How to Travel for Less:

Insights from Veteran Travel Hackers

Two veteran travel hackers – Steve Cummings of the Frugal Expat and Zac Hood of Travel Freely – know a thing or two about getting low-cost itineraries off the ground.

Here, Cummings and Hood share simple tips anyone can use to cut down a travel budget and valuable insights for those who are more serious about playing the long game with travel hacking.

Whether you are holidaying domestically or heading overseas, flying is usually how travelers get to their destination. Good travel hacking starts by cutting flights down, often leveraging a rewards program. Cummings advises first-timers to start close to home.

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“Sign up to the rewards program of the local airline based in your nearest city, for instance, in Atlanta, it will be Delta,” said Cummings. “Those are airline hubs, so you can increase your rewards every time you fly in and out of that hub,” he said.

For those who are reliable with repayments and ready to buy more with credit, Hood recommends signing up for new travel cards.

“If you spend $1,400+ each month on regular expenses you can put on a credit card, then the most efficient way to earn maximum miles and points on spending is by getting a new travel rewards credit card with a great signup bonus,” he said.

“The value of the bonus alone will far outweigh the points and miles you will earn on the purchases themselves. The average spending required to earn a bonus on a great card is about $4,000 in three months,” he said.

Considering the average American household spends $5,854 per month, this should be manageable for many people. Doubtless, some expenses are impractical to put on a credit card. Housing and income tax, for instance, are seldom paid this way.

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