July 8 2016

Random Collection of Deals

Hope everyone is well! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on one’s perspective) work continues to get in the way of my free time so I have been neglecting the blog!

Anyway, a friend taking a quick trip – with flights already booked on miles – jokingly asked how to get the rest of the trip for free. So I promised to pass along a few deals. Since I was compiling it all anyway, figured I’d post it on my little corner of the Internet in case anyone else finds it useful. 🙂

 

Food offers

Uber Eats is offering $20 off your first order. Feel free to use my referral code eats-ubermywanderlux (enter it in the “Promotions” tab of the app).

LivingSocial Restaurants Plus is offering $20 off your first meal at a participating restaurant. You need to join, register a credit card, and pay for your meal with that credit card. You’ll then earn a statement credit equal to the meal price (up to $20). At this time they have restaurants in only a handful of areas, but they are major metropolitan areas.

Grubhub frequently offers $10 off your first order of $15+. You need one of the ever-changing promo codes, but if you sign up for their emails I’m sure they’ll come. Be on the lookout for the $10 code, not the inferior $7 code. I seem to get a code at least weekly (I give them my spam email account, of course). Alternatively, try one of the recent codes on RetailMeNot.

Travel Is Free has a handful of additional ideas here.

 

Transportation offers

Both Uber and Lyft are offering signup bonuses. I don’t think I actually know anyone under age 60 who doesn’t already have at least one of those accounts, but perhaps you only have one and not both? If so, sign up for the other and get a bonus from that.

Current offers are $20 off your first Uber ride and $50 in free Lyft credit. (The bonus amounts change fairly often, but these are current as of this writing.)

 

$80 off Airbnb

If you don’t already have an Airbnb account, sign up through a referral link to earn a $30 travel credit. So get a friend to refer you, or send me a note if you’d like me to send you a referral.

Airbnb is also offering $50 after completing a “business” stay. Doctor of Credit’s blog has details here.

Note that, since the latter credit isn’t earned until after your stay, combining these offers doesn’t get you $80 off one stay. It’s $30 off the first stay and $50 off a subsequent stay.

Have a great weekend!

 

July 25 2015

Bonefish Grill, Chipotle, Shutterfly, and Choice Hotels Promos

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Here are a few deals…

 

Bonefish Grill

Obtain a Bonefish Grill $10 off coupon here and enjoy a free(ish) dinner on the house.

Although I haven’t been to Bonefish Grill in a while, I recall some entrees priced in the low teens (or maybe even single digits?), so $10 off is a great deal since there is no minimum required for the coupon.

The lobster tails pictured above don’t look too bad.

Terms do say “one coupon per table” so…everyone sit separately at the bar? 😉

The coupon expires August 3.

 

Chipotle buy one get one free

Get a Chipotle BOGO free coupon playing their Friend or Faux game.

Just click “play now” to play the game. Took me about a minute, and you don’t have to get the correct answers. At the end you’re asked for a phone number where they’ll text you the BOGO coupon.

It says the coupon comes within 7 days but mine came in under 2 hours.

I didn’t notice an expiration date for the game, but the coupon itself expires August 15.

 

Shutterfly $20 off $20+

Shutterfly $20 off $20

Also free-ish is this Shutterfly $20 off $20+ offer. Use code JOLLYJULY and note the offer expires July 28.

 

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels GC

Finally, Choice Hotels is offering a $50 gift card after two qualifying trips.

Gift card options include Amazon, Walmart, several gas stations, and a handful of restaurants.

Do note the promotion requires two separate qualifying “trips.” Per the FAQs, consecutive nights at one hotel only count as one trip, regardless of check-ins or check-outs.

Also, a trip is defined as one night or more at some brands (Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria, and Ascend Hotel Collection) while 2 or more consecutive nights at other brands (Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, or MainStay Suites).

And note the somewhat-convoluted redemption process. After the two qualifying trips you’re awarded 8,000 points which can then be redeemed until 10/31/15 for one $50 gift card.

If you value 8,000 points more than a $50 gift card to one of the participating retailers, then don’t redeem them for the gift card. To help you decide, I previously wrote a long analysis when they ran this offer last year.

Registration is required (register here) and check-in must occur by August 19.

 

Have a great rest of the weekend.

July 3 2015

Free Drink, Two Amazon Offers, Triple Hilton HHonors Points, and Complimentary Museum Admission

Finally! Friday is here! Happy Independence Day weekend, everyone.

If you’re flying Southwest tomorrow, enjoy a free cocktail on board.

Southwest Free Drink

The airline extends this offer on various holidays but doesn’t advertise it much, so you’ll likely have to speak up and ask for your free drink.

But at least you can’t complain about the price. 🙂

Triple Hilton HHonors points

Hilton is offering triple HHonors points at participating properties in the Americas through January 30, 2016.

Be sure to read the terms. Also note you must book the triple points rate (see example below) and the stay must be at least two nights.

Hilton 3x Rate

$15 off $50+ on Amazon when paying with American Express Membership Rewards points

This is a nice offer, but it’s targeted and requires having an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points.

Receive $15 off a $50+ purchase when you use Membership Rewards points to pay.

Amazon MR promo

If targeted, you’ll see a banner at checkout. Click on the “learn more” button then find the box to link your Amex card. It looks like this:

Amazon MR instructions

After following the prompts to link your card, you’ll see the option to pay for your order by redeeming Membership Rewards points.

Here’s the catch: the redemption rate is 1.43 points to 1 cent. That’s a terrible conversion rate.

I value a Membership Rewards point at 1.7 cents, yet this offer only yields about 0.7 cents of value.

So the trick is to redeem just one point on your order (which is all it takes to qualify for the $15 off). The remaining balance is billed to your Amex card.

Payment screen redacted

Don’t forget to use promo code SWP07AXP15.

Note there are also offers for Chase and Discover cardholders. I wasn’t targeted for those, but if interested keep an eye out when logged in to your Amazon account.

Bonus Amazon tip

If you’re a Prime member but have yet to use the Subscribe & Save service, Amazon is offering $10 Subscribe & Save credit with promo code TRYSNS10.

Offer ends July 31, 2015.

Free museum admission

Finally, don’t forget this weekend Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders receive free admission to over 150 museums, science centers, and botanical gardens.

Enjoy the long weekend.

July 1 2015

Lots of Free Travel Books

Happy alllllllmost Independence Day! Is it just me, or do these “short” work weeks seem to drag on forever?

As I normally do this time of year, I re-stocked on poolside reading material. Thought I’d share some travel-related finds.

At this writing, the Kindle version of the following books is free. (However, Amazon prices can change any time so double-check the price before ordering!)

Without a Kindle device, you can still read e-books with a free Kindle reading app.

Machu Picchu: Appreciating the Lost City of the Inca

Machu Picchu

Secret Europe: 50 Truly Unforgettable Experiences to Inspire Your Next Trip

Secret Europe

101 Tips to Reduce Luggage Weight

Luggage

London, England Travel Guide Book – A Comprehensive 5-Day Travel Guide…

London

Cruising the Inside Passage Alaska

Inside Passage

Spanish Tapas Recipes: Authentic Tapas Recipes from the Tapas Bars of Spain

Spanish Tapas

Ireland: For Travelers!: The Tourist Guide To Make The Most Out Of Your Trip To Ireland – Discover Where To Go, Eat, Sleep & Party

Ireland

USA’s Best Trips: 7 Amazing Road Trips

USA's Best Trips

A Naturalist Guide to the Galápagos Islands – 2nd Edition

Galapagos

Onboard French: Learn a language before you land

Onboard French

Rome: The Best Of Rome For Short Stay Travel

Rome

Getting High: The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

Annapurna

Top 14 Places to Visit in Norway

Norway

Italian Travel Phrases for English Speakers: the most useful 1.000 phrases to get around when travelling in Italy

Italy

The Happy Camper: How I Quit My Corporate Job and Sold Everything to Travel Full-Time

Happy Camper

Ladakh in Pictures  

Ladakh

Havana Tips and Tricks: Interesting Facts and Tips On Havana And Cuba

Havana

June 27 2015

100 Free Prints from Shutterfly

Not being a big “stuff” person, I buy very few non-consumable things while traveling. My trip souvenirs are mostly photos.

Stored electronically, they take no physical space. And when I want prints, there’s often a way to get them inexpensively. 🙂

Wouldn’t you know it, Shutterfly is offering 100 free prints through June 30th. Just use code 100FREEPRINTS at checkout.

You still have to pay shipping, but here’s a tip: shipping costs are tiered. If you order 100 prints, shipping is $7.99. Lower the order to 99 prints and the shipping drops to $5.99.

Shutterfly Cart

Have a great rest of the weekend!

January 26 2015

Roundtrip Flights to Panama City from Many US Cities for ~$350, and Other Deals

The Panama Canal has been on my (long) to-see list for a while but every time a good fare comes up the timing never seems to work for me.

Currently there is a nice fare with fairly wide availability – and it works for many US cities! I did not search Canada but there are reports of similar prices from Canadian cities as well.

Here are a few examples. While these are all March examples, I saw availability through as late as November.

Roundtrip from Los Angeles for $366:

LAX-PTY

Roundtrip from New York for $366:

NYC-PTY

Roundtrip from Dallas for $340:

DFW-PTY

To search I suggest using ITA Matrix. For dates, select “see calendar of lowest fares” for best results.

You cannot book on ITA, but with your findings can book on Priceline or Orbitz.

[Thanks to Secret Flying.]

 

A few other randoms…

Don’t forget about the Chipotle free burrito offer today.

Through the Dunkin Donuts mobile app, get a $5 gift card and a free medium beverage when you purchase a $2 gift card. Details here.

Finally, if you need to restock on travel-size toiletries, snag some free toothpaste. 🙂

January 17 2015

Quick Travel Tip: How to Get Free Bottled Water at Hotels

“Don’t drink the tap water” is common advice for travelers visiting foreign countries.

It’s not necessarily a value judgment about the water quality of other countries. Their water may be perfectly potable for locals but unsafe for foreigners whose bodies simply aren’t accustomed to it.

As a practical matter of health and safety, I stick to drinking bottled – or at least filtered – water when traveling.

But it’s a pain having to hunt down bottled water all the time. Water is heavy so you can’t “stock up” while traveling. There may not be a store convenient to where you’re staying. Your hotel may not provide complimentary bottled water in the room. The vending machine only takes coins you don’t have on hand. Et cetera.

So here’s my hack for obtaining free bottled or filtered water at hotels.

If the hotel has a workout room, there’s most likely a water cooler in it. Sometimes it’s the kind that dispenses bottled water from, say, a 5-gallon Arrowhead jug. Other times it’s a machine with a built-in filter.

Either way, it will dispense water the hotel deems safe for its traveling guests.

Here’s the workout room of a hotel I recently stayed at:

Gym

See the water cooler on the far wall? Here’s a close-up:

Water filter

I just took an empty bottle down to the gym and filled it up there.

Bonus tip: pack a foldable water bottle that flattens when empty, consuming less of your precious luggage space.

Wishing you, as always, safe travels.

January 3 2015

Free Entrance to All US National Parks, Free Admission to 150+ Museums

Free entrance to national parks

On several dates each year, the National Park Service offers free entrance to all national parks in the United States.

If you’re planning ahead, the 2015 days are:

Natl Parks Free Entrance Dates

For inspiration, Smarter Travel wrote about 10 national parks you never knew existed. However, the US has over 400 national parks so there are many more options to consider!

There is a park-finder tool where you can search by name, location, and other parameters.

 

Free admission to museums

Bank of America’s Museums on Us program offers cardholders free general admission to over 150 museums, science centers, and botanical gardens on the first full weekend of each month.

The 2015 dates are:

Bofa Museum Dates

For free admission on valid dates, simply show your photo ID plus a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch debit or credit card.

You can find a museum locator on the program’s website.

Do note admission is complimentary only for the cardholder (although many participating institutions already offer free admission to children year round).

[Thanks to Million Mile Secrets for the tip.]

January 1 2015

Free Cocktail on Southwest, $35 off Travelocity, and a Free Photo Book

I hope your 2015 is off to a great start!

 

Complimentary cocktail on Southwest today

If you are feeling any…um…“ill effects” of a New Year’s Eve celebration, maybe another cocktail isn’t the best idea.

Otherwise, if you’re flying Southwest today enjoy a free premium beverage on board.

Southwest Free Drink

The airline extends this offer on various holidays throughout the year but doesn’t advertise it much, so you will likely have to speak up and ask for your free drink.

(The next free-drink day is Valentine’s Day in case you plan ahead.)

 

Travelocity offers

Travelocity has several offers valid through 11:59pm PT on January 4, 2015:

Travelocity Promos

In my opinion the best one is $35 off $100 on a booking made through the app. Be sure to use promo code MOBILE2015.

The code works on single-night or multiple-night bookings although not every property participates. You can apply the promo code after selecting a property – that’s how you can tell if it participates.

 

Free photo book

What to do with all those photos from your travels?

Walgreens is offering a free brag book through January 3 with promo code BRAGBK.

Walgreens Free Brag Book

Do note the free offer excludes tax and shipping (standard shipping is $2.99).