Travel is what pursuing FI is all about for me, and a big part of being able to travel often (and in comfort) is through “travel hacking”.
I highly recommend waiting to start this until you have your finances under control. Because it relies heavily on credit card rewards, don’t do it if you can’t pay off the balance every month or meet the minimum spend requirements organically (without spending more than normal).
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How I got started
My girlfriend and I were long-distance for the first two years of our relationship (DEN to LAX/SNA/LGB). From the beginning, we decided not to be the couple that only sees each other a couple of times a year and instead flew to visit one another every other weekend. People are always blown away when I tell them this but it’s entirely possible to make it happen. I will admit we were very fortunate to be flying between two big cities with plenty of airline choices.
My brother recommended we start benefiting from the travel by paying with a card that would net more points. I started researching, learned about travel hacking, and was hooked.
Starting your own journey
Starting down this path can be like walking into a room full of people speaking a language you don’t understand. The terminology and nuances can be really difficult to navigate at first. 10xTravel has a great e-book that will familiarize you with what travel hacking is and the concepts/strategies behind it. If this is new ground for you I highly recommend starting here.
Once you have a foundation, the rabbit hole only continues to go deeper. Here are some great resources to learn even more and ask questions of your own.
PointsBuzz aggregates information from sites related to travel hacking, frequent flyer miles, and credit card points so you can keep track of new posts from great sites in one location.
Vet each site. Some such as The Points Guy and Million Mile Secrets are now owned by corporations and not the small operation they used to be.
FlyerTalk is well known in this space and a great forum to ask questions and interact with other people passionate about this topic.
MadFientist has partnered with CardRatings to provide travel-related credit card offers and ratings in an easy to filter table.