I have been so caught up in building my homestead that I haven’t traveled in a while. I mean really traveled. Sure, I have been to Costa Rica and Hawaii recently but those trips were far enough apart that my frequent flier miles expired.
Well, I have the bug again and need some serious adventure in my life. I read a great book called Big Travel, Small Budget which has me truly inspired. Not only does he discuss how to travel for cheaper than it is to live stationary, he gives some great tips on how to make money traveling or to travel for almost free!
Currently I am playing with what is called travel hacking. It’s basically using both your travel and standard expenses to earn frequent flier miles that can get you all sorts of stuff for free.
I have a United Mileage Plus Account and am getting miles from the following places:
Chase United Explorer Card: I just got approved for this card. If you aren’t the type that pays your entire card bill at the end of the month, this part of travel hacking is not for you. However I do pay my whole balance so I will use this card where I would normally use my check card from my bank, which is for most of my purchases. This card offers bonus miles for signing up, 2 miles for every dollar spent on tickets from United, 1 mile for all others. Couple this card to your united dining membership for massive miles scored when you dine out.
United Affiliates page has links to all sorts of programs from dining to online shopping.
FTD Florist: You can link to FTD from the United Affiliates page and get miles there. Just earned 1700 miles for getting my mom some Mother’s Day flowers. Probably sending some to Grandma too!
Opinion Miles Club Earn miles for taking surveys. I had to start like 10 different surveys before I got to one that actually let me finish. Time to try for another. I have been at this like an hour and have written this post and earned 300 miles.The miles were posted instantly! Much better than the FTD ones ( though not as many! )
E-Miles Earn miles for completing offers and surveys. Similar to above but likely more simple. Also has as some good join bonuses. No affiliate link I could find so far. Posts miles quickly to your account but only in multiples of 250. If you already donate to non-profits ( like me ) then you can earn some extra miles here for doing so.
The key is to earn miles on things you do anyway. Miles lead to free air travel, upgrades and all sorts of other travel related expenses.