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Travel-Hacking for Dummies

Travel-Hacking for Dummies

Even though I am more of a promoter of conscious travel, of course, we fly with points. I also started to realize my friends and fans were asking to know a little more about how we get around from place to place. Well, it is using points. 

So, how do you accumulate points, which cards to get, and when should you get a new card/close an old one?

I am no expert but I do use a few blogs for my research and with just a little research I have been able to travel around the world just buying what I would normally buy and reaping the rewards in the process.

Chicago Skyline. We get to visit our family with our points too!  

Chicago Skyline. We get to visit our family with our points too!  

 

There are two cards to get if starting from scratch: the Chase Sapphire Reserved and the Hilton Rewards card. 

 

The Chase Sapphire Reserved is a no-brainer. You get 100k after spending four grand in three months. This is easy if everything you purchase is on your card. Just make sure you don’t just buy things to get the rewards; that will bite you in the ass in the end. Trust me, it is easier than you think to get to these points if you live in a country where credit cards are readily accepted. This card also has plenty of extra perks and is worth the $450 that it costs annually because they basically give you $400 back instantaneously. Really when it comes down to it, it is a fifty dollar annual fee. 

 

Some of the Many Rewards to Mention:

An additional card that gives you lounge access to most lounges around the airports around the world.

3x points on travel and dining worldwide

$300 annual travel credit

It also will give you a global entry credit as well, which if you don’t already have it, is another $100 dollar credit.

 

The Hilton Rewards card is good if you use hotels while you travel. Because we are slow travelers, we don’t really use it but we know its awesome advantages for those taking trips. We also use it when we want to be “luxurious” in the midst of our normal roughing it.  You can actually get two cards nine days apart from one another and it will be worth 45 nights of Hilton 1 Hotels. Hilton has 3 levels of types of hotel. Hilton 3 is the fancy pants one, which if you want those you only will get 5 nights. However, your fifth night is always free with Hiltons, so you can set up trips for five nights knowing you are only using four nights of rewards points. 

 

I find that if I sign up to the mailing list of some of these mile-hacking sites and occasionally check the daily emails I receive I am golden. It is really not hard to travel either upgrading to first class with rewards or just using rewards altogether.

 

San Miguel de Allende, GTO.  Flown into Mexico City using our points. 

San Miguel de Allende, GTO.  Flown into Mexico City using our points. 

 

Reasons to get into travel-hacking:

Because it is frackin’ awesome

Because you want to spend more on your trip not your flight

Because you want to be philanthropic on your travels and have a budget for that you would like to make larger

Because you want to travel but are overwhelmed with the flight prices

Because you love travel!

 

Some sites to check out are; milevalue.com, tripckr.com, and nomadicmatt.com – the last one just because it is an awesome site for conscious travelers more than a hacking site, but he has some good insights on it too.

I recommend just signing up for the mailing lists and following the feeds for the new cards and people’s opinion on them. I usually wait a month or so to get a good feel for what card maintains it’s awesome reviews. Remember you can always unsubscribe at any point. If they are are not helpful emails you are not forced to read them, just unsubscribe and delete.

 

I hope this was helpful. There are plenty of reasons to start your travel lifestyle and few reasons not to do it. You don't have to get crazy about saving up, just get smarter and more efficient. 

 

Infinite love and gratitude

 

The Snarky Spiritualist

 

 

 

 

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