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Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Lesson 12 of 32

First Class Travel at the Price of Coach

Chris Guillebeau, Stephanie Zito

Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Chris Guillebeau, Stephanie Zito

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Lesson Info

12. First Class Travel at the Price of Coach

Lesson Info

First Class Travel at the Price of Coach

Every lesson has three goals today are three goals here if you're following along in the workbook, I believe it's thirty two awesome come so far. Goal number one learned why it's worthwhile to sit up front number two, calculate the value of your miles when we actually talk a little bit more about that in a future lesson as well, if we don't get to all of it now and then also make a first class booking, so that could be fine. Yeah, why not? So this is where the lessons we receive the most feedback on as we were preparing and just asking people about stuff on twitter, you know, those people had a lot of different questions about it. They heard these stories kind of aspirational things, but they really didn't know if it was possible for them or why it should even care. So maybe I thought I would ask at the beginning, the ends to the audience. How many of you have ever flown first or business class? Raise your hand. We have a fancy audience. Good rock star. Good for you. I'm gonna be flown...

first or business costs international like long haul. That's great. Can I ask a few of you to maybe share a story about that? I'll start over here with jen had my first international business class flight when I was seven well by myself from england to visit my grandmother for christmas and I was an unaccompanied minor and so they sent me in business class that's great new upgrade strategies to be seven years old I don't think that works for everyone cos it was all downhill from there so since since then since age seven to now any other times no, that was my first way well, hopefully we'll get you another one anybody else got you said to me oh yeah well, it doesn't exist anymore but I was lucky enough to take numerous flights on the concorde actually well okay, I have never been on the kind of anybody else been on the concorde, but it was it was very cool and really under the jet set that's losing right? Maybe we'll come back at some point that expense account expensive who else had their hand raised over here? Scott twenty years in the retail travel trade knows the beneficiary of much airline large ass and so anchorage used to be at the center of all the europe to asia flights before they could overfly the so what was in the soviet union so flew numerous times on british s a s spoiled me for life. That's, right? That was a little while ago. Yeah, instruments in the soviet union. And so any recent stories in the past few years, just over the top from anchorage nonstop to frankfurt. A hunger company on condor. So flown their business class. Very nice being six foot for I'll just say that's much nicer than an economy, for sure. No, no doubt, no doubt anybody else met one time I was flying even domestic within australia, and I had too many heavy bags and the only way to get more baggage was too by, like a premium economy, just just like a shiny your seat. And they treat you really nice and so like, yeah, I couldn't believe the service that, like they knew your name, like sir and all that to me. I was the first time anyone's called me sir. Yeah, just it's cool like you don't know what you're doing, but you don't have, like everybody, everybody straight. But they're so like the services, that of this world applauds you away. That's super guy was any other stories. So for me, you know, I think the first time I flew first class, probably like a lot of people, I was upgraded. And I was just a complete surprise I didn't expect to die I plan to be in the back and all of a sudden like I go to get my ticket there like something was wrong with one of your connection so now you're in business class to paris or something I'm like awesome you know so I could go in the plane like wow, you know the seat is so big I press that button it turns into a bed and it's just incredible and like looking back now it wasn't actually an incredible amazing like premium experience as they go right there was no onboard shower there was no personal chef I didn't have a suite but I was thrilled I mean I was like this is this is pretty cool you know what I discovered was like once you start doing I think I got a great one more time after that and after the death of the two experiences I was like it's gonna be really hard you know, to go back no right on dh so I kind of had to observations one wass what can I do? You know, to get this again like how can I make this happen for myself actually eminence at this as a goal you know I don't have the money teo just purchase it but what can I do so that's when I started studying all about travel hacking in africa fire miles the other thing was because I was enjoying there's international business class experiences so much actually took me probably for five years after that before I ever flew international first class which on some airlines could be even nicer that has some of these crazy things that we've been talking about and I actually did that on purpose I kind of deferred that dream a little bit because I was I was still happy with business class I was like, this is incredible I was worried like if I move out further then I would not gonna want to go back to business class which is already so nice you know, there's different strategies about that but I guess you know, the more I experience that the mind is like this is really fun it's just a fun thing like is it worth paying ten thousand dollars for? Of course not, you know, but if we can do some fun things that we can put our miles to good use, then why not? You know how these experiences of getting these airline pajamas you know, handed to me? I've been like change into anywhere around the cabin I now sleep in airline pajamas every night you know, kind of a geek that way just kind of got accustomed to like not just the life flatbed but maybe even like the whole suite for the whole area I flew on a round the world ticket recently which will talk about tomorrow. I flew in first class on the new qatar airways. A three. A t this is the first class cabin you can see there. They also have an onboard area onboard bar. First in business class passengers. So it's, just like this fun experience. Japan airlines first class suite as viewed from above again very private. You have this whole area on so let's people sometimes we're like okay, like why, father, you know, and all those pictures I just showed that's. Why that's? Why? You know on again it's it's? Not just about transportation, it's, about making this part of the whole experience. Especially if it's your dream trip. Right? Like we all have to trouble. I still fly economy class, you know, plenty there's. I still fly all classes. I do all kinds of travel, but for something special again. You know why not? The other day we talked to nathan from boise. You had the home renovation project and he talked about how he earned all these miles from his gift cards. Home depot. You can go back and watch that lesson if you missed it. And he told the story of how he flew to asia with his friend and united economy class and he didn't say it was terrible he just said it was fine like you just did it it was okay, but then he talked about coming back he was like, I'm coming back by myself and he saw that the difference in the miles was only something like twenty seven thousand five hundred he took forty thousand miles to go over he's, like for sixty seven thousand five hundred miles, I can actually have my own little sweet on cathay pacific, and he talked about being able to take a bath in the lounge, in a cabana in hong kong airports and all of the things that they served him when he got on board, it was just like matt said they're like, sir, and they called him by his name, even though he hadn't said anything so it's just a lot of fun and here's a fun thing to look at, you know, if we were to pay for that flight, right? You no example of a cathay pacific first class economy fly jfk da hong kong is just under a thousand dollars on a price that fly jfk hong kong in first class seventeen thousand dollars, whereas you know all that don't cost him where were the miles maybe a little bit more then what it would have cost in economy and in fact, in this case, we talked briefly about how you can purchase miles. In some cases, american airlines sells smiles and a few times a year they also have a sale. They have a little bonus where they kind of multiply what you purchased, so in this example, you can see the price to purchase those miles for that flight would be about fourteen hundred dollars, fourteen, fifty seven so obviously it's more than the economy price of just paying the nine hundred dollars, or whatever, but it's a very, very small premium compared to what it would cost to purchase it so you can actually, if you if you don't have an easy way to earn american miles, you want to take this trip really soon, you can actually just purchased the miles and have that same incredible experience. So there's, lots more stories you know, I could tell you about that. This is the emirates eight, three, eighty onboard bar from my dream destination my dream trip, which I might actually be taking right now on dh looked a hand. Maybe I'm in that bar right there is that means they have my my am I coming to you live now my mind is blown, but let's talk about how to actually book some of these words that's fantastic and I just want to say to that the luxury of business class and first class is really fun and appealing, but there's some good reasons to fly to look a business and first class flights even if you don't want luxury, you know, I know that one of my friends travels a lot with her mom and one of her goal she treat flies all over the world and collect smiles on united and she uses his files when she flies, she'll usually fly economy class but which he she likes to travel with her mom and her mom's older and for her to be able to take her mom on these long international flights. She books business class because her she wants that comfort for her mom so her mom's older and that's a really great reason for her to be booking some of these business and first class flights. So how do we book them? You can book many premium wards online, just like we looked at how to book those simple awards in those partner awards it's the same process you research them some of them you'll have to call for some of them you won't and the ones you have, the more complex ones you'll have to book by phone usually, but just like we call difficult airlines and then you could book that that same amazing airline award in first class, if it was available, you just asked those same questions and you specifically asked, do you have this available in business? Do you have this available in first? Sometimes you can ask both and, you know, find out what the difference is in the mileage, and even if you're looking for an economy ward, sometimes you'll actually be surprised if you call and you say, how many miles is the economy award, you know they'll say, oh, well, we don't actually have any of our saviour awards available now, so it's gonna cost sixty thousand miles, you know, because you're gonna have to fly any time award or a standard award and you know you're like, but what if you ask how much does the business class award cost? This is something I think so many people don't realize when you're paying the full price for some of these reward ticket, there might be a saver award available in business class, which actually cost fewer miles, then the economy class award so that's something that you should always look for a cheque for when you're when you're doing your research, asking, asking always helps you it never hurt to sow a few tips and tricks, you can avoid fuel charges by avoiding certain airlines bill and I actually just had a discussion about this during the break and there's there's some how many of you have tried to book an award and when you got to the end of the award process there was a really huge fee yep almost all of you so you're like I hear this all the time I wanted teo I wanted to book an award to europe so I was trying to use my american miles and I found this great award from british airways and when I went to check out the free ticket cost six hundred dollars right? And so I didn't use my miles because the regular ticket I was booking on ly cost nine hundred dollars and so I think that's a problem a lot of people run into, but the one of the big waves you can avoid that is to avoid some of those toe learn what some of those problems are and to avoid them so um airline that charge is big he's on their fuel charges is british airways especially if you're flying through heathrow so it would be a better option if you're flying too. If you want to fly to london or through london to not actually use your british airways your two book through british airways or to fly on british airways, you're better off flying on an airline that doesn't charge those fuel surcharges and then use your british airways miles remember our distance based awards usually british airways smiles on some of those shorter award that aren't going through the aren't going through the u k we're going to be charged those huge fuel surcharges and again you can also accept fuel charges that's fuel surcharges as part of your amazing trip I know when my dad booked his business class ticket to barcelona I think I told you guys about that in our our our very first live kickoff lesson he used his arrow plan miles to book a business class award ticket on lufthansa in business class and there was I think fuel charged fuel surcharges of like two hundred and thirty dollars per person or something but to them having the ability to fly business class to europe it was the value was worth it so they said the values worth it we're just gonna pay those fuel surcharges and know it's an amazing trip you know we're getting a really expensive flight for a very low cost. Another thing to remember is premium travel almost always includes lounge access and we're going to talk a lot more about this in lesson twenty one a lot of you're probably familiar with, you know, lounges in the us and canada and you're like what the big deal you know I'd rather just sit in the restaurant in the airport is just is nice but um there's some amazing lounges around the world that you do want to get into and we're gonna talk about that twenty one and then another great tip, it's. Some carriers offer other benefits, like chauffeured car service to the airport. How many have you ever taken out airport airline show for service? I remember my first time when I got chauffeured from the lounge in frankfurt to the door of my plane. Yeah, and then the chauffeur got out of the car and carried my bag onto the plane up the stairs to the top level of the seven four, seven and stowed my bag for me. So there's, lots of benefits and it's really it's, really exciting that's, just a new world, and we're gonna look at some more of these things in next week's lesson. And so another important tip is when you book an international premium ward. The connection to wherever that award starts will usually be in first class as well, so it won't be so if I'm flying from portland to l a and then onward to asia. The portland to tell apart will most likely be in first class domestic first class on that partner on that partner worth light, so free flights hey! We kind of want to set the stage with this for some of the things we'll be talking about later in week five about upgrading your dream trip, about helping you think differently, maybe actually do want to do something about this so let's kind of workshop it out a little bit, just talking to sherry earlier going to come up and join us here in the hot seat. Terry, you're so you're a mimosa later. Awesome. No need to buckle up. You're good. Okay. Okay. So the other day we met you as a group, and we talked till just really briefly about your dream destination. And can you tell us a little bit more about that? Uh, visualize morocco that's. I've always wanted to go there. Uh, I've always had really, really good mentors as bosses and one particular boss. I was working in a, uh a resort, and he was moroccan, and samir was a wonderful guy, and for customer service, he actually implemented a tea service that the moroccans due to welcome people in their homes, and I thought it was so so inviting. I'm canadian actually born and raised. So everybody is full, our houses are full, and so I I just really identified with his process and what he put into the the hotel as an extra as it as a perk so that made you think I want to go and experience this whole culture? Exactly. Take it all in a lot of tea. Exactly a lot of tea. Good sentence thiss trip is not just you write my husband as well. So two of you are going excellent. Can you tell us a little bit about can you remind us your travel profile? We talked a little bit about that before. I'm an apprentice because we're just loyal to alaska. Right now. However, I'm, uh, probably moving fast, and you call that a bath hacker, and I'm probably considered a pillow hacker, because just two weeks ago, I actually, uh, slept in a camp in a tent in joshua tree national forest, forced me and slept under the stars. And then the next night stayed in a marriott and exactly exactly excited. That's. Great. Okay, pillow hacker. I love that she's, the prettiest pillow hacker. I love my pillows on on anything. Okay. That's. Great. So let's, talk a little bit about the miles and points he already had mentioned alaska. Did you say something to me earlier about delta? I just found last night, I, uh I signed up and reactivated my delta, and I found out I had forty thousand miles so hasn't found out what he has no great since he's forty thousand miles overnight way thing this is actually a great side point you know everybody who's watching you know if there are some inactive accounts that you have or maybe you have something you totally forgot about maybe go and look under the mattress you know, dealing with people right hundred forty thousand points so that's great. Okay, so what's the timing for this trip like how much time do we have to kind of work with this? Uh I'm actually knowing it's an aggressive plan um but I'm hoping in the next three months six months, six, three months going to morocco you want to have about a week? They're so peace deal okay and traveling with a partner what would you say your your partner's travel profile is? I think you mentioned that he's an apprentice he is definitely higher standards he wants he wants the upgrades so he doesn't want a camp. He wants the marriott I'm a little more easy going. Yeah. Okay, that's great. So when I hear you talk I think I can visualize a couple of different scenarios. You know, the first thing I thought earlier we were talking about morocco going from north america I was thinking of royal air marocco, which is a member carrier in star alliance actually has a really big network based out of casablanca they fly a lot of domestic flights there and flights to europe have one to new york maybe somewhere canada but we don't have star alliance miles so that's ok that's just one option if somebody was thinking about morocco that's the first kind of thing I think it's like maybe it's if we're starting over I wonder if there's something we could do to build some miles and united or kind of that era plan that could be used for that so that's one option but if we don't have that that's okay what else what else can we do so well I would think you're coming from where in canada I'm actually tio okay so I would say the biggest thing is getting you across the ocean and you know once you could get to europe then getting a connecting flight to morocco is probably not gonna be as big of a deal and so that might give you a little bit more flexibility because probably easier to find find something to any any big european hub where you could worse case scenario pay for your connecting flight so you could use your miles and get a great flight to europe and then you know maybe like when we talk tio kurt last week he talked about how we hacked a bunch of different trips together and so you know maybe one set of miles could get you a really great business class or first class flight across the ocean and then, you know, once you actually get to europe, the domestic flights are very calm our domestic in europe, I guess their international regional, the regional flights in europe and morocco so close to europe it would be comparable. They're they're actually probably not even as nice as business class flights in the u s usually they're just the three seats, and nobody sits in the middle until I wouldn't prioritize that part of the flight. I would prioritize that segment of being able to get across across the ocean so you could look at flying. Uh, you could look at air france, possibly with your last prince has a lot of cities that we could go. Ken is going to be back just a little. I was just recently and rocco, you're saying asked two cities that people went through in europe for the most part where madrid and I went through frankfurt. So those like two big homes, major hubs, right so far to target one of the airlines, and it depends to where you want to go in morocco when I went to morocco. I actually went from spain and I I didn't a lot of people take the ferry to tangier, but I actually took the ferry into the spanish side of spain and then across the border and avoided all of the crazy tourist stuff and went up into the mountains so it sounds like if you're you know, your adventure side might want teo alternate route like that so you could look at it option that might take you, you know, business cost to spain and then have a stopover and we'll follow your partner in direct, since that is the thing I like the idea of so more and more tickets are booked one as one ways we talked about this a little bit, but that's not as important to find a roundtrip award anymore, which is actually really helpful because that's often what slows down the booking process is you find one thing that works, but you're like, I don't have the return, I don't have the outbound s o just thinking things through like piece by piece like stephanie mentioned so that one point strategy like going from the west coast somewhere in europe, madrid, frankfurt, paris is also a great connection to get down to costa blanca was also a good point as traveling with a couple because I think one of the problems is when you have to get enough miles teo get two flights on the same carrier, you know, you're not looking at getting you one hundred fifty thousand dollars. You're looking at three hundred thousand miles in the same programme, and so if you could split that up and find two different ways, maybe you use one chunk of miles in one program to fly you both one way and then use one chunk of miles in different program to fly. You guys both back some more diversity? Yeah. That's good. And also was thinking delta miles and we could actually do the trip all the way on your friends what we could do, you know, across the water in delta air france and from paris, and then the connection on to casablanca or america or wherever. So there's a few different before you you said to me about hotels, we're not talking about hotels jet that's next week but you mentioned something about started to make before last night I signed up for a start appoints nice properties in morocco. I was trying to look att pillows, but wait all the pillows on the way tell companies have been watching this too. Put that pillow menu like directly on the site, so is there anything else we could do free right now, it's great e job so I like the principles that we were looking at there thinking okay here's this dream destination that she has in mind it's kind of what we do is like what do you want to go what do we have? What are assets on day we don't have any assets right now we don't have points in miles how can we get them how can we do something different look how can we think unconventionally how can we think okay, there are no flights from seattle to morocco but the big challenge there is I have to go from the west coast, you know, to europe so if I could solve that challenge than the other thing is pretty simple so I kind of like that strategy of thinking everything and I believe we have a workbook activity we deal workbook activity today is to price out of first or business class ticket for your dream trip in both miles and money. We just like to do this to kind of show people the value you don't have to pay the money but just to show people like how much the difference khun b in money but then how it's not so much different in terms of my own so I have to say when you're sitting in a first class cabin and you're looking around you're like feel really smart you're like I wonder how much that guy paid for the way maybe on my dream of doing that right now we'll see we'll see any questions so far yes please come the fuel surcharges is associated with an airport no, the fuel surcharges are entirely imposed by the airlines so there are also airport taxes which you might be referring teo airport taxes have to do from the departure airport we're not where you're yes sorry I misspoke there. Ok? Yeah no problem just to clarify you s o the airport tax has to do with the departing airports not where you're flying too on the fuel surcharges something that is imposed by the airline they call it a fuel surcharge it's essentially a way tio charge more money on the ticket price it actually is not directly related to the cost of fuel right now you know at the time were filming this course anyway, fuel is extremely low, but those airlines still have the fuel surcharges so it's basically a way that they kind of ad cost to the ticket without having it disclosed. When you first search for it, I think we might have a tip coming up. We have a test coming up in this lesson, tio we're going to do some black hat secrets something's the airlines really don't want you to know and there actually are some creative ways you can get around some of those fuel charges sometimes sometimes you just have to pay it until we had a tip in there that said you know if it's an amazing trip just don't stress over that two hundred dollars if you're getting a great premium redemption but there are some things we can do about that your question spoiled in first class how is it for you now going back to business and economy was your passions slumming it back teo sitting with you no talent I try to be honest answer I try to be grateful to travel I try to be grateful to be able to have wonderful experiences and to go great places and meet people I tryto can also get in it's kind of a life thing you can also get jaded to where you don't always appreciate nice things either you know because you always expecting them and you're comparing them to the last nice thing and so I try as much as possible to be grateful yeah I totally agree and I think a lot really depends on you know what style you want and um it isn't it isn't amazing it is just absolutely an amazing experience but everybody doesn't have to do it you know I talked to a lot of people who are more in the backpacker profile and they're like well I just want to go as many places as possible and if I can earn one hundred thousand miles this year I can take four trips so they cost twenty five thousand miles and so if you want teo take the twenty five thousand mile economy trip or if you want to take one hundred thousand mile first class trip it really it's it's an amazing trip no matter how you do it it really just depends on what you want because all of our styles and all of our our love for travel is all different and it also changes over time as we've been discussing right you matthew travel for a while maybe you need something different and that's great so what's the most important thing you learned today please tip when you're calling in for award tickets to check about business class tickets because it could be last points than a regular very unknown thing I cant you have but you stress that because a lot of people do not realize that that's that's possible I learned that I could get a show for chauffeur to drive me right to the ladies wait that's national specifically with honza when flying first class when depart departing from frankfurt okay and it's great! If you kind of pack heavy in the carry on, then you don't have to lift it yeah, that was pretty good anything else there's a good highlights but um what you're saying stuff about focus on the big chunk getting across the water that's gonna be the toughest part uh, that's, a that's. A huge one for me to like. Okay, don't freak out about the whole thing, because this is the most important part. Exactly. Looking for a lot of awards.

Class Description

Who wouldn’t love to know how to earn enough miles and points for two airline tickets and three hotel nights? In Make Your Dream Trip a Reality, Chris Guillebeau and Stephanie Zito can show you how it's done. 

Travel feeds our creative spirits, allows us to discover new viewpoints, and fuels our work. In this class, you’ll find out how you can make your dream of journeying to the world’s most far-flung places a practical and affordable reality.

Chris and Stephanie have made it their life's mission to help others experience all the thrill and adventure that world travel can offer. In Make Your Dream Trip a Reality. 

Chris and Stephanie will help you: 

  • Master the system of Frequent Flier miles and hotel points
  • Set up a personal points-earning strategy – even if you don’t fly
  • Upgrade your dream vacation experience at no cost to you

In short, daily lessons, Chris and Stephanie will cover all aspects of how to plan your vacation including financing your trip. You’ll learn how to set your savings and point-earning strategy so you are armed with everything you need to relax and enjoy your vacation once you depart. They’ll teach you how to book flights and hotels so you get the very best experience at the absolute best rate. You’ll also get insider tips from professional globetrotters on traveling solo and as a family.

By the end of this course you’ll learn everything you need to know to save money, minimize hassle, and make the most of your travel experience.

Your dream destination, and a life of regular traveling, is now available to you – no matter your budget. 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

40 Ways to Use Ultimate Rewards Points

Dream Trip Workbook

7 Habits of Highly Effective Travel Hacking Couples

Dream Trip Credit Card Tracker

Upgrade Unlocked Sneak Peak

10 Tips for Travel Hacking Families

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Highly recommended! This is one of the best CreativeLive courses I've ever taken and a great value. There's a lot of excellent information here, presented in a fun and accessible way. The CL "boot camp" approach was perfect for this topic because it dispenses the material in bite size pieces with very doable action steps along the way. The corresponding Facebook group adds even more value and camaraderie. It's a great place to clear up any questions or confusion that may come up. What an amazing resource! By the end of the course, not only will you have learned a tremendous amount, you will actually have something tangible to show for it!

a Creativelive Student

This is a fabulous course. Stephanie and Chris are both so knowledgeable, helpful, and easy going. They clearly love and practice what they're teaching. And they're open to learning from the students too. The course is packed with information, delivered in an immediately useful way. In fact, they emphasize again and again that the point is to USE the information to REALLY take your "Dream Trip" soon! The Facebook group is the best I've ever experienced with an online course. Stephanie and Chris are remarkably present, responsive, understanding, and generous with their knowledge and experience. I highly recommend this course.