- Air... I booked the trip a couple months ago without knowing exactly what I would be doing. I knew a couple companies I shop for have hotels in the area but had no idea whether I would find an opportunity since the shops weren't posted until the last 10 days of September. My companion pass on Southwest expires at the end of October so I wanted to take one last trip while it was still valid.
- Hotels... I knew ahead of time the day hotels would be posted on the job boards. I still had to keep an eye on my email since I wasn't sure what time of day they would post - these shops go fast so you have to be vigilant. I selected four hotels. This became the basis for my trip and I built everything else around where I was sleeping for free. While multiple brands are shopped, I purposely selected four Hilton-branded properties to juice my Hilton Honors account - I anticipate earning enough points to get two more room nights free at a less expensive property like Hampton Inn.
- Food... Now that I knew where I would be, I looked for food. I wanted meals for two, and since I did not want to be spending a ton of time writing reports, I narrowed my search to alcohol compliance shops. I picked up six of these.
- Car... The only out of pocket expense remaining was a car rental. Not satisfied with the list of rentals at the airport, I looked for off-airport agencies so that I could avoid all the fees you have to pay when you rent from an airport location. I found an Enterprise location one mile from the airport, called and asked them if they could pick me up. That wasn't an option, but they did tell me they regularly have customers take a taxi from the airport. This will save me $65 off the total rental, less the $20 or so I will spend for a cab.
Thursday, October 14
More About My Frugal Vacation
So just how does one go about putting together a low-priced vacation? Here's how I did it: