Travel hack

Travel hacking 101- Part 1 Introduction: Our succeses, free flights, rides, and hotel stays

February 21, 2015
Getting out of the bottom cabin we went out and saw people taking pictures of our arrival.
sunset from an airplane window
We’ve constantly been asked how we travel. We are not rich, most nights we don’t even know where our next bed will be. One of the ways we travel and save money is through travel hacking. This term may or may not be new to you and it means different things to different people. Our understanding of travel hacking is getting free hotel stays and airfare through various (easy, doable) strategies. The Points Guy has been the authoritative source on travel hacking from us. The most common travel hack is signing up for various credit cards that give huge bonus points after meeting minimum spending requirements (explained in another post). Over the last year we have literally saved thousands of dollars on flights and hotel stays. Our plan is to save the hotel stays for when we go to Europe and other expensive places.
The Quick Summary of Successes to Free Travel
  1. One-way Shanghai to Seattle for Camille- $500 in points plus points earned before. Result- free flight.
  2. Seattle to Atlanta for both of us-  points used plus $5 as a processing fee on Southwest. Result- free flight
  3. Atlanta to New York for both of us- points used plus $5 as a processing fee on Southwest. Result- free flight
  4. Seattle to Dallas to Guatemala City- points used from American Airlines. free flight for Mark and we bought about $250 dollars in points for Camille to fly.

*We still have a bunch of points we’re saving from US Airways and American Airlines as well as points on our Amex and Barclay card. Good enough for a one-way from South America back to the states when we decide to go.


  1. Free night at Vancouver, Wa at a Holiday Express ($100) used 5000 IHG points of 60000 points given
  2. Free night at a Holiday Inn Express in New Mexico ($150 value)-
  3. Free night at a Residence Inn in Arlington, Texas ($125 value- Marriott Category 4 Voucher used


  1. Free Uber from Van Nuys to Santa Monica ($30 value)
  2. Free Uber from Santa Monica to Malibu ($35 value)
  3. Free Lyft in San Francisco ($25 value)

Have I got your attention? If so go to part 2 to see our strategies.

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