The traditional traveler wakes up and starts thinking about their New Years Resolutions and most likely, one of their top resolutions is to “travel more”.
“I just want to travel a bit more…”
“I want to start traveling and seeing the world.”
“I want to go beyond the white-picket fence and set foot in another country.”
Many people approach travel from a lack mindset. For example, the average person thinks to themselves:
“If I can save X amount of dollars, I can hop on a plane and travel to Y destination.”
The problem with this approach is that it is too “old school” and doesn’t get anyone to achieve what they actually want to do without a struggle.
You see, there are many systems in place for the savvy traveler to take advantage of, without having to spend much on travel.
Redirecting one’s purchases through a medium in which you are rewarded, and can later on travel for cheap is free, is the better way to go.
Too many people are “leaving money on the table nowadays”, either because they don’t know what they don’t know, or they just plain decline to become a savvier traveler instead of staying a traditional traveler.
The beautiful thing is you don’t always have to max out credit cards or join thousands of reward programs in order to get closer to that cheaper or free trip.
There are many forms of “travel-hacking” or however you would like to call it.
Let’s look at some of these different methods to help you level-up your travel expertise in 2016 and help you see the world just a bit more.
There are quite literally dozens of ways manufactured spending. Here, we’re just going to cover some of the most basic ones.
Debit Card– For those who absolutely do not want to touch credit cards, some banks offer rewards for spending money on their debit cards. Some are cash-back, and others may even offer frequent flyer miles in exchange.
This seems to change from time to time, so make sure to do your research to see the latest participating banks and offers.
Gift Cards- Believe it or not, this one is pretty popular. Whether you are racking up gift cards for your future purchases, or for others as actual gifts, there tend to be numerous offers that pop up from time to time. For example, the Chase Ink Business Credit Card among other credit cards offer a 5% bonus on gift card purchases, which can later be exchanged for flights, hotel bookings, and even merchandise. The best part about this is, you don’t need a business to apply for business credit cards. Most importantly, be careful not to spend more than you can afford, or rack up gift cards for no reason if you are not being rewarded for it.
Online Payments- I’m sure you’ve heard of Amazon Payments, Paypal, AMEX BlueBird, among other online payment systems that are tied to debit or bank accounts. This is definitely the most volatile form of manufactured spending, but when done right, can reap tons of travel rewards.
Things that you are already spending money on could be generating you credit card points or frequent flyer miles. Expenses such as:
√Gas at the pump
√Home Remodeling & Furniture
√And much more
The best cards, hands down, to redirect your purchases are the Starwoods Preferred Credit Card,Chase Sapphire, Southwest Premier Credit Card, and American Express Platinum.
This is a more advanced technique, but can be taken advantage of by folks who have plenty of time on their hands and can also sit on planes for long periods of time.
For the sake of simplicity, here are some articles that explain the inner-workings of mileage runs a bit more for those who may be interested.
If you make a decent income and want to rack up a large amount of points and earn a handful of free trips, you may want to consider a credit card run. Credit card runs are another advanced strategy, and I recommend checking out The Credit Card Blitzkrieg for some strategy tips.
Well, we hope you learned some valuable tips and start running with one or two (or more, if you’re really into travel hacking), and get to see more of the world in 2016!
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