Most of you all will not believe this, but I flew to Taiwan on a plane ticket that cost $5.60. Yes, you are not misreading my words. My plane ticket cost about $5.60. My brother asked if I negotiated the ticket down from $6.00 to $5.60. Of course, he was joking. I am not sure if he realized that I was serious. I told numerous people of how much my ticket cost. I told my minister about the cost of the ticket, and she asked if I needed a good lawyer, assuming that I had broken some sort of law. I mentioned to her that I used something called Travel Hacking. She may have worried even more, reaching for her phone to call the church lawyer, but I told her it was all legal.
Before you assume this is illegal, travel hacking is term used to describe the process of acquiring cheap accommodations and flights through hotels, couch surfing, hostels, Airbnb , Airline mileage clubs, and credit card rewards. These are the tools to help you become successful in the Travel Hacking game.
The Quest to find Cheap Travel:
Last Fall, I wanted to take a global trip. Not just an ordinary trip, but one to explore and adventure the different parts of the world. I was talking to my friend’s dad about it and he told me, “ Steve, it costs a ton of money to travel. If it were cheap, we would all be doing it.” That statement alone resonated with me. How would I pay for global adventures? He was right. Round trip flights are expensive, accommodations are expensive, food could be expensive as well. I was determined to prove him wrong. There had to be a way. So I went to greatest source of knowledge, Google. There I wrote in the search engine, Budget Traveling. A world of knowledge, all of sudden, flowed with page after page of information. Maybe my friend’s dad was wrong, or just misinformed.
The first site that came up was a site called Nomadic Matt. Nomadic Matt is a travel blog created by Matthew Kepnes. He embarked on his own travels, and decided to write about how to travel the world on a budget. I was very intrigued with all of his information. Could there be a way to travel the world on $50 a day? There could be, he wrote a book called “ How to travel the World on $50 a day.” There he breaks down travel hacking. I bought the book and studied. I even looked up guys like Brian Kelly, the Points Guy. Brian Kelly’s job is to maximize rewards points, travel luxuriously, and write about the ways, us average Joes, can do the same.
The name of the game is Travel Hacking.
Before we go down the rabbit hole, I know what you all are thinking. Credit cards??? Yes, it is truly amazing what banks will give you. My dad always says “make money work for you.”
There are a million different types of credit cards that you can sign-up with. There are the ones for Amazon, REI, and Target, but lets focus on the big ones
The big companies are American Express, Chase, Citi, and Discover. Each of these companies have so many credit cards to choose from. There is the American Express Gold card, the Citi Thank You card or Double Cash Card, The Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and there is the Discover IT card. There are so many cards to choose from, and so many offers to collect. One day, I will break down the pros and cons of every card.
Side Note:Do not blindly open credit cards if you are not responsible for paying off your balance at the end of the month. Be fiscally responsible when spending money. Too many people go crazy with credit cards, and it can get really ugly. Good thing, I have a father that has instilled fiscally responsibility within my use of the credit card, plus he has taught me “make money work for you.”