Location: Ronda, Spain
Good morning and happy Friday! This is the last of my posts featuring the beautiful south of Spain. This time we drove about an hour outside Marbella and headed to Ronda. You’ll see from the pictures that Ronda is this really cute and quaint little town known for it’s jaw-dropping three bridges, with Puente Nuevo being the most well-known and featured here. It’s also the home of the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain which, much to my sadness, is still in use. This holiday already feels so long ago! I try really hard not to look back and think ‘oh I wish I was still there’ and instead focus on all the trips I have to look forward to. Recently, I am being asked by a lot of readers and followers of my Instagram page how I am able to travel so much. I thought I would write this post to reveal some of my travel tips, with the hope that it gets you to travel more too!
This may not be what you were hoping to hear for the first point, but it is the best place to start. Planning ahead is so important if you want to travel more. You want to plan around family and work commitments, travel times, bank or public holidays and weekends. As a rule, my husband and I aren’t the biggest fans of two week holidays. Neither of us want to be away from our baby Luna the Frenchie for more than 10 days at a go and after those 10 days, we often feel as though we are ready to get back to daily routine. So my first tip to travel more is to maximise your weekends and holidays to squeeze out the most trips. This could mean either taking off a Friday and a Monday, or travelling over bank holiday weekends. Some people say that it’s too much of a hassle to travel far for a short time in a country. I tend to disagree with this. We try to fly at night to maximise time, leaving say a Thursday evening, arriving Friday morning, or flying back Sunday evening arriving Monday morning and straight to the office. It’s not for everyone, but it works just fine for us.
This is one of the big ones. If you do plan to become a frequent traveller, then you must join an airline alliance programme and stick to those airlines. I can’t stress this enough. Since I live in the UK, I joined OneWorld years ago and make it a point to only ever fly British Airways OR another airline under the OneWorld alliance program. For example, if I am travelling from one state to another in the US, I make sure I am flying American Airlines, even if it is not necessarily the cheapest. For my Maltese readers, unfortunately this won’t quite work with AirMalta. Whilst it does have a frequent flier programme, it is not tied to any of the large alliance programs. The goal is to fly with the airlines in the alliance program so that all your air miles are gathered on the same account. So what can you do? If you are flying from say Malta to London, join OneWorld and fly British Airways. If you are flying to Germany, join Star Alliance and fly Lufthansa. It may not always be the most convenient, take British Airways flying into Gatwick from Malta rather than Heathrow, but clocking up the air miles needs to be your priority. The why part is coming up next…
Air Miles and Travel Hacking
I have an unhealthy obsession with air miles and there is a reason for it. Once you’ve collected a fair few by flying airlines under the same alliance program, you can then trade in those air miles for either free flights (excluding taxes) or into upgrades on long haul flights. Also, the more flights you take, the higher up you’ll move on the alliance programs tiers, which means more bonus air miles. If you fly in a higher cabin, say business or first, that’s even more air miles! You can see how it easily goes up. Flying indirect is another way that you can build up the points and it often brings down the cost of the trip. You’ll need to plan this well though, as some indirect flights can have awkward layover times. That being said, it’s not the first time we have booked an indirect flight and used it to check out more than one country on a trip.
Some credit cards also give out points for what you spend. Most of the time, these can be converted into air miles too! We even got a card which gives out one companion ticket per year if you spend over a certain amount, that is, one free flight irrelevant of class! We use these all the time! Whether for our trip to the West Coast or upcoming trip to Moscow, both in either first or business class, we didn’t pay more than what was probably the price of one economy ticket. If you need more insight into the different BA travel cabins, you can check out this post here. What I’m talking about is known as travel hacking and there are loads of blogs that teach you how to do it. Check out The Points Guy or Head for Points – both have some really good tips and even mention airlines and hotels that have any offers on at the moment.
Extend Work Trips
Aside from all the above, if you are able to travel for work, then why not have your partner join you and extend the trip over a weekend, so that you actually get to see the city you’re in. The sad thing about work travel is that you don’t get to see very much. In fact, I hardly take any photos on work trips as there just isn’t the time. Extending the trip and either staying for the weekend or taking a few days off at the end of the trip is therefore a special treat which I really enjoy when I get the chance.
Start a Travel Fund
Lastly, here comes some good old fashioned advice: work, save, buy. Flying and holidays undoubtedly cost money – unless you are cashing in those air miles, you are not going to be getting anything for free. Make it a new year’s resolution. Instead of buying that daily Starbucks, put that £3.30 into your travel fund instead. If you do that everyday for a year, that’s over £1,200 in a year!
What are your tips for travelling more? Do you have any travel hacks that you can share here? Let me know in the comments section below!
Shop the Look
I wrote this on my Instagram feed, but the Ted Baker halterneck dress I am wearing is actually a kaftan. It was so pretty though that I was determined to wear it out, not only to the beach. It’s quite see-through, so I bought the above bodysuit from Boohoo, cut off the straps that are sewn to the back and turned the bodysuit into a backless halterneck too. It went perfectly underneath the dress!