“ To travel is to live.” Hans Christian Anderson
Whenever I speak to anyone about travel, I get the same line of questioning.
Isn’t it expensive?
How do you find the time?
Doesn’t it cost a lot to travel to all those places?
If I don’t receive questions, I get statements such as:
-I can’t afford to travel.
-It’s not in my budget
-Travel is for the rich.
There is a lot of information available that negates that line of thinking. The first step to travel is planning. Traveling doesn’t mean you have to leave the country, it just means you have to open your mind and train yourself to think differently.
What if I said I took a last minute trip to Miami, got a tan, had lunch and managed to make it back to New York in time for dinner, all under $200.
If you said that to me a few years ago I would have said you are either a rich person or reckless when it comes to money. Well, I’m here to tell you all of that can be done.
Now, why would I spend $200 for lunch in Miami?
Well, after the winter we've had in New York, any escape counts for something but here is how I did it.
I have an American Advantage account member. I redeemed 25,000 Advantage miles for a round trip fare from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Miami International (MIA) at a cost of $11.20. (A charge of $75 is assessed to this ticket if booked less than 21 days but is waived to Executive Platinum, Platinum and Gold Members.)
AA flight #1295 leaves LaGuardia at 6:00 and arrives in Miami at 9:06 am. I was only there for a few hours so there was no need for luggage. Upon leaving the airport, there are free shuttle buses that take you to the car rental area at the airport. I managed to get a fare for $19.80 plus tax. I always negate any additives that they offer because most credit cards offer protection, insurance, and accidental coverage anyways.
My first stop was Haulover beach. Haulover beach like any other beach in Miami is an awesome place to relax and tan. It might be less popular than a few other beaches in Miami but I prefer it. There is usually a smaller crowd in the morning and it’s usually rare that I have a problem finding parking. (There is usually a $5 fee for parking, $7 on weekends) After settling in, I began to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere. The sand beneath my feet, the sun on my skin and the peaceful sound of the ocean. After basking in the amazing Miami weather, I drove down Sunny Isles to one of my favorite places, Miami Juice. Miami juice is a healthy market store that sells mostly organic and healthy items. My favorite Item on the Menu is MJ’s Special Salad with grilled chicken and a small papaya juice. Cost of my meal with taxes was roughly $24.
After lunch, I visited some friends in North East Miami. Then headed to the airport to return my car, refill the gas tank and catch my flight back to New York. AA flight #2415 which leaves Miami at 7:00 pm and arrives at LaGuardia at 9.58 pm. Once in New York, I opted for a taxi ride home instead of the bus. $48 dollars isn’t bad but I had prior arrangements. I know I said before dinner but dinner for me that night was at 10:30 pm.
Well, that was my day and it was all less than $200.00.
Bus to the airport $2.75
Rental Car $33.50
Beach Parking $5.00
Cab Ride $48.00