First things first. I’m not talking about anything illegal, I promise! Travel hacking involves leveraging frequent flyer miles and points in order to travel the world at a deeply discounted price. But doesn’t it only apply to those who constantly fly for work? Not at all. That’s a common misconception, and I’m here to show how your family can travel for close to nothing without taking even one paid flight. But first, let me tell you how I stumbled into this hobby/addiction.


1. My story

I moved to USA from Eastern Europe  in the late nineties. At that point, I knew nothing about miles and points. Naturally, my American husband and I had to fly to Europe to visit relatives. So, the airline agent who sold me tickets suggested we sign up for frequent flyer accounts. It was free, so why not? Few years later, we had about 25,000 miles each, enough to fly within Continental USA for free. But I saw something on airline website that intrigued me. There was an offer for a co-branded credit card which would give 10,000 miles after just one purchase. That would increase our mileage balances and allow us to fly  from Florida to Maui.

So, that’s what I did, and we ended up flying to Hawaii on award tickets. Of course, the card had an annual fee coming up, which I didn’t want to pay. So I canceled it. Interestingly, just a few months later, I got a letter in a mail offering to sign up for the same exact card and receive the bonus again. I went ahead and applied, and got another 10,000 miles. And this is what I’ve been doing ever since. Things in this hobby have changed so much over the years, in many ways, for the better. Right now, you can easily find  an airline credit card that offers 50,000 miles once you fulfill the minimum spending requirements.

Bottom line

Of course, there is much more to miles and points hobby, and you can learn it by going to my website. I recommend you start out with “Beginner’s Guide” page at the top. But I hope I gave you an idea on what travel hacking is about. It is most certainly not rocket science, and basically involves being organized and disciplined with credit. If you can manage this, your family can travel for pennies on a dollar.