Looking toward Spain

I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site and Bing. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of payment, product or experiences.

We try to do something really fun every weekend when Bart comes into town. After all, if we only get to see him two days a week, we don’t want to waste it doing things like laundry.

So this weekend, we went to the passport office (with ridiculously cute passport photos of Ani and Ella in hand). Nothing says weekend fun like standing in line with two wiggly children.

But, long lines aside, we are starting to make progress toward our European adventure.

We’ve booked our apartment in Barcelona, and started figuring out plane flights for all the weekend trips we have planned (!!).

Of course, we’re trying to strike a balance between remembering we are students (aka destitute) and taking advantage of that fact that we’ll be in Europe and having a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

I recently changed my default search engine to Bing, so that every time I search for “what is the weather in Ukraine in November” (answer “You don’t want to know”) or “cheapest plane tickets to London” I rack up rewards in my Bing Rewards account.

You can redeem them for fuel points, airline miles, or Skype minutes (or, you know, vital travel supplies like Sephora gift cards), and it’s basically the easiest thing ever. I don’t even have to think about it because I just search like I always do and it keeps track of how many rewards I’ve racked up.

We’re also trying to keep our weekend travel costs down by flying out in the morning rather than the night before so we don’t have to pay for an extra night in a hotel and then our girls can sleep in their own beds as much as possible (yes, I’m totally that parent).

I also buy our plane tickets on Priceline through Ebates so I get a few dollars back on each flight (which goes a long way when a round-trip plane ticket to Portugal costs $55).

I’m not a crazy deal seeker and I never have been, but if I can easily save a little money without making a lot of extra effort (or, like Bing Rewards,NO extra effort), I’m all about it.

Now to figure out the paperwork for a visa. I’m sure that’s going to be totally totally fun.


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  • Reply Paige Flamm June 18, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    You guys are so brave! You're officially going to be travel champions after the fall!

  • Reply Jessica June 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I am so excited to read about all of your adventures. I am going to be all set by the time my family makes it to Barcelona to visit my sister:)

  • Reply runtspickins June 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I'm totally a deal-seeker lol I don't use Bing Rewards, but I use something similar called Swag Bucks. It's the same general idea – you search things like you normally do and earn points that you can put towards gift cards, products, etc. I also use Ebates and I get super mad at myself when I order something online and forget to go through Ebates first. There's no "going back" unless you completely undo your order and place it again. (Ask me how I know this…) I also use an app on my iPhone called CheckOut51 for grocery shopping. Basically they send you a list of products and if you happen to buy that product that week (the products change weekly, just like a normal store ad) then you just take a picture of your receipt and you earn cash back. There are other apps that are similar (like Shopmium and Ibotta) but they are specific stores and specific brands. With CheckOut51 it doesn't matter where you got it or what brand you used. Then once you "earned" $20, you can cash it out! I'm also all about coupons too. Anyway I can save money sounds good to me!

    (If responding, please email or comment a blog post of mine.)

    • Reply Janssen June 18, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      I've used Swag Bucks in the past, but it was so cluttery and the results were so bad, I gave it up a couple of years ago. I like Bing Rewards a lot better because I don't even notice I'm using it (I want to see my search results, rather than paying a lot of attention to my search ENGINE).

  • Reply June 19, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Try looking at Ryanair for Europe flights. You don't get much in the way of luggage, and reserved seats are extra cost, but sometimes you can get a great deal, particularly on last minute trips. Sometimes on the weekend they will have flights for as low as 10 euro ( with taxes about 25 euro) as a special. If you just want an adventure for the weekend, you can't beat the fun of planning a mystery vacation!

  • Reply Lena June 20, 2014 at 10:53 am

    That's so exciting! Do you know yet which places you want to see in Europe? Have you ever been in Rome? You should definitely go there!

  • Reply lopezadair12 August 14, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Your trip is just looks awesome and so adventurous. I also love that kind of trip a lot with my whole friends. And there are so many places to visit in Europe. I love it's all places. Last year I have visited Rome. And this we are planning to visit Europe and looking for online cheap flight tickets to Barcelona for two way traveling.

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