The allure of free travel. Sounds dreamy, right? Globetrotting on someone else’s dime while you enjoy the fun, food and festivities that come standard with each new exotic locale…
Some of us get to travel the world whenever we get the itch while others have to plan and budget time and resources to pull off even a few weeks abroad. Whatever style of travel life affords you, a deal is a deal and we all love to save cash. There’s no golden ticket for a lifetime of gratis gallivanting but there are a few easy hacks to earn free flights and nights at world-class accommodations around the world. These tricks will help you save on plane tickets and hotels - keeping those bucks, pavos, loonies and quid in your pocket to spend on outlandish excursions and bizarre bazaars across the map.
Join one. Pick your favorite airline, hotel or bank and fill out the forms to become a rewards member. You can oftentimes get free points to use on flights, hotels or other rewards just by signing up and the more you spend, the more benefits you’ll see. Airlines such as Alaska, Delta and American offer some of the best flight specific rewards programs and all three partner with a variety of airlines making it easy to rack up points if you’re a frequent traveler. Stay loyal and these companies will treat you right, often offering rewards that extend beyond air travel to include rental cars, hotels and more.
Marriott, Wyndham and Hyatt have the best and most comprehensive rewards for hotel chains. Become a member of any of these programs and you’ll earn points and benefits at hundreds to thousands of different properties around the world. Perks range from welcome cocktails to free nights stays to spa treatments and massages – things well worth taking advantage of when you travel. Late checkout usually comes standard with a hotel rewards program with no points needed to sleep in after a late night or to lounge poolside for a few extra hours.
Most major banks also offer credit cards that can earn you points towards travel, accommodation and other day to day expenses. They are all based on how much you spend so be smart with your limits, even when those perks are enticing, and remember to read the small print to avoid extra fees or penalties. A few worth checking out for their travel specific rewards: Chase Sapphire, Capitol One Venture One Rewards and American Express Gold.
Discount Flight Sites
There are several companies out there that make their business by tracking and finding major deals on flights. Sign up for their free email lists to get notified when great deals come up for many amazing locations. They have paid memberships as well, which are highly recommend if you are a steady traveler and want to save time and money in the search for flights.
The crew at Dollar Flight Club are dedicated and eager to save you money and get you on your way to that dream destination. Give them your email address and the airport(s) you want to fly in and out of and their team will send you email and text alerts when deals arise to your specific locations. They boast an average savings of $500/flight and have helped over 500,000 travelers save time and money. There is great value in signing up and you’ll get daily deals in your inbox. Membership is recommended if you plan to travel frequently - well worth the nominal cost.
Travel hacking in this realm is as easy as signing on the dotted line and offering up an email. Play it smart and you can be piling up benefits and incentives that are sure to keep you on the road to adventure.