If you’re new to this blog, one of the things I write about is travel hacking—the art of having incredible experiences that would otherwise be unobtainable for most people.It’s a bit different from budget travel, which tends to focus on staying on hostels, flying on low-cost carriers (LCCs), etc. Travel hacking can not only help you travel, it can help you travel better. I stumbled on this world by accident. I just wanted to learn to travel for less, and then I got upgraded on a transatlantic flight. When it happened again a year later, I was hooked. Then a couple years later, I began my quest to visit every country in the world. Travel hacking allowed this experience to be much, much cheaper. I can say with confidence that a full third of the 11-year project was either free or nearly free thanks to miles and points. Read More
Link: Get 100,000 Hilton Points (with $75 annual fee)
Link: Get 80,000 Hilton Points (with no annual fee) There's big news in the travel hacking world this week: a limited-time offer to earn a lot of hotel points has arrived. To be precise, there are actually two offers, one for an increased signup bonus amount (from 40,000 points to 75,000, which is great), and an even better one that gets you a whopping 100,000 Hilton points. Yeah, no kidding!
Every year I earn well over one million Frequent Flyer miles and points. About 250,000 of them come through actual travel, but the rest come through travel hacking: the art of seeing the world on a budget.One of the easiest ways to earn a lot of miles all at once is through credit card signup bonuses. When managed carefully (i.e., you pay your bills on time), there's no downside and you can keep the miles coming for a long time. We've had a bunch of new offers recently, and it's been a while since I've done a roundup. This post contains the best current card offers. If getting each one, you'd earn 430,000 miles! Read More
Long, long ago, I wrote about my adventures in buying gift cards at Office Depot. It took a lot of schlepping back and forth, but I earned at least 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the effort. (I was then able to fly Business Class to South Africa and Switzerland from this points, so it was well worth it.)
As of this week, you can now earn 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points with a lot less effort. Chase has debuted an all-new card, the Ink Business Preferred, which offers the 80,000 points as a signup bonus.Read More
Hey everyone! Lots of new people are reading the blog lately, and I’ve been getting a bunch of questions about some travel hacking basics.
Here are a few notes for everyone who’s just started.
I originally started travel hacking as a means to see the world without spending a lot of money. I didn’t have a lot of money, and I also had a long list of places to go. Over the next decade, I had countless adventures all enabled through the world of miles and points.
I could have seen the world without ever using Frequent Flyer miles, but it definitely would have been much more expensive, and probably a lot less fun.
Here are seven things you should do to get started.Read More
Greetings from the sky, on board Cathay Pacific’s longest flight. There are 16 hours scheduled for my “air world” time today, although it looks like we may arrive one hour early.
I love flights like these. I’ve already taken a three-hour nap (hey, I was tired) and am now up to work for several hours while I drink espresso and Perrier. It’s dark outside now, but eventually the sun will come up in-flight. A few more hours later I’ll land in Hong Kong, a full 12-hour time difference from where I left. Travel is life.Read More
Once again, it’s raining points and miles—a bunch of new travel hacking offers have hit the market all at once, offering you the chance to earn up to 175,000 miles (or more depending on how you count it) and an additional $500.
There's been some confusion about all these AmEx offers, so I thought I’d break down the most attractive ones and also clarify something. Let’s start with the clarification: these are marketed as business card offers, but if you’re eligible for U.S. credit cards, you’re probably eligible to get at least one of these.Read More
Have you ever been frustrated when looking for an award ticket with your frequent flyer miles, only to be thoroughly disappointed that almost nothing is available? Chances are, you were looking during the same time period that most people do.The traditional advice of booking “far, far in advance”—sometimes even 330 days out or whenever the airline releases seats into inventory is incomplete. This does work in some cases. Most of us, though, have absolutely no idea where and exactly when we want to fly an entire year from now. I mean, I don’t even know where I’m flying next week … and even if you’re not as bad as me, planning for specific flights a year into the future is tough. That’s why you need different ninja skills. Read More
My inbox has been crowded with a lot of traveling readers asking the same questions. Some people are worried and others are just confused. Why?
Well, if you’ve been travel hacking for a while, you know that a few things have changed recently. There’s a big 100,000 point offer, but a) it’s expensive, and b) a lot of people can’t get it. One of the main card issuers now has a “5/24” rule, meaning that you can’t get any new cards if you’ve applied for more than 4 in the past two years.
At the same time, there are a lot of promising new offers—so what should you do? In a free upcoming presentation, I’ll tell you exactly what you need to know.Read More
Last week I mentioned an upgraded bonus offer in the world of travel hacking. There’s one more that I left out while I was doing some travel hacking myself, flying off to Barcelona, Doha, and London.
For a limited time, the American Express Gold Card is offering a 50,000 point signup bonus. Last week, if you applied for the card, you’d get 40,000 points. Not bad… but this week, you’ll get 50,000 points from the same offer. Hint: this one is better. 😃Read More
Nate wrote in to ask me about my travel packing strategy:
My burning question for you right now is what are your essential items that keep you comfortable and productive while you travel (virtual or real)? How has this list changed over time - or has it even changed since you published your first book?
My answer is that it’s changed a little over time, but not by much. When it comes to travel, I’m a creature of habit and routine. I take the same things with me everywhere I go, and everything fits in a single carry-on bag + my laptop bag (never check luggage!).Read More