Welcome to the World of Travel Hacking. My guess, most of my readers might not have heard this term “Travel Hacking“.
Let me set the record Straight: When it comes to Travel Hacking, I’m a Newbie. But, I’m going to learn while I teach and share the knowledge I gain about my travel hacking journey. We are planning for 2 Major Trips in next few months and we plan to spend as little as we can for the trip by hacking our travel.
How little? Well, Free Flights and Free Hotels Stays is out target.
Think about going on a 10 day trip without paying for hotels and air fare.
- $100 per night in hotel = $1000 for 10 nights.
I can just save $1000 on hotels. Plus you can add the airfare. Imagine, if you save the same on your trips. I’m customizing the articles for students.
So, let’s get started with Travel Hacking for students.
What is Travel Hacking?
Simplest definition of Travel Hacking : The legal way to lower your travel costs by making use of airline miles and hotel points. This is how you get started with travel hacking.
- Have a travel plan (Target)
- You collect hotel points and airline miles
- Redeem the point for low-cost to free trips
Collecting Airline Miles
I have collected about 250,000 Airline frequent flyer points using 2 different credit cards.
250,000 miles will get me 8 to 10 Round Trip Tickets from Raleigh to Dallas or possibly travel Round Trip in Business Class from USA to India.
Travel Hacking involves accumulating airline frequent flyer points (via credit cards and other means)
Am I asking you to open 10 different credit card accounts to collect frequent flyer? Nope.
You don’t have to open 10 new credit card accounts, but couple for credit cards that will give you bonus points. But, Credits cards are not the only way to collect airline miles.
For instance, car rental companies will run promotion offering 50,000 miles for 1 week car rental.
- One week car rent is $250
- $50,000 bonus points awarded
- 50,000 points = Say $500
Then you can rent the card for a week to leverage the value of the points.
Basically you need to think in term of collecting miles. Anything that you spend, should get you airline miles.
Just like the car rental deals, there will be opportunity to collect points via several specials promotions.
Collecting Hotel Points
Airline miles will get you free round trip tickets in flights. Likewise, Hotel Points will get you free hotel stays.
When travelling, two major expenses are Air Fares and Hotel stays.
Air Fare is takes care by Frequent Flyer miles and hotel stay can be paid by collecting hotel points.
Just like collecting airfare miles, hotels offer special deals to collect points.
Travel Hacking for Students : Hotel Points
Now, I have given introduction to Travel Hacking. But, most of my readers are students. Opening credits cards and spending the minimum required amount like $3000 in 3 months might not be possible and not recommended.
Credit Cards that give ton of bonus miles have annual fees and typically approved only for people with establish credit history.
But, here is a easiest way to get started with travel hacking for students – Price Match guarantee with Hotels.
Here is Price Match Guarantee from ChoiceHotels.com
Any traveler who books a room on ChoiceHotels.com.
If you find a lower published rate for the same hotel and accommodations for the same dates at any other qualified online source, we’ll match the rate, plus give you a FREE night.*
How it Works ( Terms Apply)
- Book a room on ChoiceHotels.com
- If you find a lower published rate for the same hotel, same date and same accommodations, submit a claim form.
- Within 48 hours, you will be contacted by a Choice Hotels service representative for a resolution.
If you are planning to go on a trip with your friends and if you can find another online source where the price is less, then you get to stay free night.
This is one of the easiest way to get started with Travel Hacking for students.
Travel Hacking Tips for Students : Airline Miles
Start by opening frequent flyer miles airline account. If you are traveling from India to USA, then open a frequent flyer account and use that frequent flyer number while traveling. That will get you about 8000 points for one way trip to USA. More on how and which accounts to open in next set of articles.
Here is a rough math : 25,000 miles to one Round Trip ticket within USA.
Want more Travel Hacking Tips?
Just think about the possibility of traveling to India for vacation without paying for your air fare?
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Let me know in the comments if you want more travel tips.
Travel Hacking Series
- Part 1 – Introduction to Travel Hacking
- Part 2 – Travel Hacking : How to Get Free Hotel Stays
- Part 3 – Use Credit Card Points for Free Travel
- Part 4 – Canada Trip Report – Money Saved from Travel Hacking