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1 In Airlines/ Bucket List/ Budget/ Lifestyle/ Travel/ Travel Advice/ Travel Tips/ United States

How to Get to Hawaii from Columbus, Ohio for $22.40

Traveling to Hawaii and not spending a fortune makes for the best vacation! The simple task of applying for a credit card and getting to Hawaii for $22.40 makes it all worth it. Read below to get started.

Click Here to Apply

Above is a link that will make life a lot cheaper to get to Hawaii from the United States.

I live in Columbus, Ohio and have gone to Hawaii 10 times since 2007 – Southwest has recently started flying here and making life a lot cheaper. Let me explain below…

Step 1: Apply for the Above Credit Card (I do receive small credit and this helps me continue writing)

Step 2: Understand what you have to do. Spend $1000 within 3 months. Get 40,000 miles round trip.

Step 3: If you have a significant other, you want them to click the same link and do the same thing. Do not have them added to your card. +5000 is not the same as +40,000 miles

Step 4: Get flying

There are a few ways to get to Hawaii from Ohio but my recommendation is to go to Hawaii from Las Vegas. Flights to Vegas from Columbus, Ohio generally run around $200 roundtrip. The flight roundtrip to Hawaii is usually $588 to $1500 depending.

I recommend figuring out the days you want to be in Hawaii – and booking that first.

Please note that being flexible makes life a lot easier. Holidays and typically busy dates will not work for minimal spends…

This is from the Southwest App –

Leaving LAS to HNL for 11,203 points one way

Returning May 8 from 1:15 pm to 11:46 pm for 13,134

Per person 24,337 miles from Las Vegas to HNL roundtrip

Now to get to Las Vegas…

One way to get from Columbus to Las Vegas is to go Spirit Airlines or book via Southwest. Depending on miles – I can pay roundtrip or do points one way and pay the other. There are options. The total from this trip ends up being 46,106 miles and for getting the credit card – it ends up with me deficient 6,106 miles so buying roundtrip on another airline or buying one way on Southwest or paying roundtrip can also work.

So from CMH to LAS is 11,320 miles

The cheapest return is 10,449 miles from Las to CMH

Keep in mind – booking this way – you will need hotel stay or you will need to plan on staying at the airport…but hotels are pretty cheap in Vegas.

Total miles:

CMH to LAS 11,320

LAS to CMH 10,449

LAS to HNL 11,203

HNL to LAS 13,134

Total 46,106 miles and $11.20 and $11.20

You can’t book from Columbus to Hawaii so you will have to pay tax two times but essentially – $22.40 for a free flight is a win!

If you use your Southwest Card for hotel bookings – sometimes it is a great deal – last weekend- I stayed at a Wyndham in Orlando for $149 for the night and it allowed me to get 4,000 points on my Southwest Card. This is well worth it. Helps make up the points to cover the Hawaii flight.

What I recommend…..

Know these deals are not July 4th weekend or Christmas – you will pay a lot of miles to do that but if you can plan for Thanksgiving or Easter – these times are easier to book with miles. I will also suggest that when the windows open – you can typically land a good deal. I always save my miles – so I would spend an extra month or two then pay with miles for the entire trip. Remember if flying from Columbus – you will have to book to Las Vegas and then from Vegas to Hawaii.

If you are deadset on a time frame and you have enough miles to book from Las Vegas to Hawaii but not enough from Columbus – go ahead and book it – Southwest lets you cancel without penalty and bags travel free – so there is no loss.

I do not typically shop from the Southwest Portal – I do book some hotels there but most of the time – hotels.com as you stay 10 nights and get the 11th free. I have attained good status there and have had positive experiences.

*With many airline credit cards, there are annual fees – depending on the Southwest Card you choose $59-$149.

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DM me if you have any questions and as mentioned

Click Here to get Started for the Southwest Card

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Enjoy Hawaii,

Heidi

0 In Bucket List/ Lifestyle/ Travel

3 Reasons Why You Need to Sign Up for Cake Decorating at Disney

1. Knowledge

2. Includes 2 People in the Price

3. Get to take home the cake you made

As a frequent visitor to Disney, I have been looking beyond the Parks and continue to learn more and more each time…have done several tours and visited many of the Parks around the World…supposed to experience Shanghai Disney in April but with Corona Virus – not sure we will be going…..

Anyway, at Amorette’s Patisserie, you can sign up for Cake Decorating (sign up early) as many days they are sold out.

When you come in, you order your breakfast drink and take a seat. At the table, you find several items already laid out for you

Promptly at 9 AM, our Chef started walking us through the story of the bakery and how this place originated and if you know anything about Walt Disney and Walt Disney World- you will appreciate that there is a story and history and hidden clues and information about the history in the location.

Different Days have different dome cakes- I selected the Mickey Mouse dome cake day.

1. Knowledge

Amorette’s Patisserie is based on two ladies who were friends and one was based in NY and attended art school and her friend had a bakery- combined the efforts to make edible art. Beautiful cakes and cookies – you should check out the experience for yourself on the rest of the story but Disney owns the shop now but many of the original drawings are on the wall and if you want to know more – just message me

The cake seen is 9 layers – it takes about 3 days to create; each layer must be baked and frozen and in order to decorate the cake…you want it to be hardened and frozen to have the optimal decorating situation

With it taking 3 days and 9 layers – makes me understand why a cake could cost $59

While 9 layers is impressive, it is not necessary. A frozen dome cake is easiest enough to start with.

Step 1: After the Cake is Frozen or Hardened. Add Buttercream Frosting. Coat it and the trick here is taking a piece of plastic and smoothing out of the buttercreme – take plastic and start under the cake and spread evenly. After buttercreme covering – put in fridge then do another coating (2 is sufficient)

Step 2: Add the Glaze

The glaze is gelatin based – the red coloring for Disney is universal no matter where in the world you are – Disney Mickey Red is Disney Mickey Red.

If you are wondering how you might create a glaze – pinterest offers a similar glaze

  • 10 oz Granulated Sugar
  • 7 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 5 oz Water
  • 4 tsp Gelatin Powder
  • 2.5 oz Water
  • 7 oz White Chocolate (high quality for best results such as Valrhona)
  • 2 drops White Food Coloring

After you create your glaze – important to put in the fridge or freezer in between times you glaze and to have the right coloring – you want to make sure you coat 3 times.

The next steps are creating the ears, tail, and belt – created from fondant. You can do this by using a rolling pin and painting with edible paint.

Then- put it all together! Voila.

Below are a few of the character dome cakes you can make

2. The Price is not cheap for the Experience $169 includes the cake, drinks, 2 hours, dessert to go, and an experience with another person. The cake is placed in a hat box which doubles as the cake box. After learning about the cake decorating and actually going through making my own- my feeling of having a class of 6 people made me feel the price was fair. Of course, I would like cheaper, but would pay again.

3. Experiences are the best gift – taking home my beautiful cake on the plane – Disney tells you the tricks to get it home with ice if flying out the same day.

My mom and I having the Cake Decorating Experience was really amazing and these memories will be cherished forever. Seeing how we decorated the cake well and when adjusting it, cracked a Mickey Button – made us laugh.

My finished cake and for your pinterest needs 👇👇👇👇

For Cake Decorating Click Here

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0 In Airlines/ Lifestyle/ Travel

5 Reasons on Why You Need the Southwest Credit Card

1. After a $1,000 spent in 3 months, at 40,000 miles are deposited into your account.

2. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

3. 2 points per $1 on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and partner purchases

4. No blackout dates or restrictions

5. No foreign transaction fees

In the last year or so, I have used my flights for Las Vegas, Orlando 2 times, Los Angeles in April, and Aruba. This is a card to make sure that it is in your wallet.

Some examples of flight costs:

CMH (Columbus, Ohio) to MCO (Orlando) in May (4,644 points) each way plus $5.60

CMH (Columbus, Ohio) to LAX (Los Angeles) in May (13,351 points) each way plus $5.60

CMH to AUA (Aruba) (15,678 points) each way plus $15.60 in tax

CMH to San Jose (Costa Rica) (13,026 points) each way plus $22.15 in tax

CMH to LAS (Vegas) (10,449 points) each way plus $5.60

LAS to OGG (Maui) (23,564 points) each way $5.60

Is it really worth the annual fee?

Are 4 free flights worth $69 or $99 – the quick answer! Yes!

40,000 miles and then you start to look at where you can go…..(there are other options that have bigger bonuses with larger spend requirements)

A friendly reminder – if you have a significant other or travel friend or travel buddy – pass thing along so you can experience the same things. Remember if you just add a person to your card- they are not eligible for the benefit.

👉Do you have a high schooler or college kid who wants to travel – this is a great first credit card and will cover Spring Break 🙌

I do receive referral credit – but those small credits encourage me to continue sharing details and ways to save! If this will not work for you, please share with a friend.

⭐️I have been asked if you have to use the points yourself and you do not. The points can be used to purchase a ticket for someone else.

⭐️No cancellation or change fees

⭐️No baggage costs

Where does Southwest fly? United States including Hawaii. Out of country….Cuba, Costa Rica, Aruba, Cancun….to name a few….

Earn up to 75,000 points with any Southwest® personal Credit Card and business owners can earn 60,000 points with the Premier Business Credit Card or earn 70,000 points with the Performance Business Credit Card.

Best Card Signup Here 👇👇👇

Apply for Southwest Credit Card

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0 In Lifestyle/ Travel

Spend Money on Experiences…And Buy Those Shoes…

As I have hit almost 40….my goals are different than they once were. I have spent years working hard, getting through school, and being frugal along the way.

I have always been a shopper and a deal seeker…this will never change but my priorities have shifted in the last year. Let me explain…

I worked as a teacher for 3.5 years, became an assistant principal for almost 14 years, and currently work at a district office for a school system.

When It came time to purchase a house; The bank said I could afford a very large house; I never felt comfortable with paying more than I would in rent on my own and thus…chose a new, nice neighborhood that served my needs. I felt with this my life would be more abundant and having resources and freedom was essential to my well-being.

With my cost of living being low (lower than most rent) – it afforded me the opportunity to have more experiences.

For me, experiences create happiness. Spending time on a vacation has always been important in my family and that connection has continued even after my dad’s passing.

For me, experiences create a life change every time it happens. I get excited about the adventure, during, and after…The picture above is in Africa. Still cannot let go of the first time an elephant looked at me right in the eyes.

Strong memories make me happy and as Marie Kondo would say. “Does it bring joy”

One of the most exciting and scariest things I have ever done was getting in a microlight and flying over Victoria Falls.

I can never undo the experiences I have had. I am continuing to learn, grow, and remain grateful.

Machu Picchu taught me so much about drainage. Didn’t see that one coming – did you? The Incas were incredible masters of building and when the rain comes (and it did on this trip) everything was completely saturated and fog rolled in; the weather (mainly fog) then rain stopped and everything drained perfectly….

Seeing the Pyramids and remembering King Tut on my 6th Grade Social Studies Book was epic. There has been unrest in the area for years but ventured out and had the best time!

Keeping up with the Kardashians is Real

As I have approached almost 40….I remember getting my first Lexus RX 330 (at the time) Bamboo color and it had every bell and whistle. I loved that car and drove it til it was on its last leg. I do not regret that car or how much it cost me, but I remember in 2003 – it was expensive and it was a big spend.

If spending a lot of money, you should know – driving a car off the lot – instantly $7k drop in value it but it is the American way to go big or go home.

Do what gives you sustainable happiness.

I spend the majority of my money on experiences now.

I sign up for credit cards (I can do a post on this) and take many free flights to locations….

Like my mom and I wanted to Trick or Treat at Disney – free flight, free hotel – pay Disney for Not so Scary Halloween Party and we went Trick or Treating!

I grew up taking a minimum of 4 nice vacations a year and when I say nice – cruises, explorations, adventures, and Disney. Let me say, they were nice vacations but not extravagant and I continue to live this way today. I would rather take 4 nice vacations at 4 star than 1 5 Star Vacation.

This upcoming weekend, my Mom and I are going to Florida and will be taking a Disney cake decorating class. Experiences are not always vacations, they can be eating out for dinner (though I would rather spend more for a trip than an expensive meal) and concerts or a football game.

I like things…..and I buy them….this where Instagram has helped me. I am able to get a lot of wonderful items or new products without paying for them (alternate revenue source) – yes you have to claim it on your taxes but my cash can be spent on other things.

Sustaining happiness and remaining grateful … the keys to life.

I had a few people ask in the last week, when are you getting a new Lexus and I didn’t have an answer…my car has 208,000 miles, runs well, is safe, and gets me where I want to go. I can afford to buy the car, but I also just booked a trip to Antarctica….my happiness of completing my 7th continent has much more value than a car.

I think for me it comes back to the experience of buying a new car and getting exactly what I wanted…..it represented that I worked hard and paid for it; it never mattered that it was a Lexus or could have been a Porsche…it was not a label thing – it was a bucket list item.

I am living my best life …day by day. I challenge you to evaluate your things v. your experiences. If you will be happy with the new car, buy it. If those amazing shoes will make you smile – buy them!

You will regret the things you did not do more…than the things you did ❤️ and if the need arises….I might just buy that car 🚗

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0 In Airlines/ Bucket List/ Couples/ Family/ Female Travels/ Itinerary/ Photos That Inspire You to Visit/ South America/ Travel/ Travel Advice/ Travel Gear/ Travel Tips

13 Things to Know: Visiting Patagonia and Hiking Torres Del Paine

1. Airfare: will run you a pretty penny. Look for deals. The first part of the trip was booked when I found a flight from NY to Santiago for $490. The flight stopped in Atlanta on the way and flying from Atlanta to Santiago was over $1600 and Delta does not let you miss a leg to get a cheaper fare – they will cancel your flight.

Now we needed to get to New York and from Santiago to Punta Arenas. The NY flight was around $250 (paid with miles) and the flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas was $300 per person. Again, not cheap.

Flights on the way down:

Delta 5893: 8:53 AM – 10:43 AM CMH to LGA

Delta 2210: 5:59 PM – 8:38 PM LGA to ATL

Delta 146: 8:50 PM – 5:38 AM ATL to SCL

Latam 283: 3:23 PM – 6:45 PM SCL to PUQ

Flights on the Way Back:

Latam 12:08 PM – 3:33 PM PUQ to SCL

Delta 147: 8:50 PM – 5:38 AM SCL to ATL

Delta 2933: 7:30 AM to 9:47 AM ATL to LGA

Delta 5888: 1:42 PM to 3:43 PM LGA to CMH

2. Transportation

Once you get to Punta Arenas, there are buses that will take you to major cities however there were a lot of little finds I wanted to check out so a rental car was the best option $450 for 6 days. Keep in mind limited rentals available so book early and renting a car for a day might be $200 and has to be returned by 6 pm so plan ahead (Europ Rental Car)

3. Plan ahead know what you want to do.

Day 1: arrival and driving 2.5 hours to outside the Torres del Paine Park. The Hotel CostaAustralis was perfect and absolutely a highlight to the stay. (This hotel is highly recommended)

The bus was perfect for day 2 as we rode and slept a lot on the bus and they stop for scenic things. Restroom and food options. The bus tour was from Chile to Argentina visiting Perito Mereno Glacier and seeing El Calafate

Day 3: from the hotel. We took a boat ride in the Patagonian Icefields and I loved every minute of it. It was a bit cold but beautiful. We were served a Chilean bbq. We were supposed tondo the Balmaceda y Serrento Glacier but there was a fatality so all zodiacs were cancelled but we did the boat ride that was quite lovely.

Day 4: We drove 2.5 hours to Hotel Torres – a beautiful hotel in the midst of Patagonia (Highly Recommended) . This hotel was not cheap but privately owned and absolutely stunning. The hotel had wonderful food and close parking to the trail for Torres del Paine. While here, did a horseback excursion in the afternoon and planned for Hiking Torres del Paine the next morning.

Day 5: we hiked Torres del Paine while mom went to the spa for the day. The hike was good – long- 13 hours of hard hiking. I am not kidding. Returned about 4 pm to the hotel and went for a drive to see the Grey Glacier.

Day 6: We drove around Patagonia inside the park for a few hours then headed out to Punta Arenas – a 6 hour drive from the Park. When arriving in Punta Arenas – one of the last places in South America before Antarctica – we visited a few of the cemetery markers – beautiful largeresting places. The city is quite lovely.

Day 7: Drove to the airport to catch flights home.

4. Weather

The weather can change on a dime so be prepared. April is considered a good- pleasant temperature time to go. 40-50s and at night 20-30 degrees. All I can say is we had the best visit and weather when we went. The winds can be extremely strong – come prepared for rain, wind, and cold – bone chilling weather.

5. So much to do in Patagonia

The list of things to do is plentiful. For starters – hiking and driving will consume a lot of your trip. For those reading this, I am really not a hiker – I don’t particularly enjoy walking in the wilderness while animals can potentially get me. You will not normally find me on a hike when back at home. The hikes in Patagonia are hard – they are for people who exercise (which I do) and have endurance. I found the Torres del Paine hike to be the best part of my trip. I was proud that I did it and so thankful that it was clear when we arrived. It was the hardest thing I have done and the half marathon I completed did not compare.

For those non- hikers, my mom found that the spas were nice and enjoyed reading, relaxing, and no cell phone service a welcomed part of the vacation.

Horseback riding, boating, guided tours of glaciers or tours of the landscape are some other options. Hotel Torres had a collection of options they provide and the list was incredible!

6. Food in Patagonia

The food is terrific. Barbecue is popular and culinary experiences are wonderful. The steak, mushrooms, lamb, seafood are all very popular. Sharing food is very popular in Chile and Argentina. People are family oriented and spending time barbecuing in the yard is popular. Three hours of cooking and tender meat will be upon you.

Many restaurants do not accept credit cards

Service is really slow amd dinner is late starting at 8 pm

If you see a large group- inclination is to keep movong on but instead join in – you don’t want to miss the amazing food

7. Language

Most people in Chile and Argentina speak Spanish but as a native English speaker, everyone we encountered in Patagonia spoke Emglish without a problem. The hotels had a lot of employees from New Zealand and Australia as well as Europe. Google translate can help

8. Cell Phone Service

Cell service is limited in parts of Chile and Argentina but when you have service – the Verizon cell phone only charges $10 a day for unlimited service but make sure you have this turned on before leaving the US

9. Things You Need to Bring

A. Sunglasses

B. Socks

C. Hiking Boots

D. Hat or Beanie

E. Sunscreen

F. Travel Insurance

9. It is expensive in Patagonia

I am pretty sure nothing was cheap in Patagonia – the food was expensive, clothing – expensive, wool- expensive, accommodations- expensive transportation – expensive

10. Patagonia is Huge!

A. Travel is slow, border crossing is easier said that done (unless your rental has the right paperwork; you cannot go) – you must plan the details because it can range 3 hours to 15 hours throughout Patagonia.

11. Patagonia is Environmentally Conscious

There is no trash on the side of the road or in the wilderness. Everyone is environmentally conscious and makes an effort to keep things need and organized. Wildlife is unique – views are incredible and everything is pristine

12. Come Prepared

You must come prepared with clothes, extra battery charges, food, snacks, water.

13. A recap of what you need to know:

– Patagonia is expensive

– well worth the visit

– The views are incredible

-Pick accommodations wisely

-Rent a car in advance

-Be environmentally conscious

– Weather is crazy

– internet? What is that?

– Bring warm clothing and put items in ziplock

– Sunscreen, sunglasses, hiking boots should be brought

– Patagonia is safe

– If hiking Torres del Paine – consider Hotel Torres when you do the hike

– Travel Insurance

Costs: for 3 people

El calafate: $311.94

Boat Ride: $432.89

Car Rental with Insurance and all Gas: $636.79

Bags: $168.16

Hotel Torres $940 (2 nights)

Food, Horses $225.73

Hotel Costaaustralis: $507.47 (3 nights)

Hotel Cabo Hornes $184.51

Travel Insurance per person: $81

$50 per person per day – maybe less depending.

Flight to NY: $386 per person

Flight to santiago: $579.03 per person

Flight to Punta Arena: $350 per person

**some of the costs were paid with miles**

$2,000 per person would include all food, car, hotel, excursions, and flights