Get Started

Learn more about Credit Cards, Travel Programs, Deals, and more.

I Finally Booked Travel! But It Totally Goes Against All Of My Norms

This post may contain affiliate links - Advertiser Disclosure. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

I Finally Booked Travel! But It Totally Goes Against All Of My Norms

Finally! It has been a whole 3 months since I booked anything.  To most people that doesn’t seem all that big of a deal but to me it is far from the norm.  With the pandemic shutting down states across the nation I was only cancelling booked travel and not booking anything new. Not any longer! I have finally booked my next trip but it totally goes against my norms.  I’ll share what the travel is and why I booked what I did.  If you listened to this week’s podcast episode then you already have a good idea what I am talking about.

What Did I End Up Booking?

We ended up deciding to rent a house near Lake Huron on the east coast of Michigan.  I even booked it via Airbnb, which if you have read my work for a while you know I am not a fan of.  I don’t agree with many of the company’s tactics and I also did not have a great experience last time I booked one.  The reason I don’t normally use Airbnb or others is because I prefer the consistency and amenities that hotels offer. Even though I have done many and absolutely love staycations they have always been in a hotel.

Well besides when I was a kid and renting a cottage “up north” was the thing everyone did in Michigan (as well as many other states).  I think that is what 2020 has become, the return to the old.  Road trips and house rentals are gonna be en vogue again this year, at least that is my prediction.

Photo courtesy of Airbnb

How Did I Travel Hack The Booking?

The total cost for 3 nights after fees and taxes was $720.71.  Not a great deal but not bad for what other similar locations were charging.

I had an idea that we would be doing something like this once the pandemic kicked off.  It is one of the reasons I signed up for the Bank of America Travel Rewards business card a month or so ago.  I figured I could use the $300 welcome offer towards a booking like this.  After hitting the minimum spend I had around $350 to use towards the booking.

I also used the Airbnb new account welcome offer.  All it takes is an email address to sign up for Airbnb 😉.  The offer gave me $40 off my first booking, it looks like the offer may have changed to $20 for now. I paired that $40 savings with the $350 in travel credit I had earned to drop the out of pocket cost to $330.71.  That is a reduction of 54%, not too shabby.

Why I Went Against My Norm With This Booking

Why did I end up booking this versus booking something more our normal style?  The easy answer is the pandemic for sure, but it goes much deeper than that.  It ties into the same sentiment that I had when I canceled our trip to Maui, which was before they announced we wouldn’t be able to go anyway.

I felt like we wouldn’t get the full travel experience if we went with a traditional booking.  There is a resort we love to visit in northern Michigan that has an outdoor beach bar, a cute downtown across the street and a couple of restaurants we really enjoy.  But the cost is about the same as this Airbnb, as in not overly cheap.  If we booked it what would be open when we visited and how accessible would everything be?  I don’t want to eat take out meals in a cramped hotel room, that doesn’t sound relaxing to me.

By going this route we can bring whatever food we want.  If we decide to get takeout etc. we will have enough room to spread out to eat it.  The beach should be way less crowded than a resort beach. Plus we can still follow suggested social distancing protocols while still being on vacation.  My parents and my sister’s family rented houses in the area as well so we can still get together and have a normal vacation experience.  But we will be able to do it on our terms this way versus being reliant on what is or is not allowed.  It should feel normal during a time where normalcy is in short supply.

Final Thoughts

I am happy to have something on the books to look forward to again.  That may be my favorite thing about travel, the anticipation and giving you something to look forward to.  I haven’t had that the last 3 months or so and it is good to have the feeling back.  It wouldn’t surprise me if we did something similar later in the summer as well.

Have you done anything similar for your future travels?  Are you going against your travel norms at all this summer?  Share your thoughts and future bookings in the comments.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Lower Spend - Chase Ink Business Preferred® 100K!

Chase Ink Business Preferred® is a powerful card that earns 3X Ultimate Rewards points in a broad range of business categories on the first $150K in spend per year. Right now earn 100K Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $15K $8K spend in the first 3 months with a $95 annual fee.

Learn more about this card and its features!

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. […] It’s no surprise that when people are making plans to travel right now, they’re trying to be smart and head to places where the activities are outdoors. There’s just one problem with that plan, everyone has come up with the same idea. Check out these posts from other websites about staying at a house on the river in Texas or booking a house on Lake Huron in Michigan. […]

  2. Good place for social distancing so we decided on Yellowstone and Grand Teton using VRBO homes in the Fall. To get there – scratch another one from bucket list – from east coast – not flying of driving….taking a cross-country Amtrak in a bedroom.

    • I have always wanted to do the bedroom on an Amtrak but their reliability is so awful I never pull the trigger. Sounds like an awesome trip!

  3. Flying to St Croix in 5 days, Only USA citizens allowed and two flights in per day. Crazy anxiety but some people break out at a restaurant, a department store, but we travel. Lockdown for 3 months but this family of four is hitting it to an island that has beaches by yourself when everything is normal. Can’t say the window can be better than the next two weeks, then flights are close to normal capacity according to our AA agent. Cheap points and Vrbo, plus $550 worth of restaurant credits.

  4. Glad to hear it man. Have some friends flying for the first time today, and they are stoked!

    The more people that get out there, the sooner we can focus on the future and helping people who lost jobs get back on their feet.

    Thanks for contributing to the recovery, you are appreciated!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here