On January 23, 2015, I will marry the love of my life. Once the insanity of the wedding and that whole weekend is over, a new adventure will await us. Yes, our life as a married couple, but also a magnificent, trip-of-a-lifetime honeymoon that has been over two years in the making.
We will fly to Hong Kong, then Australia. We will cruise around New Zealand, then head to the Great Barrier Reef and the Australian Outback. We will fly halfway around the world to London, then visit Paris. Finally, we will fly back home, completing our epic circumnavigation.
On almost all of our flights, we will be travelling in style, sipping champagne and sleeping on fully flat lie-down seats. If we were to buy these flights normally, they would cost over $41,000!
How are we able to do this? And how can YOU do the same?
I’m sure you’ve seen one wedding checklist or another where they tell you to put your wedding spending on a rewards card to ‘earn points’.
Maybe you’ve seen ads for some rewards cards, or have a friend that goes on and on about how they’re getting stuff back from the credit card company.
You might even have one yourself – but how do you get from that to crazy around the world trips?
The trick is that almost every airline has their own credit card, and banks really want people to sign up for these cards, so they offer ‘sign-up bonuses’.
The way a sign up bonus works is that once you get the card, after you spend a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time, you get a big bonus. These bonuses are often tens of thousands of miles – sometimes even 100,000!
By being responsible with your credit – something that isn’t too hard as long as you follow a few simple rules – you can take advantage of a lot of these bonuses.
That is really the core of what travel hacking is all about.
- Frequent flyer programs for U.S. based airlines are generally bad values for domestic flights, but using frequent flyer miles from a U.S. carrier (like American) on their international partners (like Qantas) are a much better deal (and much nicer).
- Few people actually fly enough to earn the amount of frequent flyer miles required to go anywhere interesting – but most airlines have credit cards that offer huge bonuses for people that sign-up for the card.
- If you are responsible about managing your credit, you can take advantage of a lot of credit-card sign-up bonuses.
And it doesn’t stop with airlines – hotels have very similar reward programs with their own benefits.
Along with FLYING to exotic places in style through travel hacking, you can also STAY in style.