or is that just an excuse? Reality on the Reservation Last week was week two of the school screenings. The first week, I had the four year olds who were finishing up a year of head start. Out of 17 kids, I had one who knew letters. She lives off the reservation and only attends head start there because her mother works for the tribe. Two of the 39 kids were living at the youth shelter because their parents were in jail or somewhere unknown. More than half had a speech delay. About half were obese. Several had anemia from nutrient deficient diets. About a fourth had been removed from parental care at ...

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Ways to Spend Less on Vacation

save money on vacation

Summer is here. It’s time for cookouts, flowers, and vacation! We have just over a month until our Hawaii vacation, and aside from the flight, I am looking forward to every minute. I strongly believe vacation time is essential to well being. I also believe people can let vacation spending get way out of hand, before, during, and after vacation. You don’t have to go into debt or spend all your savings if you can find ways to spend less on vacation. You Don’t Need a New Wardrobe To Take a Vacation It’s fun to have new clothes to wear on vacation, but it certainly isn’t necessary. I didn’t buy clothes for most of last year, but that didn’t stop me from going on a several trips. The good things about travel is that you usually don’t know anyone where you’re going, so if you wear the same jeans that you’ve had for years, no one will know (unless they are acid washed and penny rolled). I have no problem with necessary clothes shopping and looking for good deals, but I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known, prior self included,  who frantically rush around at the last minute ...

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US Airways Credit Card Review: Two Flights for $90!

Dividend Miles for free flights

Word about our credit card churning adventures has started to get out among some of our close friends. I don’t really talk about it much except on my blog, but Jim has been telling his morning basketball buddies about our free travel. When you first find out about travel hacking, it sounds either like voodoo or something illegal, but when I explain to them how we’ve gotten to take  almost free vacations and how we are about to visit Hawaii in champagne style on a beer budget, they want in. Churning the US Airways Credit Card A big problem for some people want to start churning is the amount of spending you have to do to hit some of the larger bonuses. If you don’t have many big expenses and aren’t interested in manufactured spending or using Bluebird to pay bills, it’s hard to churn for free travel. However, the US Airways credit card from Barclay just made it lots easier to get cheap airfare. With this card, $90 gets you 40,000 Dividend Miles, enough for two domestic flights! What 40,000 Dividend Miles Can Do The US Airways Premier World Mastercard does have an $89 fee that is not waived, but after the ...

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Saving and Wasting Money in San Diego

San Diego Bay

San Diego is maybe my favorite city. I love the weather, the activities, and the atmosphere in general. Because we do want to retire early, it makes no sense to move there. The cost of living is way more than where we live now. We do try to go as often as we can. I believe this was my 6th trip to San Diego in the past 8 years, so we’ve gotten pretty familiar with ways to get around and how to save money. We still sometimes hit a few stumbles on vacation. This year we saved and wasted money in San Diego. How We Saved Money on Vacation My Favorite Hotel Doesn’t Take Points! You all know I love earning free travel with credit card rewards points and miles. We try to never pay full price for hotels, but our favorite place to stay in San Diego is on Coronado Island, where there aren’t that many places to use hotel points. We also love the location of the Hotel Del Coronado. It’s a landmark hotel where all the famous people used to hang out in the 20’s and 30’s. It’s right on the beach and within walking distance to ...

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