Next week I’m off to Phoenix to escape the horrible Edmonton weather and for another appointment with my Mexico dentist (search the radio stories for ‘dentist’).
Since most of this happened by 6 AM this morning, and it’s fresh in my mind, I wanted to share some big savings insights. But heads up that my definition of savings is where you have to buy something and get it cheaper, such as a flight or hotel (because you do need to sleep somewhere). Savings is not for golf. Yes, I’m going to golf but it’s spending less and not savings because I don’t have to golf!
Flight: I needed to go on a specific day. But the cheapest flight was $500 – which is insane and double what it should be. So I used 12,500 of my Aeroplan points and just paid $120 taxes. That’s a real saving of $380 and THE best way to use your points. The return flight was $140 and that I paid myself as it wouldn’t make sense to use up points on a flight that cheap.
Hotel: I found a 3 star for $38 in Tempe and a 3 star for $40 in Scottsdale. So I clicked at hotwire.com on the Tempe one and great news: Hotwire has now started showing any so-called resort fees before you book! This hotel has a $10 rip-off fee per night! So changed to the Scottsdale one and saved myself $56.
Purchases: I need three things from the U.S. for my business. One order for seminar supplies was going to cost $46 Fedex to Canada plus brokerage fee plus customs and duty for $70 total. Instead, I’m having it sent to my Phoenix hotel with free shipping. The same for two Amazon orders. One was going to be $14 and the other $22 shipping to Canada. Again, shipping it to the hotel is free and saving me $36. That’s $128 US
Car rental: Every city in Canada and the U.S. has big fees added to a car rental at the airport. In Edmonton it’s some kind of improvement levy, in Phoenix is a stadium tax and two other ones. That way politicians can get free money from tourists who don’t complain and not tax locals who might not vote for them anymore. So I rent from the closest city location that is not at the airport. For this trip, I’ve reserved a compact car for $202 total – yes, it’s way too expensive. But an airport rental right now is $280. I’m ahead $78 less an Uber of $10 to get the few miles to the location. I also keep checking for price reductions every day before I leave. If it drops, I re-book it – and have done it twice to get from $240 down to the current $202.
That’s a $380 Can$ saving plus $252 US$ in real savings for a total of $715. THAT is some real big money for maybe two hours of internet searches.