Traveling feeds the soul. When visiting a new place we get a taste of what life is like outside of our space. Outside of our everyday lives. Outside of our comfort zones. We get to interact with people from all over the world that do not look like us, speak like us, dress like us, or even eat like us. It opens our mind to the vastness of this planet and the role we play in it. Whatever role that is. Whether how small or big we feel they are. Traveling helps us realize that we are all connected. And through our everyday actions, we mold the world by choosing what we do with our time here.
I encourage everyone to spend some time traveling. Go places that you’ve never been. Don’t think it’s expensive either because I’m here to tell you that it’s not. My wife just left me for the weekend on a free flight to California. And it didn’t cost us a dime.
You didn’t really think she left me forever, did you?
How was it a free flight? Through what a community of people who travel often call “travel hacking”. It’s my first time ever doing it to get a free flight and well, it works. You gotta remember. I’m just a young black man who grew up in a single-parent household where traveling was an afterthought. I remember getting excited about traveling from Port Arthur, Texas to Baytown, Texas to go school shopping once a year. That was only a 45-minute drive bro. So for me to able to travel to new places now is really something I don’t take for granted. It’s something my wife and I cherish and enjoy while soaking in everything we can when away.
How I Bought My Wife The First of Free Flights
How did I manage to send my wife on an all-expense paid trip with a free flight included? I took an online course.
I really did. I took an online course on travel hacking. Then applied everything I learned.
Before I get into it, I have to say this. My wife is an amazing person. She’s the most hard-working, consistent, and disciplined woman I know. Her passion is building a business from home, and that’s exactly what she has done. Check her site out here! It’s pretty dope. She glows when talking about her business daily. She’s been so successful in the business that it earned her a weekend retreat to La Jolla, California at an all-inclusive resort. Everything is paid for! Except what? The flight! That’s where hubby stepped in.
In order for us to travel more and do the things we both commonly enjoy. I decided that if we are going to travel often we have to do it smarter. Smarter, in a way that it doesn’t cost us an arm and a leg every time we want to visit a new place. When we think of traveling, we think expensive. Some people often use it as a status determiner because people think it costs a lot of money to do it. I’ve always been the guy that when the crowd went right, I went left. So I looked into ways of debunking the “it’s expensive to travel” myth. I kept seeing things about travel hacking, free flights, and credit cards, and wondered what the hell do they have to do with each other?
Travel Hacking – the ability to earn credit card points, airline miles, hotel points, all in conjunction with one another to get highly discounted, and sometimes free flights.
This is where the fun starts!
The quickest way to get a free flight is with a credit card. There are other ways to earn them too. Like taking surveys or eating out at certain restaurants. Those are slow ways. The quickest is credit cards. And no, don’t buy the flight with the credit card. Or use someone else’s credit card. That’d be illegal. Just use the credit card’s points to buy the flight.
Of course, you may know you do need good credit history to get approved for credit cards. If you think you need to improve your score before applying for a few credit cards, click here for 5 easy ways to improve your credit score. They helped to improve mine by 150 points in a little over a year.
If you’re ready to apply. Here’s what you do.
1. Look for cards offering the largest signup bonuses. Not just any credit card.
Credit Cards run promotions that give away points when you’re approved for the card and meet a minimum spending limit. These points can then be used to buy flights anywhere. One, I’m currently using is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You have to keep up with the promotions, though. Two bloggers that I follow that help me keep up with the promotions are thepointsguy.com and ChrisGuillebeau.com.
Chris Guillebeau’s online course was the course I referred to earlier. Fun fact about Chris. He’s visited all 193 countries in the world. I didn’t even know there were 193 countries in the world until I came across him. Pretty damn dope I must say. And travel hacking played a major part in it.
2. Use the cards to pay for things you would already pay for.
All of the cards that offer you a signup bonus have a spend requirement you have to meet to get them. A slick way to meet the requirements without acquiring new credit debt is to pay for things you already need with it. Like bills!!! Just set your bills to be paid with the credit card instead of using your normal debit account. Be sure to pay the credit card bill in full each month so that you don’t carry a balance. We want free flights with the credit card, not credit card debt.
Or if you need something to make a big purchase that you have the cash for already, just use the credit card, get the points for the purchase, then pay the credit card back with your cash. Done and done.
3. Use Your Points!
This is obviously the most important part but often overlooked. After receiving the points, don’t wait years to use them thinking that you’ll save them for a rainy day. For one, who wants to take a vacation in the rain? And two, they won’t be worth as much in the future than they are now. Oh, and three, sometimes they do expire.
So use them. Just go somewhere. Anywhere!
Before you do, be sure to go on all major airlines websites and sign up for their mileage rewards accounts. It’s free! This will allow you to earn more miles as you’re flying when you didn’t pay anything to fly in the first place. So, you’re double dipping. Kinda.
To Sum It Up
The purchase I made that lead to my wife’s free flight was a computer. When I decided I wasn’t going back to work to become a full-time entrepreneur, I knew I needed a computer. (She absolutely HOGS the laptop.) So instead of using the cash I had on the computer, I used a credit card. The points they gave me for this purchase was worth about $200. Soooo yeah, they gave me $200 for buying something I already needed. Now Denita’s off to Cali. And I got myself a shiny, new computer.
There are tons of ways to hack and obtain discounted flights. This is just one of them. I’m currently doing another that’ll land me 50,000 points by just paying my mortgage! 50,000 points are equal to $625 worth of travel expenses. You can’t beat that with a stick even if Michael Jackson himself told you to.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever used cards or any other avenue to get free flights or at a discount.
Until next time.