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The 12 Most Common Questions I Get About Traveling the World (Part III)

I’m no longer going to every country in the world (mission accomplished), but I’m still traveling at least 200,000 miles a year.

As such, I get a lot of questions over and over, both from people who want to travel far and wide and those who just want to learn a few things to make their lives easier.

This series of three posts provides some attempted As to the Qs.

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The 12 Most Common Questions I Get About Traveling the World (Part II)

I’m no longer going to every country in the world (mission accomplished), but I’m still traveling at least 200,000 miles a year.

As such, I get a lot of questions over and over, both from people who want to travel far and wide and those who just want to learn a few things to make their lives easier.

This series of three posts provides some attempted As to the Qs.

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The 12 Most Common Questions I Get About Traveling the World (Part I)

I’m no longer going to every country in the world (mission accomplished), but I’m still traveling at least 200,000 miles a year.

As such, I get a lot of questions over and over, both from people who want to travel far and wide and those who just want to learn a few things to make their lives easier.

This series of three posts provides some attempted As to the Qs.

How did you get the idea to go everywhere?

I remember it very clearly: I was on a ferry from Hong Kong to Macau, during my first big independent trip after ending a four-year volunteer commitment in West Africa. I had two weeks until my graduate program started in Seattle, so I went to Asia.

I’d been working on my initial goal of visiting 100 countries for a while. But on that ferry, I suddenly started thinking about a much bigger goal: every country in the world, no exceptions.

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4 Travel Hacking Tricks for Domestic Trips

I received a note from a reader who wanted to know about traveling domestically. I admit that most of what I get excited about in the world of travel hacking relates to international travel. I like flying around the planet and changing as many as twelve time zones at once, only to do it again a few days later.

But not everyone feels the same way, and besides—even if you travel far and wide, you still probably need to travel shorter distances from time to time too.

How can you benefit from travel hacking when planning relatively simple trips? Here are four very helpful tricks.

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8 Easy Actions to Kickstart Your Way to Free Travel

When you’re just starting to learn about free travel or travel hacking, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a deluge of information and recommendations.

But fear not! Here’s a current and highly practical list of things you can do right now to kickstart your way to the trip of your dream.

Bonus: most of these actions are very simple to complete, and almost all of them are FREE.

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Top 3 Credit Card Signup Bonuses for Miles and Points: June 2016

Every year I earn well over one million Frequent Flyer miles and points. Although about 250,000 of them come through actual travel, 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. This post contains the best current card offers as of Friday, June 3rd. If getting every card from this post, you'd earn more than 175,000 points or miles. Happy travels! In this edition:

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The Easy Way to Earn Extra Points on Everything You Buy (No Annual Fee!)

What if you like the idea of travel hacking, but don’t want to pay an annual fee? There's a new way to earn cash-back or points—your choice—on a card that never has a fee.

The new Chase Freedom Unlimited card will give you $150 Cash Back just for getting the card (remember, there's no fee). You can "cash in" your free money at any time by applying it to your statement balance.

Alternatively—and often a better choice—you can transform your cash back into Ultimate Rewards points, as long as you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or another Ultimate Rewards-earning card.

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Dream Trip Student Earns 21,000 Points from Taking Free Surveys

Last year I co-taught a 28-day course on how to make your dream trip a reality. Throughout the course we heard story after story of people earning hundreds of thousands of miles and points. That was great, but what’s happening now is even better: we’re hearing lots of great stories of how students are using their miles and points.

As I say often, earning miles is great, but putting them toward free travel is much better. 😃

Today I saw a great example of how someone earned a significant number of points without applying for credit cards. The headline says it all: she earned 22,000 Hilton HHonors points by completing online surveys.

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What Time Should You Arrive at the Airport?

I’m unusual in that I love airports. I'll regularly arrive 2-3 hours in advance of my flight, sometimes even at a small airport without a lounge. There’s just something about being around the bustle of people in motion and aircraft on the tarmac that I find reassuring.

But let’s say that you’re a normal person. Assuming you don’t want to live as I do, when should you arrive at the airport before a flight?

Two simple guidelines will help.

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A Better Way to Think About Traveling for Nearly Free

16572590216_0d1b6a2665_z Readers who are learning about travel hacking tend to have lots of questions about what their miles and points are worth. I’m the first to say that I’m not the best at determining a specific valuation. I have a CPA to help with my taxes, I hardly ever check website statistics or any other analytics, and math isn't my strong suit.

So when it comes to valuation, I tend to look to some general rules instead of getting hyper specific. By far the most important rule is: travel hacking helps me have amazing experiences.

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I Flew in an Apartment in the Sky… and It Was Awesome!

EYapt - 1 Earlier this year I identified a new travel goal: to fly in the Etihad "Apartment,” a full-on suite that’s included on their A380 aircraft on certain routes.

Well, as of last week I can now say “mission accomplished”—I flew in The Apartment from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, a 15-hour journey. The short version of the flight is: it was amazing.

Here’s how it all went down.

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Should You Earn Hotel Points if You Don’t Usually Stay at Hotels?

7916189566_7ffe197494_z Recently I’ve published a couple of posts about how to get free hotel nights. Among others, you can learn:

A lot of readers have taken advantage of these deals and are busy earning lots of free stays. Others, though, question whether it’s “worth it” if you don’t usually stay in hotels.

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Get Two Months Free in the Travel Hacking Cartel

JapanTHC Link: Get 2 Months Free in the Travel Hacking Cartel

A few years ago I started the Travel Hacking Cartel, a service that has now helped more than 20,000 people travel for nearly free.

The reason I started it was simple: lots of you wanted to learn how to earn miles and points (and then use them to see the world), but felt overwhelmed with an abundance of information from forums, blogs, and other resources.

The Cartel is still going strong with this mission, and we regularly hear success stories from members who have been able to travel places they had only dreamed of before.

There was just one problem...

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Watch This Haneda Airport Timelapse Video for a Glimpse of Tokyo Travel

Several years ago I came to Haneda airport in central Tokyo for the first time. As I wrote then, it's an interesting place that feels very different from the larger Narita airport where most international travelers arrive.

A few weeks ago I came back, and spent an hour watching the runway traffic from the observatory, which is conveniently open before security to all travelers and visitors.

Then I found this video, which provides a great perspective of flights arriving and departing at all hours of day. So pretty.

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