When I first learned how to fly around the world for free, I truly felt….. well, free. I had never known of such amazingness that I could partake in as long as I was over the age of 18(Which I was). Imagine waking up, deciding your city just isn’t making the cut for today and you get on your laptop and pick a destination. For most people this alone is unheard of. How can someone just “decide” to leave their town the day of? We are of course assuming this person is not wealthy by any means but has achieved what I like to call REAL freedom. So imagine yourself waking up and doing the same. Where would you go too? The best part about this little story is, the person didn’t pay anything to get to his destination and chances are, it’s so cheap once he gets there to live, he ends up staying a whole two weeks. Now this all sounds great but lets get into the dirty gears of how this actually comes to happen. I quickly found just how detailed planning your “hacking” can be.
What Is Travel Hacking?
Travel hacking, as defined by Chris Guillebeau, is simply, “experiencing the world on a limited budget.” The travel and leisure industry plays up travel (especially international travel) as a luxury only the rich can afford. By using some tips, tricks, and loopholes it’s possible to travel across the world, or all the way around it for very cheap. There are many travel hacking strategies and tons of useful resources on the Internet, some of which I will share at the end of this post.
So How Does It Work?
In order to gain location freedom and see the world on practically nothing, you are required to do a little leg work. We will be using Airline Frequent Flyer Miles to make all of this happen. don’t worry, you wont spend any extra money and you wont have to fly anywhere to actually get the miles.
Your first step is to figure out where you would like to go in order to start building your miles. This allows you to set a target mile amount to aim for. The best way to do this is to “hack”, don’t worry, no jail time will take place as it is perfectly legal to do this. Airlines and other major credit cards offer amazing mile bonuses for signing up for their cards. Obviously you need to be a good spender to make this happen and not go completely in debt. If your a complete idiot, chances are your not because your reading a article on travel hacking, then leave this article and save yourself. Now many people worry about their credit score being hurt for opening and closing so many credit cards. This is how it happens; Your score will drop roughly 1-2% at first and then, it will go up around 40 total points. That’s right, free flying and a better credit score. Don’t you love hacking the system for your benefit? I do.
Now if you are completely on a budget and want to do all of this leg work yourself, be my guest. This required countless hours researching forums and sites looking for deals and bonus points. I am assuming your like me saying, “Who the hell do you think I am? I wanna hack this shit and make someone else do it for me!”. I completely agree!
Can I automate This Process?
There are three services which completely(almost) automates this leg work for very cheap. Whenever deals and bonuses pop-up, you get an email and even a text for the really time dependent deals you need to do right this second.
The top three sites to use while building your miles are the following:
- 10x Travel: The website I personally write for and learned the most from. Make sure to join the Insider Facebook group!
- Boarding Area: A website that contains a series of blogs that discuss how to fly for free and gain airline miles and elite status quickly.
- The Points Guy: Run by Brain Kelly, this site helps people navigate credit card bonuses and airline and hotel reward programs.