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The one thing that I could not get out of my head recently was how expensive it is just to fly to Hawaii from Missouri. I was looking for fun trip ideas for this summer and since I had never been to Hawaii, I thought I would check out the price of travel, lodging, food, etc. for Maui. When I saw how much everything was total, I was shocked! I could go to Costa Rica for half the price of Hawaii! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just travel for free? Well, I found some ways that we can.
Travel hacking has been a pretty popular topic and hobby lately due to the rise of air miles cards and rewards programs. Thank goodness travel hacking is a thing because I am obsessed with it. I love learning new ways that I can travel for free, even when I think I have found every way possible.
Among the top ways to save the most on travel are by using sites like Expedia, Travelocity, or even Groupon. The thing is sure you can get up to 50% off your entire vacation from these sites but you can’t get a vacation for free from them. However, maybe combining these methods with the below tips can score you a free getaway!
I know what you are thinking – What!? A free vacation? Yea right. I am serious…I have done it. It works.
I am serious. I have done it. It works.
When you think you know all the tricks of the trade for saving money, even on vacation, think again.
Get ready to try out 12+ ways to travel for free!
Let’s get to travel hacking.
Try award stacking with Fly Free Academy.
Award stacking is an underground strategy that lets you travel the world for next to nothing. Imagine if you could fly anywhere in the world for $10 or $20 dollars? That is basically free! Book flights for $20 or less! Because sometimes with free flights, you have to pay taxes.
Become A Travel Blogger/Influencer
Did you know it is possible to travel the world and get paid at the same time through blogging? Well, it is very much possible and hundreds of bloggers achieve this every day. The ways travel bloggers travel the world for free are is if they land a sponsored trip or press travel. Bloggers can also make money while traveling for free by working remotely from their laptop using a variety of monetization strategies on their blogs such as ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored posting opportunities, writing freelance articles, selling a product or service, or selling e-courses and memberships on their sites.
If you have not yet started a blog and want to, or are having trouble with where to start, check out How To Create A Self Hosted WordPress Blog. If you sign up for Bluehost with my link you get a free domain, free site builders, free 1-click WordPress install, 24/7 support and all for only $2.95 a month! You really can’t beat that deal. I have already made $3000 from affiliate marketing alone after only 6 months of blogging, thanks to the Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing course.
Not sure about starting a blog, no sweat. You can even make money remotely with affiliate marketing on Pinterest!
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Cut Luxury Out Of The Equation
Deann over at the Bear In Forest blog has backpacked around the world and started her own thrifty travel blog. She writes about her experiences and tips about camping, RV camping, backpacking, etc. Check out her amazing guide for traveling cheap!
Take Advantage Of Airbnb.
Sign up for Airbnb and rent out a room in your house or why not the whole house? While others are paying to stay at your house, you could be traveling elsewhere. The best thing is you end up getting paid by your rental to go travel! If you don’t feel like renting out space, book through Airbnb instead. Airbnb is loads cheaper than a normal hotel and you even get credit for any referrals when you share out the app! If you haven’t tried it yet, here is a $40 credit to go anywhere you want!
Want to stay for free or maybe even get paid for it while you are on vacation? You can house sit while on vacation and take care of someone’s home or even their pet. So if you are open to taking care of someone’s home or pet while on vacation, check out Trusted Housesitters where they connect travelers and people around the world in need of house sitters/pet sitters. What a neat, creative way to travel for free and get paid to for it too.
One of my favorite ways to travel for free that I have stumbled across is volunteering in work-exchange programs such as Workaway. Workaway connects travelers with locals across the globe looking for volunteer help. All you have to do is put a little sweat into your next vacation in exchange for free meals, lodging, and other accommodations.
Join The Peace Corps
Join The Peace Corps and travel the world helping others. The Peace Corps provides each volunteer with housing and living stipend. Upon completion of 2 years of service, The Peace Corps will provide you with more than $8,000 pre-tax for help with transitioning back to normal life.
Take Online Surveys For Miles
There is this amazing website called e-miles.com where you can take online surveys for air miles! When you sign up and activate your e-miles account, you get 250 free miles to start with. You can earn anywhere from 5 miles to 500 miles per survey you complete or deal you sign up for. You can start redeeming your miles once you reach 500 miles with airlines such as American Airlines and Southwest Airlines (my personal airline of choice).
Want to pave the way for a future of financial freedom? Get loads of tips that I use every day to make extra money and save extra money as I prepare for mine!
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Apply For And Use Air Miles Credit Cards
I am sure you have heard of the practice of signing up for new credit cards just for the sign-up incentive, such as airline miles when you spend a certain amount within a certain time period. In my opinion, it is the best way to get somewhere cheap. If you have been reading my blog regularly, you should know by now that I love rewards cards, programs, or anything that has an amazing saving incentive.
The fastest and easiest way to earn a load of airline miles all at once is to open one of these credit cards. The highest-rated air mileage credit cards offer a sign-up bonus of anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 miles. They also throw in an annual bonus for as long as you keep the card open. Usually, all of these cards require you to spend a certain amount within your first 90 days of having the card. This amount is usually between $1,000 and $3,000. If you think about it, it is not that much if you start using your air mileage credit card to make basically all of your purchases and maybe even pay your bills with! Just remember to pay your credit card bill on time.
The top rated air mileage credit card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, where you can earn 50,000 miles if you spend at least $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
If you are impatient and don’t want to wait 3 months, compare flights now and see what deals you can find.
Use Hotel Rewards Programs
Credit card sign-up bonuses can be just as amazing for earning hotel rewards just as they are for earning airline rewards. You can earn points with Co-branded hotel rewards card with just that hotel program or use transferable points cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, to transfer your points to a variety of hotel reward programs.
Use awardmapper.com to see how many points you need for each hotel and duration of stay!
Dining Reward Programs
Airlines and hotel brands like Hilton and American Airlines offer shopping portals and dining program rewards. Dining programs are free to join using your airline or hotel loyalty member number. You can even earn bonus miles or hotel reward points with just signing up for the program itself!
You can use a combination of rewards cards, shopping portals and dining reward programs to maximize your hotel and travel savings by everyday spending. Use them enough and after you fly for free, stay for free too.
When I use to work for a Canadian retailer I often had to go back and forth from St. Louis, MO to Toronto, ON and because I always chose Hilton and used my HHonors card religiously, it was only after my first trip I already had points I could redeem. After a couple months of going to Toronto maybe twice, I scored a free week in Jackson, Mississippi with my wife.
Hotel reward programs also run promotional events where you can earn bonus points or award stays for completing a challenge, staying a certain number of nights, etc. You can enter travel sweepstakes or giveaways online. I came across the site, the balance, recently that lists many different travel sweepstakes, giveaways and contests that are going on this summer.
Organize Group Tours
Did you know that you could plan a trip for a group of your friends or family and travel companies will cover your bill? If you function as the trip leader, travel operators will cover your group’s travel costs. The rules change depending on the company. For example, YMT Vacations will give you a free vacation if you sign up at least 12 people to take a trip with them.
You can also score free group travel or at least some deals on group travel with Tours4Fun or Travelation. If you can’t score free travel there, no worries. I have a discount code for you. Use the code ‘TLGRP50‘ and snag $50 off.
Get A Travel Scholarship
Scholarships and grants are available for those who wish to either volunteer abroad our study abroad. Volunteer Forever has an intense list of 200 currently available scholarships and grants that you can apply for.
Why rent a car when you can drive and take a road trip for free? Companies like Autodriveaway ship cars across the country and use regular people like you and me to move their customers’ cars from one place to another. If you are a driver for Autodriveway, you can potentially travel for free and get paid for it too!
More ways to get the most savings out of your vacation and travel:
- Expert Flyer
- Rail Europe
- Travel Payouts
- Jet Radar
- Hotel Look
- Hotels Click