WanderFit travel hack experience September 01 October 05, 2016 20:00
What do you know about travel hacking?
Do you think it's some intense, secret, difficult, and time consuming effort that you just don't want to get into? Have you heard of it and are curious, but just haven't looked into yet? Do you want to learn?
It can be difficult at times, but most of it is easy and quick to do. You're probably doing most of the steps now, but just aren't getting any of the benefits. It can also be easy to learn some of the first quick steps that will help you save money and travel more.
Well, we are here to help you learn about this handy skill to have. Check out one of our examples below, but also sign up to learn more via our online Travel Education (including travel hacking) courses.
Here's one of our recent WanderFit travel hacks
This isn't an overly complex example; and it wasn't completely free. But I saved some money, got some upgrades, and it worked with our timeline. It wasn't much effort either; it took about an hour in total.
This was a business related trip, where I had to cover all the travel costs. Considering it was short notice (booked with less than a week to go), getting all of the following for $150 was a pretty good deal:
- Round trip flight within the continental US
- Upgraded airline seats, and covered luggage fees
- Auto rental (SUV) for a week
The travel hack process
Again, this wasn't anything fancy, but I used what resources we had.
- I started with flight searches on google flights, kayak, and skyscanner. I searched for set dates with + or - 1 day on either side. I searched for round trip flights with the same airlines, and one way trips with different airlines. The cheapest ended up being a one way ticket with SunCountry ($75) and a return trip with Frontier airlines ($85). Total so far = $160
- Sun Country allows one carry on for free. I pushed the limits of the baggage size for carry on, but they didn't check. I also had points with them that were about to expire, so I cashed those in. That added up to $50 in savings. Cost now was down to $110.
- Note: at the ticket counter, I talked to the boarding agent. I just mentioned that I hadn't flow Sun Country in a while, was excited to get back in the air with them and I just sent a tweet about it. I asked if they had any upgrade seats available at the last minute, if I could have one. One happened to come available and I ended up in row 6. Slight seat upgrade for asking; not too bad.
- The Frontier flight was a little more problematic. They charge for checked and carry on bags. I also had no history with them and had little to no hope to get and benefits. So I paid for my carry on ($30) and upgraded to row 2 (only $10 ... but it was a middle seat). Total price, back up to $150.
- For the car rental, I checked the best prices available with the rewards programs I have. I also did a quick Orbitz and Priceline check. They were having a special, with full size cars priced about $10 more then what compacts normally run for the week. $150 for the week for a full size car. Total price up to $300, but there are two updates on this:
- I booked this reservation on our Barclay credit card. We had 30,000 reward points sitting there (it cost us nothing to get them !!). After the charge is complete, I can use 15,000 of those points to wipe out $150 of any travel related expense; which includes car rentals. Price back to $150
- After I landed, I found that there was 2 Hertz locations to choose from. I purposely went to the smaller lot option. Once there, there were understaffed, and had less cars available. After a small wait (10 minutes) I got to talk to a reservation person via a web cam machine. They took me they were out of full size autos. The agent called the local manager and explained the situation. Since I needed to be to a work meeting and was patient in dealing with them and the now 20 minutes of time that should have been an immediate get-in and drive experience, they offered an upgrade. A full size SUV (could fit 8). Upgrade = free.
- So the total cost of 2 airline tickets, with baggage fees, upgraded seats, and a full size SUV rental for a week was a little time searching, a little luck, using reward points that we got for free, and ultimately $150.
Travel education courses
Some of our more exciting travel hack trips (like free flights for 2 years, or a nearly free ($15) night in a 2,500 square foot penthouse suite in downtown Miami) do take a little more work, luck, and points. But that's what you can learn through our upcoming travel education courses. Sign up to learn more and be one of the first to benefit from our learning and experimenting in the travel hacking world. or Contact us with any questions.