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.
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.
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.