This is a week of firsts. First time I am attempting to make a post on the road using my iPad, and first time we have managed to completely cover our trip using miles and points. Yes, a free trip. Last spring, when researching information on passports, I ran into Chris Guillebau’s blog post on travel hacking. Wow, it was like a sudden wake up call. We had been playing the miles and points game all wrong for years. Travel hacking was suddenly my new obsession. Ok, maybe the word obsession is a little strong, but I needed to know more. Most of the practice around this game of free travel is not setup for anyone traveling with a family. But GB and I decided to take what practices we can use, put it to work, and see where it takes us. Understanding the rules of collecting miles using travel partners, and making some smart changes to how we are using our credit cards has suddenly built us a bank of miles to play with. GB’s work travel schedule helps a lot too.
While collecting the miles was easy, understanding how best to use them was a different challenge. We quickly discovered a 2 hour flight to San Francisco was now going to take 5 hours using miles and split us between to airlines. Ouch, that is a long time to cross two states. But the tickets didn’t cost us a dime, so we decided to go for it and become light weight travel hackers. We did run into a few bumps along the way, like the cancelation of one of our flights that caused two of us to arrive a day late for vacation. But once we all arrived everyone was happy and ready.
So here we all are, enjoying a weekend away to Monterey, California without spending a dime on airfare, hotel, or a rental car due to our new stash of travel points. If you want to know more about the art of travel hacking, or just understanding how to use airline miles, you can read more here.