Have you wondered how many travel bloggers and travel junkies travel so much? Well, most of us do what’s called Travel Hacking. Travel Hacking is like an art, I would say – or a science if you like to be technical.
When you travel hack, you do everything possible to “game” the system to be able to travel cheaper or even for free. How?
You find ways to earn thousands of frequent flyer miles without actually having to fly, you manage to earn points for accommodation and airlines that are worth more than the money you actually spend, and you find out how to get upgrades that would otherwise cost a fortune.
Recently, Nomadic Matt released The Ultimate Guide To Travel Hacking (for beginners & advanced travelers), where he lists in minute detail how to do all this and more.
What I like…
The ebook goes from the pure basics, like explaining what is travel hacking, to the advance where you learn how to do mileage runs and how to value your miles and see what’s worth chasing as a travel hacker and what’s not, among others.
I’m already an experience travel hacker. I’ve been doing these tricks for the past 5 years, so I can say that the core information presented by Matt does actually work. And still, I was able to learn and refresh a few new tricks.
For example, this past month alone I earned over 115,000 frequent flyer miles without even getting on a plane. I’m not kidding! How? It’s all in paying attention on how you make your purchases to earn more points, which credit cards you use, and keeping an eye on current deals.
In a nutshell, this book targets the following topics to help you be a travel hacker:
- Learn how loyalty programs work
- Obtain detailed information on using credit cards
- Earn points without cards (great for non-US hackers)
- Fake minimum spending requirements (extremely important to know!)
- Break down mileage and mattress runs
- Find promotions and other resources
- Redeem points for the most value
- And much more.
The guide also comes with Q&A and audio interviews from Brian Kelly of The Points Guy, Daraius Dubash of Million Miles Secret, and Scott MacKenzie of Hack My Trip – three experts in their field that give you a deeper look on what they do beast when travel hacking.
Is there anything I don’t like about this ebook?
When it comes to information, the guide will not fail. It tells you what to do, when, and with which resources to do it to earn the most miles.
On the other hand, it is roughly 50 pages of information. While it contains a lot of information, there are a few “tricks” that could have been detailed a bit more. Update: The guide has been expanded to over 130 pages and it is more detailed now.
Design wise, the guide is quite bare, just text, so it lacks images to ease the reading and to complement the information with visual steps or pointers. Still, if you’re really into reading and highly interesting in learning all the information, this is just a minor detail.
Now, there’s something important I need to mention…
While this book will work for anyone all around the world, the people who will get the most out of it are US Residents/Americans and even Canadians.
Most of the bulk of the miles earned without flying is based on credit cards. But, don’t despair if you’re not. There’s a section that details how to be a successful travel hacker if you’re not American or live in the US, but it is more helpful for Canadians, Australians, and British.
As for the rest, the ebook still gives a lot of applicable information, but the miles earning road will be a longer and slower one.
As a final word, do I recommend it?
Yes! I do recommend it. I will not say it is a steal at $29.99 (at the time of publishing), but having all the information packaged in one ebook makes it worth it. Update: Now at $9.99.
Plus, by the moment you earn your first couple thousand miles (which you could do in a matter of hours or few days if you’re dedicated to learning), you will more than cover the cost of the book.
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