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TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express

March Break Travel Survival Guide

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For those of you lucky enough to have scrimped and saved all year long to take your family to Florida for March Break, we are here to give you our Rules of the Road.

Let's assume you are leaving on the trip by car (van) and traveling down south to Florida by way of I-75. This route is by far the safest and most traveled. Hotels, restaurants, and gas stations are plentiful. You can always find a place to recharge your batteries. There are several things that you may need to pack before you go. I would normally go to Costco and stock up at this time of year with all the staples needed for a week in the sun. They always seem to have the right items for the season - sunscreen, swimsuits and towels, a good book, or even that new DVD video player to strap on to the back of the headrest so that your little ones are in their own little world for the long journey.

Having traveled extensively over the years as a child, and now doing it with my own children, I have my packing list down to a science. A few must-haves include a first aid kit, sick bags, pillows, iPods, batteries, car chargers, sunglasses, games and snacks. Like the boy scouts, you should be prepared for anything.

The whole point of taking a family vacation is to connect with the little ones and your significant other on a level that most don't get to at home. Our busy schedules usually preclude us from spending a lot of quality time together while at home. The hockey mom takes over and you are at their disposal, because that's what mothers do.

Now, while the kiddies are frolicking all day in the pool, use the opportunity to get into that new book you've wanted to read. No time like the present, as you too are off the clock. A nice night out with your Mr. Right is warranted.

Try to, within reason, stay on budget while on your trip as the bills can come back to haunt you upon your return home. I have found that using only one credit card for a trip is easier on the budget as you are much more likely to remember and track each purchase.

For the past year, we have been using only one credit card, the TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express. This Card has no annual fee and offers cash-back on every purchase, with a rebate delivered each year in January. I am completely sold on this card and have gotten rid of the others in my wallet.

Every time you fill the car with gas before your trip, you can earn up to 2% cash-back. Why not get paid for buying gas? Stops at restaurants before you cross the border can earn you 3% cash-back. Once you're in the US, you earn up to 1% on all of your purchases. It gives me peace of mind to know that I'm earning back some of the money we invest not only while on vacation, but on my year-round everyday purchases.
So, while you are away take the time to stop and smell the roses and we will be waiting to hear all about it upon your return. And above all else, play safe and have a wonderful time doing it.

Happy Trails...

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AMEX challenged me to test drive the TrueEarnings Card from American Express and Costco. This blog was sponsored by our friends at American Express.