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
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. Read More
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. Read More
Link: New 35,000 Point Signup Bonus (Personal Card)Link: New 35,000 Point Signup Bonus (Business Card) For a very limited time, Starwood is offering an increased signup bonus on both of its cards. In fact, it's the highest bonus they've ever offered! This is a good one... Read More
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. Read More
Yesterday afternoon, I headed to Office Depot for an important mission: I had to buy 100 envelopes, stamps, and index cards. I then spent the next several hours diligently writing the same information over and over and each of the cards, before stuffing them in the envelope and affixing a stamp.It was actually a lot more fun than it sounds. As detailed last week, if you’re up for your own envelope stuffing adventure, you can receive at least 47,000 IHG hotel points for your time and trouble. These points can then be used for up to 9 free hotel stays anywhere in the world. Read More
Toward the end of Up in the Air, the character played by George Clooney calls up American Airlines and asks to transfer some of his Frequent Flyer miles to his sister.
"How many miles?" the agent asks.
“Enough to go completely around the world."
I saw that movie with my parents several years ago, and when we left the theatre, my mom asked, “How many miles does it take to go around the world?”
She thought I’d know the answer, and of course I did.Read More
This post is a "greatest hits" mashup of travel hacking tips, stories and features. Take a look and see if anything might be helpful to you!Read More
Here’s a fun thing: many of you already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. It’s a great card for a lot of reasons, and is usually my #1 recommendation when people are just starting to get into the world of miles and points.If you have the card, you can now earn extra miles for referring your friends.
Here’s how it works:
- You’ll earn 5,000 points for every successful referral
- Your friends will receive the best offer currently available (the same one we have through our partner, Cards for Travel)
- You can refer up to 10 friends for 50,000 points in total
- The deadline is May 31, 2015
Link: Chase Sapphire PreferredLast year we had a celebration for Tyler, our Adventure Czar, when he came home from running a marathon on Antarctica. At the end of the night, I went to pay my tab, and the bartender said, “What is this card that all of you guys have?!” It turned out that of the dozen or so folks that had an open tab at the bar that night, at least half of us were using the Chase Sapphire Preferred. There’s a good reason for that! Our readers are smart. :) Read More
Link: 70,000 IHG Hotel PointsAn updated travel hacking offer has just landed. All of a sudden, anyone who likes to stay in hotels free has an all-new option: the IHG® Rewards Club Select card. IHG brands range from the upscale Intercontinental (very nice) to the mid-range Crowne Plaza (depends on the property) to the down-market Holiday Inn Express (well, in some markets there are far worse places). The latest version of the card has a strong signup offer: 70,000 points after completing a low $1,000 minimum spend in three months. That's not enough for you? OK, you'll also get an additional free night valid at over 4,700 hotels throughout the network for every year you remain a cardmember. In addition to the improved signup bonus, the card also offers the following benefits:
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49