Weekend Reading: Revenge Travel Edition

It has been 13 months since we’ve travelled anywhere outside of our provincial borders. Trips to Italy and the U.K. were cancelled and we’ve spent the past year cooped-up at home (for the most part) fantasizing about future travel plans. 

With vaccines now rolling out across the world there’s growing optimism that we’ll return to some kind of normal by this summer or early fall. Those fantasies might soon turn to reality as industry experts predict an unprecedented amount of travel as soon as we’re able to do so. Dubbed “revenge travel“, the pent-up demand to get away after a year of domestic drudgery is expected to lead to an incredible surge in travel bookings later this year and into 2022.

I feel this.

One obvious perk of my online business is that I can do it from anywhere. No longer confined to a set amount of vacation days, my wife and I are free to travel anytime our kids are out of school. That didn’t go as planned this past year, but as we come out of the pandemic we’re starting to plot out what our lifestyle design could look like during the 2021-22 school year and beyond.

First up on our revenge travel bucket list is to re-create our Italy and U.K. trips. We’re looking at April 2022 during Easter break for Italy, and summer 2022 for the U.K.

Depending on when we get vaccinated and when travel restrictions open up we’ll consider a trip to Vancouver and Victoria later this summer, and a trip to Maui during the kids’ week-long break in October.

We don’t intend to leave the country until the re-entry requirements are lifted. 

We’ll have missed out on 18 months or more of our planned lifestyle design. And, while I recognize the immense privilege of being in a position to travel the world and work from anywhere, I can’t help but feel like we have some catching up to do. Our kids are only going to be this age once, so we want to provide them with enriching experiences that can only come from seeing the world and spending time in other cultures.

Last year, when the shelter-in-place restrictions began, I started using a cash back credit card for our everyday spending. But we’re still sitting on a bunch of unused travel rewards that are waiting to be deployed. Those include:

  • Aeroplan – 625,000 miles (worth $9,375 at 1.5 cents per mile)
  • WestJet – $2,800 in travel credits, plus 2 companion vouchers
  • American Express – 29,000 Membership Rewards (worth $290), plus $400 in annual travel credits
  • HSBC – 125,000 points (worth $625 at 0.5 cents per point), plus $100 in travel credit enhancements
  • TD Rewards – 280,000 points (worth $1,400 in travel rewards at 0.5 cents per point)
  • Marriott Bonvoy – 285,000 points (worth $2,565 at 0.9 cents per point)

That’s $17,555 worth of travel rewards waiting to be put to use. 

This is a good time to remind you that redeeming your travel points for gift cards and merchandise is typically the least valuable way to cash in your points. You’d easily cut that dollar value in half.

Do you have some revenge travel destinations in mind for when the world opens up again? Let me know in the comments below.

This Week’s Recap:

Two weeks ago I wrote about investing in times of uncertainty. Remember, your strategy shouldn’t change based on market conditions. Volatility is normal.

Early this week we had Willful’s Erin Bury here to share 4 famous wills in history and what they can teach Canadians about estate planning.

From the Rewards Cards Canada archives: Here’s how much it costs to go to Maui.

Promo of the Week:

The RRSP deadline has passed, and tax season is upon us. Taxes aren’t the only inevitability in life – we should all be thinking about end-of-life planning, and checking “get a will” off our list.

Our partners at Willful can help you create a will and power of attorney documents online starting at just $99, with free updates as your life changes. They’re now in 8 provinces, including a fully bilingual site in Quebec. Use code BOOMER for 10% off any plan – get started at willful.co.

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Weekend Reading:

Last week I received an email from PC Financial explaining why they were downgrading me from the World Elite MasterCard to a basic or World MasterCard. Apparently they are now enforcing a $15,000 minimum annual spend to qualify for the World Elite version. Our friends at Credit Card Genius have the details.

Travel expert and pizza lover Barry Choi reviews a new subscription service called General Assembly Pizza. Sounds delicious!

What the heck are non-fungible tokens and why are people paying hundreds of thousands (even millions) of dollars to get a piece of the action? Family Money Saver explains what NFTs are and why the digital tokens are “worthless garbage”.

Lisa Jackson and Bridget Casey explain how women can grow their wealth in an unequal society.

Here’s an in-depth look at Cathie Wood’s famous ARK ETFs and why investors should think twice before boarding this ship.

Speaking of ARK, the Irrelevant Investor Michael Batnick asked why do some people hate Cathie Wood?

“Most of the people hoping for Ark to come back down to earth are traditional stock pickers. They have had a difficult time over the last decade, especially if their style skews towards value. The market has rewarded high growth and high cash burn companies for a long time now. The backdrop that fuelled her success has led to their failure.”

Millionaire Teacher Andrew Hallam shares how the 50/50 Couch Potato portfolio beat the US stock market for 20 years

This Refinery29 piece checks in with eight Canadians who lost their jobs to see how they’re holding up and how they feel about their careers.

In his latest article for the Evidence Based Investor, Larry Swedroe looks at market efficiency and the case of Pete Rose:

“Despite the evidence, many investors have a difficult time understanding why smart investors working hard cannot gain an advantage over average investors who simply accept market returns. The world of sports betting provides an analogy that helps to explain why the “collective wisdom of the market” is a difficult competitor.”

Investment planner Darryl Brown shares two ways to shut out market hype when your emotions are impacting your investments.

PWL Capital’s Ben Felix looks at the Endowment Model that large institutional investors use to allocate their investments, including hedge funds, private equity, and private real estate:

Finally, here’s a trifecta from A Wealth of Common Sense blogger Ben Carlson:

First, is diversification finally working?

Next, here’s the simplest asset to hedge against inflation.

And, Carlson looks at the difference between owning individual stocks and owning the stock market. This is an important message for investors who stray into individual stock picking. The range of outcomes, or dispersion of returns, are so much wider with individual stocks (from -100% to +to the moon). Investing in a broadly diversified portfolio will lead to more reliable long-term outcomes.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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9 Comments

  1. Tawcan on March 13, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Wow Robb that’s a lot of travel points available to you! We’ve been accumulating travel points ourselves and hopefully we can soon use them. We haven’t booked anything or made any travel plans yet. Definitely won’t be doing any international travelling until these restrictions are lifted.

    • lhm on March 13, 2021 at 4:08 pm

      Lots of places to still be explored but it will be interesting to see how the vaccine passports roll out around the world and if the Canadian government will be ready to provide us with verification we will need to prove to other immigration officials in other countries that we have had the vaccine. At first I thought that we may have to stick to G7 or developed countries but now I am thinking that without an official or verifiable vaccine passport we may have more options in the developing world….just musing. Maybe Scotland first, but oaxaca mexico is calling…

  2. Julie on March 13, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks for the link to Barry Choi’s post about General Assembly’s pizza subscription. I’ve been eyeing it for awhile and the promo code in his post finally convinced me to place my first order.

  3. Mr. Dreamer @ VibrantDreamer.com on March 13, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    The travel points you have is truly impressive!

    We are in the same boat. Have our Belize, Nicaragua, and Argentina trips cancelled in 2020. But I couldn’t wait and made a SOLO trip to Ecuador for the new year break (Government announced mandatory Covid test for returning travelers while I was there but no crap Hotel quarantine).

    However, we did many road trips in Ontario and Quebec. As nothing is getting better this Summer, we might just do the Canada road trip. We have seen all Atlantic Canada plus QC and ON but never west of Ontario. Maybe this year is the time even though it will be too boring to do this long drive in both ways but what else to do! Not going to spend the whole Summer locally.

    Question 1 – Can you transfer any of those to Aeroplan Points? I really don’t like having so many points all over the place. Also no patient to keep them and their associated cards. I usually get a card either transfer the points to Aeroplan or use them (Usually worst way to use benefits, buy Gift Cards).
    Question 2 – How do you keep the points? Do you need an active CC for HSBC and TD Rewards or the point account is separate (Expire?) from the CC accounts?

  4. David @ Filled With Money on March 13, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Revenge travel is definitely a thing that will happen once people are actually allowed to move between cities, countries, and the like.

    I have so much pent up demand that I want to unleash once all of the craziness is over. Even as a personal finance blogger, there’s only so much stay at home for the week orders that I can stand. I can’t wait until vaccines are rolled out for the rest of the world!

  5. Richard on March 14, 2021 at 7:54 am

    We just booked a 3 week trip to French Polynesia in Sept 2022. It starts with a week on the island of Moorea including 3 nights in one of those beautiful bungalows over water we’ve seen pictures of. Then a week long Windstar cruise on their 4 mast ship Wind Spirit visiting 5 of the Society Islands. Post-cruise we’ll have a 4 night stay in a thatched roof bungalow with jacuzzi on the patio overlooking the beach on Rangiroa atoll which is part of Tuamotu archipelago. Wrapping up with 2 nights on Tahiti before flying home. It won’t be cheap but definitely a “bucket list” trip of a lifetime. You only get to go around once on this earth so after what we have experienced with COVID-19 we’re going all in with this trip!

  6. Grant on March 14, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Unfortunately, I think travel restrictions will remain longer than we think. Until other countries are vaccinated, there’ll be a concern about new vaccine resistant complex variants being brought back to Canada by international travellers.

  7. Charlie Johnston on March 14, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    I too would love to celebrate the recovery from Covid but I hope the world will not forget the other global crisis we all face. Climate change from global warming got a bit of a break as air travel all but disappeared. If we all indulge our refound freedom to fly everywhere on a whim, what will be the global warming consequence?
    I am not suggesting that we should never fly anywhere ever again, but I think it is irresponsible to pretend that that there are not real consequences to our actions.
    I am struggling to find a balance between the personal pleasure of global travel and my obligation to put reasonable limits on my contribution to global warming.
    How are others dealing with this dilemma?

  8. Gary on March 16, 2021 at 8:24 am

    The pandemic has really been hard on us older travellers. We have had to cancel two years of warmer winters and two cruises to Norway. Now, the cruises will probably be more expensive but also health coverage increases dramatically as you age. I’m not complaining as we have had a wonderful life but the count down continues.

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