Want to hear how I got to Europe and back for the cost of a pack of gum? Here are some tricks for traveling cheap!
CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUS’S
This is a great way to rack up a pile of miles without spending much more money than you would typically. From time to time credit cards would grant you 40-50k bonus miles after your first purchase made on the credit card. I remember a few years ago literally buying a pack of gum as my first purchase on one of these cards and getting 40k bonus miles. This was enough to fly to USA to Europe and back during off season. I believe I paid 50 cents for the pack of gum and around $5.00 in taxes and fees when I booked my ticket from my local (very expensive) airport here in Michigan to Krakow, Poland.
Although these small-spend huge bonus cards are harder and harder to find some of the best promotions can be found at http://thepointsguy.com/ The “hot deals” section at the top of the page gives a pretty good overview of what is out there. There are many creative ways to get to the “3k spent within the first 3 months” threshold including paying income taxes on the card for a small fee, or property tax or car and house insurance. Get creative!
BE FLEXIBLE AND FIND ALMOST FREE AIRFARE
There are many, many low-cost carriers these days, especially in Europe. If you are willing to be flexible with your days of travel you can find flights as low as 1 cent tax and fees may be 5 bucks. But you get the idea. If you have an open mind and let the lowest cost flights guide your next travel move you will be more likely to explore new places and be surprisingly satisfied as you may have NO expectations about the place your low cost flight is taking you. Also this often leads to a focus more on the locals and their culture, and less emphasis on tourist attractions. A spontaneous and engaging conversation in Lviv can be more memorable than a 1000 paintings in the Louvre. For some guidance about low cost airlines see below