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Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Lesson 30 of 32

Pack Your Bags!

Chris Guillebeau, Stephanie Zito

Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Chris Guillebeau, Stephanie Zito

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Lesson Info

30. Pack Your Bags!

Lesson Info

Pack Your Bags!

This is lesson twenty nine of twenty nine hey, we're ready to pack your bags. We have been on this journey and incredible journey over six weeks after attorney just like homer found, but first class I feel a little jetlagged, but I'm a team. I'm ready for my thai massage and bangkok. I'm ready for my chauffeured car service. We have been on such a journey, and we're so glad that our in studio audience has been part of that for all this time and everybody watching online if you've been with us from the beginning. So grateful if you've just joined in halfway through our just now it's awesome as well. The whole goal of this course is to help people make their dream trip a reality to go from where they are to wherever it is they choose in a short period of time, using frequent flier miles using points using other creative strategies, and we've been are just hear that through the process we love to today on the final page of the workbook, page seventy seven on page seventy of seventy two a ...

miracle and page seventy two is ways to keep in touch so it's great, we'll talk about it, we would love today to put it all together, prepare to hit the road and then leave even if you aren't ready. All right, so here's, what we've done over the past six weeks, we're just going to talk this out here, together with the audience would love to know what people have learned as well as what questions they have about any particular section. Of course, after the course ends, we're still going to be around you could still be in touch. We still want to definitely make sure you're supported for your cream trips. So in the first week, when we do the first week, we gosh, this seems so long ago, six weeks ago, we chose our dream destinations and, you know, maybe your dream destinations even changed by the time where or all the way already here we identified our travel hacking style, our profiles that we've carried along through the whole course, we took stock of our current points and miles situation, and I'm guessing maybe our points of miles situation's changed a little bit over six weeks. I certainly hope it has, and we set our strategies get started absolutely so love to ask the audience, what did you learn during that week? Maybe just a couple of highlights? We don't have a ton of time for everything but a couple of highlights, a swell as any questions that you have that we can help with before we send you on your way. Figuring out how many current points I do have and making sure I track all of those and, uh, find out where they all are awesome. We've heard a lot of people who actually found points and miles under their mattress course, so that was great. I'm sorry, scott, kneeling down my travel hacking style because I mean, I always bow down to people like you who are out of control rock stars and so glad to know that even as a rock star rising there's still a place for me, there is a lot of space for you in first class. The most important thing I learned in that first part was having a strategy tied to a specific trip so that it's going to make a difference in how I try to accumulate miles based on where you want to go on that never crossed my mind before. And then in week two, we talked about earning all the points of miles you need for your dream destination and maybe even beyond ernie miles passively through shopping and dining programs, through banking, all about getting big, violent bonuses, huge influxes of miles and points right into your accounts through credit cards, often maximizing your credit cards for miles and then getting on track to earning miles and points for years to come. What did we learn in week two, jen my favorite tip from week to was nathan's almost inception style of getting points through his home repair project by using the portal as well a cz his cards and gift cards in that hole strategy was green did any of you guys threw that activity figure out anything maybe that you buy or are maybe buying in the next a few days I think our forty five days maybe pass oh no it's not it's only thirty days on your idea that you actually buy gas cards at an office supply place where you get five points I'm going to do that fantastic program I'm all over the dining program who signed up for the dining program since we've started okay so some people still got some work to do but I know we saw online lots people signing up and earning miles while they sleep we got something yeah I really appreciated the apply for credit cards in batches and like the all at once and learning more about that that's right to minimize the impact on your credit score excellent sorry sorry just the biggest one just from people who have spoken to throughout the whole time the answer that I I'm trying to give them is it's not about any there's no tricks is no anything just like hopefully you've converted me it's like there's no tricks it's like you're spending money on something right now and you know being rewarded for them so be smart plan ahead and then you can you can be you khun earn what while you're doing spending money normally anyway so that's been a huge takeaway from that's great I'm glad you found the face in week three we talked about looking all the flights you want this was a really big week there was a lot of things we did and you guys really learned so much and how to not just earn miles but how to really put them into action and work for you so we talked about using miles for valuable flights we we studied all those award charts and they're hard to get your head around but you guys have done a really great job in doing that and um I know a lot of you were excited about the idea of flying first class for the price of a coach and to see what was in the front of the plane or possible and we talked a lot about different airlines secret so what are the some some of the things you learn and maybe some of the things you already been ableto put into action and thinking about your dream trips a lot going for me was when you looked at one award chart and it would show you that it was two hundred thousand points and then you look at another one which is within the same family or friendship group and you can transfer and it's still the same trip exactly the same trip same plane like you said and and it's it's a completely like half the points that's huge like that's something I think so many people must miss out on so that's that's a big one for me hundred just to add on to what matt said so to be specific in canada the alaska airlines program is something that I wasn't really aware ofthe that wasa possibility so based on what he said we could actually use the alaska airlines to do domestic flights and even to hawaii and it would save us one more point and we can save the air plan for like the international longer trips so that's one good strategy I really like how you taught us some of the ways teo interact with the people that we're trying to get to help us so we kind of talked through some of the actual talking points and then the burbage to use I took a trip on amazing airlines we call different first we call difficult airlines we didn't get very far way we call we ask for their partner amazing your lines right but it is I mean it is like learning a new language all of this and so having having those that language is really key that's great awesome and then after we book the flights we want we talked about hotels we talked about how to identify a dream trip hotel how to learn about all those big hotel groups and why it might be worth your while to maybe invest some time and learning about them even if you normally stay at independent properties or you only do something different they're still definitely ways you could benefit from them we talked about that how to best book the best rooms we talked about categories we talked about upgrades lots of things about that how to be treated like a v I p tour of various hotel amenities my liquor cabinet that arrived in djibouti for some reason out upgrade your combination and get the best possible room uh what'd you learn during the hotel week casey yes, I was actually just telling matt this the other day what was cool about this week wass you know going to greece like you look at the hotel prices are pretty pricey but I did find cem cem starwood hotels that are in that area and you know that I know that I can get two now and it's always uh good to know that you can actually booked that so pretty excited about that still circling around a couple of those hotel credit card offers the hyatt move for that I think you get two nights and then the I h g seventy thousand points I mean really clarified some of the rewards that you can get from those and uh and that's good for mattress runs right yeah, I really like your pace day play idea of like this year you could stay here but it doesn't make any sense like you have a free certificate or you have all these points like you could also fly too the move with that so you might as well just pay eighty bucks and you can stay here and then saved points for the moon that was what they hear place playing pai here, stay here. Play here exactly. I like finding out about that you can pay some cash and then use uh fewer points saying extend your stay longer super important um I have a question sure. My question was it's on the same topic but it was based on our conversation I think stephenie brought it up about american express platinum card I was in some some research and I noticed that the canadian version it's six hundred ninety nine dollars for the annual fee but uh I think they bump up your status for, uh the spg card and uh uh on the canadian hotel when fairmont right? So I was asking if it would be worth it to invest in that card with the elite status be worth it? Well, it all depends on your profile and your specific goals and like it's important with all these things whether it's that card or something else to like look at all the benefits and then see okay what what value do I attached to that on defy attaching especially large value that it might be worth it? I think that also does that it's a very high fee but I think it also includes an airline statement credit every year of two hundred dollars and priority past membership which costs a hundred dollars s o I would certainly say that you should really make sure it's going to be worth it for you before you get used those benefits it's not the benefits are only good if you're actually using them right? You could have all of the benefits in the role of it but if you're not using them then it's a lot of money that you could spend on something else we'll follow up on that card also says that if you purchase a business class then they will upgrade you to first class I'm not sure how that I'm not familiar with that actually I'm gonna have to study it we'll have to go we'll have to go online today for the facebook group okay take them to the facebook group I'm curious with like the hotel's how that changed you know did that change the way you were thinking about the hotel for your dream trip at all? I have a lot of history with high it the more I thought about it that's part of what we're going to stick with this work without it that's fine we're still gonna find that way maybe progress in that quest to find out which hotel it was you know again I think I stopped looking maybe we'll just go to that hotel and have a drink by that exactly play play here hotels I've you have a budget and you're basically focused on a certain this has just opened me up tio spg dot com and just the evaluation of all of that where to spend your money and when awesome our resident pillow hacker right I love I love how people have kind of going their own way saw online people actually making their own profile names well I don't know if I can remember that's great because your profile is for you that's right your personal profile thanks on the week five crates that in week five we tried teo look at you know where did you start and how could we take this all to annex level now that you have you know a bank full of points and miles currency you know how can you how can you upgrade like are you can you think bigger can you upgrade your bucket list asthmatic say so we looked at all different kinds of experiences we looked at maur into first class we looked at the secret world of airline lounges and we had some great guess we talked all about leveling up our experiences and travelling in whatever style we want what did you guys learn in that in that week and how is that we kind of changed your your dream trip plans definitely the the air thailand with massage like outsold I was sold that day and went home that night I did some research so uh thailand was always on my bucket list but now it's like a couple of notches up just because that whole luxury so awesome and you heard a lot from drink areas well about how they used the low category hotels nice hotels in thailand to kind of boost their hotel strategy so exactly that you could have a car a chauffeur across the u s a fine wonderful um that airline status might not be as important to me personally base and thinking about what is what do I value most and knowing that I don't have to go for status if that's not the case for me absolutely so weak six were brought us here today we talked about putting it all together we had a whole lesson about tracking all the points in miles thatyou're you'll learn with our resident travel hacking cartel community manager tyler way talked about packing like a pro or at least packing like a frequent traveler we had some great tips from the audience about that what else do we do just visa's trouble shooting your trip misadventures preparing the package back everybody actually talking about mistake fares at some point between forgot to mention what we learnt during that week yes, ma'am, um a big one for me was obviously tyler is that I feel like I could relate to him a lot like very details are interred needs to make sure everything is done I I'm the same I need to know but it's great to know that you guys I thought you guys were like you knew down to the point and you had all this stuff and you're being wizards with wait do but it's all that I'm amazed that that's that's possible and it's really not that's really cool to see that like you don't you can be details but you can also just go off the coffin just like it outside of a critic are going for a trip same thing with the automation of the aps and stuff like that to keep track of everything because it's so hard remember to put it down on uh, tracking it yourself if it does it all for you it's so much easier. Well, what we would like to do before we wrap up. We do want to make sure we answer any remaining questions that people have at least from the inside the audience, but first we thought we've got this great on into people who are all like making so much progress on their dream trips dream destinations that we identified together we when we began, so we'd like to invite two people to actually come up and join us in the hot seat where they can actually have the highest shelves lithe bill and kim come on, up to the way, wonderful welcome thathe final ascent before we arrived, so we're we're really excited. You guys have all of you have been such a great studio audience in have taught us so much and as well, just about your dream trips in the way that we've been able to start out with just one dream, but also really begin to look at it from point a all the way to point z, and so we just really wanna ask you some questions about what is it like, how have you planned the steps of your dream trip? So kim wanted to go to mongolia? That was what she told us when she came, and bill wanted to go to hong kong, but I'm curious how you're going to get there. What you're what's your strategy, how are you thinking? And how is your dream trip kind of thing spanned it. So can you tell us about mongolia and how you're thinking, you're gonna get there? Sure, this's, this class has just been mind blowing, mind blowing, so yes, my dream trip is going to mongolia and doing his fourteen day horse trick and so at the very beginning of the class, we identified that I probably needed around seventy five thousand miles and that I'm such a beginner that I don't have anything close to that, so that was a big deal to put a number on it as a goal. So the first thing I was feeling is I've got to accumulate, obviously, and that other two components because I have a new three year plan now eyes that I know that I'm going to cuba next year with kanna, and I'm taking my grown kids and my husband and I was like, oh, so credit cards signed them up for credit cards, I get referrals so I could see this hole web of how I could start accumulating points because I have one trip already planned, and then I was like, but I visit family around the united states, so I could start doing other things, and it looks like the starwood program is gonna be really good for me so that I could move around in that accumulation. And then, um, the flight part we kind of talked about it looks like I'll have to fly korean, and so in that alliance is delta and a partner is alaska, so it's, like, I'm going to focus on delta because that'll help me with the miami stuff in the family stuff. So that'll be my primary place to hang out and try to accumulate. But then it'll pie to flying to korea. And then we talked about how in yulan betar there might not be chains, so I might have end up with a boutique hotel. Possibly so. I was like, dang, I have a cash back card so I can spend the money on the boutique hotel and either, you know, take the cash back later as a credit. So that seemed like that was gonna work out. And then we talked about the emergency fund and as a single woman into the emergency fund. So when we talked about seventy five thousand miles, I was like, my aim is gonna be one hundred thousand. I want twenty five thousand just as my emergency fund, if I would ever need it. So that's, my new goal is one hundred thousand, so it feels like mongolia is really obtainable and I have set goals. Then the last thing towards the end of this class, when we were talking about the round the trip around the world trip and what that meant was a man. Maybe I could put bali o e so I haven't worked that out, but it's like, wow, that could be very doable. So you know that's made to the first week of the class seventy five thousand miles kind of felt like a really big number someone who hadn't started out I had no idea how to get there and sounds like you've got a really great plan and one hundred thousand doesn't see it doesn't mean you know, it doesn't feel scary at all you're going to relax and get a massage and volley after you ride a horse for fourteen days that I don't think it could be better that's it that's amazing and what about you, bill? Well uh made it made a few decisions first off I don't want to travel to hong kong in the summertime okay and it turns out september's air thirty third anniversary so we're gonna focus on that but we're gonna leave the double bed on singapore for a later date okay on we decided we would rather much rather five business class on down you know, not spend quite a cz many miles. And so again singapore uh from wherever the best route is on the west coast you know to be able to do a business class ticket on a reasonable miles and some comfortable with their amex and the ability to transfer points from there that you know we got that covered um still in the press that's um doing some other credit cards, you know, just for the signing bonuses of I don't know why I've been doing that over all these years down some miles through the d a miles in and I haven't figured out necessarily had a factor them in but so again focusing on the high it you know and playing at the infinity pool but also thinking about an ad on like you know songs were that far across the ocean let's find one more thing we could do because this at this point in the life it's all about experiences I think you guys should go to the beach in thailand wei had that set one time and there was a complication where she would my wife know I was supposed to go with me and she became ill we didn't make it so yeah like that might be the one and then you surprise her with the massage in the airport in bangkok but she's gonna be oh she's a dedicated student you got some you got some time to prepare you've got until september that's goingto make that french relations on the upcoming anniversary so your goal is going to be probably singapore airlines san francisco to hong kong is the west coast tour out uh for singapore airlines and actually business class on singapore airlines that fight is extremely amazing actually it's incredible it is better than first class on most other carriers so it's it's really not a downgrade it's actually quite fantastic I've done a lot of the singapore's long ago and that's why I know what that's like she doesn't know what it's better something the service is consistent but they've improved a lot of hearts you know as awesome as these travel hacker hot seats are in singapore airlines it's actually really like it city pools maybe you can have a stopover in singapore and you guys can play at that at marina's marina bay sands gonna be jealous I'll send you pictures recording pictures of that and because of mongolia is there anything else we can do to help you guys on your way like we'll be in touch obviously but as we send you out from the course yeah this is this is amazing. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you guys for e o would love just a touch base with everyone else as well maybe not for as long but just for just for a moment or two maybe just hear about where you were when you started and not everything that you've learned but has anything changed along the way how do you feel? You know as you approach your dream destination finding so if it's okay can I start with you? Shall I feel more focused? And I I'm one of those people that I can enjoy the creative in the off the cuff as long as there's some solid corn some things organized so if I get that together which feels doable now ready to be creative with it next stop east africa and then all the side trip to his ends about while you're there um after all this wonderful event uh I now have a clear goal what I need to do from today until next year july and what I need to prepare so that one it's time to launch it doesn't matter if I'm not ready I'm going to fly anyways so that's that's what's gonna happen excellent I've just been mapping out the itinerary like down to seattle over hong kong down the jakarta ordered jo'burg back up yes, I mean it's really really given me a lot of structure toe work with whether I end up using points for getting around the world ticket we're still kind of fiddling with that really appreciated fantastic we're gonna think of you as we meet all this the last fires on the road I'm so excited for everybody doing what they're wanting to dio and for myself I've really done evaluation of where I'm gonna go and how it's going to be mapped out it's going to be a lot more luxurious than originally planned a trip to morocco right? Their eyes exact kind of surprise um I feel I'm like converted big time I just feel like I'm ready for the ira ls that you get and I'm ready to be like yeah well, way just preach for a second but I think the biggest thing for me is having a partner from canada and I live on australian family it really opens up the possibility for that to be affordable, not to be realistic and I don't have to change any of my current behavior I just need to be smart about everything I'm doing so that that changes my life, my family's life and I'm really looking forward to taking action on that so that's really cool and the dream trip to but actually also maybe kendrick can teach you some evangelism strategies also, um I like that I have a lot more focus on how to do these things have a lot of places that I'm planning on going and seems a lot more easier and doable tio go and figure out how to do these things um my plans for iceland haven't changed because I'm really into the backpacking idea with that country specifically, but I learned so much about hotels that actually changed my mind a lot especially is this single female travelers thank how that could be beneficial. So as a backpacker I was like hotels what that doesn't apply to me, but it does and so thank you yeah, I think for me I'm I'm such a wonderful est so like that the nomad in me is like ruin his ugly head and this course thiss courses definitely helped educate me that much more the sun like the finer things that I wasn't fully clear on, um, you know, to be of help teach it, you know, others someday. So amazing. Fantastic, wonderful e I love to talk travel and but one of the things I hear the most from people say, like, how do you do that or whatever it is? People say they either have time or money, but I never have both at once. And and I feel like what you've taught us is that you can figure out, you know, I want to do this big thing, and I'm gonna make the time to do it, and I'm going to figure out how to do it without as much money. What I thought was impossible. And so for me, it's, one of the reasons I have never gone to paris is that I thought it would be this big, expensive trip, and now I'm going to paris and I'm staying in the park are over for the grand high witch way here from paris mattress thank you. Oh, so welcome. Thank you. S so we have one more dream trip challenge. Coming up and before we do that we just want to make sure you check and see are there any burning questions about anything related to the whole course that we can help with and to remind everybody who's watching this wrap up it doesn't end here we're definitely going to be available we have space book group that hundreds of people have joined and just been sharing tips and stories of their own which has been wonderful connecting with one another that's a travel hacking dot org's slash fb dream trip and you can also connect with us at travel hacking dot org's last dream trip special offer to join us in the trouble hacking cartel hang out you could just ask us a question lots of length question on that thank you confined all the links for the course that trouble travel hacking dot org's slash dream trip and you can also email us or text or tweet us at any time at cresskill abo at wandering zito let's find us on our blog's anywhere caleb oh yeah one more for good dot com so this is a long journey we plan on supporting people for a long period of time and it's been great but before we do our final dream trip challenge uh any questions about the whole course or anything else yeah, well did you know that was happening that's it always preparing for the morning secrets the airline's secret inside the audience's eyes amazing. No, I'm just really honored tio tohave been able to be here this week and a lot of times people get really confused when they asked me what I d'oh because on one hand I work for humanitarian organizations. And on the other hand, I teach people how to use points in miles for travel and for me, a lot of times like it's, hard to, like, put both of those things together on a business card, and I struggled with that for a little while, and one day I asked myself, like, why do I do this? Like what's my what's, my interest in teaching people how to use points of miles to travel? And I thought, you know, my interest is I believe that seeing the world really changes your perspective and seeing the way you see the world change change is how you treat the world, and by using points in miles I was able to have the opportunity to see the world. And it changed me so much, and it opened my mind and opened my heart to so much in the world. And so that's why I want to teach you guys how to travel it's not just so you could drink pina coladas it's so you can so you can go into the world and, you know, make the world better by the people you touch around it, and I really hope that by taking your dream trip, you'll be changed absolutely so more than ten years ago, as I said when we first picked off, you know, I had this chance to say yes to adventure or not, I'm so glad that I did. I'm so glad I said a hearty yesterday adventure, it made my life so much better, so much richer changed things for me travel was transformative for me, and I'm so grateful to be able to share some of that with you, really? What I enjoy most is hearing stories of other people who've been able to go and do something, and we've had some stories here in our audience, we've had lots of people online about to find travel hacking stuff, but really, it is about just, you know, meeting new people and having different experiences, so we're going to leave you with the quote, we've had a few that we've shared with you throughout. On daz, we conclude, make your dream skipper reality thirty days from where you are to the destination of your choice just encourage you to go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you've imagined it's been an honor to do this with you, stephanie been an honor to work with kenna and all of the creative live crew and staff, and especially you, the studio audience. Thank you so much, I would say, so. You look next lesson, but we'll see you on the road somewhere. Exactly. He wouldn't allow you in.

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

Related Classes



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.