I’m trying to wrap my head around “travel hacking.” Travel hacking is the art of traveling for $0, or next to nothing. I’ve been doing lots of reading online and to give you an example of what travel hacking is, here are a few examples (but not limited to):

  • Apply for a credit card with huge miles offers to get free flights/hotel stay
  • Watch online videos to get free miles
  • Once you have a credit card, use services like Amazon payment system, PayPal, or Square to pay yourself to rack up free miles
  • Get free miles for going to a hair-loss clinic (yes, I saw someone online claiming to get 20,000 sky miles for visiting a clinic)
  • Test drive a car to get free miles

I am booking a trip to New York City this May for me, my partner and my sister. I am trying to keep the costs down as minimal as possible since NYC is one expensive place to travel to. I’ve been there 6 times. I’ve been researching credit cards that offer a generous sign-up bonus. I knew about Chase Sapphire, but I also stumbled upon the Barclaycard Arrival card which offers 40,000 bonus points after only spending $1,000 within the first 3 months. These points convert to $400 off my NYC trip! That’s basically 1 airfare ticket for free + around $100 my 2nd airfare ticket.

Secondly, if I join the Marriott rewards credit card I can get 50,000 bonus points which will earn me 1 free night in a category 9 hotel, which is the category my Marriott Marquis hotel is considered in Times Square. 1 night in the Marriott Marquis can run upwards of $500/night. I’m now up to around $900-$1,000 savings off my trip absolutely free! I plan on racking up the points very easily by charging my flight and hotel on each card. That will be an easy way to get the $1,000 spent on each card that is required within 90 days of sign-up.

I’ve just scratched the surface of travel hacking. I know there’s ways to get miles without having to open credit cards, so that’s my next step! The reason being, you don’t want to keep opening and closing credit cards. That’s not going to look good on your credit. However, as of now I only have 1 credit card so it’s not going to affect me to much. What are your thoughts on travel hacking? Have you given it a try?