Reset

Buy One Wedding, Get a Honeymoon Free

One time I went to Dubai for my honeymoon, except it wasn’t really my honeymoon. I was traveling with Stephanie, my longtime friend, travel hacking colleague, and frequent travel companion. Even though she is basically a member of my family, Stephanie and I aren’t partners in the romantic sense—which occasionally leads to humorous encounters when we travel.

For some reason, our hotel in Dubai had gotten the idea that it was our honeymoon. When they assigned us a luxury three-bedroom apartment as our room, we may have failed to correct their impression. We did, however, express our gratitude for the free champagne they also gave us.

Read More

Limited Time: Earn Up to 180,000 Hilton Points with Special Offers

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!

Read More

Earn 430,000 Miles from the Best Current Travel Card Offers

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

“Everything Is Figoureoutable:” Notes from Paris to Doha

On a recent trip, I had to get back to Doha from Paris, a 5 1/2 hour flight. I was transferring via an initial connection from Zurich, and I booked the Zurich flight to arrive less than an hour before the Qatar Airways flight departed.

You might think that’s cutting it close, and it was. In the worst of times, Charles de Gaulle airport can be an absolute nightmare to navigate for transit. It’s not unreasonable to walk more than a kilometer between terminals, and some terminals are reachable only by an extended bus ride. Add long security lines (no PreCheck!) to that equation, and it’s not unreasonable to allow 2-3 hours for a connection.

Read More

Couple Uses Southwest Companion Pass to Save $3,800 and Take 14 Free Flights

Link: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

I’ve mentioned the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass a couple times over the years. In short, if you’re able to get it—by earning 110,000 qualifying points in a year—a companion of your choice can fly with you for nearly free (just pay the taxes on their ticket) for an entire year.

Here’s a fun story from Annabelle and Christian, two students from last year's Dream Trip course, that have used their Companion Pass to take more than a dozen free flights so far.

Read More

Brand New: Get 50,000 Southwest Airlines Points with the Just-Announced “Plus” Card

Link: 50,000 Rapid Rewards Points (Brand New Offer)

Out of the blue—we just heard yesterday—Southwest Airlines has introduced an all-new awards card, the Southwest Airlines Plus.

This card offers a a 50,000 point bonus after a low $2,000 minimum spend. Southwest also promises that these points will count toward Southwest's always-popular Companion Pass, where you can take the companion of your choice with you on every trip for an entire year.

Read More

“If you’re going to spend the money anyway, you might as well get something out of it.”

Ediza Ferris is serious about travel hacking, and it pays off. A recent trip took her and her husband from the States through Sydney to Dubai—where they were whisked from the presidential hotel suite to the First Class lounge via private chauffeur. Ediza is truly hacking her way to incredible experiences thanks to the world of miles and points.

I started traveling when I was young, around age 5 or 6. My parents immigrated to the States from the Philippines and we've always made steady trips back and forth to go back and see family.

I took the opportunity when I was 16 to study abroad for the summer in a theater program. It wasn't until then where I realized the world was so much bigger than myself, and so much older than how it's described in the history books.

Since then, I've wanted to see more, eat differently, and discover anything new so that I can piece together for myself what this world is actually made of.

Read More

Midnight Sky Notes from Jakarta to Tokyo

Sometimes it’s good to live for the moment. Case in point: you’re flying JAL from Jakarta to Tokyo. It’s an overnight flight, but a short one. When a flight like this is blocked for 7 hrs, you know it’s probably more like 6. Then when you factor in takeoff and getting settled and at least having a snack before sleeping and a cup of coffee before landing, you’re looking at a 5-hour maximum sleep window.

But then the friendly flight attendant offers another glass of Syrah. This being a Japanese airline, she's already apologized four times for asking you to change your seat upon boarding.

Read More

How to Travel to Random Places and Work on a Project

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

Get 175,000 Points + $500 in Travel Rewards from Business Cards

Link: Enhanced Business Platinum Card

Link: Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card

Link: SimplyCash Plus Business Card ($500 Credit)

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

How to Buy Plane Tickets on the Same Day of Departure

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

New Opportunities in Travel Hacking: Free 30-Minute Presentation

Link: Free Travel Hacking Presentation

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

Another Bonus Offer: 50,000 American Express Points Now Available

Link: 50,000 Points Up for Grabs

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

What’s In Your Carry-On? 6 Things That Keep Me Comfortable and Productive on the Road

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