I  listened to a story recently on NPR’s Planet Money about travel hackers. (You can listen to it here.) Basically, travel hacking is a way to get cheap or ideally free flights, hotels, meals, etc. [For the record, I think hacking sounds shady and I wouldn’t want to do anything that wasn’t legitimate.] While some people profiled in the piece went to insane lengths to get travel for free, others seemed downright enterprising.

It, of course, got me thinking about how I might get in on that, especially since my current travel stash of rewards is nice, but small, and the family’s income is currently going to tuition and bills. Here are a couple of websites that gave me some more information on how people go about hacking the system:

  • Flyertalk – “interactive community that provides up-to-date information on travel-related loyalty reward programs”; I mostly found the site overwhelming but following them on Twitter has been interesting so far
  • One Mile at a Time – this blog has advice on a little bit of everything and is organized by airline, I find the posts interesting and helpful
  • Travel Hacking Cartel – this pay for service site somehow gives you ideas and/or access to getting frequent flier miles without flying; not much for free content but seems like a good and lazy way to get started

Yesterday I saw on Twitter that Kayak was allowing people to get their “Hacker Fares” – basically allowing a search of two one way tickets to and from your desired destination and book on separate airlines if that was cheaper. I think the easiest way, in my newness to the subject, is to get no annual fee credit cards that offer travel rewards for using your card once (and then canceling the card after it gets paid off). According to some of the recent pre-approved credit card offers I have been receiving lately, the airlines are definitely onto that idea and are charging an annual fee for the best reward deals.

Then I came across this article today which talked about “cards that every traveler should consider.” I think travel hacking must be going mainstream, if the abundance of all these articles and information is any indication of it’s growing popularity. How about you? Ever done anything you would consider travel hacking before?

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