Expert Tips For Cheap Flights!
By Art Robinson, Contributing Editor
There’s nothing so inspiring when it comes to travel hacking as seeing someone who goes above and beyond what you imagine to be possible! A flight to Las Vegas for $7 seems impossible until you meet the man who did it – for himself and all his groomsmen!
6 Money-Saving Tips From a Travel Hacker
How would you like to take a vacation to Hawaii for just $5? Or how about flying first class to Paris for a romantic weekend for almost nothing?
It may sound too good to be true, but it’s possible if you know how to “travel hack.”
Bryce Conway, a banker from Columbus, Ohio, is a self-proclaimed “travel hacker” and says he hasn’t paid for a flight for himself in three years.
“Travel hacking is a method of earning a lot of frequent flier miles through things like credit card signups and special promotions and using those miles to book really cheap trips,” Conway, 25, said. “It’s just a way to get around a normal system with a shortcut and travel for free.”
Travel hackers like Conway have turned earning frequent flier miles into an art form, and he has quickly learned how to reap the benefits. A newlywed, Conway said he recently flew all seven of his groomsmen to Las Vegas for a bachelor weekend for just $7 per flight, before taxes and fees. And before that, he said he and his new wife flew to Paris for a long weekend for a total of $10, before taxes and fees.
If you want to start traveling like Conway, there are a few important tips to keep in mind. These can help you save money and trouble – but also keep you safe from some travel hacking newbie pitfalls.
Sign Up for Credit Cards With Special Promotions, Perks
Conway has a stack of 23 credit cards, all of which he opened during special promotions that touted free miles, points or flights upon signing up. He uses different cards for specific travel expenses, and a lot of it has to do with good timing.
“You see all these ads for credit cards that say, ‘Get two free flights, get 50,000 points,’” he told ABC’s Rebecca Jarvis, pictured here. “I signed up for a travel credit card, got the points and I jumped on the website the day they arrived … we ended up booking a flight to Panama, and then spent the second half of the week in Las Vegas, and then flew home, it was all five bucks.”
But Don’t Overdo It on the Credit Card Sign-ups
Signing up for multiple credit cards can hurt your credit score if you’re not careful, so Conway cautioned that travel hackers should be strategic and always carefully monitor card balances. Conway said he uses Excel spreadsheets to keep track of all of his credit cards, points, frequent flier numbers and other information.
There’s no number of cheap flights that are worth compromising your credit score or bank balance, so always keep a level head with credit card signups. Don’t get too many cards for your own good – if having several credit cards will be too much temptation to spend, stay with one at first then gradually add more. And always remember to look after your credit score by not creating several new signups too quickly.
Don’t Be Loyal to One Airline
“I am completely not loyal to an airline,” Conway said. “I’m loyal to the price or to where ever I can get the points, so I don’t have elite status that a lot of folks will have because they always fly Delta for work. But that’s the trade-off you get for $5, $10 flights.”
Look for Special Promotions on Cars, Not Just Flights
During our “Nightline” interview, Uber, a car service app that lets users request a private driver for hire or rideshare, was having a special where users who referred a friend got a $20 credit to their account.
Conway said he scored a $20 credit on his Uber account every time a friend or family member signed up using his referral code. After five people signed up, Conway told “Nightline” he had enough credit for a free trip in a private car from a New York City hotel in midtown to LaGuardia Airport, a savings of around $70.
Read more here:
What’s the cheapest flight you’ve ever gotten? Have you signed up for any special travel rewards programs yet?
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