I write about travel hacking a lot on the blog (and much more in the Cartel), and I always try to point people to the best available deals and opportunities. Some of these opportunities are for credit card signup bonuses, something I’ve been experimenting with for years, ever since first applying for 13 cards of my own on the same day way back in 2009.Of course, not everyone is able or eligible to get these bonuses—so what else is out there? There’s actually a ton. Credit cards are an easy way to earn a big boost of miles and points in many different programs, but they aren’t the only way. Read More
In more than a decade of frequent travel, I’ve stayed everywhere from five-star hotels to sleeping on the ground—and I don’t mean camping, I mean sleeping on the ground with my bags next to me. As I roamed the planet during my quest to visit every country, I had all sorts of difficulties—especially with visas—but…Read More
Every year when the calendar rolls around to January 1, it's time for me to get back out on the road. I love travel and I love doing events—I've been in eight cities in the past ten days—but I also have to get back to work on requalifying my elite status with all my favorite airlines and hotels.
Last year I hit the mark for the highest status with American Airlines, Hyatt, and Hilton hotels. This year I'm hoping to requalify for each, with the addition of more Starwood stays to earn the highest status with them as well.
Why bother? Because it makes my traveling life easier, and also because it's fun.Read More
Since posting the 2012 Frequent Flyer Challenge, I've fielded a ton of queries from people about how it works, which cards are best for their needs, and the occasional complaint from someone who feels like this information is too good to be shared. The short response is: it works very well. I'll be receiving more than 200,000 miles from my recent applications, in addition to several million miles over the past few years. These opportunities aren't going away anytime soon, so you might as well get in on them if you can.Read More
Last week I posted the Return of the Frequent Flyer Challenge—my latest plan to restock the miles I use to go all over the world for nearly-free. A few people said that 250,000 miles was not enough of a challenge ... so I've increased the goal. The new plan is to earn at least 400,000 miles or points in the next two weeks, and I'm now halfway there.Read More
Greetings from LHR Terminal 3, soon to be departing to San Francisco after a weekend in London for the U.K. launch of The $100 Startup. We've had a lot of new readers join our community over the past month (hi, everyone!) and I thought it would be good to provide an overview of travel hacking: the means of seeing the world in style while on a budget. For the past five years, I've been to at least 20 new countries a year on my quest to go everywhere. In addition to overland travel by bus or train, I get to many of them through a variety of paid and almost-free plane tickets ...Read More
Happy New Year!
On Sunday's long run, I pushed it to 12 miles in honor of 2012. I then tried to eat 12 pieces of nutella pie as a reward, but that plan fell through after piece #2.
As you're thinking about a new year, here's a free tip: forget resolutions; think about living intentionally instead.
What matters to you this year? Do that.
What do you hope to build in 2012? Work on that.Read More
Last Thursday afternoon, I approached the registration desk at a Radisson hotel near the airport in Portland, Oregon.
“Checking in, sir?” the clerk asked.
“Yes,” I said. “And checking out.”
I was there to take advantage of a new miles-and-points adventure: in this case, staying for one night (or at least checking in) in order to receive another night free. Why do that? Because my paid night cost $74, and I'll use the free night for a property that runs $300 or more.Read More
Friends and readers, greetings from Johannesburg airport, where I've just arrived from a week of gorilla trekking in East Africa. Life is good. By popular request, you're invited to join me for a one-hour online class on the basics of travel hacking: how to see the world on a budget. We'll discuss at least 8 ways to earn a free plane ticket in the next 60 days. Update: the class is now sold-out.Read More
Earlier this year, we launched the Travel Hacking Cartel, the world's leading service for aspiring adventurers. The service was recently featured in a major story on NPR, Forbes, and the Yahoo home page—all on the same day! It was exciting, but also stressful, since I was working from Madagascar and had no idea that so much coverage would hit.Read More
Happy Independence Day to those in the U.S., and greetings to everyone else around the world. I'm writing to you from Frankfurt, en route to Angola and beyond shortly. In the last travel planning post, I discussed a few of my upcoming trips. I've made a flurry of bookings since then and am now underway, so for those who care, here's how it works.Read More
People sometimes ask if travel hacking is worth the hassle. Doesn't it take away time you could spend on other projects? Is that time investment really worth it? Truth be told, once in a while I wonder the same thing ... I've got no shortage of opportunities to pursue these days, with a book to write, a summit to host, twenty countries a year to visit, etc. But when I sit down and do some work on my travel accounts, I realize, yes, I'm pretty sure this is worth my time. After traveling around the world (Cambodia, East Timor, numerous transit stops, etc.) for the past few weeks, I returned home and spent some time getting my travel world in order. Here's what I did to catch up on things in one hour ...Read More
Greetings from Singapore, where I'm in transit and decided to write the first Sunday Store Update in a while. If you're new to AONC, I use this space some weekends to write about the business side of our community. Regular articles appear (without fail) every Monday and Thursday.Read More
I was all set to go on national TV Friday morning to discuss travel hacking, but then I got a frantic message from the producer: “Have you been to Egypt?” Why yes, I said, I have—not checking the news, since I was thinking ahead to the segment for which they were interviewing me. The next message came three minutes later, saying they were dropping travel hacking in favor of Egyptian riots. Since bringing democracy to a country that has lived with a dictator for three decades is probably more important than earning a free plane ticket, I decided that decision was fair. I went back inside and changed into a t-shirt ...Read More
Last week I hosted a fun contest to give away my Frequent Flyer Miles to one reader. I expected a few hundred comments, and I got a few thousand. In this post I'll share the winner's name and story (it was a very tough choice for my biased judges and cat), but I also want to look at a broader issue ...Read More