3/27/18

My Newbie Travel Hacking Journey Part 1

The BLUF: I'm tired of Ty being the only one bragging about all of these awesome travel perks. I'm joining the travel hacking squad and I'm going to bring you on my journey!

3/27/18

What's up Smart Money Squad!! I'm not sure about you guys, but every time I read one of Ty's #MileageMonday articles I can't figure out why I haven't started taking advantage of these awesome travel tips.

Tons of miles, points, free flights, hotels, airport lounge access, and the list goes on! Trust me, I've told Ty multiple times to his face that this all seems too good to be true. There's gotta be a catch or this must be a scam, right? But every week he comes back with another awesome article showing the legitimacy of travel hacking and why you should be taking advantage of it.

So here it goes... I'm starting my travel hacking journey, and I want to bring you along for every step.

What convinced me to travel hack?

I'm ready to start making travel more accessible. Recently Rosie and I have been looking at honeymoon options, and some locations would require long flights such as somewhere in Europe. 

(p.s. If you have any awesome honeymoon ideas, send them our way!!)

One of the first things I would do after discovering a new location was check flight prices. It's not uncommon for round-trip prices overseas to far exceed a few thousand bucks. Once you factor in other items like lodging and food, the overall trip becomes pretty expensive in a hurry, especially when you still have a wedding to pay for!!

Rosie and I both have a desire to travel the world. We realize that as young adults now is one of the best times for big trips, so it really bothered me that travel prices were potentially prohibiting us from seeing the world.

Cue travel hacking.

Why travel hack? I want to spend more time building sandmen on the beach.


What are my travel hacking goals?

I have two initial goals that I'm hoping to achieve:

  • Earn the Southwest Companion Pass
  • Earn airline miles that will help pay for a honeymoon flight
Over the next few years, Rosie and I have plans to take a handful of small trips in the U.S. for vacations with ourselves, family, and friends. Rosie flying for free on those trips? Let's go!! Not to mention getting to use all of the points you rack up when you achieve the Companion Pass. Ty is right, this is a coveted travel perk for a reason.

Second, I want to be able to plan a honeymoon without worrying about the super expensive flights. Our honeymoon is still over a year away though, so I'm not going after points for that trip quite yet.

What cards did I apply for?

To accomplish my first goal I applied for two Chase Southwest Rewards cards. Need a refresher on how this works? Look no further: #MileageMonday Chase Southwest

I personally applied for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card and the Southwest Rapid Premier Business card... and got accepted for both!

I was accepted for the Plus card almost instantly (woohoo!), and I was accepted for the Business card in less than a day. All I had to do was answer a call from a Chase representative and tell them about Smart Money Seed!


How am I feeling?

I'm not going to lie, this has been a mix of emotions for me!

I am pretty pumped to start earning these rewards points. I can't wait to see what sort of travel options may be feasible for us to explore. I'm also excited to see my credit score go up; responsible credit use is a great way to improve your score!

Until it's all said and done, I won't be able to help but to be a little anxious. This is uncharted territory for me, and doing things like opening a new credit card can be scary. I'm a pretty conservative person, so even if Ty holds my hand the entire way, I'm probably going to feel a little uneasy. 

But you know what? Riding a bike without training wheels for the first time is a little uneasy too.

What's next?

First I need to wait and receive the cards in the mail, but then comes the most unfamiliar territory: manufactured spending. To rack up these bonuses I'm going to need to meet the spending thresholds, and to do so I'm going follow Ty's advice in How to Vacation Like a Baller.

Don't worry, once I get to that step I'll let you know what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. I'll be your living proof that this is legit, legal, and not a scam whatsoever!

I can't wait to share the rest of my experience with you. You'll be hearing from me again soon!

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