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6 things to know about travel hacking [guest post]

Kate Parrish3 Comments


Hello fellow travelers! 

Bryce Conway here, Chief Travel Guru and Founder of 10xTravel.com. I want to introduce you to an idea that can help you take your travel savings to the next level. Presenting, travel hacking.  

Travel hacking is the process of earning a ton of frequent flyer miles through things like credit card sign-ups and other promotions and using those miles to book tons of really cheap travel. Think of it like extreme couponing, only it’s much more lucrative, requires a fraction of the time commitment, and doesn’t require you to store a bunch of non-perishable food in your basement. 

Today I want to share 6 things about travel hacking that will hopefully help you get started. 

1. AN EASY WAY TO SCORE TRAVEL FOR A FRACTION OF THE COST

  • Ask anyone why they don’t travel more often and you’ll likely get some sort of answer related to money. Which is understandable in this day and age. 
  • Travel hacking can fix that by allowing you to take advantage of points and miles to book high end travel for next to nothing.  
  • There are a lot of ways to earn points/miles without stepping on a plane, mainly through signing up for and using rewards credit cards, and travel hackers simply leverage these opportunities to earn points and miles by the boatload. 
  • These points and miles can add up quickly to book some amazing trips. You can check out some specific examples in our Reader Success Story Archives.

2. Travel Hacking can work for just about anyone

  • Travel hacking will work for anyone who has a U.S. social security number and decent credit. Unfortunately this eliminates most folks who live outside of the United States. 
  • If your credit is less than stellar we can help with that. In fact, I am just about to publish a book on all things credit scores and credit repair. Feel free to email me with any credit questions you may have in the meantime Bryce@10xTravel.com
  • You don’t need to have a ton of money or be finically savvy to succeed in this hobby. Just a willingness to learn and a little attention to detail will take you a long way. 

3. The fastest way to earn points/miles is to sign up for a new credit card or two

  • Most major travel credit cards offer some sort of bonus when you are approved for the card and jump through a couple of hoops. These bonuses are typically a lump sum of frequent flyer miles, free nights at a hotel chain, etc. 
  • Many of these credit card bonuses are worth $500+ of free travel, so you can see how they could add up in a hurry. 

4. No, this does not hurt your credit score

  • Quite the opposite in fact. Travel hacking will likely help you improve your credit score, provided of course you don’t start using credit cards irresponsibly and start missing your monthly payments. 
  • There is a long and detailed explanation to how that works, but the short version is that your credit score is almost entirely made up of how you use the credit accounts that you have. More accounts used responsibly = more positive data on your credit report = a higher credit score. 

5. TONS of people do this

  • We like to think of ourselves as some sort of secret society at times, but the truth is that there are a lot of resources out there for aspiring travel hackers.  
  • There are dozens of forums, blogs, and news outlets that travel hackers actively participate in. We even have our own subreddit
  • In addition to 10xTravel.com I would recommend checking out the blogs on www.boardingarea.com and the FlyerTalk Forums

6. The best way to get started is to watch others

  • There are a ton of beginner guides and how-tos out there (we think ours is best) to help you get started, but if you really want to accelerate your learning its best to watch other people participate in this hobby. 
  • Like any skill, only so much can be learned from reading a book. 
  • Browse through the r/churning subreddit, read headlines across the many points and miles blogs, and check out our 10xT Insiders Facebook group to see what others are doing to help make their travel dreams become travel realities. 

Happy Travels, 
Bryce