Yet another travel blog? It is and it isn’t. It is a travel blog alright! It is, however, a bit different from many other travel blogs in that I didn’t just decide one day to drop everything and pack up my bags.
It doesn’t sound as sexy as “I just woke up one day and decided enough is enough”. But come on: I can’t be the only guy out there who—while obsessed with travel—also loves his job, his NON-NOMADIC way of life and who truly enjoys coming home every day to his family and his dog. Just kidding. No dog. Not kidding about the family.
I haven’t visited every country on earth or even every continent, but I don’t care. I don’t have a system. I don’t have a master plan. Sometimes, I go to the same place more than once if I happen to like it. Been several times to Brazil. A few times to the Caribbean. Three times to Peru. Countless times to Quebec, Las Vegas and South Florida. What, too close to home? I guess, I’m not a real world explorer then. Again, I like what I like. And what I like most of all, is not having big plans and going places on a spur of the moment. And while I love adventure travel just like the next guy, exploring Machu Picchu and Easter Island are not the only things that make me happy. I also enjoy lying in the sun sipping cocktails. Yeah, you could say I’m a bit eclectic in my travel tastes. Kinda, sorta.
Oh, almost forgot. I also love traveling for free. And by that I mean Free. With a big “F” as shown here. Not on reduced fare, but free. Not on a budget, but free. Being able to get free flights and hotel stays is simply necessary to support my lifestyle. Since I’m not rich by any stretch of imagination, I would not be able to travel 10-12 times a year without going broke even if I traveled on a budget. No, it’s gotta be free.
How? Frequent flyer miles and hotel points. That’s how. Am I a frequent flyer? Again, not by any stretch of imagination. I almost never go on business trips. Most of my travels are for leisure.
Now, before you make a funny face and decide you’d rather watch cute kitties on Youtube than keep reading about “complex” stuff such as Frequent Flyer Miles Programs, please understand five simple facts.
- It’s not at all complex. I don’t call myself a Lazy Traveler for nothing. If it was too complex, I would think of something else.
- You do not, I repeat do not have to be a frequent traveler in order to get free flights and points. This is the most important thing I always try to explain to my “civilian” friends; at least, the ones who want to listen.
- Frequent miles and points are much easier to use than what some people would have you believe. Yes, you need to do your research and be somewhat flexible, but the same is true for finding a bargain fare. Anything worthwhile takes effort; it’s just the way things are.
- It doesn’t matter how often you travel. Me—I have to be careful with my miles and points since I travel so often (but I still splurge occasionally). You—if you only have one vacation a year and don’t need to save on miles, then you can turn it into a once in a lifetime experience. You can fly in the first class and stay at some of the best properties on the planet. Your friends will salivate looking at your vacation photos, and it will never ever occur to them that this kind of quality can be had for the price of taxes–unless you tell them yourself.
- You can increase your chances of booking a free flight or a hotel room if you are disloyal. Yes, you’ve got that right! Of course, frequent mile programs were intended to boost your loyalty, but who cares what their intent was! You don’t use Viagra the way it was intended–to lower your blood pressure. Not that I imply that you use Viagra… Or have to use, or… Yeah, you’re right, let’s drop it.
Think about it some more, though. If you, for example, have American Airlines AAdvantage miles you have an access to over a dozen airlines that are members of One World Alliance. That’s not so bad. But if you’re also a member of, say, United MileagePlus program, then you can book a flight with every single airline that makes up Star Alliance. That’s about 20 more. And if you have miles with Delta as well, that adds about another 15 airlines to the tally. Your chances of getting a free flight wherever you want and whenever you want have just increased exponentially. The same applies to hotels.
I’ve traveled on miles and points to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, and to Rio and Quebec City during Carnivals. It’s not always going to be easy, but just think how expensive regular flights are in peak season. Isn’t saving thousands of dollars worth doing a little homework?
Once again, you don’t have to be a frequent traveler to build up your collection of miles and points. I’m not a frequent traveler, and even if I were, free travel doesn’t earn you any miles or points. Yet, at the time of writing this, I still have about 1.5 million miles and points in my possession; that’s after spending a few hundred thousand in the last 12 months.
How do I do that?
Credit cards. But it’s not what you charge on a credit card that counts; well, that too, but that’s just a penny on a dollar. It’s the sign up bonuses! The right credit card gives you from 40,000 to 100,000 miles or points, the wrong one gives you $20 off your first purchase. Guess which one you want to keep in your wallet or sock drawer.
Why do they do this for you? I’m speculating about it in my book, but the important thing is: I don’t care as long as they do.
So can everyone get the best reward credit cards that are out there with the best sign up bonuses? Read about it HERE (no, you don’t need to buy the book just yet, simply click on LOOK INSIDE). But if you want a short version, here it is: you gotta have a FICO credit score of at least around 700 to get started and you must pay your credit cards in full every month to avoid accruing interest. But seriously, there is more to it, so do click and you might learn a thing or two that will surprise you.
I guess that’s enough for the introduction. Please don’t be a stranger and check out the resources of this website. There are lots of them here.
You’ll find the best credit card offers for the air travel in FREE FLIGHTS.
Best credit card offers for hotel stays are in FREE STAYS.
Best ways to protect your good credit is in… yeah you guessed it: PROTECT YOUR CREDIT
Please feel free to explore other areas as well.
A couple of words about affiliate links, because people have natural interest in how and whether bloggers get paid.
First and foremost: best credit card offers do not pay, yet I will still list them for everyone to see. Just so you know.
Some of the links you will see on these pages are affiliate links. I will not waste my time to write a disclosure on every single link. Not because I want to keep it secret, but again: I don’t want to waste my time, and besides it would look absolutely ridiculous. You have this promise from me though: I will not post a link–paid or no paid if I don’t think it makes sense to you, my reader.
Having said that, if you want to use one of my links but do not believe that I deserve a (normally very tiny) commission, then there are plenty of resources on the internet that will teach you how to recognize and strip the affiliate ID off the link. It’s really very easy, and I’m totally cool with it. Affiliate links are not the reason I started this blog.
Once again, some areas of this site are still under construction but I’m working on it as fast as I can. Thank you for stopping by.