I don’t need to tell you that times are tough lately, especially for avid travelers. Unemployment is still relatively high, problems abound abroad in those most picturesque of countries, and airfare continues to climb, due to the increasingly expensive cost of fuel. With these uncertain economic situations looming over our heads, those who love to travel need to find creative ways to get more bang for their buck. Below is more of a beginner’s guide to what travel hacking is, how it works, and some simple tricks to get you started.
What is travel hacking?
Well, travel hacking is the term that has been getting progressively more popular as of late, which, collectively, can be those creative ways to get more bangs for fewer bucks. Travel hacking can cover a broad range of activities, but essentially boil down to finding ways to accomplish various travel goals for as little cash as possible, though some take part in numerous mileage runs to maximize other lucrative bonuses, such as elite status. This can include finding ways to maximize earning frequent flier miles or elite status, using earned rewards to purchase flights or lodgings, and staying at unconventional places during travels. “Travel Ninjas”(the accepted label for those deeply involved in travel hacking, not to be confused with collapsible Kawasaki motorcycles) pride themselves in their ability to travel to faraway destinations and obtain the lowest prices possible on flights, lodging, attractions, transportation, and even meals! Ninjas, indeed.
Travel hacking is using airline and hotel mileage and loyalty programs and incentives in a manner that gives the customer the best value for mileage/points used. Some “travel hackers” do things like purchasing $2000 of stickers through their mileage marketplace in order to gain 100,000 + miles. The redemption value of the mileage was worth far more than $2,000 when the traveler cashed in his miles for a 1st class, round trip ticket to Hong Kong, which was valued at over $6000.