The Beginner’s Guide to Travel Hacking
What is Travel Hacking?
Travel hacking is just a fancy term that entails using existing systems to your advantage to get discounted and free airfare, hotels, car rentals, and other travel expenses. So you can get your next vacation on the house! e’ll highlight the six steps to travel hacking that any beginner can use to get started.
Step 1: Sign Up For Airline Rewards Programs
It’s best to pick one airline that you can frequently fly from your home airport. Signing up is the easy part, but accumulating miles takes time. When you spread yourself across a few airlines, you spread those miles across various airline programs as well.
Step 2: Sign Up For Hotel Rewards Programs
Similar to airline miles, hotel points are best when accumulated with one hotel brand. Try to sign up for one and stick with it where you can. Luckily, most hotel loyalty programs are at the corporate level and cover a wide variety of hotel chains. For example, Marriott hotels encompass a few familiar hotel chains.
Step 3: Research Credit Cards
The most important (and most beneficial) step to travel hacking is researching credit cards. Every credit card will have its advantages, but there is no doubt that some are better than others. Especially when you consider all of the perks that credit cards could offer!
Step 4: Get Your First Credit Card
Once you’ve researched and selected your first credit card, it’s time to apply. Before doing so, check your credit score to ensure your score is high enough to get approved for the card you selected. If t is, you should have no problem getting approved.
Step 5: Use Your Points and Reward Programs!
Once you’ve gotten your credit card bonus and accumulated some points over the first 3-6 months, you can consider using your points and rewards! It depends on how big of a trip you want to plan. A sign-up bonus can likely cover a couple of domestic round trip tickets, but if you want to cover an entire vacation, you might need to wait 6+ months to earn enough credit card points.
Step 6: Get a New Credit Card Every 6 Months
To continue travel hacking, you should look to get a new credit card about every six months. This is not an exact number of months you need to follow, but it’s a reasonable guideline.
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