How I Am Able To!
A lot of my friends and family are always bewildered on how many trips I go on. They always ask me “How do you travel so much?!?”. Well I am not rich. But I do have some tricks!
- First, I really do not spend that much when I do travel… My secret weapon is the world of miles and points. By utilizing airline miles and hotel points I am able to travel more and stay at places I would otherwise not be able to afford.
- Second, I am really fortunate that I currently have low living expenses and I am trying my best not to spend money on gadgets, eating out (I still need to work on this!!), and other entertainment. For me I have the most fun doing simply things like hiking, swimming, or just exploring new places. Hence the obsession of traveling!
- Third, I have a job with decent pay, but that has more vacation and holidays than average. It is still a typical Monday through Friday job so just know it is possible to travel with these kinds of jobs!
See that first bullet point? Miles and points. Yes, that is my secret sauce. It really has catapulted my travels, saved me money, and allowed me to enjoy hotels that I otherwise cannot afford. I do not claim to be an expert in all facets of miles and points but I am willing to help you! To give you an example, for my adventures to Costa Rica I was able to stay at the luxurious Andaz Papagayo for 4 nights for free. Instead of paying the nearly $500 per night I forked over just 15,000 Hyatt points per night. On top of that I barely paid anything for the flights to get both Beth and I there but instead used 70,000 United miles for flights that cost $700 round-trip per person.
So how did I earn those miles and points to essentially get nearly a free trip? A multitude of ways really… but the bulk from credit card signup bonuses. Credit cards are the number one avenue to obtain miles and points. Even better than flying or staying in hotels.
How You Can Too!
If you have never been exposed to the miles and points game before that was probably just gibberish but the keyword was credit cards. Credit cards are the easiest way to start and also provide the biggest amount of miles or points. By using credit cards for all of your regular spending you can earn tons of points! A basic card would earn you 1 point / mile per dollar spent and an average household spends over $50,000 per year that is 50,000 miles / points not counting signup bonuses! Depending on the card a signup bonus could an additional 50,000 miles / points for reaching a threshold within a certain amount of time, like spend $3000 in the first 3 months. That is a solid 100,000 right there and that is only with 1 credit card…
Now you might be scared of credit cards… That they will ruin your credit rating, make you slide into debt, and you will become bankrupt! But hear me out. I never advocate for a person who is in serious debt or credit troubles ever to join the miles and points game. You need to get your financials in order first before undertaking this hobby. With that key warning being said you also do not have to be rich and you CAN have debt (I have college loans as an example). Just instill discipline in yourself and treat the credit card like straight cash. Never spend beyond your means and never carry a balance on these travel rewards cards!
So if you heed my warnings you might be wondering so where do I begin?
- Learn, start reading up miles and points blogs (Like this one!! ) to understand how the game works and what kind of value you can receive. Some other of my favorites are thepointsguy and boardingarea
- Earn, start using those newly minted credit cards for all of your usual spending to earn valuable points and miles. Use other avenues as well like flying, staying at hotels, and promotions!
- Burn, start putting those miles and points to work and travel the world! Share your experiences too!
- Rinse, repeat, and never stop!
Follow me to learn, earn, and burn your way to free travel!
A true beginners guide to the world of miles and points will be available soon!