How We Got Into Travel Hacking

Alex

Alex’s Story

Do you ever get the itch that you just NEED to go on a vacation? It usually hits me in the dead of winter–when it is freezing here in Utah and winter seems to be draggggging on. My mind takes me to a tropical beach destination in those moments, and I find myself wishing I could beam myself there!

There is something about knowing you have a trip coming up. The excitement and anticipation of it. You can feel yourself relaxing just thinking about it.

It was during one of these wanderlust moments when I heard about a term called “travel hacking”. I’d had a travel reward credit card in the past and had used it for some free flights, but this travel hacking concept was a whole other level! It seemed confusing and overwhelming, to say the least. But my desire to get to that beach was strong. I decided that if other people could figure out how to travel for next to nothing then I could too!

I spent hours and hours on the computer, reading blogs and articles, and taking lots of notes. Looking back, I realize I learned more information than necessary to book that trip to Hawaii for my husband and me.

After taking that first trip we were hooked. It was empowering to walk off that plane and into a nice, relaxing 5-star resort, knowing I had actually figured it out!  We were in Hawaii and it cost us hardly a thing!!

Since then I’ve had many friends ask me how we take these free vacations. I am always excited to tell friends about it, but not long after I start talking, I can see their eyes glaze over and their overwhelm starts to settle in. I get it. Because I have been there! But let me tell you, it is much easier and much less complicated than you think.

I started looking for a blog to share with my friends that would explain travel hacking easily and concisely. But all the blogs I found were focused on people who had been in the travel hacking game for a long time. They were all written by men and that’s who they seemed to be speaking to. They also would share how to become an elite member at this hotel or gain status on that airline. Which is awesome, but the average person won’t be able to travel enough to make that status worth it. I love to travel, but I also have young kids and I wanted to find a travel hacking guide that catered to young, busy parents like me. Since I couldn’t find the travel-hacking blog I was looking for, I decide to create my own!

Now there are lots of amazing blogs and social media accounts to follow. But do you ever find yourself looking at their feeds and thinking, “Wow, it would be amazing to do or have that?” Well, the good news is that by following me, you actually CAN do all the things I’m posting about! No sitting on the sidelines wishing you could make it a reality. It’s all simple and doable over here!

What I love about travel hacking is you can go as big or small as you want. Want to take a vacation to Europe and have your flights and hotel paid for? Done. Just looking to get a free flight to visit family? Done! Whatever your travel goals are, we can make it happen!

You may still be confused, and you may even be overwhelmed, but I will be here to help you! Now let’s get you on your trip!

Click here to learn how to become a travel hacker!

 

Pam’s Story

Hi, I’m Pam Iorg and I’m a travel hacker. Alex is my daughter and she actually started this blog. I am the mom of one boy and four girls and grandmother to twenty-one – yes, twenty-one!! When I was 16, I went to Cartagena, Colombia as a foreign exchange student. That was the start of my love of travel. Almost 20 years ago two of my daughters and I traveled with my parents to Europe for three weeks, visiting eight cities and that really kicked the love of travel in for me. One of my daughters married and moved to London and that made European travel even easier! My husband doesn’t like to travel as much so I usually grab a friend, sister, daughter, or stepmother and I’m off on at least 6 trips a year. About five years ago I started extreme couponing and even wrote a few weekly articles for a very popular coupon blog in between my real job as a Registered Nurse. I loved saving the money on common things I would usually buy and having more money for my travel. My husband said our garage looked like a CVS store with all my freebies on the shelves! Then a few years ago Alex told me about travel hacking. We primarily taught ourselves about it through different blogs. It took a lot of time but has brought great rewards. At the time I started, I had about 300,000 points in a few different programs, mainly airlines. Currently, I have over 3.5 million points in the various airline and hotel programs and have redeemed another 2 million points. I always tell people that travel hacking is couponing on steroids! Now instead of getting free shampoo, I’m getting roundtrip business class flights all over the world! I now truly consider myself a travel hacker. Alex and I have two different approaches to travel hacking. Alex tends to plan a trip and go after the cards to make it happen. She also wisely started with Chase cards because she was under the 5/24 rule. Her way is probably the wiser way of travel hacking.  The best part is that there are many different approaches to being a travel hacker and you can learn from both of us. As my family can attest, I am OCD in about everything, including travel hacking. My motto has been earn, then burn. I don’t mind spending more on annual fees if the cost outweighs the rewards and love to have the bigger cards that let me travel in the style I’m being accustomed to – mainly lie-flat seats for all international travel and hanging out in airport lounges before and in between flights.

 

Woman sitting in business class seat
This travel hacker loves the business class!

girl sitting on ledge in santorini

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