Where’d I go, you ask? To FinCon12 in Denver, Colorado, of course.
As far as I know, there’s no other conference like it. Hundreds of personal finance nerds get together for an extended weekend to discuss blogging, social media, and online money making.
I had an amazing time interacting with folks I’ve only known as logos and avatars.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably not a financial blogger, so I understand your natural I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-your-crummy-conference reaction to this post.
But don’t think I spent three nights in Denver without obtaining information that you can use.
As it turns out, personal finance bloggers know how to save on travel.
Here’s what I learned from them.
Check In to Hotel Room Extra Early
Many hotels will gladly grant your request to check into your room two hours early. Any earlier than that, and hotel management will claim the housekeeping staff won’t have enough time to get your room ready.
Ginger from Girls Just Wanna Have Funds let me in on a trick that could help you check in super early.
BEFORE requesting early check-in, ask if your room is available for booking the day prior to your arrival. If it is, then the ol’ “the room won’t be clean in time” excuse won’t work.
Denying your request would involve management reverting to the lame “it’s against hotel policy” rebuttal, which is a harder hand to play for a loyal customer.
Get Two Airline Tickets for the Price of One (Almost)
Do you receive airline companion ticket offers from your credit card issuer?
I don’t get them anymore, but when I did, I’d promptly toss them in the trash. I thought they were some useless gimmick that’d steer me into buying an over priced plane ticket. After all, a buy one get one free offer on airfare seems too good to be true, don’t you think? Well it is, according to Kevin McGee from RewardBoost.
However, even though you won’t cut your airfare costs in half, you may still reap substantial savings by booking flights with a companion ticket.
Score Cheap Airfare at Anytime (During the Wee Hours of Tuesday Morning)
My brother has been on my case about traveling home to watch my nephew play Pop Warner football.
The problem is that flying into Jacksonville, FL is inexplicably expensive. I’m not above taking a 30-hour, round trip Amtrak trek to visit my family, but I’d rather spend those two days of my life doing something else.
Marissa from ThirtySixMonths explained how to uncover the cheapest flights–book your travel in the early morning hours on Tuesday morning. I’m talkin’ 12:01 AM. The best deals go fast. I tried Marissa recommendation, and stumbled upon an $80 round-trip flight from DC to Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Maximize Your Frequent Flyer Miles
From what I’ve heard, redeeming airline miles is tough, which is why I’d rather own points on other types of purchases. But if you’re sitting on a fat stack of frequent flyer miles, you should consider hiring Mike, a frequent flyer mile consultant, from I Fly With Miles. (Yes, mileage points are so hard to redeem, the airlines inadvertently created a new profession.)
Rack Up Frequent Flyer Miles
Now that you know who to call when you need to redeem what were seemingly useless airline miles, here’s a trick I learned from freelance writer Jason Steele to earn even more: Sign up for credit cards that offer a big chunk of bonus miles. Of course, if you’re financially irresponsible, deeply in debt, or disorganized, you probably should skip this travel hack as it’ll likely make you poorer instead of richer.
I met many other bloggers who were some of the coolest people I’ve ever encountered. They’re not included in this blog post because, despite their awesomeness, they didn’t provide any travel tips. *shrugs* I’ll try to find ways to introduce my new friends over the coming weeks in a way that highlights their knowledge.