Imagining the Possibilities of Free Travel

How to Travel for Free: Part 1 of 7

Sharing amazing experiences with people I love is part of what matters most to me. Travel has always provided such experiences, and as a result I’ve always loved to travel.

The view, overlooking Oahu's Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, from my family’s room at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel

The view, overlooking Oahu’s Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, from my family’s room at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel

About 4 years ago, I got to a point where my family was expanding and I wanted to continue traveling, but I didn’t want to spend every nickel I earned to do it. At the time, I definitely did not know that free travel was possible, and I didn’t know how to do it.

I began to hear about mile and points experts, but at first I wasn’t sure what to think. Were they for real? Did they have a terrible credit score and a heap of debt?

Cautiously, I started to study the miles and points bloggers. I read the fine print. And frankly, what I found has been pretty spectacular. I began by dipping my toes in the water. Eventually, I dove in.

My Experiences of Free Travel

The past three years I’ve earned enough airline miles, hotel points, and money outside of my job to take my family to Hawaii, Scotland, Arizona, Mexico (twice), and the Florida Keys . . . all for free. And I’ve done it without incurring a single dollar of credit card debt or harming my credit score.

The view from my family's picnic spot, overlooking the Quiraing in the Scottish Highlands, on our trip there

The view from my family’s picnic spot, overlooking the Quiraing in the Scottish Highlands, on our trip there

Not only have I been able to travel more than I would have, but I’ve been able to divert the money I otherwise would have spent on travel to other priorities (such as my daughter’s current and future education) and necessities (such as the zillion diapers we buy).

How about You?

Have you ever dreamed of going to Europe, Mexico, Hawaii, New York, Los Angeles—wherever—but figured you couldn’t afford to get there, much less stay there or enjoy what those places have to offer? Or have you ever gone to such places but felt that in doing so you were using funds that could have been devoted to other important things like retirement, charitable giving, or new tires for the car?

In this series of posts, I will teach the basic practices you need to travel for pennies on the dollar or even for free.

By way of preview, here are the topics I’ll cover:

  1. Imagining the Possibilities of Free Travel (this post)
  2. Leveraging Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses for Free Travel
  3. Understanding Credit Scores and the Effect that Credit Card Applications Have on One’s Credit Score
  4. Which Credit Cards to Get to Maximize Free Travel
  5. 5 Creative Ways to Meet the Minimum Spend Requirement in Order to Get the Sign-up Bonus
  6. How to Use the Miles and Points You Earn
  7. How to Decide Whether to Keep or Cancel Credit Cards

Question: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why? You can leave a comment by clicking here. And if you liked this post, sign up here so that you never miss a future post.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *