Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Air Miles Rant, Financial Stress, and Learning

I’m bitter with Airmiles. For 10 years I have been saving up airmiles to use toward our 10th Anniversary trip. We checked and it looked like we would be able to cover a trip to Belize no problem, based on the number of airmiles we had accumulated. Cool! Actually there is a problem and that is that Airmiles pays just for the ticket, not taxes or fees. How much could that be we thought and went ahead and bought our travel voucher trip for Belize off of eBay. Yesterday we found out how much those taxes and fees would be to go; $910.

Yes, you heard me right. For our supposedly “free” tickets. I don’t get really mad (seriously, ask my wife) very often, but when Jobina told me how much it would cost I became enraged. When they say that you can earn “free travel” that is a brazen lie. Actually what they will do is pass on any fees and taxes onto you and then you end up paying almost more for your flight then if you would have just kept your eyes open for a good deal. So yeah, travelling is costing WAY more then I thought it would. On top of our money (already spent) for our travel voucher for a week at Cottontree Lodge ($1700), we are paying:

$910 in taxes and fees on our free tickets.
$400 for shots/medication
$200 for passports (including pics)
$220 for flights within Belize

Add to this two extra nights lodging/meals, travel insurance, and miscellaneous and you can see that our initial budget of $2000 is being doubled to close to $4000. This kind of money problems is causing me intense financial stress. Usually I don’t get stressed about money stuff, but I’m feeling it right now. And even though I say I’m angry at Airmiles, really, I’m angry at myself. I should have figured out how much the taxes and fees would be for airline tickets before even considering buying our vacation. I should have done my due diligence and found out about how much shots, passports, etc. would cost. But I didn't.

The only part of this that gives me any peace is that I can chalk this up as a learning lesson. Experience is such an effective teacher! And of course I'll be going on the trip of lifetime with my beautiful wife. And maybe the fact that I will have to utilize some good creativity to find ways to pay off this trip. Anyway, learn from us people and do your homework!

May Light increase!

(P.S. This is the second time writing out this post as the first time my browser suddenly hung up for no reason after it was done. Oh, the anger (and then depression) I felt as I retyped it!)


Jobina said...

Just keep looking on the bright side Sweetie! I tried complaining to Jacquie today and it didn't even work. She just said that we always find the money somehow. That's right. And besides, what's credit for anyway?

Stacey said...

Aww. You make me feel bad that I didn't offer more information. I didn't really know though I guess. It's just stuff you learn when you travel. You'll be sooo 'with it' for your NEXT vacation! :)

I'm sure this is frustrating. Learning lessons are hard. But oh so good for us.

You WILL have a great time and not even THINK about any of this while you're in Belize right?! :) Don't let it take the joy out of the experience. And I still think you're a really smart guy, and therefor I know you'll figure out how to pay for all of this in the end.

Go Mark go!

Jay Boaz said...

You've got more motivation to upsell now?

Sorry to hear this buddy, but you have been waiting a long time for this trip, so just focus on enjoying yourself. I trust you'll make it work.


Lindsey Dueck said...

Going into debt for travel... totally worth it! Worrying about money too much puts a downer on the excitement of travel.

Eric and I will be paying off Europe for months but I wouldn't have stayed at home knowing that ahead of time! I am a travel addict I think!

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