Travel While the Deal is Hot

San Blas Islands Bathroom

When a blacksmith is working a piece of iron he must heat the iron up until it is red hot.  Once it is red hot he hits it with the hammer to shape the iron.  Once the iron has cooled he must reheat the iron before he can start to shape it again.  You must strike while the iron is hot, otherwise hitting the iron is basically worthless.

As I look back over my days of travel, I can see that I’ve made a few wonderful decisions, and yet a few times I’ve completely failed.  The final takeaway from all of my travels, is that you need to “Travel While the Iron is Hot.”

Just recently Brad announced that you can get a flight to Central America in November, January, and February for under $400 per ticket.  This is a perfect example of the point I’m illustrating.  You might think to yourself, man I’d love to see the Panama Canal, or maybe spend a few days amongst the Kuna Yala indians, I should do that someday.  Well, wait no longer because today is your day.  If you delay even but a few hours, the sale can disappear without notice.

Looking back I can tell you about some incredible deals that I’ve hit because I was willing to jump on it.

  • Costa Rica for $230 in 2005
  • Panama for $230 in June of 2008
  • Brad went to Belize for $250 in 2009
  • Capital One Venture card promotion 2011=$2200 in free travel
  • American Airlines 75,000 AAdvantage miles x 3= 225,000 AAdvantage Miles

Unfortunately I can tell you there are a few deals that I wish I would have grabbed, but my hesitancy held me back…

  • Buenos Aires for $300
  • Madrid, Spain for $450 from Idaho Falls
  • Belize with Brad in 2009
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 (Now dropped to 40,000)
  • Chase Ink Bold 50,000 (Easier spending requirement)

Are you kidding me??  Buenos Aires for $300 and I let it slip through my fingers like a handful of sand.  The biggest struggle that I’ve had is wanting to think about my decision. Remember, when the deal is good enough (the iron is hot) you’ve got to make quick decisions.

Holding the Flight

Fortunately for you American Airlines has a “hold” feature on their flights.  This allows you to hold the itinerary until the next day at midnight.  So, when you find a great deal on American, you need to AT LEAST hold the flights, but hopefully you’ll be booking the flights.  Once you’ve inputted all of the information and chosen the routes you have all of these options to pay.  The option on the far right is the hold option that you’ve got to use.

Hold Feature on American Airlines

If you’re considering the flight to Central America this winter, now is the time to hold the flight.  That will give you time to visit with your spouse, or round up a few other friends to join you on your first international adventure.

I don’t regret $1 that I’ve spent from any of the trips that I’ve taken.  Those are strong words coming from a Christensen.  Most Christensens cringe when any money at all is spent, but when it comes to travel the dollars are always well spent.

My Fam Under the Golden Gate.  Our flights were free thanks to the Capital One offer.

The Capital One Venture Offer

A bit over a year ago Capital One came out with an incredible offer that offered $1100 to applicants.  I was wavering as to whether or not I should apply.  Brad told me I’d be crazy if I didn’t apply for the card.  Fortunately I did for myself and for my wife.  That gave us $2200 for travel expenses, which has been super useful.

Had I have hesitated I would have missed out on $2200.

Next time you’ve got the chance to take a trip, or apply for an amazing deal from a credit card company, make it happen.  Your hesitation can cost you big dollars, but more importantly it can cost you amazing experiences.  


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3 Responses to Travel While the Deal is Hot

  1. Amanda says:

    I just tried to apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards card through your link, and the promotion is no longer available. Do you know if this promotion comes around very often?

    • Sheldon says:


      It seems as though historically it has come around twice a year or so. Hopefully it comes back soon as it is a great deal. The next best thing would be the Chase Sapphire PreferredSM . The Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to Southwest directly. You would be able to get 43,000 Rapid Rewards for that card, which isn’t bad. You also have the flexibility of moving them to Marriott, or Hyatt for hotels too. Do you have the Chase Sapphire PreferredSM ?

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