Hacking the High Life Part 2


Become a Travel Hacker


Lesson Info

Hacking the High Life Part 2

So there's a number of destinations I especially encountered as I was going around the world different countries a number of places that are not necessarily difficult to get to but they're really expensive because there's not a lot of traffic that goes there so especially like in the south pacific I'm getting to australia new zealand in the first place is expensive and going like further afield to tonga are funny watson or or you know different different islands so I used a number of air new zealand awards with starline smiles with us airways smiles we talked earlier in the day about like the sticker deal and how I got those or how I could purchase the miles that's how I used to travel around the south pacific also teo central asia to a number of the stand countries on those tickets are prohibitively expensive and so I used my miles to get there I only want to melody was just some funny places that air awesome to get to, but they're normally really expensive to fly that's what travel h...

acking can help you with as well it's just like normal destinations like out of the way north america I think this is like moab, utah or something which there is an airport there or if you have family members like from like the middle of the country air from the south from from some area where it's not near a major airport you may want, you may always notice that it's more expensive to fly there and it's just because there's less traffic. So, again, you know this is a great use of miles to go to those places. If the ticket is expensive, the tickets like more than five hundred dollars within north america, maybe twenty five thousand miles is a good use for that where it isn't always on and again, just briefly about the credit card thing about annual fees you no annual fee of seventy nine dollars and ninety nine dollars. Even if I get twenty five thousand miles like that's going to be my free trip, you know to see the family or anywhere else I want to go so it's it's worth it seychelles great destination and you can get there with it he had with qatar with kenya all those points can be all these points will be with american airlines. You can get there with kayla more sky team mongolia when I went to mongolia food to korea first and on a separate award and then I booked in a word from seoul, korea to align guitar mongolia on back, I think it was thirty thousand miles business class like a pretty low number of miles, you know for that for that trip so these are just a few examples like we could go on and on and on, but the point is like, you know, travel hacking opens, you know what possibilities it opens doors it creates opportunities that it makes the world open and that's that's what it's all about for us. So turning points in to travel I think stephanie's got something she's going to say about this she's created a five part process, I believe, and it starts with searching, okay, yeah, yeah so when you're actually I know where I want to go I've got the point now like how'd oh, I actually do it this is kind of the process that that I follow when I'm going to book an award the first thing I dio is I search you khun search I like kayak is kind of my overall airlines search tool the a matrix is a good one as well we can those links khun b on the trouble hacking that or access creative life. But what I will do is I will go to kayak and I will put in the destination where I went to go and I will see how all the different ways that's possible to get there. The reason I like kayak is because you can search by alliance so if I know, I've got a lot of chase sapphire points, and I want to go to china, for example, I'm actually going to china next week, I don't have a ticket back, but I do have a point on on my chase sapphire card that I can use on united to come back if I want teo. And so what I would do is I know I need to get from shanghai back to the u s so I would go to kayak search shanghai to portland because that's, where I'm going to fly back to and see what all those different routing czar, then I'm going to do a little bit more research because the probability of when I look for that award, the exact award I want might not be available, right? So I'm gonna do some more research and see not only how do we get to shanghai direct, but are there? How else can I wrote myself through different ways? I want to know the different routings I want to know if there's other hub cities that are nearby, like maybe I can't get from shanghai to portland direct, but maybe I could get from beijing to portland direct and I could get from shanghai to beijing, right, so I'm gonna look for all the different airlines. The different airlines that serve that market, the different hubs that serve that market. So before I ever do anything to actually try to purchase my ticket, I am goingto know all the different or at least multiple options of different ways I could get there, then the next thing I'm going to dio is look online, I'm going to look if I'm going to use my chase sapphire miles probably goingto want to book them with united, so I'm going to look on the united website and to see what availabilities there sometimes you actually confined good availability online it's not always the case. Some airlines don't actually post to their their availability on their partner website, some of them d'oh. But I'm gonna look online and see if there's any options that I haven't thought of yet see if there's any availability and the next thing I'm going to do then finally call and talk to somebody, but I have all this information I'm not going to call and say I want a ticket from shanghai to portland on the twenty eighth I'm going to know all my options. I'm going to say I want to get from here to here on the twenty eight, but I'm willing teo do it two days before two days behind and I'm willing to fly through beijing to do it, I'm willing to fly from shanghai to seattle and then fly from seattle to portland so I'm gonna have all the information in my head because a lot of times the people who you call aren't mostly the most helpful people sometimes I wonder if the airlines do it on purpose but then the fifth point here is you know, if you're successful when you call great book your award if not chris said it before hang up and call again you'll get somebody different you'll get somebody who might have a who might be more helpful to look up more things for you you'll get somebody who might be able to give you more options that you haven't thought of so really it's doing the research herself looking online for the availability that actually calling with that information and more often than not you will actually be able to find something as long as you're able tto to think through how you can get different places rock on thank you I knew we had a five step process but I wasn't feeling well so she's able to rescue me so let's do some questions before we go on we got a big finish with some tips and tricks and stuff but questions in the audience or from online we have one online from online on johnny and seattle says are there any challenges with traveling overseas on one way ticket are their countries that won't let you in without a excellent question. Yes, yes, sometimes that when you go through immigration or when you even try to get a boarding pass of, you know, if you were flying out of san francisco and you're going to china or something, then they will often want to see some kind of proof of onward travel doesn't have to be a round trip ticket, but they want to know, like, how are you getting out of china? Are way over the next country is so in the past with that city island, they always want to know how you're leaving. Yeah, and they want it printed out as well. You can't have it on your iphone it's kind of weird, you know, in some cases like this, I also travel in one one way tickets a lot, and I have the points, you know, I know I'm gonna be able to get out, I also know, like, if I have to buy the ticket, I gonna be able to do that in some cases, I've just printed a different itinerary. I'm just kind of like print of the return itinerary for the same ticket that I already have, and if I'm asked, then I'll produce that, and I know I'm not goingto be violating the laws of the country and not like trying to immigrate myself, I'm not trying to do anything illegal but if if I have to have a piece of paper just to show someone for this legality then I will I will kind of make it up in front of myself so we have a three questions that kind of all go together couple questions that go together what about using travel all agents for planning for some of these tickets does that do you ever do that on dh then cpr carpenter had asked do they charge extra for calling instead of a website when you're calling the airline okay very good ergot two questions so let me let me do the first one travel agents I think the role of travel agents has changed quite a bit I don't think the travel agents are obsolete but I think you know, one of the reasons travel agencies existed for a long time is because they had access to information that regular consumers didn't and now that's not so much the case with all of these tools with internet globalization etcetera like we have access to that same you know that same information and the travel agents are not getting commissioned by the airlines you know in the same way that they used to either so there's not so much a compensation model for them so I would say for most general airfare purchases you're better off just kind of doing that yourself where travel agent can be helpful is with maybe if it's like a really specific kind of vacation package s not just a flight but if it's like you know once in a lifetime like safari or honeymoon trip that you don't want to hack yourself or you know if you have some money and you just want to pay someone to do it and there are people who specialize in destinations and they often have relationships you know with providers there on the ground they can't get you upgraded so that there could be some value add for that but generally speaking I think you could book a lot of stuff yourself so as for the second part are their fees for booking on the phone versus online sometimes there are uh smells it's like a twenty five dollar fee or maybe a little bit more sometimes you're not able to do it online so you have to do it on the phone in some cases if you have to do it on the phone because you can't do it online they will waive the fee if you ask him if you remind him of this fact in other cases I mean this gets a little bit technical but in other cases you can actually put the award on hold on the website and you'll get a record locator and one of those awesome phonetic alphabet six digit strings and then if you actually book it on the phone because you have to have them changed something then they won't charge you a fee because you actually put it on hold yourself way had a question from k bay so any advice about going back to retroactively claim points from recent flights or hotel stain is doable if so, how uh depends on how long it's been is it doable to reclaim you know, missing miles if it was last week yes, absolutely. You can go this once you can do it online hopefully you have the ticket number or at least all the information. Most of the airline's web sites have a thing called claim missing mileage or something and you feel like that information if it's a partner you know a partner trip you might have to have the boarding pass for it or at least some of the information most of them expire like you can only do this. We're like up to three months or sometimes six months but it is possible if it's been recent okay, we'll do some tips and tricks will keep talking if you don't okay it's a whole bunch of stuff I'm gonna give you really quick we can follow up as we need to, you know, just a helpful things no the airport codes right that's what we do the challenge like empowering you to go away so they went in when you call the airlines you're like busting out some stuff you like I want this whole thing and you know then they're like what do you know that okay no, the alternate routings like what stephanie was talking about about dealing with her return ticket from from china she wants to she wants to be empowered herself so that way when she goes to look for the ticket and they say oh, there is no ticket and she's going to be able to say what have you checked the flight? Your soul did you check the flight to beijing? What about you know, air china for one seven you know that she has all the information. If you're running into difficulty with a particular award, it may be that there's one segment that's difficult for it so it's helpful to isolate the problem segment and say ok, is there no availability for this whole thing like if I have a six segment kind of thing is the whole thing just messed up or is there one problem here? And if there's one problem, maybe I could just maybe I could take that out of the itinerary but I can arrange that myself maybe there's an alternate airport maybe there's something else but it's always good to understand like what is actually the problem expert flyer which I mentioned earlier is really good at showing the award availability of a lot of different carriers are all in one spot look for in advance or close in a cz we alluded to there are some airlines that actually don't release much inventory until a couple of weeks out lou funds in particular has recently gone to a thing where they will still release first class awards there's amazing like aspirational things that we showed you but they won't do it in advance anymore they will only do it fourteen days out s o that's the bad news the good news is it's pretty reliable what they will do fourteen days out and you can look and see a pattern you can see like which cities have you know how there has there been availability you can start checking now and see like what is opening up two weeks from now and so you know if I'm planning a trip three months from now maybe I can just kind of monitor that and see what happens call the elite number all the airlines have special phone numbers for people who have the elite status and that gets you through to a person very quickly you're not supposed to call this phone numbers if you don't have the elite status but those numbers are publicly available you google for them put the itinerary on hold if you're if you're not sure if something comes up it looks good but you're not sure if you want to take it in some cases you can put on hold for twenty four hours some cases thirty six hours, sometimes all the way up to three to four days. It all depends on the airline, the specific itinerary, but putting things on hold is great. You don't want to like, think about it, and then, you know, I realize that you lost it. When you go back later, you'll always have a deadline. You'll see what it is you can actually sometimes sometimes you can extend the hold in other cases if you can extend the hold, you can put another itinerary on hold, so sometimes, like american airlines often and allows, I don't know it's like thirty six hours or something for some forwards, or till until midnight of the following day. So sometimes if I've had a trip that I'm planning, I'll put something on hold and the next, and I feel a reminder, like in my task list, check back tomorrow, you know, if I'm not ready to make a decision, you know, by the next day, but I don't want to lose it. I'll look and see, okay? Is that? Is that space still available? Is that fair still consistent? Maybe I can put it on hold again and it's good until the next day, right, so the first one expires in the next you know, you don't want that forever, but I've done that for like, three to four days, five or six days, you know? And then finally I make a decision, either I just pass on that I'd made another plan where I'm ready to book it, fly to a different city and hop if you can't find a specific city you're looking for, maybe you could go somewhere else if you're trying to get to singapore and you know all the singapore awards air taking, maybe you could get to call in port and calling for is like a thirty minute, forty minute flights on area you can book it really cheaply. Lots of different options there book two one way awards, which usually unless it's delta that's the one exception usually doesn't cost more. Usually the price of a one way award is just half of what the round trip aboard is, so that might give you more flexibility, especially you having a hard time like either with the outbound or the return you can sort out the other one of them and then worry about the other thing let's see, avoid high taxes. What do we have on that? Avoid high taxes? You can't british airways fabio's, I think there's a if you have british airways miles like from the chase card or something british airways has the highest tax fuel charges on the airline, and also if you fly through heathrow, so sometimes you can round yourself like if you're on a long haul flight, you could fly to a different city like I flew one time from hong kong to amsterdam and then did a different ticket from amsterdam to london because it saved me six hundred dollars, in taxes and there's also british airways, obvious and iberian obvious there in the same college program, and iberia doesn't have the same tax fuel charges, and they let you move miles from one program to the other. So there are ways like, if you're looking for awards and they're saying, oh, the taxes are going to be like almost the price of a ticket, which people tell me all the time think about different ways that you could route that may be on a different airline or through different city, where the taxes could be different. So the point is that there's often they're often options book open jaws and stopovers what's the difference between up and join a stopover audience microphone afternoon law rolling here are almost done so I think open jaws if you I went toe one city from your home destination goto one city travel by some other means than the airline route and then fly back from another so let's say a trip to europe you could fly to paris, go by train or car to madrid fly back from madrid? Yep correct were you actually on? Uh fly back to a different city san francisco to madrid, madrid to los angeles and then I get stopover would be if you had a day or something and just extended change between planes between your your start and finish spots with that right? Yeah, technically a transit is twenty four hours or less and a stopover is more than twenty four hours but getting technical a lot of award tickets, a lot of award tickets do allow open jaws and stop over somewhere more generous than others. Sometimes the programs are not always consistent with themselves. Some agents like stephanie was saying some agents are more helpful than others. Sometimes you can get things that aren't technically allowed. I think when I took my my free stopover teo thailand my free first class trip to thailand, you know, on a flight that was actually like north america to germany, I think I got something I got something like some crazy person to help me with that because I don't think I was allowed to do that but some of it's possible. Okay, when all else fails, you can hire someone to help you mentioned gary left earlier he's a friend of mine, someone I've learned from hey operates the website you from the wing dot com is his blogged, and he also has his business book here award dot com this is not the only booking service there's a lot of other people, it now have booking services as well, but I know gary pretty well, I read about him in hundred dollar start up, so I always recommend hiss hey charges I think something like one hundred fifty dollars per itinerary on he will basically do things for you one hundred thirty dollars, sounds like a lot. You can, of course, do it yourself. What he's usually does is really high value, like business class first class redemptions, often with, like, multiple segments, you know, transiting through the first class terminal on these really nice airlines that's kind of this service that he provides. And as I said, there's, another folks who do it as well. So if you really stuck, you can't get somebody to do it for you. And I think we'd like to have a few questions before we wrap, right? Because I don't want to get your people over mary ann, how you doing? Good, I was once in a while there's a package deal you know, off flight a hotel in a car something what do you think of those deals? Traditionally are they good value our or not? Yeah no that's a great question I think I really used those deals much I may have done it like once or something on dh partly because my needs aren't really oriented around that those air usually based on like city breaks our city escapes often it's like if you're going to like vegas for the weekend if you're going to denver but here's your hotel on your flight and your car rental or something so I don't usually need all three of those things in that same way myself I think they can be good values in some case cases a cz long as you know, the hotel is where you actually would want to stay out otherwise and the flight is what you would I want to take so it's usually I believe expedia and hotels dot com and travelocity that put those kind of packages together so there's this can be good deals. I don't know that they usually are more questions it's tied all together? Yes, I guess my question is okay when I've traveled internationally it's usually like I'm visiting somebody or I'm covering for me for like basically somebody picks him up at the airport and drives me places on and when that does not happen to do a lot of research ahead of time to try to figure out like how do I get faithfully to where I'm going? But you know, since you've been to every country in the world, I'm assuming you don't spend like hours trying to figure out like you're there any like tips for like, you know, just how to get safely from the airport to worry okay, great yeah I mean, I did for a long time like I finally got tired of researching yes, but for a long time if I was going to new place I would kind of google ground transportation such and such airport just kind of understand the auctions that are available and understand like okay, I'm gonna take a taxi what should the price be? You know? And I guess some basic tips are just don't you don't take a taxi from the people who approach you you know you're walking around the terminal taxi, taxi you don't really do that usually in some cases actually you're concerned about safety there often official taxi booking services, you know they're actually like part of the airport and they'll give you a voucher and accompany you so that's that's something to be aware of, I mean in other places there's a train that goes right to the to the terminal or some other options I'll usually look things up like before I leave and screenshot it on my phone and sometimes screenshot like a map because I know a lot of times we'll get to an airport and there won't be wifi or my phone won't work, but I always feel more comfortable if I have a sense of where I am and if I have a screenshot of like of the math and I'm in a strange taxi at least I know I'm going the right direction and things like that just make me feel better that's great, yes more just to thank you uh one of the best trips that I took was flying from dc to cancun, mexico to panama city, panama overnight it on to kingston, jamaica to surprise my mom for christmas so I just want to thank you. Yeah, thanks thanks to you and you could visit your mom. I'm going to briefly mention eso we've been talking about travel hacking, so I produce the service the travel hacking cartel since we started a couple years ago, we've sort of more than fifteen thousand members. It is a paid service there's, different tears. I think we have a special offer for everyone who's watching today or in studio that you can get a month for a one month trial for a dollar instead of just the two weeks on then I believe if you purchase the course there's an additional offer for that as well I'm also happy to help people for free I really am you can email me it's fine it's great resource is paige we talked about travel lacking dot org's slash creative live we have a lot of the links that we've been talking about all throughout the day and we probably have somewhere that will add up that's right come work for later for us we talked about cards for travel dot com that's the side I own that goes through reviews of all the different card applications and all the comparisons and if you've heard about the chase sapphire card or the ink bouldering plus with the starboard cargo like yeah, I should definitely get that or if I want to branch out it's other stuff, then I appreciate you using that sidecars for travel dot com you certainly don't have to even also find that stuff other places as well. So there's the only investments I have on it regard I think it's so interesting that it is one of people's most desired things to dio and yet we stop ourselves left and right saying I don't have the time or I don't have the money it's often that you say that I don't have the time I don't have the money one or the other but I think what we're talking about here is that if you do spend a little bit of time on dh that amount of time again, it's going to be reduced dramatically by utilizing the things that you've learned from chris here today, and his tens of thousands of hours and miles of travel that he's summed up here for you is, is that the next time you think that you don't have the money to travel? Think again? I mean, this is we're not talking about having tio having to sell everything that you own and just travel away these air like tangible things that you can actually do get three hundred thousand miles and go and take a vacation. So I just it is really, really inspiring because I know that when I went in traveled, I finally realized that you just figure it out, you buy the ticket and you get on a plane and you're in this other country and you're experiencing the world in another way, so I'm excited as well to take advantage of utilizing so many of these tools. Thank you all again for joining us out there. Thanks for a studio audience, the crew, everyone thank you to stephanie zito. Make sure you're following her at wondering zito and, of course, chris gila bow make sure you're following him at cresskill, a bow and a website for schiavo, and with that big round of applies, go travel, hack everyone

Class Description

Want to jet off to Europe or Asia, or holiday in style without paying for it? Welcome to the world of travel hacking: the art of free or low-cost travel made possible through frequent flyer miles, round-the-world plane tickets, and other innovative money-saving strategies.

NYT bestselling author Chris Guillebeau has traveled to every single country in the world. During this course, Chris and a few special guests will show you how to earn hundreds of thousands of miles and points — before even getting on an airplane. You'll then learn how to put your new treasure chest to good use to go anywhere, anytime.

Your dream vacation is much cheaper — and can happen much sooner — than you think!

Warning: this action-packed adventure is highly practical. You might find yourself planning your next vacation in real-time.


Christine Yun

I wish I saw this course earlier! I learned so many tips on how to save money and discovered how to get perks from different credit cards. There's definitely long-term benefits to watching this class. Also, this is a great class if you're thinking of opening a new credit card as it walks you the benefits of each one.