In addition to our current giveaway offer, The Trip Takes Us has an exciting new contest. As announced on the We Travel There podcast, you can now enter to win a free Miles Makeover that will teach you the tips and tricks you need to fly for FREE.

Kathy and Jim from The Trip Takes Us dance on the beach in Kauai. The Miles Makeover can help you get to YOUR dream destination.
The question we receive most often from readers is, “How do you travel so much?” We’ll teach you!

Kathy Forest, from, will meet with you for a one-hour Miles Makeover session to customize a plan for you to be able fly for FREE to your dream destination. She will give you all the tips and tricks you need to make this happen (and don’t worry, you don’t even need to step foot on a plane to earn free travel). 

Whether you are looking to go to Orlando or Oman, Montreal or Mumbai, Kathy can help you make it happen. 

With your Miles Makeover, will you choose to take in this panoramic view of tranquil Hanalei Bay on Kauai.
Start dreaming!

To enter, send an email by Wednesday, July 17, 2019 to and tell us where you dream about traveling for free.

Consultations will be done via FaceTime/Skype. The miles and points landscape varies significantly from country to country, so these sessions are designed for a U.S.-based audience. 

Our wonderful Canadian peeps can learn more about miles and points in the True North at Ricky Zhang’s site UK-based? They have you covered over at the TPG UK site

We can’t wait to hear where YOU will go with your Miles Makeover.

Earn Points and Miles with Lyft

Did you know that you can earn BOTH Delta Skymiles AND Hilton Honors points every time use the ridesharing service Lyft?

It couldn’t be easier to earn points and miles with Lyft. Soon you’ll be on your way towards free travel. Here’s how:

Not only can you avoid parking costs by riding Lyft, you can also earn BOTH Hilton Honors points and Delta Skymiles
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 
Continue reading “Earn Points and Miles with Lyft”

A counter-intuitive way to add an additional city to your next trip at no extra cost

We’ve all seen them (and many of us have been them): Parents, in the airport, at the end of their rope, clutching desperately to their very last bits of sanity. Nothing says “vacation” like a family meltdown in the airport. Air travel with kids in tow can be, shall we say, a bit stressful, so most of us simply want to contain the pain and take the quickest route from Point A to Point B.

I am no different. I have typically gravitated towards direct flights for that very purpose.

However, now that my kids are all teenagers with quite a bit of travel experience, I have decided to turn that approach on its head and instead experiment with making the journey as long as possible.

Before you decide whether I am insane, hear me out.

Traveling with young kids
When my kids were younger, air travel felt much more complicated.

Continue reading “A counter-intuitive way to add an additional city to your next trip at no extra cost”

Ready to Travel for Free? Start Here!

The Trip Takes Us gang has enjoyed lots of free travel as a result of having a healthy balance of frequent flier miles and hotel and credit card points. Today we are starting a series of posts for beginners to de-mystify the process and help YOU get on your way to earning free travel.

Flying 2
Let’s get you up in the air!

Continue reading “Ready to Travel for Free? Start Here!”

How YOU can earn the Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass can be an extremely lucrative travel award perk. It allows you to designate an individual to fly for FREE with you on any Southwest flights for the rest of the year in which it is earned and all of the following year! What’s more, your Companion will fly for free even when you redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards points for your own ticket (i.e. you both fly free). Here’s how you can earn the Southwest Companion Pass:

Southwest Rapid Rewards dashboard showing that we have earned the Companion Pass

Continue reading “How YOU can earn the Southwest Companion Pass”

Free Travel with Southwest Companion Pass!

Our family of five posing among the rock formations inside the Stonehenge circle
England: One of many destinations to which we have flown for free.

My name is Kathy, and I have a problem. I am a frequent flier mile and hotel reward points junkie. In just two short years this newfound obsession has enabled my Arlington, Virginia-based family to enjoy some great FREE travel: Our crew of five flew round trip to London during the peak summer travel season for FREE. My sweetheart was able to accompany me on a work trip to Chile and Argentina last spring for FREE. We are flying roundtrip to Colorado for a winter ski vacation this December for FREE. And when I had a health issue, I flew in a friend to help care for me, with just one day’s notice, for FREE. Are you noticing a theme? Who doesn’t want to fly for free?

Southwest Companion Pass

I’m super excited, because a great perk guaranteeing much more free travel landed in my inbox recently–the Southwest Companion Pass. The Companion Pass allows me to designate an individual to fly for free with me on any Southwest flights for the rest of this year (the year in which I earned it) and all of next year! What’s more, my Companion will fly for free even when I redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards points for my own ticket (i.e. we both fly free).

Southwest Rapid Rewards dashboard showing we have the appropriate number of points or flight segments to earn the Companion Pass

Sounds great, right? So, how can YOU earn free travel with the Southwest Companion Pass?


Is the Southwest Companion Pass right for you?

Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s probably best to ask yourself IF this is really the right perk for you to pursue, as it does take some effort to earn. If your not going to be able to maximize travel on Southwest, then you might be better served by accumulating points elsewhere.

In my case, I live in close proximity to three airports all served by Southwest; Southwest flight prices from those airports tend to be quite reasonable and on par with other airlines; and Southwest serves several destinations I frequent (the airport closest to my parents’ house, the airport closest to where my parents spend the winter, airports nearest to several close friends, our spring break destination, and some interesting international options). So, for me, planning to shift a lot of our travel to Southwest for the time we have the pass makes sense. Look at your own situation and try to determine how much you would actually be able to use the pass. If the answer is “not much” then there are many other great travel rewards you can pursue instead.

Southwest route map showing all Southwest destinations in the U.S., Caribbean, and Central America

So, go ahead and assess your own situation and calculate where and when you would use the pass (check out the Southwest route map above and start dreaming!), and how much value it would have for you (what would those flights cost if you were paying out of pocket?). In our next post, we will get into the details on how you can earn your own pass. Stay tuned!

Related articles:

Nuts and Bolts: How YOU can earn the Southwest Companion Pass

Information on using shopping portals to earn points

Never Lose Your Hard-Earned Points Again

Step 2 in Earning Frequent Flier Miles without Flying: Dining Program

Happy Sweetheart & Free Travel