Travel Hacking 101
Learning the Basics
When most people think of "hacking" anything, they think of something negative like hacking into government mainframes or stealing identities and other terrible things like that. Fortunately, travel hacking has nothing to do with any of those things! Travel hacking is all about learning how to use your credit and everyday spending to earn thousands of rewards points and miles to take amazing vacations and trips for incredibly cheap or even free!
So, what is travel hacking anyway? Well, it's pretty simple actually.
The Art of Travel Hacking can be summarized in 5 Easy Steps
Step 1: Pick a Dream Destination
In general, the first step in travel hacking is to know where you want to go! Lots of people have that one place they've always wanted to visit or that beautiful island they've heard about over and over again. For others, you may find yourself spinning a globe and stopping it with your finger or closing your eyes and throwing a dart at a map.
The whole point of this step is to pick a place you want to go so that you can earn the specific reward points that can get you there. BUT, don't worry about all of the details just yet, just pick a place and we'll help you figure out the rest later!
Step 2: Earn Points
In order to fly for free and stay in incredible hotels for next to nothing you have to accumulate enough airline miles and rewards points to redeem them for free travel. Check out our Travel Toolbox and read our article Making Miles & Flying Free which goes into more detail about the specifics, but in general you can get thousands of these points by strategically signing up for certain credit card bonuses. And guess what the best part is... this hobby actually BUILDS AND IMPROVES YOUR CREDIT OVER TIME!
Starting off, I had about a 720 credit score. My most recent FICO score was 794, and that's just in 8 months time! I should also mention that the Travel Hack King team strongly advocates the responsible use of credit and we will be happy to give you tips and tricks that have worked for us and our friends to rebuild and improve your credit! If you need any specific advice, please feel free to send us a message!
Step 3: Make a Plan
When you're trying to travel for free using rewards points and airline miles it's always a good idea to plan out each phase of your trip and how you're going to "pay" for it. You might need a certain amount of airline miles to cover flights; some other points in a hotel program to cover lodging and some flexible rewards to cover food and transportation when you get there.
It may sound complicated, but this is exactly where having a community and our team of experts here at T.H.K. comes in handy. We will walk you through the process of planning out the trip of your dreams step by step. We all started out as beginners at some point, so we're happy to show you the ropes!
Step 4: Book your Trip
This step is probably the second most exciting part of the whole process. This is the part where you put your plan into action and book your flights, hotels/lodging, and transportation. It is the moment when all of your "hard work" and planning comes to fruition. It is the moment when you redeem your miles and cash in your points for thousands of dollars of travel. It is the moment when you realize you are literally about to embark on the dream vacation you never thought possible for pennies on the dollar. It is the moment when... can you tell we're addicted to this stuff yet?! Travel hacking is awesome!
Step 5: Relax!
Pack your bags, hop on the plane, and get ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Whether you're sipping Mojitos in your all-inclusive hotel, sun bathing on the beach or just touring the city and seeing the sites... this is what travel hacking is all about... rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. Enjoy your trip and don't feel sad when it's over because... that's when you start dreaming about your next trip!
LEARN THE GAME, LIVE THE DREAM!!!