I've been travel hacking for the past few years. Travel hacking is the art of collecting frequent flyer miles and points to travel for free.
I've been a fan and reader of sites like The Points Guy and @thepointsguy and this is how I learned about travel hacking. A few years ago, my youngest son, who is now 18 and in college mentioned how he doesn't remember when we've traveled to places like Puerto Rico and Jamaica. He was just too young. And my oldest son, who is 22, says he really liked traveling with my wife's family and wanted to do it again. This got me to planning trips for us.
Traveling is expensive. This is just a fact. Especially for a family of 4. The airlines and hotels pretty much have us where they want us. If we want to travel we have to pay their prices. You can price shop and find cheaper prices, but, there are no guarantees.
One way you can either make traveling cheaper or even free is by taking advantage of reward points offered by all major credit cards. I know a lot of people are afraid of credit cards and try to avoid them, but, there is a way you can make this system work in your favor.
We all have bills to pay every month. No matter what, you have bills to pay. You can turn this into an advantage for earning reward miles. All of the bills I can pay with a credit card each month, I use my Capital One Venture card or my Chase Marriott Bonvoy. I earn miles to fly with Venture and points for hotel stays with the Bonvoy card. Then I make sure to pay them off before the end of the billing cycle. Even when we have unexpected expenses like home repair, I earn points from taking care of it. My motto: #AlwaysBeEarningPoints.
I have accumulated enough points for me and my family of four to fly for absolutely free to St. Thomas and we will be flying free to the Bahamas this summer. I have used the points to mitigate the cost of travel by using them to upgrade our seats on flights. There are many more benefits to using these cards to travel hack like getting to stay in the United Airlines Lounge during long layovers and getting free food and drink.
This is why I travel hack. Most people take a major vacation each summer. With travel hacking, you can effectively turn one vacation per year into two simply by using travel hacking techniques. My family and I travel at a minimum of 4 times a year and looking to travel more. Travel hacking can help you do this. There are many more things you can do to earn these miles and hotel stays. That is what #vacation-mode is about. Escaping the #9to5Matrix and traveling more often and not being trapped in your daily job.
If you are a fellow travel hacker, what are the things you do to make traveling less expensive? What credit cards do you like to use to earn miles on airlines and night stays at hotels?