It’s been a dream of mine for sometime to be able to pay for a trip for my mom and dad. I always thought it would be a really cool gift to send them somewhere unique and different from anywhere else they have been. Unfortunately, as a student/shoe-string online entrepreneur, buying plane tickets for other people is a difficult task.
Thankfully, I began to get really involved in the ancient art of travel hacking last year. I had always been the kind of guy to look for special deals on travel, but had always looked the other way with airline reward programs. Luckily, that all changed when I began to take it more seriously.
The world of reward mileage is not the same everyone. The U.S. has the best programs of all and is insanely easy to get enough points to never pay for a flight again. In Canada, it’s a little harder but I quickly found out that it’s still possible to get 100,000 points or so each year. Of course, this number can even be higher with the amount of time you put in.
For me, my deepest interest was credit card deals since they seem to offer the best bang for the buck. I did some research and ended up finding 3 cards in particular that allowed me to earn thousands of points quickly, with almost no fees what so ever. 2 of the cards allowed me to earn a total of 45,000 Aeroplan points with no added fees. That’s already enough for a round-trip to Mexico. Another card allowed me to earn 25,000 points for just $75. Not bad for a round-trip anywhere in the U.S.
After earning all these points plus dabbling in other deals, I began to realize how awesome it really was. Before I knew it, I had gathered more than 80,000 points in about 6 months. I now had enough points to bring my girlfriend and I to Mexico.
But I still wanted to get my parents to Mexico as well and show them such a unique and different place than what they were used to.
So I began to tell them about all the deals they could participate in to earn the points I had earned. At first, they scoffed at the idea and told me it must be some sort of scam. I kept on telling them it wasn’t a scam. Sure, it seemed to good to be true, but in this case, it was real.
Finally, I managed to talk them into one credit card. Once they reached their bonus points, I talked them into another, and then another. Before they knew it, they also had over 80,000 points each.
Voila, we were all going to Mexico. I offered to pick up the taxes, and just like that, I had achieved a dream of bring my parents on a trip for nothing. All of us were booked and heading to Mexico City to visit my girlfriend’s family and to see the amazing history that the city and surrounding area offers.
They were pretty amazed that these trips were paid for in points that took almost no effort to earn. The only thing we needed to pay was taxes of about $125 per person. I took care of that for them and also coached them into a free stopover in Vegas on their way home to see a beautiful cirque du soleil show.
After booking the flights, other friends and family began asking me about the deals I had found and how to go about earning points more actively. So, I thought I should create an EBook for Canadians. Chris already has one for Americans (affiliate link) but I wanted to create one specifically for Canadians since our deals here are so different. It’s still in production mode, but if your interested in buying a copy, sign up here and I’ll notify you upon it’s release. If your signed up and choose to buy, you’ll also get $5 knocked off and some other goodies.
If you’d rather get started now or simply do it on your own, here are some great travel hacking sites to check out:
That’s a good start. These sites are great and are packed with lot’s of information. A lot of it is geared towards Americans but it can definitely still help you out.