When I was a kid, everyone wanted to go to Disneyland.
I mean, when we were tiny, we were happy with the local park. And then we really wanted to go to Alton Towers – but ultimately Disneyland was the place to go. And as a kid, I never got to go.
Of course these days, lots of people take their family to Florida for a ‘big holiday’, often more than once. Whereas when I was growing up it just wasn’t a thing (and maybe the same was true for you as well).
Back in 2010, I took my daughter to Florida for the first time. My mother had passed away earlier that year and it just felt like we really needed a holiday.
I was also pregnant with my son, and I knew this was the last time Laura and I would have a trip together, just the two of us. You might not think this would normally be an issue, but there’s 8 years between my children – she’d had a lot of time effectively being an only child and I really wanted this to be a special trip, before the new baby arrived, and we’d suddenly become a whole new family unit.
So I took some of the inheritance that I had from my mum and booked a trip to Florida for me and Laura. We stayed at St. Pete Beach and did a day at Disneyland and a day at Busch Gardens. We also spent a lot of time just chilling out together, eating marshmallow fluff and watching iCarly and SpongeBob on Nickelodeon. It was fun and we made some amazing memories together.
I’ve always thought about going back to Florida and we’ve decided that next year, in 2024, I’m going to take my daughter back to Florida. For a whole load of reasons!
Firstly, I want to go back and do Disney properly. Laura’s never quite forgiven me for being pregnant last time we went and not being able to go on a lot of the rides that she really wanted to go on. It’ll be the perfect chance for us to reconnect and spend some time together. Besides which, neither my husband nor my son like theme parks very much, so she and I going alone together makes a lot of sense.
Plus she’ll be 21 years old this time, so we’ll be able to go to a bar and legally get a drink!
And I’d like to do something special for her 21st because her 18th birthday happened in the middle of Covid, which meant we didn’t get to do anything at all.
Part of the reason I’m happy about this trip is that on paper, it’s probably going to cost more than when we went to Florida 13 years ago… but in practice, it’s going to cost me MUCH less.
The secret is that each time you pay for something with a plastic card, you should be getting reward points or air miles or cashback or something, and only using your bank’s debit card if you have no other option.
This is how I get to have a much nicer holiday with my daughter than I’d expect for a couple of thousand pounds… which is all I need to spend, to cover our food, theme park tickets and taxes on our flights!
You’ve probably heard me say before that I don’t pay for anything in cash if I can help it, and this is why.
If I can pay on my American Express card and get American Express points or air miles, then I will.
All the points you collect really DO add up. Your hotel can be covered by points, like ours is. And I’m paying for our flights to Florida using air miles I’ve accumulated with a companion voucher, which means I only need to use half the number of air miles to get decent flights.
In fact there was an article earlier this year about how the rock band Foo Fighters used more than 6 million reward points they’d accumulated on their American Express card, to pay for the travel and hotel rooms for the entire crew when they recorded their new album!*
And if I can’t use Amex – like when you’re buying from smaller retailers and want them to avoid the hefty transaction fee, or shopping in other places where it’s not accepted – then I use a cashback credit or debit card, so I can still benefit from that transaction.
Ultimately, it’s about using your money in the right way and getting as MUCH extra value as you can, which is what they call leverage. So if you haven’t already got a credit card that gives you points or air miles or cashback, you really are missing a trick.
There are lots of them available, but the key is to choose one whose rewards you’re going to use.
If you haven’t got a card like this and you want to have a chat about the ones I use, just send me quick a message here and I’m more than happy to share the details with you.
And if this is the kind of thing you’d love to sort out and set up, but never seem to get around to actually doing it, along with a million other financial things… definitely take a look at my ‘Sun, Sea & Success’ Wealth Retreat in Lanzarote too!
It’s dedicated time for you to get 100% clear on the most important elements of your personal wealth plan, and then to IMPLEMENT them there and then, with all the support and accountability you need.
You’ll return home knowing you’ve finally taken control of all your money stuff and your financial future – while also recharging your batteries in the sun, sipping cocktails by the pool and feasting on beautiful food prepared by the private chef at our villa, surrounded by other incredible women.
It’s happening in June 2024 but places are strictly limited at the villa in Lanzarote and filling up fast. Just click here now for all the details.
Here’s to air miles and free flights and cashback… all collected on the money you’re spending anyway!
Until next time,
*Neha Tandon Sharma (2023): “Rock band ‘Foo Fighters’ cleverly used the 6 million reward points accumulated on the band’s American Express credit card to pay for the travel and hotel rooms for the crew that recorded and filmed their album ‘Sonic Highways’ across 8 American cities”