Author Topic: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?  (Read 3965 times)

LWTG

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Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« on: October 30, 2017, 08:09:08 AM »
Hi everyone, I am interested in attending the MMM Moab meetup in October of 2018 as cheaply as possible:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/moab-utah-usa-in-october-2018/150/

The lodging sounds like it will be camping which is pretty cheap already so my two big costs are flight and rental car.

I'll  be flying from MD, preferably BWI but Dulles or Reagan also theoretically possible if cheaper/better for some reason. Flying into Salt Lake city is the closest (~3.5 hours) but Vegas or Denver are also options (~6.5 hours). I'd consider flying into Vegas a night early where I could get a free room and then make the drive up to Moab with a stop at Zion National park for lunch/hike.

For rental car I don't need anything fancy I'll just have small backpacking gear and most likely one person.

My wife actually has a Companion pass for me right now through Southwest but shes not really interested in attending so I'll be solo. Almost out of Southwest points and saving what I do have for a possible December 2018 couples trip before pass expires.

While in Moab I'll also want to rent a Mountain bike for at least two days and presumably want to eat something so some generic statement credits redeemable for anything would be nice too.

So, what cards do I want??? thinking 2-3 probably, we average about $1,500-$2,000  a month on card without having to manufacture and will have one expensive trip and Holiday shopping in December so want to apply for and receive the cards by end of November to start hitting bonus spending requirements.

Delta is one of the few airlines with BWI-SLC non stops so considering that for flight. Already got Gold card two years ago though so Platinum would come with a $195 fee but 70K bonus so thinking it's still worthwhile?

Outside of that I was just thinking Barclay arrival (40K miles) and capital one Venture (50K miles currently) for rental car, Misc, etc.

Doubt I could hit all 3 at once so I'd probably focus on two now and get the other in the Spring maybe.

Anyhow those are my initial thoughts, any of you hacking pros have other/better ideas?

Edited to add: Before suggestions come in I can NOT get any Chase cards, anything else should be OK.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 08:20:27 AM by LWTG »

arebelspy

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 08:23:05 AM »
Outside of that I was just thinking Barclay arrival (40K miles) and capital one Venture (50K miles currently) for rental car, Misc, etc.

Yeah. If you aren't super into travel hacking, KISS.

Get these cards, pay for the flight and rental car and any hotels with them, reimburse up to ~1k of spending together (after bonuses and min spend points credits).

Moab should cost <$500 for flight/rental car, I'd bet; likely one of those cards would be enough, and you should be able to do 4 (one of each, for your wife and yourself each).
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boarder42

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 08:34:12 AM »
I'd do the venture card as barclay goes up to 50k sometimes so you could save that one for the future.

If you're concerned about the annual fee go with the gold delta business card.  I'll PM you a referral on that one.  Delta's bonus ends in 9 days. so do that card now. 

Moab is amazing.

arebelspy

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 08:40:31 AM »
Given the amount of time (~1 yr), multiple cards over that time frame for options and flexibility is good.

Good on you for starting early!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

boarder42

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 04:34:15 PM »
Thanks!  If you have more questions let me know

doggyfizzle

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 04:47:24 PM »
Be aware that Amex sign-up bonuses are once per lifetime, and Capital One pulls from all 3 credit bureaus when you submit a new application.  I personally might have considered the Chase Sapphire Preferred; youd end up with 50k UR points that can be transferred to Southwest or United, or also redeemed for travel at 1.25 cents per point through the ultimate rewards travel mall.  The annual fee is also lower than the Delta Platinum Card.

boarder42

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 04:50:14 PM »
Be aware that Amex sign-up bonuses are once per lifetime, and Capital One pulls from all 3 credit bureaus when you submit a new application.  I personally might have considered the Chase Sapphire Preferred; youd end up with 50k UR points that can be transferred to Southwest or United, or also redeemed for travel at 1.25 cents per point through the ultimate rewards travel mall.  The annual fee is also lower than the Delta Platinum Card.

Amex is once per 7 years or if you get a direct mail offer. 

boarder42

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 05:44:20 PM »
Yes no problem with the points on the Platinum. And a 3 pull isn't awful.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 10:15:56 PM »
Good luck hacking your way to Moab!

Retire-Canada

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 06:17:33 AM »
Avoid the pointy plants and don't crash in the rocks and it will be awesome. :)

boarder42

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 11:27:12 AM »
book a rental car today then just keep watching them - dont prepay - and just rebook everytime a cheaper rental rate shows up.

Systems101

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 12:51:27 PM »
book a rental car today then just keep watching them - dont prepay - and just rebook everytime a cheaper rental rate shows up.

+1

Also:

Look directly with the companies as well as through the airlines and hotel programs; often the group discount prices will help (and you may get some miles/points as well).

Look at originally renting off the airport.  It does involve some risk (e.g. if you get in late on a flight and thus after the location you want will be closed since many will close at 5 PM)... but in some cases, you can get some major cost avoidance on the airport rental costs (note: this usually won't work with the airline discounts since they are related to the airport locations, but should work on the hotel ones).

Under certain discount programs (some hotel / corporate ones), you could rent off airport, then subsequently return the car to the airport (thus not doing a pure circle with the car), still get the group discount and not pay the airport fees or a one-way rental fee (because the locations are very close to each other)


Systems101

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 12:56:26 PM »
One more thing: For the benefit of others who may want to do this (since OP already has their ticket), don't underestimate the rental car savings of a secondary airport.  The frequent flyer cost in miles will often be the same, but you might get a much cheaper car from St. George, Utah or Grand Junction, CO than from Salt Lake City or Las Vegas... or at least that was my recent experience booking a car in that region...

boarder42

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2018, 06:21:31 AM »
yep you can go back in time and credit it - i missed that comment earlier or would have replied.

Daisy

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Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2018, 09:44:18 AM »
book a rental car today then just keep watching them - dont prepay - and just rebook everytime a cheaper rental rate shows up.

+1

Also:

Look directly with the companies as well as through the airlines and hotel programs; often the group discount prices will help (and you may get some miles/points as well).

Look at originally renting off the airport.  It does involve some risk (e.g. if you get in late on a flight and thus after the location you want will be closed since many will close at 5 PM)... but in some cases, you can get some major cost avoidance on the airport rental costs (note: this usually won't work with the airline discounts since they are related to the airport locations, but should work on the hotel ones).

Under certain discount programs (some hotel / corporate ones), you could rent off airport, then subsequently return the car to the airport (thus not doing a pure circle with the car), still get the group discount and not pay the airport fees or a one-way rental fee (because the locations are very close to each other)

I recently learned about this ability to reserve a car then cancel the reservation and rebook if you find a better price.

I have an upcoming trip in February and booked a good rate through the airline I am flying with. Then I checked at the end of Dec and the rate went down to $25/day. I cancelled and rebooked. Then I checked this week on kayak.com and found a rate of $18/day for a small SUV (same price as compact) if I booked and paid it immediately. So I went ahead and booked and prepaid on kayak.com and cancelled the reservation under the airline's portal. So now I can't cancel any more, but I think I ended up with a good price and a larger car than I originally booked. This is good because I will have skis with me. ;)

I've also done the off-airport thing. I found a huge difference in prices on a recent trip. At the airport, the rate was about $230/4 days. A mile from the airport, it was around $150ish/4 days. 4 miles from the airport, they had a special rate of $74/4 days. I just uber'd back and forth for $7 each way. Off airport locations won't usually shuttle you to the airport because they don't want to cannibalize their on-airport rates, or at least that's what the attendant told me. I did try to get them to shuttle me to the airport (with no success).