Traveling with Points and Miles Instead of Dollars 1

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…

traveling with points

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?

traveling with miles and points

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.

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

traveling with points and miles credit cards

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).

traveling with points and miles

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

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.

 

stand up paddle board

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.

 

ZONEDISTANCE (MI)ECONOMY (PTS)
1 (NO US FLIGHTS)1-6506,000
2651-1,1519,000
31,152-2,00011,000
42,001-3,00013,000
53,001-4,00020,750
64,001-5,50025,750
75,501-6,50031,000
86,501-7,00036,250
97,001+51,500

 

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.

best way to fly to hawaii

 

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.

The Best Way to Fly to Hawaii: How I do it for $11 Round-trip 2

 

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.

The Best Way to Fly to Hawaii: How I do it for $11 Round-trip 3

 

List of Points that Transfer to British Airways & How to Get Them:

 

British Airways Miles:

British Airways Credit Card

The Best Way to Fly to Hawaii: How I do it for $11 Round-trip 4
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
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.
REWARDS
Earn a "Travel Together" companion ticket after spending $30,000 in a calendar year.
After year 1, earn 3X points on British Airways purchases.
BENEFITS
No foreign transaction fees.
FEES
$95
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

The Best Way to Fly to Hawaii: How I do it for $11 Round-trip 5
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
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.
BENEFITS
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.
FEES
$550 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Terms Apply
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

The Best Way to Fly to Hawaii: How I do it for $11 Round-trip 6
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
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
BENEFITS
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.
FEES
$250 annual fee.
Terms Apply
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

The Best Way to Fly to Hawaii: How I do it for $11 Round-trip 7
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.
FEES
$95
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

The Best Way to Fly to Hawaii: How I do it for $11 Round-trip 8
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
BENEFITS
$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.
FEES
$550
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

The Best Way to Fly to Hawaii: How I do it for $11 Round-trip 9
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
FEES
$95
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 >>

 

The Best Way to Fly to Hawaii: How I do it for $11 Round-trip 10

 

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!

US passport application process

If you’re planning on traveling outside of the United States any time soon, then you should really look into getting your US passport. A passport is necessary for US citizens who wish to travel abroad. If you don’t have your passport, then you’ll likely be denied entry into whatever country you’re trying to travel to. There are some exceptions to this rule, but you’re going to need to get your passport if you want to travel to most countries.

 

Those who have never applied for a passport before might not even know how to get started. This isn’t something that everyone does, as many people never bother to try to leave the country. If no one in your family has ever applied for a passport before, then it’s perfectly understandable to not know what you need to do. Thankfully, the process isn’t all that difficult once you know how to get started.

 

Today we’re going to talk about the US passport application process. You will be able to learn how to apply for a US passport and we’ll also speak about some other pertinent information. This is going to give you the necessary knowledge to get your passport situation handled properly. You should be able to get your passport and you’ll be ready for your upcoming trip in no time.

 

Applying for a New Passport in Person

If you have never had a passport before, then you’re going to need to apply for a passport in person. This shouldn’t be difficult to do, but you’ll need to know where you’re supposed to go. Depending on where you live, the location for getting a passport is going to differ. Some people might need to go to the local courthouse while others may need to go to a government building known as the Secretary of State.

 

Passport Holder Cover Wallet RFID Blocking Leather Card Case Travel Document Organizer (Coffee Grey) You should do some research online to determine where your local passport acceptance facility is ahead of time. This will allow you to figure out where to go and you’ll be able to do everything that you need to do from there. This information should be readily available on your local government websites. Going to the state government website should provide you with the right answers.

 

Once you’ve figured out where you need to go, you’ll need to make sure that you’re bringing the right stuff to the passport acceptance facility. You’re going to need to have several different items to get your passport. Take a look at the items below so that you can gather everything that is necessary. You’ll have a far easier time if you bring these items to the passport acceptance facility.

  • DS-11 Form
  • Proof of US citizenship
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Color passport photograph
  • Fee payment in the form of a check or money order

 

Additional Requirements for Children

  • Proof of relationship to the child
  • Both parents must be present
  • If both parents cannot be present, the absent parent needs to sign a consent form

 

What to Know Once You Get to the Office

Now that you’ve gathered all of the necessary items and documents, it’ll be time to pay a visit to the passport acceptance facility. Go and speak to the appropriate workers at the right government building to get things started. They will be able to guide you through the process. This is actually going to be fairly straightforward once you get things going.

 

It should be noted that you can print the DS-11 form online and fill it out ahead of time. If you can’t do this for one reason or another, the office should have a DS-11 form that they can give you. Depending on how busy the building is, it might be practical enough to sit there and fill out the form. The form isn’t overly long or complicated, so it shouldn’t take too long to get things sorted out.

 

All of the other items really need to be gathered ahead of time. If you’re missing even one piece of the required items listed above, then you won’t be able to go through with your passport application. Note that proof of US citizenship is going to include items such as your birth certificate or naturalization certificate. You should also know that a military ID will work as a substitute for a driver’s license.

 

You also need to keep in mind that you can’t pay for the passport fees with cash or your debit card. Many people don’t use checks any longer, but this is still one of only two accepted payment methods. This may change at some point in the future, but you’re going to need a check or a money order to pay for your passport. Both checks and money orders should be payable to the U.S. Department of State.

 

Applying for a Passport Outside of the US

Applying for a US passport from outside of the US is going to play out a little bit differently. Instead of going to a local government office, you’re going to need to travel to a US embassy or consulate. You’ll be able to request the proper forms to apply for your US passport while there. The process is going to be similar to obtaining your passport while inside of the country, but you’ll be dealing with the embassy or consulate the entire time.

 

Zoppen Rfid Blocking Travel Passport Holder Cover Slim Id Card Case (#21 Grape Purple) There are some differences when you’re applying for a US passport from Canada. Canada has a different relationship with the US and there are going to be situations where some Americans who are living in Canada will be able to do things by mail. This is mostly going to apply to renewing a passport, rather than applying for a new one. Just be sure to contact the US embassy to get more details on what needs to be done if you’re at all confused.

 

Passport Photos

Passport photos need to be considered ahead of applying, too. We mentioned that you’re going to need a passport photo above, but we’d like to go over this in more detail. If you’re new to applying for passports, then you might not be aware of all of the requirements. These photos won’t be difficult to obtain, but you do want to make sure that you’re doing things right.

 

All passport photographs need to be in color. The photo should be a clear picture of your face and it needs to have been taken in the last six months. No filters or other alterations of the image are allowed. Someone else needs to take your photograph too, meaning that selfies are strictly prohibited.

 

If you wear eyeglasses, then you’ll need to go ahead and remove them for the photo. The photo should also be taken against a plain white background. The background can also be off white if necessary. As long as you can meet these requirements, you’ll be able to take the photos at home while being sure to follow the proper rules.

 

Most people choose to have their passport photos taken at a place of business, though. Many drug stores have passport photo areas where you can easily get your passport photos taken. They’ll even print the photos off for you in the right sizes. Passport photos need to be 2 x 2 inches, so it’s likely going to be more convenient to have the photo taken at a drugstore or other professional facility such as this.

 

The photo needs to be printed out on glossy paper, too. Typical printer paper is not going to cut it for a passport photo. You’re supposed to have a neutral expression on your face during the photo as well. Be sure that you have your eyes open, too, to avoid any potential problems.

 

How Long Does it Take to Get Your Passport?

The length of time that it takes to get your passport will differ depending on the season and other factors. If you want an up to date estimate, then it’s going to be best to check your local state government website for more information. There are some general guidelines that you can follow to give yourself a good idea of how long it will take on average. This information should be accurate, but it could change slightly based on certain factors.

 

Routine service is usually going to take somewhere between four and six weeks. You’ll receive your passport in the mail sometime after one month has passed. This is the most common situation that people deal with when applying for their passport. That is why it’s best to apply for a passport months in advance to give yourself time to actually receive your passport.

 

There will also be an expedited service option that can make things go a little bit faster. You can choose to pay more money to get your passport issued to you within two or three weeks. This is substantially faster, but it’s still not immediate. For most people, it’s still going to be practical to just apply for a passport far enough in advance.

 

Zero Grid Passport Wallet - Travel Document Holder w/RFID Blocking If you need to travel abroad due to an emergency, then it’ll be possible to make use of a really fast expedited passport option. This is available at agency locations and can get you your passport within eight days. You have to meet certain criteria to qualify for this, though. You have to be facing an immediate life or death emergency or be traveling within two weeks to make use of this.

 

Passport Book Versus Passport Card

You’ll also want to know that there are two different types of passports that you can apply for. There is the passport card and the passport book. Passport books are going to be the traditional types of passports that make traveling by air possible. If you plan on traveling to another country via airplane, then you’re going to want to apply for a passport book.

 

Passport cards are going to be a lot less expensive to get. The only downside is that they don’t allow you to enter other countries via airplane. You’ll be able to get into other countries by land or by sea using the passport card. Also, you can’t use a passport card to enter all countries.

 

The passport card will allow you to enter Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda via land or sea. If you’re planning a vacation to Europe or Asia, then you need to pay the extra money to get yourself a passport book. It’s important to understand the restrictions that have been placed on the passport card. For most people, the passport book is going to be the better option, since it doesn’t come with the same strict limitations.

 

There is a certain convenience to the passport card, though. It’s a lot smaller and you can even fit it inside of your wallet. Even so, it just can’t do as much as a normal passport book. Consider where you want to travel and how you want to travel before coming to an ultimate decision.

 

Our Final Thoughts on US Passport Applications

Now that you’ve read all about how to apply for a passport, you should be ready to go out and get yours. If you’re thinking of traveling outside of the country anytime soon, then you need to take care of this right away. Standard service can take between four and six weeks to get your passport to you. As long as you get things started several months in advance, you shouldn’t have any problems keeping your travel plans.

 

Getting a passport doesn’t have to be a stressful situation. When you follow the rules and do your best to gather the necessary items, it’ll be a smooth experience. You can get your passport in your hands in time and you’ll be ready to go see the world. Remember to think about what type of passport you want and do your best to pick an option that works for you.

 

Renewing your passport will generally be easy too. US passports are valid for 10 years after they’re issued. This means that you’ll be able to go a long time without having to renew it. Also, you’ll usually be eligible to renew by mail so long as you don’t wait too long and let your passport lapse.

funding travel with an airbnb business

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.

 

how to apply for a credit card online

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.

  1. Standard Credit Card
  2. Rewards or Loyalty Points Card
  3. 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.

 

  1. Available Limit – This will depend on your income and existing credit score.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

Credit Sesame Price: Free Get your free credit score each month, and monitor your credit report at no cost. We'll also send you monitoring alerts about changes to your credit report. Credit Sesame

 

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

chase sapphire preferred credit card art

Chase Sapphire Preferred

60,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

See our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

 

Capital One Venture Credit Card Review

Capital One Venture

50,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee (waived year 1)

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

See our full review of the Capital One Venture.

 

american express platinum card

Amex Platinum Card

60,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months

$550 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

See our full review of the Amex Platinum.

 

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Chase Ink Business Preferred

80,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

See our full review of the Ink Business Preferred.

 

chase freedom card

Chase Freedom

$150 (15k Ultimate Rewards) after spending $500 in 3 mo.

No Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

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.

 

Post-Delivery Confirmation

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.

free travel

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.

travel for free

 

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

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.

free travel credit cards

 

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.

free travel rewards

 

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!

free travel points

 

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!

travel blog ideas

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)

 

Airplane Etiquette – Live & Let’s Fly

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.


Travel Credit Card Offers

Add Egypt Back to the Bucket List – The Points Guy

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.

 

Westin Hapuna Beach Hawaii – The Points Guy

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.

 

17 Incredible Safari Photos – Million Mile Secrets

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.

 

16 Amazing College Towns – Million Mile Secrets

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!

 

Being Single Makes Travel More Expensive – The Points Guy

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.

 

Free Messaging on Southwest – The Gate

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.

 

Best Hawaii Hotels Using Points – Million Mile Secrets

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.

 

Alaska Airlines Has VR Headsets on Flights – The Points Guy

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.

 

$169 Flights to Iceland – The Points Guy

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.

 

Alaska Airlines is Giving Away 100,000 Miles – The Gate

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!

 

How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Airline Partners – Points, Miles & Martinis

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!

 

Man Lives in Airport – View From The Wing

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…

 

1 IN 50 PASSENGERS WILL FIND LOVE ON AN AIRPLANE – VIEW FROM THE WING

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…

 

I’M GIVING AWAY 1,000,000 MILES – THE POINTS GUY

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.

 

BEST TRAVEL TOYS FOR KIDS – MILLION MILE SECRETS

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!

 

AIRLINE GIMMICK TO AVOID COMPENSATION – LIVE & LETS FLY

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?

 

Southwest to Hawaii News – Mile Value

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.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred card holders are VIP at Popular Events – Million Mile Secrets

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.

 

GUIDE TO EATING HEALTHY ON PLANES – THE POINTS GUY

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.

 

HOW AIRLINE MILES MAKE ME A BETTER MOM – MOMMY POINTS

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.

 

SELF-CLEANING AIRCRAFT SEATS – THE POINTS GUY

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.

 

WORST TRAVEL HABITS – THE POINTS GUY

Here’s a list of the worst travel habits out there. Hopefully, you aren’t one of “THOSE” people, when it comes to flying…

 

THINK TWICE BEFORE TURNING OFF THE AIR VENT – TRAVEL & LEISURE

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!

 

EASY 5X AT OFFICE MAX – FREQUENT MILER & FEE WAIVED VISA GC’S AT STAPLES – DAN’S DEALS

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.

 

7 WAYS CREDIT CARDS CAN HELP GROW YOUR BUSINESS – THE POINTS GUY

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.

 

Increased Chase Ink Preferred Introductory Bonus – Miles to Memories

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.

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited (double) 3x Points – Mile Value

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!

 

10 Life Changing Decisions People Make on Vacation – The Points Guy

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.

 

10 of the Worlds Best Hotels that Cost Under $300 – GODSAVETHEPOINTS

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!

 

Have Plane Seats Really Shrunk – The Telegraph

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.

 

Google’s In-flight Wi-fi Play – Paxex.aero

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.

 

Travel Contests – Johnny Jet

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.

 

SW Rapid Rewards Double Points – Frequent Flyer Bonuses

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!

 

Damning Allegiant Air Safety Expose – Live & Let Fly

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.

 

Pay Rent by Credit Card for 1.5% Fee – Frequent Miler

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.

 

How to Save on Car Rentals – Million Mile Secrets

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.

 

Top Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them – Travel with Grant

Part 1 | Part 2

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 Cards You Can Still Apply For Despite the “5/24” Rule – Deals We Like

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.

 

The Best Airplane Seat to Avoid Catching a Cold – GODSAVETHEPOINTS

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!

 

How to Save Money on Food while Traveling – Bald Thoughts

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!

 

How to Book the Best Stopover Possible – Travel with Grant

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.

 

Why to Always Redeem Points When you Can – Point Me to the Plane

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.

 

Why You Should Always Check Alternative Airports – Frugal Travel Guy

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.

least expensive days to fly

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.

 

Cabbrix 2019 Monthly Wall Calendar, 15" x 12", Wirebound, Flexible Monthly Daily Designer for Office & Home 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.

 

Scratch Off Map United States, Merssyria Scratch USA Travel Map Wall Poster with Scratching Tools, Flag Pins, Stickers, Deluxe Present for Traveler 24" x 17" (Blue) 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.

 

Daron Alaska Airlines Single Plane Vehicle 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.

 

In Conclusion

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.

The 5 Best Hotel Booking Sites: Find a Cheap Hotel Room 11

It’s so important to be able to book the best possible hotel room. You also want to be able to find the best deal that you can when booking a hotel. Many people who travel often need to be able to book hotels as conveniently as possible. Some professionals are on the road all the time, so booking hotels is a constant thing that they have to deal with.

 

Even those who only travel infrequently like having the most convenient booking options, too. For this reason, it really does pay to know what the best hotel booking sites are. If you make good use of the right hotel booking websites, then you will be able to find amazing deals. You can turn your next vacation into something truly special or you can simply find the best accommodations while on a business trip.

 

Today we are going to be taking a look at the top five best hotel booking sites. All of these websites are good in their own right, so you will want to pay attention to what each of them brings to the table. If you are able to use these sites to their full potential, then you will be able to save yourself money while booking great rooms. Read on to learn all about the best options that are out there.

 

1. Hotels.com

Hotels.com - Book Now & Save When booking the perfect hotel, vacation rental, resort, apartment, or guest house, they’ve got you covered. Incomparable choice with a Price Guarantee. Hotels.com - Book Now & Save

 

Hotels.com is another option that many people turn to when looking to book a hotel. If you are looking for the best possible bargain, then this site might be the one that you will want to go with. You’ll be able to make use of a large number of different filters, making it easier to find the best possible hotel. You can find cost-effective options and you will also be able to find high-end hotels easily.

 

The filtering options that you have available to you are certainly top notch. You will be able to find any type of hotel that you might be looking for. Simply put, this is a website that makes finding what you need easy. If you want a romantic hotel for your honeymoon, then you’ll be able to find it here without having any problems.

 

You will also be able to see many options that are not traditional hotels when searching on this site. As mentioned earlier when speaking about Booking.com, this may or may not be a good thing, depending on your perspective. You will find results for bed and breakfast businesses, various condos, and other locations where you can spend the night. If you want to filter these out, then you will be able to do so using their advanced filtering tools.

 

Another possible issue with this hotel booking site is that it sometimes includes hotel results that are fully booked. This can be a bit of an annoyance when you are just trying to see what is actually available. Even so, you won’t have a problem using this site due to its great filter options. The prices are good and the options are plentiful, so it’s definitely one of the worthwhile hotel booking options.

 

If you like having options when it comes to narrowing down your searches, then this is going to be one of the better sites for you to consider. The advanced filters work great and there are many things that you can tweak. This hotel booking site empowers users and lets them choose how to search. As long as you are willing to play with the filtering tools, you’ll have a very good experience on this site.

 

Pros

  • Great tool for finding the most cost-effective hotels
  • Good filtering options
  • Good interface

 

Cons

  • Will need to play with filtering tools to narrow your search

 

2. Kayak

kayak hotel booking site

 

You may be familiar with Kayak, as they are among the most used hotel booking websites. They are also well known for their flight search capabilities. You will be able to use Kayak to find the best hotels in an area. It also shows you the rates that many other hotel booking sites are offering. This allows you to easily compare and contrast the results to find the best deal.

 

One of the best parts of Kayak is definitely the clean user interface. Everything looks very good on this website and it is decidedly simple to use. This is a site that will give you the information that you’re looking for without causing you to scratch your head. It’s simple while still offering users many great features.

 

This is one of the best sites on this list in terms of filtering options, too. You will have many advanced filtering options available to whittle down the results. This can help you out a lot when you’re looking to find your perfect hotel. You will likely need to use the filters, too, since the default results often show recommended results instead of simply popping up the most affordable prices.

 

You will like Kayak if you are looking for a hotel booking site that makes it easy to compare rates. The clean user interface makes it one of the most user-friendly hotel booking sites around. You can even make use of their handy app if you want to use it on your phone or tablet. This site has earned its place among the top five best hotel booking sites.

 

Pros

  • Clean user interface
  • Easy to compare and contrast the best results
  • Very good filtering options

 

Cons

  • Default options may only show the recommended results
  • It is usually necessary to tinker with the filters

 

3. Booking.com

booking.com hotel booking site

 

Booking.com is one of the most popular hotel booking websites on the Internet. This is an option that is going to show you a wide range of different places where you can stay. You will be able to get results for traditional hotels, as well as hostels and apartments. For some people, this may wind up being a bit of an annoyance, but it is going to come down to your personal preference.

 

If you do not want to see results for hostels, then you will be able to make some changes to the settings of the hotel search. It is not cumbersome to change things around, but it is an extra step that you will have to do. Many people like being able to see all of the options that are available, though. It can help when you want to be able to find the most cost-effective place to stay when you’re traveling somewhere new.

 

Overall, this website proves itself to be a very useful tool. One of the best parts of using this site is that it shows you all of the costs right up front. The only thing that it does not show you, in regards to the pricing of your hotel room, is the taxes. Otherwise, you will be able to use this hotel booking site to find the most affordable hotel rooms around.

 

People who are willing to stay at nontraditional hotels will really love this site. Being able to see all of the hostels and apartments in an area may be appealing to some people. Others are going to find this site to lack the right focus. As long as you take the time to use the filtering tools, it should not be a big deal to you either way.

 

This is one of the best hotel booking sites to use for people who are looking for hotels on a budget. It is going to offer you many different results that will work for a variety of different budgets. It is as simple as possible to find the most affordable rooms available, too. The user interface is easy to understand and you will have no trouble getting the information that you are seeking.

 

Pros

  • A great option for finding budget hotels
  • Shows you many options
  • Shows you the costs right up front

 

Cons

  • The inclusion of hostels and apartments in search results may bother some

 

4. Priceline

priceline hotel booking site

 

Priceline is a famous hotel booking site that many people have likely seen advertisements for in the past. It’s definitely a popular website and it has remained a great option for those booking hotels for a long time now. One of the reasons for its popularity is how easy the site is to navigate. It has been made to be very user-friendly, so you’ll have no trouble getting around.

 

This is also one of the best looking hotel booking sites on this list. The visual appeal of the site is hard to deny and everything comes together to form a complete package. Priceline allows users to find great prices on hotels. If you need to find a good deal on a hotel for your next vacation, then this site might be the perfect fit.

 

It works great for people who want to find hotels near the hottest tourist attractions. This site excels in finding conveniently located hotels that will put people very close to the great landmarks of certain cities. Combine this with being able to get an overall good deal and you can see why this site is popular. It’s definitely a good fit for people who are planning a fun vacation.

 

Perhaps the best feature for this site is the famous “name your own price” option. This lets you type in how much you are willing to spend and then hotels can choose to accept your deal if they want. Many people have been able to save a lot of money using these features, so it’s definitely worth it to give it a shot sometime. It helps Priceline to stand out as a bit of a unique option among the other hotel booking sites.

 

There is also an express deal option that Priceline offers. This is a bit different as it is sort of like a flash sale on a hotel room. It may offer you a really good deal on a hotel room, but you will not know what hotel is being booked until after you have booked it. This might be a little too risky for some, but it can save you a whole lot of money.

 

Pros

  • One of the most visually impressive hotel booking sites
  • Great for finding hotels near popular attractions
  • The name your own price feature can save you money

 

Cons

  • Some may not like the way the express deal option works

 

5. Expedia

expedia hotel booking site

 

Expedia is a good option for you to consider going with. This is a site that is actually essentially the same as a couple of other well-known travel sites. Expedia owns the travel booking sites known as Orbitz and Travelocity. This means that all three sites are basically going to give you pretty much the same information and they even use very similar layouts. For the purpose of this guide, we will be discussing the Expedia hotel booking site.

 

You will be able to use this hotel booking site to find plenty of different available hotels in any given city. It is a powerful searching tool that brings up many different results. Expedia makes it as easy as possible to find hotels that are inexpensive. It is also possible to find more luxurious options if you are looking to plan something special.

 

This is a recommended site to use if you want to find the most hotel options. It is going to give you plenty to consider and there are many filters that you can use to focus your results. It should give you a very easy experience when looking to book your next hotel. You’ll be able to reliably get good results when using this site and you can save yourself a bit of money.

 

One important thing to think about before moving forward is that this site doesn’t always give you the best price. It has consistently good prices, but it may be worthwhile to compare what Expedia is offering with some of the other hotel booking sites. Sometimes, going to the extra effort can help you to save more money. Regardless, Expedia is a good hotel booking site that offers consistently good prices and it’s easy to use.

 

Pros

  • Will find many hotel options for you to consider
  • Easy to use
  • Makes finding hotels simpler by showing you many available options

 

Cons

  • They may not offer the best prices when compared to competitors

 

Our Final Thoughts: Which Hotel Booking Site Do You Like Best?

After reading all about the top five best hotel booking sites, you should be prepared to move forward with your hotel booking. Using any of these sites will definitely give you a better hotel booking experience. Users who make use of these sites are able to get great deals on really nice hotel rooms. It just makes things so much more convenient when you are traveling. We use Hotels.com most often when booking a hotel.

Hotels.com - Book Now & Save When booking the perfect hotel, vacation rental, resort, apartment, or guest house, they’ve got you covered. Incomparable choice with a Price Guarantee. Hotels.com - Book Now & Save

 

Keep all of these options in mind the next time you are planning a big trip. One of them will be able to get you the best possible deal and you’ll be elated with how things have turned out. Booking a hotel does not have to be a difficult experience. You’ll be able to get a great room without breaking the bank and you’ll always be able to rely on these sites moving forward.

chase ultimate rewards transfer bonus

In the past week or so, there have been two huge updates to the British Airways Award system. First, it was announced that Chase is offering its first ever Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus to British Airways with a 30% bonus. This was absolutely great news, especially for us West-coasters who take advantage of their cheap award flights to Hawaii. But, when I saw that it also made me worry that there could be a devaluation of those points soon. My intuition was unfortunately right.

 

Just a day ago, the British Airways Executive Club announced to its members that some changes are coming. On June 1st, the partner award charts would be different. They didn’t though, say what the changes would be. Luckily for us, the team over at The Points Guy did some research. By calling and speaking to the British Airways booking reps, they found the likely new award chart pricing for each zone.

 

Today, I’m going to analyze what both the Chase transfer bonus and the British Airways award devaluation mean for our beloved West Coast direct flights to Hawaii. Until recently, the round trip flights from the West Coast to Hawaii would take 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Let’s find out what they’ll likely cost if you take advantage of the Chase transfer bonus and book a flight after the devaluation on May 31st.

 

The Chase Ultimate Rewards 30% Transfer Bonus to British Airways

First, let’s take a look at the transfer bonus that Chase is offering through June 16th at 8:59 pm PT. When you transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to your British Airways Executive Club account, you’ll receive a 30% bonus on those points.

30 bonus chase ultimate rewards british airways avios

 

This means if you transfer 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll end up with 130,000 British Airways Avios. This is great news. Turning your points into even more points is usually a great option, especially when there are valuable redemptions to be had. Not so fast…?!?

 

The British Airways Partner Award Chart Devaluation

Unfortunately, at almost the same time British Airways announced a partner airline award chart devaluation that will take effect on June 1st. Let’s take a look at how this devaluation affects “Zone 4” of the British Airways partner award chart. According to the research of The Points Guy team, the new award chart will still be distance based and will not have huge downgrades. Zone 4 in particular, will change from 12,500 Avios for a one-way economy flight to 13,000 Avios. Only a difference of 4%. That means that (if this research is accurate) it will still be a great offer to transfer points to British Airways for a future Hawaii vacation!

 

Breaking Down the Numbers

Now that we know the details of each piece of news surrounding Chase Ultimate Rewards and British Airways Avios, let’s take a look at the numbers. As mentioned above, Zone 4 in economy seats will only have a 4% devaluation. With a transfer bonus of 30%, it will still save you points in the long run if you’re planning on using them to fly from the West Coast to Hawaii.

 

British Airways Partner Economy Award Chart Changes (unconfirmed)

ZoneCurrent Miles NeededAfter Valuation Change
1 (1-650 miles) *Not Available for US Flights.4,5006,000
2 (651-1,151)7,5009,000
3 (1,152-2,000)10,00011,000
4 (2,001-3,000)12,50013,000
5 (3,001-4000)20,00020,750
6 (4,001-5,500)25,00025,750
7 (5,501-6,500)30,00031,000
8 (6,501-7,000)35,00036,250
9 (7,000+)50,00051,500

 

Let’s take a look at how many Chase Ultimate Rewards will need to be transferred during this bonus period to book a future Hawaii flight through British Airways.

 

Chase Ultimate Rewards Needed Before Bonus/Devaluation:

Chase Ultimate Rewards Needed After Bonus/Devaluation:

  • 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards (+30% Bonus)  >> 26,000 British Airways Avios (4% devaluation)

 

This means that after all is said if you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards during the bonus period (before June 16th 8:59 pm PT) to British Airways, you’ll actually use 20% less of your points. This assumes that you book your flight after the devaluation on May 31st, 2019.

british airways partner award chart devaluation hawaii

 

Our Thoughts on the Bonus/Devaluation in Regards to Hawaii Flights

While the British Airways partner award chart devaluation is bad news, it’s really not that bad. For these West Coast to Hawaii flights, it’s only a minor change to the award chart. With the transfer bonus from Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll still be saving a bunch of points. All in all, if the research by the team at The Points Guy is accurate, it’s still an amazing deal to take advantage of the transfer bonus from Chase.

 

Two Credit Cards that Earn Ultimate Rewards

While there are a handful of credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards through both the introductory offers and spending rewards, these are the two that will get you the most points from the get-go. The Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Ink Business Preferred are the top personal travel rewards card and the top business credit card, respectively.

chase sapphire preferred credit card art

Chase Sapphire Preferred

60,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

If you were to transfer the points from this introductory offer to British Airways during the promo period, you’d have enough miles to book three round trip flights to Hawaii with the new award chart. That’s pretty impressive, but if you have a business, the next card is even more impressive.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Chase Ink Business Preferred

80,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

With the Ink Business Preferred introductory offer, you could earn four round trip flights to Hawaii during the promotion. It’s incredible that one credit card introductory offer is worth that much free travel.

 

Remember though, you’ll have to hurry to earn an introductory offer by completing the minimum spend in time to take advantage of this transfer bonus. While this is the first time there has been a Chase transfer partner bonus, it’s unlikely to be the last. American Express has been doing similar transfer bonuses for years. Chase, just now, is joining them.

 

Should You Take Advantage of the Transfer Bonus?

I will likely be taking advantage of this transfer bonus myself, as my wife and I often book these West Coast to Hawaii flights. Because I don’t have any flights that I can book before the devaluation, I’ll be playing it safe and waiting to transfer points until after the official devaluation is announced. That way I can be sure that it will still make sense to go ahead with the points transfer. The good news, as I mentioned above, is that Chase will likely have more of these transfer bonuses in the future.