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5,000 Word Travel Hacking Resources Page Now Available

Solomons Over the past ten years I’ve used millions of Frequent Flyer Miles & Points to go everywhere—literally, everywhere.

I write a lot about travel hacking in the archives and also through our paid service, the Travel Hacking Cartel, which has served more than 16,000 members and counting.

I'm also co-teaching a brand-new bootcamp called Make Your Dream Trip a Reality, which you can watch for free every weekday morning for six weeks starting on April 26.

If that's not enough, we recently published a new page on the blog that includes 100+ links and a general overview of getting started in this world.

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New! Sign Up to “Make Your Dream Trip a Reality” (A 30-Day Creative Live Course)

DreamTripHeader_converted Link: Register for Free "Dream Trip" Course

Attention, everyone! My travel hacking colleague Stephanie Zito and I will be teaching an all-new online course starting later this month, and I'd love for you to join us.

We previously taught a one-day workshop that was watched live by more than 12,000 of you. The feedback we got after that one was: “Whoa, this is great—but there’s so much info!”

For this one, we’re teaching everything through 30 short, action-packed lessons (a new one unveiled each weekday once we begin on April 26) and focusing on something more specific. It’s not just “earn a ton of miles and points,” although we'll certainly show you how to do that. More importantly, it’s about taking a dream trip, going somewhere you’ve always wanted to but haven’t planned for or thought was too expensive.

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A Tale of Two Rivers: New Film Documents Journeys in Iran and Patagonia

And as far as I can recall, I’ve seen Tom Allen in Los Angeles, London, and Portland. The guy gets around!

He's also a prolific filmmaker. Tom is returning this year with another big documentary project, this one produced with a partner with whom he undertook major expeditions through Iran and Patagonia—two places that are different in many ways.

With only 5 days to go, here's the trailer for the Kickstarter project to fully produce two feature-length films:

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WDS 2015 Tickets On Sale Today at 9am

Hey everyone, today's the day!

For five years now, our volunteer team has produced a global adventure that takes place every year in Portland. This year will be our best event yet—and we'd love you to join us for a very special anniversary event this summer.

Here’s what you need to know:

*This is the FINAL ROUND of ticket sales for WDS 2015. We offer all tickets on a first-come, first-served basis, and we don’t hold back any tickets for sale at the event itself.

*We operate WDS as a non-commercial event. There are no corporate sponsors, and all costs go toward the event or our new Scholarships for Real Life foundation.

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How to Join “The Amazing Race” for Regular People


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Have you ever wanted to be on The Amazing Race?

I’ve never actually seen the show—I preferred to focus on my own race for ten years—but one time J.D. Roth and I got up early to stand in line for auditions. After waiting for two hours, we were told that the line had closed and there would be no more auditions. Reality star #fail.

Fortunately, I know a guy who helps regular people with their own amazing race, every summer in Europe. Steve in Washington, D.C. is a full-time travel hacker. Competitours is a fun side project for him, and I thought some of you might be interested.

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Visiting the Hidden Speakeasy in Downtown Sydney, Australia


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Searching for a great cocktail in Australia is a quest of its own. For most Australians, a cocktail means "gin and tonic" or "margarita"—they have great wines in this part of the world, but legit mixed drinks are hard to come by.

That just means you have to look harder, of course.

I found a modern-day speakeasy hidden away in the Central Business District of Sydney. Finding the general area wasn’t difficult, but there was a trick to finding the speakeasy itself: you had to avoid an imposter bar located right outside. The imposter bar looked fine—just a normal pub with the typical overpriced drinks of Sydney.

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Can You Visit Bora Bora on a Budget? Sort of—Here’s How.

This is a free excerpt from Upgrade Unlocked: The Unconventional Guide to Luxury Travel on a Budget by Stephanie Zito.

Bora-Bora

Bora Bora is a dream destination smack in the middle of the South Pacific. The French Polynesian island is famous for its crystal waters in 50 shades of blue, and luxury accommodation in over-the-ocean bungalows that come complete with a private balcony stepping straight into the sea.

It’s a popular destination for honeymooners and just about anyone who likes to be pampered on an island while never being more than 10 steps away from tropical waters.

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One Family, Four Bikes, All of the Americas: Nancy Vogel’s Quest

This is a quest case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Nancy3 For many, driving 17,000 miles with your family would be challenge enough. Nancy Vogel went a step further, and along with her husband and twin sons, decided to bike from Alaska to Argentina over the course of three years.

Nancy's perspective on completing a quest was a favorite story for many readers from The Happiness of Pursuit. Here's more from her.

I am an ordinary mom who went on an extraordinary journey. Some say I was outrageously foolish, others say I was ludicrously dumb. I don't think I'm either—I'm just a normal mom who wanted a life outside the box.

In 2008, I flew to Alaska with my family. Loaded into the belly of the plane were bicycles for the four of us, and all the gear we needed to begin pedaling toward the southern tip of South America, more than 17,000 miles away. We spent the next three years on our quest for the end of the world and finally—after cycling through 15 countries—we arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina on the island of Tierra del Fuego, where the road ended.

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“Adventure Is Anything that Puts Us Outside our Comfort Zone”: Notes from the Himalayas

Adventure photographer Cory Richards almost died in an avalanche while descending from a mountain in Pakistan, but he lived and the experience changed his life.

In a short (and amazing) video, he shares on “the richness that comes through struggle.”

“I’ve never been comfortable in the place that I’m in. I can’t stop and sit. It’s a constant engine that’s driving me to the things that are unknown to me."
Cory Polar

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Join Us on Friday, February 6—Virtually or In Real Life—for the 2015 Dining Dash

This Friday I’ll be going on a mini-adventure to visit 12 restaurants in one day. You can follow along virtually, recreate the adventure in your own way, or even join me for the last stop of the evening in Portland, Oregon.

Last year my travel hacking colleague Stephanie Zito and I went on a “Dining Dash” (not to be confused with Dine and Dash) adventure to ten restaurants in a single day. We did this to requalify for VIP Member status with Rewards Network, a company that provides miles and points bonuses for anything you purchase at qualifying restaurants.

It was a lot of fun, and there was just one problem: 2014 ended! Each year, the count starts over, and we now need 12 more dines to requalify for VIP status throughout all of next year.

Obviously, you could just qualify as you go to places throughout the year—but where’s the fun in that? This time, we’re joining up with another friend and colleague, Tyler Tervooren, and the three of us will attempt to complete all 12 dines in a single day: this Friday, February 6.

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Just Add Venture: Mohammad Khan’s Story from Lahore, Pakistan

This is a reader story. (Read others or tell us yours.)

We're taught that sitting in a classroom or reading a book will make us knowledgeable—but all the way in Lahore, Pakistan, Mohammad Khan didn't find that to be true. Mohammad decided to change how he experienced the act of knowing. Here's how he explained it:

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Years ago, I thought accumulating information was the same as possessing knowledge. But even with all the information I had, my life didn’t reflect what I knew. Information was boring. I needed a reason to do something. To fight the boredom, I discovered thinking “Who knows?” and “Why not?” were very useful weapons.

It all started with a seemingly simple challenge: to travel to any one destination in the world within the next year, paid for purely with income made online. Why not try? Eight months later I cashed a $1,700 check and spent 11 days at a beachfront hotel in Thailand with my wife.

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To Write a Great Story, Start with a Real Struggle

I appreciated this illustration on unconventional storytelling from Tom Gauld:

092082E1-DC5A-4463-A4DF-71D15799F53E When talking about adventures, I often relate the plot outlining of blockbuster movies and video games. What if the synopsis of a big summer movie was "So and so had to save the world from evil... and then they did?"

We'd think, "That's it?! How did they save the world ... what happened along the way? Did they lose something and have to recover it? How was the hero changed throughout the journey, and what was different at the end of the story?"

Challenge is the essence of adventure, and struggle is the root of any great story.

In fact, sometimes the struggle is the entire story. If the struggle is good enough, we're willing to overlook anything else. Why did the aliens invade the earth? Who cares—we have to defeat them!

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25 Journeys, 1,000 Miles Each : Dave Cornthwaite’s Quest

This is a quest case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Dave2 Dave Cornthwaite's quest has been called "One of the most ambitious adventures of the 21st century," and in the process of his journey he has broken nine world records. Here's his story:

Introduce yourself and your quest.

A decade ago I spent two weeks learning how to skateboard, and promptly quit my graphic design job to spend the next year skateboarding further than anyone else had ever skated. I traversed the length of Britain (as a warm up) and then skated Australia.

Now, I’m working on what I call Expedition1000: 25 journeys of 1,000 miles or more, each using a different form of non-motorized transport.

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The Beauty of Traveling Solo: On the Road with Megan Van Groll

This is a travel hacking case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Not everyone feels comfortable traveling alone, which is one of the reasons why Megan Van Groll's tales intrigued me. She's an advocate for exploring the world by yourself, going so far as to spend all of her time outside of a full-time job encouraging people to do just that.

Megan5 Tell us about yourself.

By day, I’m a social media strategist at a large creative advertising agency. My education and background is actually in studio art, so I keep a studio in my home and paint—both for myself, and on commission. Lately I've been doing a lot of freelance writing and blogging about travel and career design.

Above all else, I’m a travel addict and advocate for independent travel. I also believe strongly that everyone should take a solo trip at some point in their life.

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A World Record to Ski 4,161,823 Vertical Feet : Steph Jagger’s Quest

This is a quest case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

One time I went skiing for an hour, and then I went for hot chocolate in the lodge. Steph Jagger, whom I met at a book event in San Diego, went skiing and didn't stop until she'd gone more than four million vertical feet.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m Steph Jagger and I currently live in California where I run an executive & life coaching practice. From July 2010 to May 2011, I circumnavigated the globe in search of snow.

While traveling I skied 4,161,823 vertical feet, breaking the world record for most vertical feet skied in a single year. My original goal was 4,000,000 feet—but when I found out about the record (approximately 8 months into my trip) I tacked on a few extra feet!

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