Since travel hacking is one of my biggest money saving tactics, I figured I could share it and help other people learn how to do it too! I am relatively new to travel hacking, but I have learned a lot in short period of time. Enough to save thousands of dollars on my around the world trip, anyway.
So what is travel hacking? Travel hacking is basically a way of saving tons of money on travelling by doing any or all of the following: utilizing rewards given by credit cards, using unconventional accommodations to save money, and basically just travelling for as inexpensively as possible. To see the ways that I have used travel hacking, read on, my friend:
1. Sign up for travel credit cards. I currently have Chase Sapphire and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards. By signing up for these cards that offer rewards (ex. Chase Sapphire Preferred offered me 40,000 miles if I spend $4000 in three months), I get significant discounts on flights. I accidentally stumbled into travel hacking a couple years ago after reading I Will Teach You To Be Rich, which is my favorite personal finance book of all time. Ramit taught me the benefits of using a credit card that gives you rewards. Why had I not done this sooner?! I wasted years of my life using my debit card for everything. By using a credit card instead of a debit card (and paying it off in full every month), you can rack up rewards and benefits. There is absolutely no difference to your life other than swiping a different card. I got a flight to Portland for free by doing this with my Chase Sapphire card. To see the best credit cards for travel hacking, check out this post.
2. Couchsurfing. I am an avid couchsurfing creeper. I have yet to leave for my trip, so I haven’t tried it out yet, but I have definitely been searching for people to stay with. Couchsurfing is an amazing resource that connects travelers with people who live in the country that you are visiting. The hosts set up a profile on Couchsurfing and have reviews left of them by the travelers who stay with them. Although this did originally creep my mom out to the max, we have since realized that not only is it a totally legit thing, it’s a way to save thousands of dollars. Saving money = travelling for longer. Accommodations and airfare are usually the most expensive part of the trip. By cutting back on these two expenses, travelling becomes so much more possible.
3. WWOOFing. WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. This is a program where you can set yourself up with a host and work on their farm in exchange for room and board. It is a world wide program that tons of people have used. The details of how much you work/what kind of accommodations you stay in/what you eat varies widely depending on each situation. You will find these things out by utilizing the website and researching the hosts. Because I’m vegan, I am searching for vegan or vegan-friendly farms (which there are a ton of). I am planning to WWOOF in Europe and Hawaii.
4. Cut expenses before you leave. To see the ways that I am saving $20K in six months, see this post. I have not always been the most budget-conscious person, but if I can do it, you can too. I used to be a shopaholic (no joke – I would spend an entire day at the mall every weekend, even when I was making minimum wage!). So really, seriously believe me when I say that you can do this too.
These tips will save you so much money if you use them. Please comment down below your money saving tips and what you do to save money while travelling!