When travelers consider making use of Airbnb to save money, it’s typically with respect to finding affordable accommodation options. Indeed, as noted in ‘6 Ways to Save Money on Travel’, the service is typically very easy to use, and can often be cheaper than other rental or booking options.
Flipping things around though, Airbnb can also help travelers save money as renters. Some who travel regularly have realized that by listing their own homes while away, they can build up Airbnb businesses of their own, thus offsetting the costs of trips — and more, in some cases. Below, we’ll look at some of the reasons that this can actually work, and become a good, strategic way to fund your travel ambitions.
Airbnb Renters Make Real Money
A lot of apps and online services that claim to be able to make you money tend to wind down to lots of work with little reward. But Airbnb renters tend to be able to make fairly respectable earnings. In The Balance’s assessment of Airbnb returns, or instance, it’s suggested that renters in a big city like Seattle can make roughly $150 per night posting their own properties on the service. That’s on the higher end of things, given that Seattle is both a big city and a popular destination. But even a third of that rate for several nights while you’re on a trip abroad can add up to a meaningful chunk of income. Even if it doesn’t totally offset your vacation cost, it will make a big difference. And if you do happen to live in a big city or sought-after destination, you’ll be in even better shape.
Starting an Airbnb Business is Easy
While some travelers might disregard an idea like this simply because it can seem like more hassle than it’s worth, there’s actually not that much involved with getting started with this kind of effort. Per ZenBusiness’s outline of Airbnb businesses, all you really need to do is define your business plan and structure, register the business, and manage costs and property needs. Once you get the early processes taken care of, you’ll be ready to rent out your property, and listed on Airbnb. Yes, there are some management and upkeep efforts involved. But part of the idea of Airbnb is that once you’re up and running the platform does a lot of the work for you.
You Can Market to Gain Visibility
Some may also opt out of the Airbnb idea out of concern that they don’t have desirable properties, or aren’t in popular locations. Of course these factors can affect your earning potential, and a high-end Seattle condo is going to perform better than a low-cost studio apartment in a small town. That said, your visibility and appeal are at least partly up to you. As the aforementioned outline of Airbnb businesses points out, it’s up to you to “paint a picture” of your property, convey what’s interesting or appealing about it, and then do a bit of external advertising to draw attention to it. You won’t have full control over rental potential, but if you make a bit of an effort you’ll already be ahead of a lot of other Airbnb renters who rely entirely on the platform.
There’s No Effort While Traveling
Another major perk to the idea of funding travel through Airbnb is that it doesn’t require effort of you while you’re traveling. So many suggestions related to this topic — such as teaching a language, taking on odd jobs, or running a travel blog — effectively involve taking time to work during your trips. Even among Travel & Leisure’s travel work suggestions, which are by and large more laid back (ideas like selling videos, or taking on courier work), there is some level of distraction that can take away from your time abroad. With Airbnb though, all the work you need to put in is done before and after you’re away. You can make money to offset travel costs without worrying about the effort at all while you’re actually traveling.
Because of these factors, Airbnb is a legitimately interesting avenue to consider if you’re looking for a way to help fund your travel.
Credit cards are very useful as they can be charged for getting access to different types of funds. Short-term loans and bank credit are effective for funding business or personal expenses. Smart entrepreneurs also use credit cards to fund assets through debt restructuring where the outstanding credit can be apportioned to be paid over one or two years. If you’re nervous about the application process, read on. Here’s everything you need to know about how to apply for a credit card online.
Many businesses take loans to finance operations. Loans usually cost businesses less than it costs to raise equity. Corporate credit cards are effective for funding temporary projects. They are also easy to apply and receive through online registration.
Personal credit cards can also be acquired through an online application process. If you have a good credit rating, you should be able to get one through relative ease. In this blog post, we describe the process of how to apply for a credit card through an online application.
Safety for Online Credit Card Application
The first concern for people looking to apply for an online credit card is identity and information safety. There is some risk of identity theft when trying to apply for a card online. Hackers can steal your information and use your personal information to change the mailing address for the card.
However, the risk is very small. Most reputable banks are now using online encryption technology for application submission. To ensure the connection is secure, check the bank’s address at the top in the URL bar. If it says “https” instead of “http” then that means the website is secure.
Another thing to make sure for online application is that you are the one who initiates the application process. If you get an email offering you a credit card or a pop-up message on a website that offers a credit card, then be very careful about proceeding. Senders of such unsolicited messages asking for personal information like SSN, home address, or date of birth. Do not share any such information with them.
Purpose of Credit Card
Once you have the security sorted, the first step is to identify why you are getting the card. Are you looking to get credit to manage your monthly expenses? Or perhaps you want to get a rewards credit card to get the best sales offers? Most people get a credit card to fund their business expenses.
Depending on your needs, you will need to select one of three credit card types.
- Standard Credit Card
- Rewards or Loyalty Points Card
- Corporate Credit Card
Compare Rates and Fees
Next, you should research the card charges, rates, and benefits offered by different banks, and card providers. There are five important things that you should consider here.
- Available Limit – This will depend on your income and existing credit score.
- Annual Fee– This is the annual fees charged by the card issuing company. It is usually between $20 and $50. However, some cards can be more expensive.
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – This is the fees and interest you would be paying on the outstanding balance. Your APR can be fixed or floating. Fixed APR is charged at the same rate regardless of national interest rates. Floating charge fluctuates with changes in national interest rates.
- Grace Period – This is the time period you are allowed to settle the balance from the date of the transaction without incurring any interest on it.
- Late Fee – This is the fees you will be charged if you settle the debt soon after the due date has passed. Most banks charge a late fee for missed payments.
Know Your Credit Score
Your credit score is your history of meeting obligations and clearing outstanding balances on time. If you consistently buy on credit and clear the accounts on time, your credit score will go up. If you fail to meet payments on time, your score will go down. Increase in income, paying off debt or mortgage also increases your credit score. Taking on new debts or additional obligatory payments decrease the score.
A good score will allow you to get a better card limit and may also affect your fixed APR to give you better rates. Do note that every time you apply for a credit card or a new loan such as a mortgage or mobile plan, it has an effect on your credit score. If your request for credit is rejected for any reason, it further deteriorates your credit score. So, make sure that your application is ready for acceptance before applying.
Decide on a Credit Card
Once you have done the appropriate research on the credit card that you want, go through the company’s terms of services and conditions. Make sure you read and understand the conditions. Getting a credit card is a big commitment and you should never rush into applying for a credit card to meet expenses. Keep your income in mind and have a plan on how you will repay the balance before the due date.
If you are not clear on the terms or need help to understand the charges better, do not hesitate to approach the company on call and ask for clarifications.
Five of our Favorite Credit Cards
See our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
See our full review of the Capital One Venture.
See our full review of the Amex Platinum.
See our full review of the Ink Business Preferred.
See our full review of the Chase Freedom.
Fill Out the Online Application Form
Once you are satisfied with the company and credit card terms, visit the application page for your chosen card company. You will be required to fill out an online form which is similar to the form you fill out when applying at the bank in person.
Important information will need to be filled out such as full name, cell phone number, home address and date of birth. You will also need to fill in your SSN, your salary income and other relevant information such as existing loans etc.
If you are applying for a corporate card on behalf of your company, you may also be asked to submit business documents and information about the company’s directors and managers.
Once you have filled out all the information, you will be required to confirm your identity through a pin code that you will receive through an automated call, text message or email. After you have entered the code, you will need to submit the application.
Approval and Credit Card Delivery
After the application has been received by your bank or the credit card company, they will take 2 to 5 business days to go over the detail and confirm the accuracy of the details that you have provided. The company may approach your employer to confirm your job status. They may also check your bank account details. You may also receive a call by a company’s representative to confirm that you have applied for the credit card.
These steps are meant to improve transparency and ensure that you have indeed applied for the credit card. For instance, once the information is confirmed, you will receive the credit card through the mail on the address you provided during application submission.
Once you have received the credit card, you will need to get it activated online or through call before it can be used. The verification process is quite easy and usually takes less than 2 to 5 minutes.
Every day I personally look through hundreds of travel blog ideas, tips, and success from the best travel blogs on the internet. When I find articles that I feel would be valuable to you, I put them together and post them to this article on Travel Freedom. I also usually input some commentary. Today I found a new travel idea that meets my standards to pass it along. Here’s what I found…
Travel Blog Ideas (2018)
Always be aware of your surroundings. If you’re thinking about reclining your airplane seat, that’s fine, but make sure to check behind you first. It’s possible that the person sitting behind you has things on their tray table that could be broken with the sudden recline of your seat. This almost happened to Matthew, when his laptop became jammed between the tray table and the back of the reclined seat.
Egypt has a lot going for it. The safety concerns stemming from its 2011 revolution have been stabilized, a new sphinx has recently been uncovered, new hotels are being built, and a huge museum focused on the Egyptian civilization is about to open. I have always been fascinated with the Egyptian civilization, but have not yet been able to travel there. I hope to make the trip within the next five years, to see the pyramids, Sphinx’s, the Nile River, and experience the culture first hand.
Over the past few years, I haven’t felt comfortable enough to travel there due to safety concerns. This article, along with other news has helped ease my worries about traveling to Egypt. I can’t wait to see it all and check it off my bucket list.
Next time I go to Hawaii I think I’ll spend at least some of the time at this hotel. With a decent redemption rate through Marriott, this resort is a good deal if using points. I’ve never stayed at this hotel, but have been to Hapuna Beach and enjoy the area. It’s just North of Kona and very near to some amazing beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Hopefully, the redemption rate stays the same at this property so that we can get multiple free nights with the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card, SPG credit card (Read more – terms apply), or the SPG Business credit card (Read more – terms apply). They all earn points and free annual nights in the newly merged SPG/Marriott program.
Going on an African Safari is one of my top bucket list ideas. They were lucky enough to see a huge assortment of animals on the game reserve in South Africa. When I go on a safari, I’d like it to be in Kenya or Tanzania during the Great Migration. I’d really like to go on a camping safari for a week, even though it’s probably not quite as safe as some other African Safari’s. It would be amazing to be able to see so many exotic animals in their natural habitat.
Have you ever visited any of these college towns? Maybe you happen to live in one as I do! I’ve been to three of the cities on the list and live in one of them. I’ve been to Boulder, Charlottesville, and Berkeley. I have lived in Eugene, Oregon for all but one year of my life and will expand on Million Mile Secrets’ explanation. It’s the home of the University of Oregon Ducks, many outdoor activities, breweries, vineyards, running enthusiasts (Track Town USA), and great bike paths. Also, the Oregon Ducks aren’t the only green thing you can legally experience while in the state (if you can read between the lines and you’re into that). Eugene is nestled between the mountains, the Pacific Ocean, rivers, lakes, and the city (Portland). All of which are within a two-hour drive, making this a great place to visit or live!
While this is up for debate in the comments of the post, I’d have to agree that traveling with a partner is much more frugal. While flights remain the same per person, hotels and such end up costing the same price no matter how many people are staying with you. For a $100 hotel room, it will cost the full amount for a single traveler, while it will cut the price in half if you’re traveling as a pair. Sometimes my wife and I will save on food as well by sharing plates at a restaurant. Especially when we go somewhere with huge portions and we lack the equipment to save or reheat them.
It’s always nice to be able to communicate with friends and family while in the sky. Southwest is rolling out free messaging on their flights and should be done in October. This means you can message whoever is picking you up with an accurate time of when you should be arriving at the airport. Or you can get in on that group chat that you’d normally come back to with hundreds of unread messages.
From experience on Alaska’s free messaging, I noticed that it also allows some other apps to work, whether on purpose or not. While I was flying to and from Washington DC this summer I was able to receive updates on Twitter through the free messaging.
While we normally stay in a condo in Hawaii, we’ve also stayed in two of these hotels as well as a few others. Hawaii is our favorite destination due to its beauty and ease of travel from the west coast. We typically stay in condos so that we can prepare most of our own meals. But, with these options available using points, we may try booking a hotel for “free” next time. I say “free” with quotations because many of these hotels have resort fees, which you still have to pay on reward stays. I’m not a fan of resort fees. Why should a hotel have a set price for a room and then for no particular reason add another fee to the price?
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai using our free nights through the World of Hyatt credit card. The hotel was in a great location in Poipu and was beautiful. The sand bottom pool was great for relaxing if we didn’t want to make the trek another 100 yards to the beach. It had nice white sand beaches just in front of the property. We even made S’mores one night out near the pools!
Another of these hotels that we stayed at was the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach, which we did not enjoy. It’s a few blocks from Waikiki Beach and in a great location if you like that area. We found the hotel to be pretty run down and not what you’d typically expect from a Hyatt Place Property (they usually have nice chic rooms with the somewhat separated bed and living space with modern shower). Also, we dislike the Waikiki area. The beaches are not nice and it being overcrowded is an understatement.
Virtual reality has hit the skies. Alaska Airlines has rolled out VR headsets on a few of their flights. You’re only able to watch a few movies in virtual reality 3D. Fortunately, the films that are on the headsets are only forward facing VR. If not you might have passengers moving all over the place on the plane! I’ve never watched a movie with one of these headsets, but it’s supposed to give the feel of being in the theater. It seems like a good touch for Alaska Airlines. I just hope they wipe off the headsets with sanitizer after each use.
If you’re able to travel between September and December you may want to look at going to Iceland. Wow Air currently has tickets on sale for $169 round trip. They fly from quite a few major airports in the US, including a couple on the west coast. The US airports that have this deal available are PIT, EWR, JFK, BWI, BOS, CLE, STL, CVG, DTW, DFW, SFO, & LAX.
Free miles. Yes, please! Alaska Airlines is giving away 100,000 miles plus money to cover the taxes that it may incur. It would be pretty nice to have some extra miles. Where would you go if you were to win? I think I would use my Alaska Miles on short-haul flights along the west coast. Good luck if you enter!
Since the most popular card for beginners in the points and miles space is the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this will be pretty useful. The blog post shows how to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Airline partners. This is the way to get the most value out of your points, so take notes. I often transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways to fly to Hawaii, and to Southwest to take advantage of my Companion Pass status.
Personally, I dislike the Seahawks… GO RAIDERS!!! But, in this case, Delta is giving away miles to Washington Residents as part of their 12status promotion. You will earn miles without even flying. They’re giving you a mile for every yard the Seahawks throw for, which should be a few thousand. You will also receive priority boarding. Seems like a good deal for those of you who consider yourselves Seahawks fans… EW!
Could you live in an airport for a day? A week? A month? How about 18 years?!? That’s how long a man once lived in Paris Charles De Gaulle airport (as seen in Tom Hanks’ movie The Terminal). I never realized that the movie was a true story… Now I want to go watch it because I never have. How long do you think you could live in an airport? It might be an interesting journalistic story for a travel blogger to try out. Priority Pass would be a necessity, as well as a boarding pass that you could delay over and over somehow…
Oooo la la! Are you the 2% who has already found love on an airplane? Was it love at first site? This article talks about a survey that also says what flyers pet peeves are while aboard an airplane. The survey is actually probably pretty inaccurate because it only surveys 2000 people… but it was a fun read anyway. Did you know the first couple found joining the mile high club was found naked and dead, because they crashed the plane they were in?!? At least they died having fun…
The Points Guy has partnered with United Airlines to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. They’re giving away a whopping one million miles to the winner of their raffle. To enter you can donate at least $10. With some of the larger donation amounts, you will receive some swag along with your entries. The article also shows a few ways you could spend your million United miles if you’re the winner. My favorite on the list is number 1, having first-class going all the way around the world.
Emily from Million Mile Secrets has put together a list of toys that travel well with children of all ages. She compiled a group of toys for babies, toddlers, and young children of age three or higher. A flight of five hours is a long time to keep your child occupied in a confined space. If you have children, let us know what their favorite toys to bring on the plane are in the comments. I’d love to hear, for future reference!
Have you recently had any flights where the flight time seemed extraordinarily long for the distance you were traveling? I definitely have, but didn’t realize why. This article makes complete sense to why airlines would be fluffing the estimated arrival time of your flight. My wife and I actually experienced this on our recent flight from Washington DC (DCA) to Dallas (DAL). Our flight was delayed nearly an hour, but somehow we actually got there before our expected arrival time. I was confused and didn’t think we could have made up that much time in the air. This gimmick would make sense to why we made it to Dallas on time. Have you experienced this yet?
Hawaii is due for some good news, after suffering from earthquakes, heavy rains, volcanic lava, and a hurricane to top it off. Finding out that Southwest will be booking and flying it’s new Hawaii routes starting in September or October is excellent news. My wife and I have earned a Southwest Companion Pass for the rest of 2018 through the end of 2019. We plan to use it for some buy-one-get-one-free Hawaii flights! Now I’m interested to see what the pricing will look like, and when they will add new departure cities from the mainland. I’m really hoping for Portland or Seattle to be added soon after launch.
Whether you knew about it or not (most don’t), the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a somewhat secret benefit. It’s cardholders have VIP Access privileges at many concerts, sports, and dining events. I have never looked into these in the past, but I’m going to start as some of the events sound pretty amazing. VIP Access at an Ed Sheeran concert in a luxury box for $300 sounds pretty cool… Having a special dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant… Yumm. Did you know about this benefit of having the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card?
ALSO: Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card holders also have access to some of the events.
While I’m not a mom, my wife and I do want to have children soon, so this one hits home. Many people with kids claim that it’s impossible to travel once you have kids. I’m sure you’ve heard something to this extent before… Well, whether they mean financially or just the difficulty of added passengers who don’t always obey or even understand, I’m going to boldly say they’re wrong! No, I don’t have children yet to judge how hard it really is, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say we won’t stop traveling when we have kids. This article explains how traveling with her kids actually made her a better mom.
Airplane seats that kill bacteria instantly? Sounds like people will be getting sick less from travel… Oh wait, aren’t some bacteria we carry good for us? I’ll let you decide for yourself whether or not these newly designed airplane seats are a good thing.
Ok, this isn’t really travel related unless you consider driving to 7-11 travel… But, they’re giving away free 12 oz cans of Redbull at 7-11. All you do is click this link, input your phone number, and you’ll receive a coupon. Make sure not to redeem the digital coupon until you actually are ready to purchase the Redbull, because the coupon will only be valid for 15 minutes from that point.
Here’s a list of the worst travel habits out there. Hopefully, you aren’t one of “THOSE” people, when it comes to flying…
Keep that airplane air vent flowing! It may just prevent you from getting sick… did you know that those vents were originally made to clean the air from cigarette smokers on planes? I still can’t believe that was ever allowed… DISGUSTING!
If you’re trying to meet a minimum spend for a credit card, or have a credit card that earns multiple points per dollar you’ll want to know about these two promos going on right now. I’ll be heading to both stores with my Chase Ink Cash credit card that earns 5 points per dollar at both.
If you have a small business, or work independently you may find this article interesting. It describes a few ways that credit cards can help your business. As a small business owner, myself, I find this topic interesting and will be writing about it soon as well.
The Chase Ink Preferred normally has one of the best introductory bonuses, but if this is true and the bonus is even higher than normal… Oh boy, jump on that if it is indeed true. 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points can go a long way. No joke! I can think of four ways I could spend them… how about 4 round trip flights to Hawaii from the west coast.
Let’s keep it going with increased Chase introductory bonuses! This one is for sure… Normally this card will give you 1.5 points on all purchases, but now they’ll give you double that in the first year of having the card. Three Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all types of spend is something to write home about!
On to the list articles for the day. This one by The Points Guy and his peeps is a list of 10 things people decide to do while on vacation… Some good, some bad… All life changing.
Next on the list of 10 articles is one about the best hotels around the world that will cost you less than $300 per night. $300 per night is pretty expensive in my book, so I’d sure hope they’re nice!
This article shows which airlines have the most and least legroom. It also compares how the sizes of seats in many of the airlines have changed over the past 30 years. It’s kind of funny to me that over that 30 years while people seem to be getting fatter, the seats are getting smaller.
Is Google going to make a run at in-flight wi-fi? Well, it’s uncertain, but this article explains why it may be a potential for the tech giant. I’d have to say, more options for wi-fi on planes would be a good thing. Sometimes in-flight wi-fi is a bit too pricey for my budget and maybe this will help.
To end today’s Travel Blog News, I’ll leave you with this weeks travel contests and giveaways. You may think you’ll never win one because the odds are so bad, but it’s not true. Someone’s gotta win… why not you. I used to sign up for every travel giveaway I saw and I surprisingly won 5 or 6 giveaways, including 100,000 Starwood points which ended up giving me about 10 free nights at some great hotels.
First up, we have a short article from Frequent Flyer Bonuses, that tells you about a Southwest Airlines promotion that you need to sign up for if you’re planning on flying with them before summer. Two words – DOUBLE MILES!
Here’s one that’s been on just about every travel blog this week. It’s about a 60 Minutes episode that talks about an airline that’s not safe to travel on. Supposedly, many of their pilots don’t let their families fly the airline they work for. Hmmmm… who could it be? Maybe you’ve flown them. It’s US budget airline, Allegiant. Stay safe Travel Tribe.
This travel news article shows you how it’s now possible to pay your rent with a credit card for a 1.5% fee. That may sound crazy to pay extra, but it could be useful if you’re trying to meet a minimum spend on a new credit card.
Car rentals are always a difficult one for me. You don’t get a lot of value using your points on them, but it’s also sometimes hard to find a decent deal. I usually check Hotwire and Costco Travel, but will definitely be trying out the tricks I just learned in this article.
Travel with Grant lists out quite a few travel mistakes that are easy to make. I’ve done a few of these, and I’m sure you have too. This will be a good reminder of how to avoid these travel mistakes in the future.
Chase bank has a rule for many of their credit cards, where you will be declined if you’ve added 5 new credit cards in the past 24 months. This number is easily reachable if you’re a points and miles traveler, trying to rack up miles and points. Luckily this rule does not apply to ALL Chase credit cards. Here is a list of the Chase Credit Cards that DO NOT fall into this rule.
Nothing is worse than getting sick while on vacation. I learned a few things from this blog post and I’m sure you will too. Here’s to never getting sick from being on a plane again!
This one’s about saving money on food during your travels. My personal favorite way to save on food, is by staying at condos. With a kitchen, I’m able to pack snacks and lunches while on the go, and make meals for a majority of the trip’s dinners. Most condos also have public barbecues!
Stopovers are when, instead of flying from point A to point C, you fly from A to B and spend some time visiting, then finish your route to point C. I need to start taking advantage of this more myself.
Use them, or lose them. Well, sort of… Points and miles occasionally are devalued and end up not being worth as much in travel rewards. Also, if you have inactivity in your accounts, you may lose your points. Don’t let that happen. Trust me, I let some expire on accident recently and I’m still upset about it.
When booking tickets, remember to always check alternative airports for both departure and arrival locations. If you’re having trouble finding a flight, every so often you’ll get lucky and this will save you.
Travel blog ideas is an ongoing post that brings the best of the travel blogging world to you. Every day we read hundreds of blog post to look for the best. This Travel Freedom blog post will keep you up to date on all travel blog ideas from around the world.
I’ve now traveled to Hawaii seven times, flown across the country five times, gone to college football games in new cities, visited friends in other states, stayed in resorts that normally cost more than my weekly salary per night, flown first class, stayed in hotel suites, and relaxed in countless airport lounges where free drinks and food are always available. Whew, I’m out of breath… All of this and much more, I’ve done in just the past five years by traveling with points and miles. Yes, FIVE YEARS! That’s it. No joke. I want you to count up your past vacations really quick in your head, and see if your travel amounts to this much over your lifetime. Does it? Hold on to that thought…
HOW MUCH DID THAT COST?
Looking at all the trips and vacations I’ve taken, you’d think that I must be wealthy and spent a huge amount of money on my travels. I mean, look at the price of an airline ticket. Currently, the average round trip U.S. flight is over $350! That’s crazy! Oh, and Hawaii flights… I don’t even want to look at those prices. Well, to tell you the truth, I didn’t pay very much at all to travel as much as I did. I’ve only paid a tiny fraction of the price anyone else would have paid. I’ve been able to do all that traveling using POINTS and MILES to cover the costs. You may think that you can only earn airline miles and hotel points by flying and staying a ton of nights at hotels, because that’s what you’ve heard. It’s NOT TRUE!!! I’ve earned almost all of mine, NOT by flying or by staying at hotels, but through TRAVEL CREDIT CARD INTRODUCTORY BONUSES.
Ok, now back to YOUR travel count… Was it less than mine over your whole life? Close? Either way, would you like your next five years to look like mine, or even better and more filled with travel and adventure? Would you like to start turning those travel dreams into reality? Hawaii, Thailand, Iceland, Europe, maybe Brazil… Do you have a bucket list that seems to be getting deeper and deeper with nothing being checked off? GOOD NEWS! You can start traveling with points and miles just as easily as I did. You too, can earn thousands upon thousands of miles and points to kick start your life filled with travel.
OK, BUT HOW?
I’m sure you’re curious to learn how all this traveling with points and miles business works, and you’re probably thinking “what’s the catch?”. I’ll tell you now, the one thing you’ll have to trade for this life full of travel, is a bit of time. Time up front to learn, and time to put your knowledge to work earning and spending your points and miles. Trust me though, it’s absolutely worth it. If I hadn’t learned how to travel this way, I probably wouldn’t have taken 90% of those vacations. Unfortunately, like most people, I would not have been able to afford it.
WHO IS TRAVELING WITH POINTS & MILES FOR?
You’re in? Where do you sign up? Well, first things first… Travel with points and miles isn’t for everyone. There are a few key prerequisites that you’ll need before you can get started.
- You will need to have a credit score in the range of 700 or greater. Scores go up to a maximum of 850, so this is a very good score. If you’re well below this level, you will first need to work to raise your score. If you don’t know what your score is, you can check for free at creditsesame.com. I’ve found that this site will give you a pretty accurate estimation of your credit score.
- You must be someone who pays your credit cards and bills off FULLY and ON-TIME, every month. If you’re running a balance, there is no point in earning points and miles because the interest on credit cards far outweighs the value of points.
- You aren’t looking at taking out a major loan such as home mortgage in the next one to two years.
Do you fit the bill? Great! I want to share my knowledge of traveling with points and miles, so that your life can be full of travel and adventure like mine is. For me, travel has improved my life greatly. So much, that I now can’t see my life without it. I hope travel can do the same for you now that you’re on your way to becoming an expert points and miles traveler.
HOW DOES TRAVELING WITH POINTS AND MILES WORK?
Now that you know you want to travel like I do, by using points and miles, and you’ve met the prerequisites mentioned above, let’s move on to how this process works… The number one way to earn tons and tons of points and miles is through credit card introductory bonuses. This is where that good credit score comes into play. Banks are willing to give you a tremendous amount of value to add you as a customer. This means that they will regularly give introductory bonuses of 50,000 miles or more and occasionally even stretch those up to 100,000 miles. The best bonus I have earned to date, gave me enough miles to purchases five round trip flights to Hawaii using the method explained in my blog post “How I Fly Round Trip to Hawaii for $11”. I’ll say that again… FOUR ROUND TRIP FLIGHTS TO HAWAII. That’s pretty generous of the banks, I’d say! (Thanks Chase – wink).
OTHER WAYS TO EARN POINTS & MILES
Although, credit card introductory bonuses are the best and quickest way to earn points, they’re not the only way. Once you have a credit card that earns points, you can earn through spending. Many cards have category bonuses that earn extra points for certain purchases, so you can earn extra points on things you already buy every day. Some common bonuses are on things like gas, groceries, travel and dining. Another way to earn extra points is through online shopping portals that many airlines and credit cards have available. They will give you extra points to click through their links before purchasing products and services on popular online retailers. One more way to earn points is through promotions that the airlines and hotels have directly. Usually, they are for staying at a particular hotel chain so many stays within a period of time they will give you a bonus, or flying so many flights in a period of time they will also give you a bonus. These are just a few ways to earn enough points and miles to travel very well for the rest of your life.
IMPROVE YOUR LIFE BY TRAVELING WITH POINTS AND MILES
I have travel freedom, and I would like to teach you how to have the same. I spent hundreds if not thousands of hours researching and reading to understand how to travel with points and miles instead of money. My goal is to take what I’ve learned and make it much simpler and quicker for you. To continue learning about traveling with points and miles, and how to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity, follow along with Travel Freedom.
PS: If you’re interested in traveling more often or more luxuriously, check out our FREE 5-DAY MINI COURSE.
I get asked over and over: What is the best way to fly to Hawaii? Luckily, Hawaii is my all time favorite place to visit in the world and I have the answer. I know a little secret and I think it is by far the best way to fly to Hawaii. Next time you’re searching for flights to Hawaii, how would you like to find flights for $11? You won’t find this price on Google Flights or Expedia, but they do exist. I’ll show you how to find them and how it’s possible to book them. My wife and I fly to Hawaii at least once a year and we typically pay only $11 each.
The Best Way to Fly to Hawaii is using Points
Want to travel to Hawaii, but think it’s too expensive? Do you have good credit? Check. Do you live on the west coast? Check. Excellent! You are in perfect condition to have close to free flights to Hawaii as often as you’d like. This will be done using the best way to fly to Hawaii that I referred to earlier. I’m sure you’re asking yourself how this could be true? British Airways of course! “Wait, what”? How is British Airways going to get you to Hawaii when they don’t even fly that route? The answer is by using their partnership with Alaska Airlines.
Something most people don’t know is that almost all major airlines have partner airlines. You can book flights on these airline partners, using frequent flyer miles. We’re in luck because British Airways has a partnership with Alaska Airlines. They have flights from the continental US to Hawaii. This partnership allows you to fly to Hawaii using very few miles. The miles needed for British Airways partner flights are distance based, and Hawaii is conveniently located approximately 2,600 miles from any of the airports on the west coast.
British Airways Economy Partner Award Chart
According to the British Airways award chart, the distance from the west coast to Hawaii is in their Zone 4. A round trip flight to Hawaii costs 25,000 (12,500 each way) and approximately five dollars in taxes, fees and carrier charges total. YES, you heard that right… TOTAL! When compared to other carriers’ award prices it’s an amazing deal. The next cheapest award flight to Hawaii is through American Airlines and it takes 35,000 miles round trip. Also, that is only for their “low season” (Good luck finding a flight with award seats available). Most other airlines charge around 40,000 miles round trip for flights to Hawaii.
|ZONE||DISTANCE (MI)||ECONOMY (PTS)|
|1 (NO US FLIGHTS)||1-650||6,000|
Departing Cities for the Best Way to Fly to Hawaii using British Airways (Plus Arriving Islands)
Anchorage, Alaska: (Oahu, Maui, Big Island)
Bellingham, Washington: (Oahu, Maui)
Seattle, Washington: (Oahu, Maui, Kauai)
Portland, Oregon: (Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai)
Oakland, California: (Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai)
San Jose, California: (Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai)
San Diego, California: (Oahu, Maui, Kauai)
Flying to Hawaii with British Airways Points Takes Some Effort
Bare with me, but to take advantage of the best way to fly to Hawaii, you will have to put in a little effort. I hope that’s OK… I promise it’s pretty simple once you learn how the process works. Currently, you can only book these Alaska Airlines flights by calling British Airways. As a bonus, you get to talk to someone with a cool British accent.
First, you can check the availability through American Airlines award booking. Enter the travel dates you are looking for, your airports, and check “Redeem miles”. Any date that shows up as available in the light green “Economy MilesAAver” section should be available to book through British Airways. But, you will also need to make sure that the date you have selected has an available non-stop flight.
Don’t mind how many miles it says it will cost as those numbers are irrelevant to this deal. Because British Airways flights charge points per segment, you pay only 12,500 miles each way for direct flights of this distance. In the picture above, both of the top flights will cost 12,500 British Airways miles. In my experience, if you are just a little bit flexible, availability is great!
Calling British Airways to Book Your Hawaiian Flight
After you find your available dates, the last step of booking your flight is to call British Airways. To call the office, the phone number is 1-800-452-1201, then press 2 when prompted, and 1 again to book a flight. If you have the flight information you got from American Airlines, it makes the process very easy. You will tell the phone rep where you want to fly and on which dates. They will book the trip for you. Any booking fees should be waived because your flight was not bookable online. Mention this if, for some reason, they try to charge a fee.
Now that you are all booked, any future contact about your tickets or flight will be with Alaska Airlines. They will be able to look up your itinerary by name or Alaska Airlines confirmation code if you have it (British Airways should give you this on the phone). You may want to call Alaska Airlines just to make sure everything is set up with them correctly and to select your seats. On the day of your flight, you will check in either at the Alaska Airlines counter or at one of their automated ticketing kiosks.
How to Get British Airways Miles
Now that you know the process of using British Airways miles to book round-trip flights using the best way to fly to Hawaii, using only 25,000 miles, here are a few ways to accrue British Airways miles. If you already have them you’re all set. But if you don’t, there are many ways to get them. Here is where having good credit comes into play. You can sign up for certain credit cards which will give you large amounts of points as an introductory bonus, which can then be transferred to British Airways.
List of Points that Transfer to British Airways & How to Get Them:
British Airways Miles:
British Airways Credit Card
You'll earn 4X points per dollar spent in your first cardmember year (up to $30,000 in spend). That's up to 120,000 points.
Earn a "Travel Together" companion ticket after spending $30,000 in a calendar year.
After year 1, earn 3X points on British Airways purchases.
No foreign transaction fees.
|TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
If you plan on spending $30,000 on this card in the first calendar year, it's very valuable. You'll earn 120,000 points and a companion ticket. Otherwise, it's an overrated credit card with the current introductory offer.
|LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>|
American Express Membership Rewards:
Amex Platinum Card
You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.
$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.
Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.
Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.
$550 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
|TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
With a large introductory offer, statement credits, and airport lounge access, this is an excellent premium travel credit card.
|LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>|
Amex Gold Card
You’ll earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months.
You’ll earn 4X points at restaurants globally, and US supermarkets. (up to $25k in purchases per year) You'll also earn 3X on AmexTravel.com
Get $10 in statement credits per month for purchases at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House.
$100 airline fee credit on selected airline.
No foreign transaction fees.
$250 annual fee.
|TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
If you spend a lot of money on food and travel, this card will be worth the annual fee. If not, it probably isn't worth paying $250 per year.
|LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>|
Chase Ultimate Rewards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.
No foreign transaction fees.
|TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
|LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>|
Chase Sapphire Reserve
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
$300 annual travel credit.
Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
No foreign transaction fees.
|TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
|LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>|
Ink Business Preferred
You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.
You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
No foreign transaction fees.
|TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
|LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>|
Use the Best Way to Fly to Hawaii on Your Next Vacation
These are just a few of the options of credit cards that can earn British Airways miles to help get your flights to Hawaii. Introductory offers are always changing so be sure to compare Travel Credit Cards before applying. This is how my wife and I have traveled to Hawaii on a yearly basis using points. There are numerous credit cards that have introductory bonuses large enough for multiple round-trip flights using the best way to fly to Hawaii. Now that you have enough points and know how to use them to travel to Hawaii for next to nothing, all that’s left to do is relax on the beach with the sand between your toes.
See you in Hawaii. Aloha!
Travel Freedom will regularly feature interviews with people like you, who are using credit card reward points and miles for free travel. The purpose of this series is to get a glimpse into the life of a rewards traveler. They will demonstrate how free travel, using rewards points and miles instead of money, is real. They’ll show us how they’ve done it and how free travel is possible for anyone, including you.
This interview is with Ryan Kangail, the founder of Travel Freedom and an experienced rewards traveler.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Ryan. I’m from Eugene, Oregon where I’ve lived for most of my life. My biggest interests are my wife (obviously), traveling, sports, entrepreneurship, and cryptocurrency.
As you may know, I’m the founder of Travel Freedom where I try to help people like myself, use miles and points to gain access to free travel (or at least very discounted travel). Travel Freedom is fun for me because I get to combine two of my passions: travel and entrepreneurship. It also helps me stay up to date with the world of free travel.
How long have you been traveling with points and miles?
I’ve been traveling for free with the help of rewards points and miles since 2012 and have never looked back. My life has changed quite drastically due to my ability to access free travel.
How did you find out about the secret world of free travel?
This is a bit strange, but I’m sure many people who find the free travel community finds it in a wide range of ways. In 2012 I had a cracked root in one of my teeth, which meant that I would need a root canal (eventually led to an implant -ugh) which was going to cost a couple thousand dollars (double ugh). I was dreading both the procedure and the cost I was going to incur. But, I had remembered seeing ads for credit cards that would give you a chunk of money for opening an account, so I went to my good friend Google… After searching, I ended up coming across a few travel blogs which featured free travel, using credit card rewards.
I started reading them religiously and decided to apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card so that I would receive 50,000 points from the introductory bonus after paying for my root canal. (the bonus at the time)
Through my research, I also found out that using credit card points toward travel gives you a significant bump in the value received from the points. For instance, I used those Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and my points ended up being worth about 2.5 cents each. That made my rewards bonus worth a total of $1,250!
If I had instead redeemed those Ultimate Rewards points as cash back or for gift cards, they would have given me a value of just $500.
Looking back, I’m not too mad that I had to have a root canal and implant. Yes, it sucked, but it opened my eyes to the world of traveling with points and miles. It has allowed me to travel infinitely more than I would have been able to without this knowledge.
What did you use those first Chase Ultimate Rewards on?
I took a vacation to Maui, Hawaii!
As a child, I visited Hawaii a few times because my grandparents lived on Maui for about ten years. I fell in love with the islands then and had been wanting to revisit them as an adult. I was able to book my own round trip flight using just half of the points I earned through the Sapphire Preferred rewards bonus.
Since then, I’ve gone back to Hawaii more times than I can count on my fingers, visiting all four of the major islands. My wife and I even spent our honeymoon island hopping. We love Hawaii and will probably visit once a year for the rest of our lives. If you haven’t been, I suggest you go see what it’s all about. The best part is the flights usually cost about $11 because we use reward points.
Have you ever had an amazing or crazy story come from traveling with points and miles?
I’ll tell you two stories from my journey through free travel. One that almost happened and one that really did happen.
First, the one that almost happened… If you’re involved in the free travel community for long, you’ll learn that airlines and hotels sometimes have what are referred to as “mistake fares”. Which are when something goes wrong with their pricing for a short period giving extremely good rates for flights or hotels. Travel bloggers often post these to social media and they are usually corrected by the airline or hotel very quickly.
So, one day while I was at work I got a notification on my phone that United Airlines had flights to Hong Kong that were possible to book using just 4 United miles (the equivalent of about 8 cents). I quickly found some dates that I thought I would be able to travel on and booked a round trip flight to Hong Kong.
Everything seemed good and I was even ticketed through email. But, with these mistake fares, sometimes the companies will honor them and sometimes they will cancel them. Unfortunately, they ended up canceling everyone’s tickets who got in on this mistake fare, but it was exciting while it lasted. I didn’t get to end up taking an 8 cent flight to Hong Kong, but it made me aware that these mistakes do happen and they often honor the pricing.
Now for the story that DID happen. In 2015, some good friends of mine mentioned that they thought their other friend and I would get along very well. They gave me her contact information and we started talking non-stop because there was an instant attraction. The only problem was that she was currently living in Virginia, and if you remember from the first question, I live in Oregon. Yeah, that’s 2,800 miles apart, making the first date quite difficult.
No worries, I travel for free with points and miles. I had American Airlines miles out my A*$ from a credit card rewards bonus and some promotions I took part in. So, I booked my ticket to fly across the country for our first official (non-Skype) date. The rest is history and we are now happily married and thankfully both live in Oregon!
*Disclosure: Results may vary – Becoming a rewards traveler does not guarantee you to find your soul mate across the country.
What’s the best credit card introductory bonus you’ve ever received? Do you remember what you redeemed the points for?
I’ve earned a few amazing bonuses throughout the years. The banks offering these credit cards with huge introductory bonuses sometimes decide to run special offers for even more points or miles than usual.
The two cards that stand out the most are when I got 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points for signing up for the Amex Platinum card (learn more), and more recently when I got 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for signing up for their Sapphire Reserve card. Both are premium travel cards that give you access to things like expedited airport security, airport lounges, and elite status at hotels.
Both offers earned enough points for multiple vacations saving me thousands and thousands of dollars on travel. For instance, either one of those introductory bonus offers is enough miles to book four round trip flights to Hawaii. That’s a lot of free travel from just one credit card! Also, as mentioned, they both came with airport lounge access, which my wife now refers to as “Princess Traveling”.
What do your friends and family think of your free travel using rewards points?
They are becoming more comfortable with it now that I’ve been doing it for so long. In the beginning, I think they were a bit skeptical of how it was possible to earn free travel. They often wondered what the catch was. Now that I travel for free whenever and wherever I want to, for very little to no money out of pocket, while my credit score is just about as good as it can be, they’re starting to ask more about free travel and travel credit cards.
What are your future free travel plans?
This year, my wife and I plan on traveling to Mexico with some of our family, New Orleans to see a friend, and California a few times to see family and for a wedding. My wife is a teacher (summers off) and I just started a job that gives me more flexibility to travel, so we also have a lot of time available this summer to make even more plans. We could use some ideas, so send them our way!
Do you use your miles and points to travel as much as possible, or to travel more extravagantly?
For the most part I try to get the most bang for the buck (or in this case bang for the point). We usually travel in coach and try to squeeze out as much free travel as possible with the points we earn. There have been a few times where we went for the extravagant travel though, flying in first class or staying at resorts that normally cost $500 a night, but those are more occasional. We like to venture out while on vacation, so the features of where we’re staying is less important than just a comfortable place to relax and sleep.
How often do you travel now, compared to before you knew about free travel with rewards?
Before I knew how to earn free travel using credit card reward points and miles, I would maybe travel once a year due to the cost of flights and hotels. Since learning about free travel, I would say I average traveling 6-8 times per year. My wife and I plan on bumping that up a bit in upcoming years because we would like to travel as much as possible before we try to have children.
What is your best tip for people who are just now learning about free travel?
Make a plan first, and then go for it!
When I started out, I just jumped in and got every good introductory bonus I could find without having a redemption plan. I ended up with some points just sitting in accounts instead of being used. Always remember that holding on to points has no value. If you’re going to earn points, there should be an ultimate goal to use them in the near future.
How can people contact you?
Right here on Travel Freedom is the best way.
I would love for everyone to join our Travel Tribe email subscription. It’s free and will help stay up to date on free travel and the best credit card offers. Also, feel free to send me an email with any questions you may have. I’d be happy to connect with you!
Trying to get the best possible deal on a flight is important. You want to be able to use your money as effectively as you possibly can when it comes to travel. For this reason, it makes sense to take your time to see all of the available prices. In order to do this, you can make use of the best flight search engine options to get the necessary information and the most beneficial result.
There are actually many different flight search engines out there that you can use. If you are new to the idea of searching for flights in this way, then you may be at a loss for where to turn. Where are the best flight search engines and how do you know which ones are worthwhile? Travel Freedom is here to help you out by answering that very question.
The 11 Best Flight Search Engine Options
Today we will be taking a look at the best flight search engine options on the Internet. We will be going over several of the options that will give you the best results. This should help to make getting a fantastic deal on your flights easier than ever. You will be able to use these search engines any time that you have a trip coming up and will always be able to compare the various flight options available to you thoroughly.
It should come as no surprise that Google Flights is among the most popular options available. People use Google Flights to find the best flights at the lowest prices. It has a very clean interface that looks appealing and will be easy to make use of. You will be able to search using the map and will see which travel dates have the lowest fares right away.
This is one of the best options for people who want to have a simple, streamlined experience while searching for a flight. Simple does not mean that it is lacking in any way, either. You will be able to find the flight dates that will save you the most money in a short amount of time. The search-by-map function is very intuitive and you can enter either firm dates or a flexible period of time.
Google Flights even allows you to track fares on dates that you have selected. You can receive updates via email so that you will know if anything has changed. This keeps you in the loop and makes it easy to jump on things if you see that a price has dropped. This is a very user-friendly flight search engine that comes highly recommended.
CheapOAir has been helping people to find flights as conveniently as possible for a long time. This website allows you to look through all of the available options in a very streamlined way. You will be able to find the cheapest options for direct flights and it will also help you find flights by your desired airline. The charts at CheapOAir are very easy to read and you should have no trouble making use of this website.
This website is also good at providing you with the necessary information. You will be able to take a look at things such as baggage fees and fare rules. Certain US airlines will also give you access to a seating chart so that you can see the plane layout. A seat-selection map will be available for some US carriers.
It mostly prioritizes nonstop prices over the ones that have stops. Even so, it does give you many options to customize how you are searching for flights. The booking fees of this site are fairly low at only $35 per ticket. You should be able to get a very good deal on a flight when you make good use of this search engine.
One Travel is a flight search engine that is starting to gain in popularity. It actually has a very similar interface when you compare it to Google Flights and this is not a bad thing at all. This website is very easy to read and you should not have any trouble finding the information that you are looking for. You will be able to search this website to quickly find the least expensive options if that is what you are looking for.
Interestingly, this site allows you to enter your departure date on a calendar system and will then bring up prices automatically. This allows you to get a quick glance at what to expect in case you want to search for other dates that may provide you with a lower price overall. It allows you to save time by finding the least expensive travel dates more quickly, making the overall experience that much more convenient.
You will need to pay a $35 travel service fee per ticket when you use this flight search engine, though. Overall, this is not too unusual for these types of websites. One potential problem is that sometimes this search engine seems to show flights that include at least one stop toward the top of the search results. If you prefer nonstop flights, then this may be a slight annoyance as you will need to scroll and look a little deeper.
Kayak is one name that you have almost certainly heard of. This website has been helping people save money on their travel expenses since the mid-2000s. It offers users a powerful search engine that will allow you to see all of the available flights and fares. This is still among the most powerful flight search engines available and is made to be as easy to use as possible.
You can have a very convenient experience when using the Kayak search engine. It allows you to program fare alerts so that you can track prices on your desired flights or flight dates over time. It is easy to use this system and it always keeps you in the loop when any changes occur. This is a simple way to get a great deal on a flight and you will always find many options to consider.
One potential negative of this site is that it is loaded with various ads. It does not really hinder your experience in any way but it may bother some people. If you prefer a flight search engine with no ads, then Google Flights offers similar functionality. Otherwise, this site has traditionally saved people a lot of money on airfare over the years.
It boasts having a “hacker fares” system that can piece together various one-way flight tickets. It can allow you to save money if you are willing to take the extra time to get where you want to be. When you combine unique features such as this with its many filter options and the robust set of tools, you can see how good this search engine is. This is one of the best options for most people who want to save money on airfare.
Momondo is an interesting flight search engine option that some people are going to be able to use very well. Momondo does a very good job of searching a wide swath of different available flights on a given date. It actually manages to catch various options that certain other flight search engines regularly miss. For this reason, it has been able to save people money on flights quite often.
The problems with Momondo start to pop up due to how it is set up. Using the search engine is easy enough but it does not always give you the most information right away. Whereas some flight search engines such as CheapOAir give you many transparent pieces of information about the flight, Momondo does not do this. Instead, you often have to click through on a flight to see things such as how much it costs, what airline the ticket belongs to, and more. This all probably sounds really bad and it is kind of an annoyance.
Regardless, Momondo has a lot of positive things to offer the flight search engine debate. It shows results from Southwest Airlines, which many flight search engines do not do. Southwest Airlines may not always be listed but it seems to search a wider variety of different flights than many of its contemporaries. Momondo also searches various fares from smaller OTAs so you are likely to get a good deal when you use this search engine to its full potential.
If this search engine could make a few changes to become more user-friendly, then it would truly stand out as one of the very top options. As it stands, this flight search engine is still good for certain purposes. It deserves a spot on the list because it offers some extra benefits by being able to catch flights that other search engines seem to miss. Depending on how you feel about the lack of transparency, you may be better off seeking out one of the more tried-and-true flight search engines.
Travelzoo is definitely a little bit different from the flight search engines that have been listed so far. What makes this one stand out is that it is more focused on helping you to search for broad timelines rather than specific dates. For example, if you want to travel to Hawaii in the autumn, you will be able to search that period of time to see the available deals. It allows you to search by month and season rather than searching specifically for one date that you had in mind.
This could either be a nuisance or a very good thing, depending on your perspective. If you want to be able to save a lot of money, then this could really come in handy. Travelzoo lets you benefit from your ability to be flexible on your dates. It has the potential to help you find very cost-effective business class flights and you can even find deals on multi-city itineraries that can help make your vacation a reality.
Of course, this is not going to work out quite so well for those who have very specific plans in mind. If you are trying to travel to a specific place for your mother’s birthday, then you may want to rely on a more traditional flight search engine. This one is worth keeping in mind when you want to reap the rewards of deep discounts and you are capable of adjusting your schedule accordingly. Look into it if you think that you can take advantage of how this search engine works.
BookIt is another great option to consider when you want to be able to have an easy experience. Unlike some of the other flight search engines on this list, the BookIt interface is very clean and simple to read. This is going to show you results for your searched flight dates on a chart. The chart can be read easily and all of the important information is going to be right there in front of you.
You will be able to see which flight has the best price as it will be very clearly marked with a “best price” logo. Other important information such as how many stops a flight has will also be clearly visible. It makes it very simple to see which options are going to be appealing to you at a glance. Many people are going to prefer this chart to the endless scrolling that some other flight search engines will offer.
There are some potential negatives that may make you think twice about using this as your primary flight search engine. It has booking fees and it is not always transparent about how much these fees are going to cost you. Even so, this is among the easiest ways to compare flights. You do not have to keep scrolling and trying to keep track of the best deals and shortest layover times when all of that information is on the chart right in front of you.
TripAdvisor Flights is an offshoot of the popular TripAdvisor hotel reviews site. They have created a convenient flight search engine tool that works very well to help users find good deals. You will be able to get many results when using this search engine and it even pops up other flight search engines that will allow you to compare things with a simple click. It is a very transparent site that is easy to use.
As an added benefit, you will also be able to easily access reviews of certain airlines and their fares. There are many user reviews of the various airlines that you will be searching. It can give you some information on what to expect if you are thinking of flying with an unfamiliar airline. If you like being able to empower yourself with information ahead of booking a flight, then this should come in handy. It can help you to avoid booking a flight with an airline that will not provide you with an optimal experience.
This flight search engine also has the traditional convenient tools that you should expect. You can easily check boxes to make sure that the results will prioritize non-stop flights. It makes it easy to find the information that you need and you should be able to use this search engine to its full potential without any trouble.
Expedia is a website that is among the most popular options for finding flights. Users can use this search engine to find flights and will be able to also book hotels or rental cars from the same site. Essentially, this is a one-stop solution for everything that you may need for an upcoming trip. Some people may find it annoying that the site pushes hotels when you just want to look for flights, though.
One good benefit of using Expedia is that it does not charge you any booking fees when you book a round-trip flight with the same airline. This helps to keep your costs a little bit lower and will certainly come in handy. It also allows you to easily see plenty of information about your flight before checking out. You will be able to easily gain access to baggage rules, seating charts, information on cancellations, and much more.
This flight search engine has a good interface that is simple enough to use. You can use it to help find a good deal on a flight and that is what counts. It is transparent about any fees and allows you to avoid fees on round-trip flights booked with one airline. So long as you use this option properly, it should be easy to find the best deal on your desired flight.
Just about everyone is familiar with Travelocity due to their marketing presence. What many people are not aware of is the fact the Travelocity and Expedia are actually the same thing. These two sites are affiliated with Expedia owning Travelocity. The only real difference between the two is that the colors of the websites are different.
There are some minor differences in how the site is organized too. For instance, Travelocity does not allow users to search for flexible dates. Expedia does have this option. Overall, you will have a very similar experience when using both Travelocity and Expedia.
Skyscanner is a lesser-known flight search engine but often has better prices. They’re used by over 80 million travelers monthly to find not only flights, but hotels and rental cars as well. They also have an app for searching for flights on your cell phone. Skyscanner also allows for multi-city searches for those who are looking for a stopover or open jaw flight. You can find any flight you’re looking for on Skyscanner.
As a lesser-known entity, Skyscanner is one of the best flight search engines. It’s capable of searching whatever type of flight you’re looking for and comes back with some of the best results.
Testing for the Best Flight Search Engine
Each flight search is going to be unique and has differing results as to which is the best flight search engine, but we tested them out with an upcoming trip anyway. We’d like to visit Vancouver Canada during the Memorial Day holiday weekend this year. Let’s do a flight search on each of the best flight search engines to see what the results are. For each, we will check only for the best price available for 2 adults to fly from PDX to YVR on May 25-27. Keep in mind that the best price is not always the best option. The cheapest flight may cost slightly less, but have a much longer trip time.
- Google Flights: $268
- CheapOair: $248
- OneTravel: $240 << WINNER
- Kayak: $263
- Momondo: $263
- Travelzoo: No deals available
- BookIt: $305
- TripAdvisor: $308
- Expedia: $265
- Travelocity: $265
- Skyscanner: $286
As you can see, the results vary by flight search engine. The best flight search engine, in this instance, is OneTravel. When searching for a flight, I’d suggest comparing multiple flight search engines before buying. A few of the best flight search engines above allow you to compare prices between each other which makes this simple. Another place to search is through Costco Travel if you’re a member.
Our Conclusion: Is there Really a “Best Flight Search Engine”?
If you use any of the flight search engines mentioned above, you should be able to have a good experience. They all have their own quirks and benefits. Only Travelocity and Expedia are exceedingly similar (since they have the same ownership). Otherwise, it may be helpful to see what each of these sites has to offer you before pulling the trigger on your purchase.
Finding a great deal on your next flight will not be hard at all. Just use these flight search engines properly and you’ll be able to save the most money possible. It will keep more of your hard-earned money in your wallet and you’ll have more money to do things on your vacation.
Flying is definitely the most convenient way to get somewhere far away. Many people fly regularly due to business responsibilities. There are even people who fly several times a month for entertainment purposes. Flights can be quite expensive if you don’t take the time to try to find the best deal, though.
Many people have been asking us the question, “what are the least expensive days to fly?” The truth is that this question is somewhat tough to answer. There are some days that will wind up being a bit less expensive on average, but there’s also a bit more to think about. To come to a proper understanding of this issue, it’s a good idea to examine things as thoroughly as possible.
Join us as we take a deep look into the least expensive days to fly. We’ll also tell you as much as we can about saving money on airfare so that you can get the best deal. Making use of this information should help you to keep as much of your hard-earned money in your wallet as possible. Just dig into the information below and you’ll feel like you have a much better handle on what needs to be done.
Does the Day of the Week Really Matter?
It’s actually true that buying airfare on specific days of the week will have a good chance of being less expensive. There is a concept that is known as “off-peak” travel days. These are days that are less popular travel dates that will wind up being a little bit less expensive than usual. If you book a flight that is slated for any time between Monday and Thursday morning, then you’ll be able to get less expensive airfare than usual, on average.
Within this period of time, many people actually say that there are two specific days that are even less expensive than usual for travel. If you want to get a fantastic deal on a flight, then booking your flight for Tuesday or Wednesday is going to be your best bet. These days are going to allow you to get some very good deals on many travel destinations. This is going to be true for just about any US domestic flight.
You also need to know to avoid buying flights on the weekend if you’re looking for a good deal. Weekend flights are always going to be the most expensive. Airports are busier on the weekends and people are always going to be trying to travel to different events during this time. If you can fly in a few days early, it’s often going to be possible to save a significant chunk of change.
The worst possible day to fly for prices is Friday. Airfare is typically going to be at its apex on Fridays, so do your best to fly in on Wednesday or Thursday to avoid the high prices. If you can follow these simple rules, then it should be a lot easier to save money on airfare. Just taking the time to look for off-peak travel dates is going to give you a much better traveling experience.
Booking in Advance Makes a Difference, Too
The day of the week isn’t the only thing that you should be thinking about if you want to save some money. You should also consider booking as far in advance as you can. For the most part, you’ll be able to save a bit of money by booking your flights ahead of time. Booking flights at the last minute is always going to be pricier and it’s a waste of your money.
If you can take the time to book your flight at least 21 days in advance, you’ll be able to save a good bit of cash. There are many benefits to booking airfare ahead of time aside from saving money. For example, the earlier you book a flight the more likely it is that there will be good seats available. When you wait until the last minute, you’ll often be forced to sit in less than ideal seats on your flight.
There are also some airlines that offer a discount for those who are paying for their airfare in full right away. Some people need to finance their airfare charges using a credit card, but being able to pay in full might lead to a discount. Keep this in mind and look into your options. You can sometimes get a similar discount for booking a hotel in advance and paying in full, so it pays to do a bit of research.
Also, if you’re going to be traveling during a popular travel time or to a sought-after destination, you should book further in advance than usual. It’s going to be a good idea to book your flight up to 90 days ahead of time to get the best results. This will ensure that you get your arrangements in order and that you get a good deal for booking in advance. As long as you have the money to pay for things, this is going to be the best way to go about booking your travel.
Consider Looking at Nearby Airports
Many people decide to book their airfare for whatever the closest airport is. This is definitely going to be the most convenient option, but it might not be the best route for you to take. Sometimes, you’ll be able to save a good bit of money by considering alternative airports. Many states have one of two well-known airports and several others that are a bit smaller, giving you many options to think about.
Booking your flight out of one of the smaller airports is often going to be less expensive than booking airfare through one of the larger airports. The large airports are typically going to be busier than the smaller ones and this can actually be more stressful in the long run. You might have a simpler time if you choose to book your airfare at the smaller airport. As long as it isn’t too far out of your way, this is a great idea for saving money.
For example, those who live in Michigan often fly out of Detroit. The Detroit airport is going to be fairly busy and is actually quite large. Flint Bishop International Airport is much smaller and it isn’t too far from Detroit. If you book your flight in Flint instead of Detroit, it might wind up being less expensive and more convenient.
A lot of this really depends on your personal situation. Sometimes, you won’t be close enough to one of the smaller airports to make this a practical option. If you have to spend too much money on gas, then you might wind up not really saving any money versus simply flying out of the larger airport. Take your situation into account and make some calculations to see if this is a plausible idea for you.
Flexible Dates Might Help You to Save Money
Making use of flexible dates is another great way to save a bit of money. If you simply have a period of time that you want to travel and don’t need to stick to a specific date, then it’ll be easier to find an inexpensive flight. Being able to be as flexible as possible on your flight dates will allow you to save cash. If you can fly in a little earlier or a little later than you originally intended, then you will likely be able to save some money.
You should be able to start looking at the airfare prices right away to see how much flights are going for. Search your ideal flight times first and then look around to see if alternative dates are a bit less expensive. Sometimes, even changing your desired flight time by a few hours will allow you to save some cash. If you’re willing to do the research, you’ll definitely be able to find a good flight deal.
If you combine this with the advice from above, then you should have a good overall experience. Look for the off-peak travel days to save some money. Perhaps you’re going to an amusement park on Saturday and planned to travel to your destination on Friday. Flying in on Wednesday or Thursday would likely save you a lot of money on airfare, so it might be more practical to spend an extra couple of days on vacation.
Of course, this isn’t going to be an option for everyone. Some people have very rigid schedules that they need to be able to adhere to. If this is the case for you, then you should still try to plan your time off so that it’ll match up with the off-peak travel days. Otherwise, you might simply have to pay a bit more for your airfare if you really do have to travel on the weekend.
Non-Stop Flights Are Always More Expensive
It’s also very important to understand that purchasing a non-stop flight ticket is going to be more expensive. This is common knowledge and most people who fly already know this. If you’re new to flying, then you might not be aware that you can get a better deal by purchasing tickets that make use of connecting flights. These tickets are going to involve more travel time, but they’re often significantly less expensive.
If you aren’t in a hurry and you don’t mind spending a little extra time at the airport, then you’ll be able to save hundreds of dollars. Non-stop flights are super convenient for those who just want to get to their destination as fast as they can. Even so, you’ll likely love being able to keep as much money in your wallet as you can, too. You have to weigh the convenience of the non-stop flights against the potential savings of going with connecting flights.
The best thing to do is to research the cost of both options. Sometimes, non-stop flights might be fairly affordable. It will usually depend on the time of the year and the destination that you’re going to. Other times, there is going to be a drastic difference between the prices of non-stop flights and traditional connecting flights.
Do your best to pick the option that works the best for you. There are going to be many options out there to consider. Spending a bit of time at the airport to catch a connecting flight might be worthwhile. For those with strict schedules, this might not be a practical option.
Now that you’ve seen the information about the least expensive flight dates, you’ll be able to have a much easier time finding reasonably priced airfare. If you take the time to find off-peak travel dates, then you’re going to be able to save a lot of cash. When you want to travel without having to break the bank, it’s going to be worthwhile to look into this. You can get where you want to go without having to spend a ton of money.
Try your best to travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays whenever you can. You’ll often be able to save hundreds of dollars simply by flying on the least popular travel days. Also, avoiding travel during busy times, such as the holidays, is going to help you to avoid high ticket prices. As long as you use your common sense, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a great deal on airfare.
Just remember to follow the above advice as much as you possibly can. There are certainly going to be times where you’ll need to fly during specific dates. You might not be able to get the best deal if you have to fly on the weekend or if you need to fly during the Christmas season. Even so, the above tips will still apply and you can try to get the most reasonable deal that you can.
Flying is so important for so many people. You can have a good experience when you’re flying and keep the costs as low as possible. Just be vigilant and remain mindful of what you’ve learned here when booking flights. You have the proper knowledge to find inexpensive flights now, so use it wisely.
You’re probably familiar with the Costco brand due to how prevalent they are in many places. Costco is a membership-only wholesale store that sells things such as electronics, furniture, appliances, and much more. You can buy bulk products at a steep discount and it has become one of the go-to stores for many people. People pay a yearly membership fee in order to enjoy these discounts at the Costco warehouses. Anyway, we’re going to be doing a Costco Travel review. Maybe you’ve heard of their travel program, but maybe you haven’t yet.
Costco does allow some non-members to shop at certain locations but that situation varies depending on where you live. What we’re going to be talking about today is the intriguing Costco Travel program. If you haven’t heard of this before, then it may seem a bit unusual that Costco offers a travel program at all. This is usually a wholesale store so travel booking may seem a bit outside of Costco’s wheelhouse.
Today we are going to do an in-depth Costco Travel review. You’ll be able to learn about what the program offers as well as whether or not it is worth your time. This is a travel program that has some interesting features and you’ll need to really dig into the particulars to see if it’s going to work well for your situation. Read on and you’ll be able to learn everything about this program.
Costco Travel Overview
Those who make use of the Costco Travel program are going to be able to book themselves luxury vacation packages. The idea behind this program is to save money by buying in bulk. That is the general philosophy of just about everything that Costco does. If you’re a Costco member, then you’ll be able to take advantage of this.
Costco Travel sells these vacation packages exclusively to Costco members. You also have to be a current member who is residing in the United States. This works a bit differently than a standard vacation package booking agency. Costco is actually going to be using their expertise and position to negotiate the best possible price on the market.
Trained travel professionals will be helping you to plan and book your vacation. It will allow you to choose from many of the most sought-after destinations in the world. There are cruises, fabulous hotels, and much more. Costco offers travel packages that will guarantee you a quality vacation experience.
More Than Just Travel Packages
With Costco Travel you’re able to book more than just vacation packages. You can also book a few things separately. The two main bookings are for hotels and car rentals. I’ve found that Costco Travel often has very competitive prices.
Booking Rental Cars through Costco Travel
At Travel Freedom, one of our favorite places to book car rentals is through Costco Travel. Their selection is great and they often have the most affordable pricing. I typically will check both Hotwire and Costco Travel to get my comparison started.
Booking Hotels through Costco Travel
The hotel feature on Costco is lacking a bit. It seems that as of now, they only feature hotels within the Hyatt brand of hotels. It does although have very good prices on those hotels compared to the competition. Another option to compare when booking a hotel is Hotels.com.
Pros of Costco Travel
There are actually many benefits to making use of the Costco travel program. This is going to allow people to book travel in a very convenient and hassle-free way. If you like being able to take care of things quickly, then this way of booking travel is ideal. You’ll be able to enjoy simple 24/7 booking that is very streamlined.
Picking a location is going to be quite simple too. Costco Travel offers many great destinations that are all of the highest quality. For the most part, the offered packages are all going to be at big vacation resorts. The cruise packages are going to be booked with renowned cruise lines as well so you’ll be getting a proven travel experience that should meet your expectations.
To add to this, there are many great perks that you’ll be enjoying as part of the overall package. You should be able to receive free breakfasts, various tour credits, and Costco vouchers. This can all help you to stretch your money as far as possible. If you’re looking to book a luxury vacation without having to spend an abundance of money, then this is going to prove to be an ideal option.
You may even wind up receiving some nice perks such as convenient theme park tickets. If you’re visiting a location that is near an amusement park of some kind, these packages will often include free tickets to the park. If you were planning on going to the amusement park anyway, then this can save you some cash. It’s a nice little perk that will make the whole family happy.
If you pay with your Costco credit card, then things are going to be even better. You’ll be able to receive an additional discount that can help you to lower costs further. If you already have this credit card, then booking your travel through Costco Travel is an even more practical option.
One of the biggest positives about using Costco Travel is simply the cost-effective nature of everything. This is a good way to save yourself an ample amount of money. Travel packages such as this would likely be a lot more expensive when they’re booked through a traditional travel agency. Being able to go on a luxurious vacation without having to break the bank is a nice touch.
- It is a very convenient way to book your travel.
- Picking a location is easy.
- All of the vacation packages offered will be with large and proven resorts or cruise lines.
- You may receive special perks such as amusement park tickets.
- Paying with Costco credit card allows you to receive a further discount.
- This is a very cost-effective way to book a vacation.
Cons of Costco Travel
There are going to be some people that won’t find Costo Travel to be entirely appealing. One of the problems that you’ll encounter when booking travel through Costco is that the options are a bit limited. There are many good places that you can book vacations at but they’re all going to be large resorts or cruise lines. If you want to vacation at a smaller spot with a different aesthetic, then you may find the options to be lacking.
You’ll also be limited to one travel destination for the most part. Cruises may be a somewhat different experience due to the nature of going on a cruise. When you’re booking a vacation at a resort, you won’t have the option to book multiple destinations on the same trip. If you were hoping to see multiple places when visiting a certain country, this travel package plan may not be the best option for you.
Some users have also reported some issues with not being able to book certain activities ahead of time. For example, if you want to book a tour of the area, you may wind up having to wait until you’re actually there to do so. This may not be a huge deal but it can still be a bit of an inconvenience. It could be more of an issue if you’re traveling with many companions as you might have a hard time booking a spot on some tours.
Also, the fact that the tour packages being offered are so curated does limit the scope of what is available. A traditional travel agency is going to be able to offer you more options for places to visit. The trade-off is that you won’t be saving the same amount of money that you would if you booked a vacation through Costco. This is a good option as long as you go into things with the right expectations.
It’s also worth noting that Costco Travel only works with four different car rental companies. If you’re loyal to one of the other car rental companies, then this might not be ideal for you. You may also simply prefer another car rental company.
Finally, you should know that these packages do not include many extra expenses. Things such as alcohol purchases and dinners may come out of your own pocket. You need to make sure that you budget enough money to be able to have a good time while you’re at the resort.
- Vacation packages are limited to large resorts and cruise lines.
- You’re not able to book multiple destinations for your trip.
- You might not be able to book certain tours before arriving.
- The available vacation destinations are somewhat limited when compared to a traditional travel agency.
- Costco Travel only works with four car rental companies.
- Not all expenses are included in the vacation package.
No Need to Worry About Logistics
When you book your travel through Costco, you’re going to be able to book everything that you need in the same place. You won’t have to worry about renting a car once you get to your destination. Likewise, you won’t be buying your airfare separately. This is going to be a convenient way to buy the entire vacation package so that you won’t have to worry about a thing.
If you want to have the most convenient vacation experience, then this is going to be ideal. You won’t have to worry about handling the particulars. All you really need to do is pack for your trip and get ready to enjoy yourself. For vacationers who just want to unwind, this is going to be beneficial. It’s also great when it comes to allowing you to keep your costs low.
Somewhat Customizable Travel
Once you have booked your travel, you’ll be able to enjoy customizing your trip a little bit. The vacation package that you’ll be purchasing is going to have a basic itinerary that you can follow. It’s also possible to tweak little details to make them more to your liking. For instance, you can upgrade your room or try to change aspects of your flight if you wish to do so.
Being able to customize your travel experience a little bit can ensure that you’ll be happy with the vacation. The basic package that is being offered is likely to be sufficient for most people. It is possible to upgrade the flights to first class or to ensure that you’re booking a more luxurious room at the resort that you picked out. This isn’t a simple generic vacation package that has no wriggle room to make changes.
Also, once you arrive at your destination, it’ll be up to you to pick out what you want to do. You’ll be the one who is planning your activities. Most of the vacation packages will give you access to many things that you can choose to do. You might be able to take a tour of the area or you might even want to find a very adventurous activity such as a nature hike.
What you’ll want to do will depend on your personal tastes. This is your vacation and you’ll be able to determine how best to spend your time. Most large resorts will have plenty of on-site activities for you to participate in but you can also venture out into the nearby towns.
Alternatives to Costco Travel
The most logical alternative to Costco Travel is going to be booking a vacation with a traditional travel agency. Doing so is going to make it easier to book vacations just about anywhere in the world. Costco is going to have a somewhat limited scope in comparison to some of the large travel agencies out there. You should know that you’ll be able to customize your experience better at most travel agencies.
You’ll also be able to book a vacation that suits your tastes more perfectly. If you’d prefer to stay at smaller bed-and-breakfast accommodations rather than a resort, then you’ll be able to book something such as that at a normal travel agency. You won’t be limited to the resort experience or booking a cruise. If you like the idea of having more options on the table, then a travel agency is the way to go.
Our Costco Travel Review Final Thoughts
Depending on what you want, Costco Travel will either be a great experience or a bad one. If you’re looking to book a luxury vacation for a reasonable price, then this is going to be appealing. Costco Travel allows people to book vacation packages at the most competitive prices. It’s always going to give you a good deal and it’ll give you many top-tier vacation options to consider.
This isn’t going to be the most flexible experience, though. Sometimes it isn’t going to be the most cost-effective either. You could book a vacation where you stay at a smaller hotel and save yourself some money. It also might be more practical to pay with travel rewards points from your credit card or airline. This can make booking with another service a better way to go.
If you’d like to enjoy the most convenient way to book a nice vacation, then Costco Travel is a good bet. It just isn’t perfect for everything. This will give you an overall good experience but it isn’t going to be the only option that you should consider. Think about looking into various travel agencies so that you can weigh your options.