Hello hello fellow travellers! I think it’s about time I put together a blog post answering some of your burning travel questions. Perhaps the most important question is, “What is Travel Coaching?”. For the past 11 years and counting I have been living and travelling abroad and spending less and less money with each trip. How is this possible? (I’ll teach you!) Can you travel affordably too? (Heck yes!) Is this too good to be true? (Not at all!)
Without fail, the most frequent question I’m asked is how I afford to see the world as much and as often as I do. One of the reasons is because I’ve built my life around travel. I chose not to work a 9-5 like the majority of Canadians (instead it’s more like 24/7…). Running my own business and being a digital nomad since 2017 has given me the flexibility to be where I want, whenever I want. Those were the early days when it confused people when I told them I made money online. They seem so long ago now that remote work is no longer a foreign concept. Through this lifestyle, I’ve saved money by travelling slower and living in different places. It’s likely that this is not how you will afford to travel more. In fact, I won’t encourage you to quit your job and travel full-time, become a digital nomad, or start your own business (though if you were already on that path, congrats!).
The second way that I’ve been able to see the world for pennies on the dollar is by travel hacking. This, my friends, this is what I’m going to teach you how to do. What is travel coaching? It is where I teach you all of the insider travel tips about airline and credit card rewards programs that I personally use. I will also teach you how to save money on accommodation, find last minute travel deals, and how to think outside the box.
Recently I sent out a travel survey to newsletter readers and those watching on Instagram. It gave me a better understanding of what your travel troubles are and where I can help you travel more affordably. Feel free to add your voice to the survey!
What is Travel Coaching?
So, what exactly is travel coaching? Travel coaching is where I teach you all of the travel hacking knowledge I’ve gathered and implemented over the past 11 years. You will learn the ins and outs of Canadian travel rewards programs, how to find affordable (dare I say free!) accommodation when abroad, and how to get creative with travel planning to save you time and money.
There are 2 ways for travellers to gain this knowledge: through the Pay Yourself to Travel course and through 1-on-1 sessions. It’s delivered in 2 formats because half of you prefer online learning and the other half prefer in-person, however they cover the same content.
How Does Travel Coaching Work?
I offer free 15-minute consultations to learn more about your travel goals and to provide information on the 2 learning formats. If you sign up for the Pay Yourself to Travel course, you can immediately dive into the modules. It’s an excellent option if you prefer to work at your own pace. Depending on your level of travel hacking knowledge, you can pick and choose what to spend your time on.
Alternatively, you can book 1-on-1 sessions with me. Sessions are booked in packages of 2 and payment is required at the time of booking. During 1-on-1 sessions I will cover the material for the day, provide you with homework, and answer your questions. The majority of clients book 4 sessions, which gives you a strong foundation. Some clients book extra sessions to help them right until the point of booking their flight or to discuss other travel-related questions.
*Please Note: I am not a travel agent and therefore I do not book your travel for you. I teach you the skills to be able to confidently book your own reward travel.
How Much Does Travel Coaching Cost?
The online course is currently $275 (CAD). The price will be increasing in 2024, so get it before December 31st!
The 1-on-1 sessions are $125 per hour.
Consultations for people that have points and just want help with booking their next flight are $225.
Why Do You Need Travel Coaching Now?
There are 2 main reasons why people don’t travel or don’t travel more often: time and money.
Travel coaching solves both of these problems for you. Instead of you having to research and experiment with travel hacking for 11 years like I did, you’ll receive all of the information in one place. In the online course you can go through the material at your own pace. If you want to refer back to something, it’s all accessible without needing to scour the Internet and bookmark multiple sites. The foundational 1-on-1 sessions take only 4 hours to complete. Four hours vs. 11 years – what a time-saver!
How does travel coaching save you money? Your life is going to change when you learn how to properly use points and miles. In fact, the sky’s the limit with how much you can save! One of the biggest complaints people have about airline rewards programs is that, despite using thousands of points, they still had to shell out hundreds of dollars for their flight. I’d be upset too. However, with the tips and knowledge I give you, your flights will cost pennies on the dollar.
One of my first clients was a family of 5. The husband was from Ireland and the wife originally from British Columbia, where they now resided. They were avid travellers who wanted to spend time with their family overseas, but with 3 kids and increasing living costs, travel was feeling more and more out of reach. Luckily, 2 of their children were under 2 years of age and could fly for free. (Parents, there’s a golden travel tip for you right there!) Based on their monthly spending habits and the cards they were able to apply for, as well as the points they already had accumulated, we set the goal of covering 2 of their 3 flights with points.
To set the scene, round-trip flights from Vancouver to Dublin in peak season (summer) cost roughly $1,200. There is also a good possibility of having a layover. Instead of spending thousands of dollars to visit their family, they ended up paying next to nothing. With the tools and strategies they learned in travel coaching, they booked 2 round-trip flights for $70 each. The cherry on top was that the flights were non-stop – a godsend when travelling with kids!
Your Survey Questions Answered Below
At the end of the travel survey I asked if you had any additional questions. Many of them were similar, so if you don’t see yours here, it’s reflected in someone else’s wording. Feel free to add any other questions you have in the comment section at the end of this blog post.
Is this really a service?
Heck yes it is!!!
What exactly is the coaching geared towards? Planning and booking trips?
This is an excellent question and one that many of you had. If you’re looking for trip ideas – what to see, do, eat, how to get somewhere, etc… – then head to my blog for all sorts of free resources. Another great place to find travel tips is the Travel with TMc Newsletter (subscribe below!) where I provide giveaways, discounts, and more.
Travel coaching teaches you how to afford to explore the world and connect with family and friends through the proper use of travel rewards. This can be done for solo, couple, and family travellers – really anyone who has to spend money on daily items.
I do not book people’s trips. I provide you the tools and knowledge to afford to travel (more!).
Is it a one-time course or ongoing support?
With the Pay Yourself to Travel course, you have unlimited access to all of the materials from the moment of purchase. If you have additional questions or want to measure your progress, you can always book a 1-on-1 check-in session.
What is the time commitment?
For the online course, the time commitment is whatever you choose. You can fly through the material, skip the homework, and cross your fingers. You can also take the time to read through the modules, complete the homework (I highly suggest this to be effective), and practice the skills you’ve learned. You can do this as much or as little as you want.
For 1-on-1 sessions, I recommend 4 sessions for people who are starting from scratch. The first 2 sessions are typically within a month of each other and the other 2 can be spread further apart. In total, that’s only 4 hours for a lifetime of savings!
How does it minimize stress and maximize value?
There are a few precious resources that we constantly juggle: time, money, and energy. Often times we’re stressed because we feel a lack of one or more of these areas. I know without a doubt that I can help you with all 3. The course will greatly reduce the amount of time required to scour the Internet for relevant and useful information. Second, it will minimize stress by putting money back in your pocket. Last, it will provide you with the energy to get excited about your trip, instead of worrying about cost or time. It’s a triple threat, folks!
There are several other ways that travel coaching provides maximum value to participants. The tools, strategies, and skills you will learn can be applied for all of your future flights. Keep in mind that taking a flight doesn’t always equate to going on vacation. Perhaps you want to surprise a family member with a flight home. Enjoying a short visit together and paying for it with points instead of cash is extremely valuable. Perhaps there is an emergency and you need to hop on a (very expensive) last minute flight. Paying for it with points instead of cash would be a huge relief. Perhaps you want to take 2 trips this year instead of 1 but your budget is tight. Paying for 1 of the flights with points and getting creative with the second would be extremely valuable. The scenarios are endless.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the sky is the limit. Knowledge is power and I can’t wait to share what I know with you!
How long does it normally take to get enough points to travel?
Another excellent question! The simple (though possibly not very satisfying) answer is that it depends. For starters, what are your travel values? Do you prefer to fly in economy, business, or first class? Next, how many people are you earning points for to cover flights? A third factor determining how many points you need and how long it will take to earn them is your destination and departure point. These all determine which rewards programs you’ll use. Another aspect that I will help you figure out is how your own personal spending habits can be leveraged to earn you the most amount of points. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you to stop going to coffee shops or buying avocados. I will, however, show you how to get the most bang for your buck each time you make purchases, as well as a few other game-changing points earning opportunities. Yet another item to consider is whether you’re playing the 1-player or 2-player points game. The list of factors continues…which is why I’ll be there to guide you along the way!
What are the learning modules?
We cover several topics in travel coaching, as seen below. The course will also be getting a refresh in 2024, so stay tuned! All current students in the online course will automatically see these updates uploaded as well.
How can I get the most bang for my buck for travel planning?
What is the “bang” you’re looking for? Time, money, convenience? This might be different for each trip that you go on. With regards to time and money, I’ve got you covered with the Pay Yourself to Travel course. It’s also pretty convenient to have all of the additional travel tips in one place. If you’re looking for location specific information, check out the blog, family and friends’ recommendations, and when in doubt, the library or Google.
How do you find the best cheapest deals? Like last minute trips at a steal!
I share all sorts of ways that you can find fantastic deals to make travel affordable in the online course! Since you’ve taken the time to read this far, here’s an extra little nugget for you…subscribe to YYZ Deals (or YVR or other cities). It’s one of, if not the best, discounted flight subscriptions out there and it’s totally free.
Where can I learn about travelling with a baby, toddler, or child?
Since I do not have children of my own, I’ll direct you to my Canadian colleagues: Hopscotch the Globe, Wandering Wagers, Traveling Canucks. There is also a comprehensive list of 50 other family travel blogs to check out here.
Girl, how do you save for your travels so fast? How do I book cheaper flights and accommodations?
The simple answer is that I am always saving and planning for travel, even when I don’t have immediate travel plans. I do this by travel hacking and making my daily spending pay me back in the travel rewards that best suit me. Ironically, 2020 until 2022 was the best time in the past decade to be “preparing to travel”. How? Well, I still had to pay for necessities like food, gas, and rent, but I had absolutely zero travel plans for the foreseeable future. Instead, I leveraged the time we were given during the pandemic to increase my reward saving for future trips. “Okay”, you might be thinking, “but what if we don’t have another pandemic experience to leverage?”. The answer is an easy one – think of travel hacking like retirement planning. Super sexy and exciting analogy, I know. In short, the best way to save and plan for your travels is to 1) start early and 2) always be planning for the possibility of future travel.
Another way I save for my travels is by making them a priority. I am probably more of a minimalist than most and tend to choose experiences over material items, which is exactly why I have the ugliest curtains (left over by the previous tenant) and a couch I purchased off of Kijiji instead of splurging on a new one. Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely travel and have nice things too. I just get way more excited about travel than I do about the latest fashion, tech, or any sort of keeping up with the Jones’ trap, and so that’s where my money, time, and energy goes. A third way that I’ve been able to travel so much is by building a life and a business around it, but I realize that’s not for everyone.
For the second question about flights and accommodation, I’ve got you covered in the Pay Yourself to Travel course!
What’s the ultimate goal of travel coaching?
My number one goal with travel coaching is to give you the freedom to see the world and connect with your friends and family. I can’t express how thrilling it is when a client realizes for the first time how much money they’re going to save and how little effort it took to get there!
In a perfect world, I wish everyone could travel to explore, to surprise their best friend on their birthday, or to be present with loved ones during a tough time. I can’t do anything about passport privilege or the amount of vacation time you have, but I can share everything I know about travel rewards programs and creative travel planning.
Still Have Questions?
I hope that this travel coaching FAQ has been helpful for you! If you still have questions about travel coaching or what the course entails, please don’t hesitate to send me an email at email@example.com.
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