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How To Satisfy Your Inner Snob With These Ten Travel Hacks

Top Travel hackers share tips for free hotel nights
How about escaping to this hotel with your travel hacking rewards? Source: Pixabay

Why I need ten travel hacks

I have a confession to make. I am a complete and utter travel snob. My days of sleeping in a Bure with 100 other people are well and truly are over. These days I am more at home sipping champagne in business class or enjoying afternoon tea at one of London’s luxury hotels.

Now before you start assuming that I am a trust fund brat or some little rich kid, I can assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. Born into a working class family in Yorkshire, after university I entered financial services as a sales professional. It’s a job that has paid me well but it doesn’t fund five-star hotels and business class flights. Not for the amount of trips I try to squeeze into my annual holiday allowance anyway.

Top Ten Travel Hacks for Snobs

Hell no, that’s where travel hacking comes into the fray. Using many methods involving airline and hotel rewards, I get to indulge my travel snobbery. Today I’m going to share my guilty pleasures with you. So here’s my top ten travel hacks for those who prefer a little luxury to long queues.

Travel Hack number one – Meet and greet car parking

Nothing says less hassle than purchasing the dedicated service of a meet and greet driver at your chosen airport. Thankfully we can book meet and greet parking with Holiday Extras from our local airport for around £30 for the weekend.

It saves time and hassle and means you waste less time before and after your flight. We rarely book car parking now that doesn’t include this facility. Why would we when it is such great value?

Travel Hack number two – Airline loyalty clubs

Now many of you may mistakenly believe that you need to be super-rich or a frequent flyer to benefit from joining an airline loyalty club but this isn’t true. I’ve earned around 90,000 points in the last three months and not one of those points has been for flying.

Earning loyalty points really opens up a fast-track route to cheap business class flights. By following this step by step guide and making some changes to your spending behaviour, you can soon be flying business class for less than economy too.

Lufthansa flight
Source: Pixabay

Travel Hack number three – Airline alliances

Unfortunately, it is easy to get distracted with airmiles, signing up for every program in sight and repeatedly seeing points expire. Finding that you never have enough points in the program you wish to redeem is annoying right? This is where it pays to get savvy.

Many airlines are members of an alliance meaning that you can fly with any of the member airlines BUT combine points into one loyalty scheme. You will accumulate points for flights much quicker than if you try to amass points in each.

This infographic shows you which airline belongs to which alliance but if you are British based like me, you could start by signing up to the British Airways Executive Club and then applying points from all your flights with Cathay, Qatar, American Airlines, Iberia and more to your British Airways Account.

British Airways redemptions using AVIOS
Source: PIxabay

To do this, you simply book your flights as normal and then add the booking code to your flight details in your loyalty account.

Travel Hack number four – Credit Card Travel Perks

Depending on which credit card you have, you may be able to benefit from a bunch of travel perks. The AMEX Gold card in the UK gives you access to two free Lounge Passes a year, allowing you access to many of the business class lounges around the world. There you can enjoy complimentary food and drink, free Wi-Fi and a calmer place to chill between flights.

Other cards offer free travel insurance, hotel status upgrades, concierge services and invaluable companion vouchers allowing two to travel for the price of one.

Relaxing in the lounge definitely beats fighting for standing room in the over-crowded airport bar!

Credit cards sign up bonus

Those perks are actually the least exciting aspect of what credit cards can offer the self-confessed travel snob. Credit cards are your passport to business class without ever leaving the ground. Many offer huge sign up bonuses and points which will fast-track your collection.

For instance, the British Airways Premium Plus credit card currently offers 25,000 points once you satisfy the minimum spending requirement in the first three months.

In addition, if you recommend a friend, you can earn an additional 9,000 points once they sign up. So here’s a neat little trick…

You apply for the card yourself, fulfil the minimum spend and earn your sign up bonus. You then recommend your partner and ensure your referral points are credited before cancelling your account. This way you can earn 65,000 points assuming two sign up bonuses of 25,000 each.

Fly business class by managing travel credit cards
Source: Pixabay

Travel Hack number five – Credit cards ongoing benefits

It gets even more exciting however once you have your credit card as every £1 you spend on it (think, diverting all your household spending, any bills allowing credit card payments etc.) can earn you additional airmiles.

Putting business expenses and all our household shopping and expenditure on cards requires a little extra admin but you can start by taking note of these tips and resources to make life easier.

Travel Hack number six – Lounge Access

A true travel snob has no place sat in overcrowded coffee bars and restaurants trying desperately to get served. Instead they should head to an airport lounge for a more relaxed environment of complimentary drinks and food, Wi-Fi and relaxation areas.

If you haven’t yet bagged your business class flights using airmiles or applied for a credit card that gives you free lounge access, you can always cheat and simply purchase lounge access. SSshh I won’t tell anyone!

The costs vary across airports but for around £20 per person you will be able to stay in the lounge for up to three hours. If you consider the cost of a few drinks and food at the airport, it doesn’t cost much extra to pay for the lounge and ensures you start your trip off on the right footing.

 

Drink wine in the lounge
Source: Pixabay

Travel Hack number seven – Fast track access

If you have yet to bag your first business class flights, the only way you are skipping the queues at check-in and security is if you have pre-paid for fast-track access. I have to confess I am far too tight to ever take advantage of this but when I’m stuck in endless, unmoving queues I sometimes regret not spending the small fee to bypass the masses.

The current cost at Manchester airport is just £4!

Travel Hack number eight – Hotel Loyalty Clubs

If you are regularly staying in hotels, it is surprising how quickly you can rise through the membership tiers. I even secured a fast-track to Gold last year with Hilton and tier membership definitely pays dividends.

It can offer room upgrades, free breakfast, access to executive lounges and free Wi-Fi which can be worth upwards of £50 a stay.

Of course,if you opt for a hotel credit card, instead of an airline card, then you can earn additional points in the same way as you would for airlines. This means you will soon be enjoying the benefit of free nights as well as enhanced benefits from your tier membership.

luxury hotel swimming pool where you can earn BA miles
Source: Pixabay

Travel Hack number nine – Other FREE hotel nights

If you regularly stay in smaller towns or off the beaten track destinations, you may struggle to remain loyal to one hotel chain in which case you may prefer to sign up to the hotel.com rewards program (or do both!). Bookings made through this site all add up to free nights.

For every ten nights stayed you earn one free night, equivalent to the average price of the ten nights. This is a great scheme if you are travelling in areas where it is harder to come by large chain hotels.

Travel Hack number ten – Statusmatcher

My latest find is a godsend. If you have status with one hotel chain and don’t really want to switch allegiance, due to the loss of those lovely extras (free wine, upgrades etc.), then visit Statusmatcher. The site gives advice for making a successful application for a status match (i.e. if you are a Gold member in Hilton, being upgraded to the same tier of membership in the alternative chain without earning the points) to entice you away from your existing loyalty program.

What are your best travel hacks?

So there you have it, ten travel hacks to help out discerning travellers seeking a little luxury on their travels. I’d love to know if you have any other travel hacks that you use to upgrade your travel without necessarily increasing your bill tenfold.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 80 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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16 comments

  1. Great list of tips and tricks, thanks for posting!

  2. Airline alliances! So true! I didn’t realize how many travel hacks were out there! I love the credit card perks but I’m so scared of the high interest rates. Ugh, the American school system and its inability to teach us more useful things. Which one do you use? I use Barclay but I think I’m switching over to Chase… not sure though.Thanks for sharing!

    • I know what you mean about those interest rates which is why I always advocate paying off in full each month. Re best credit cards, I did a post on the best UK credit card recently which you can check out. That post also has links to some other posts which provide details of the best USA options. CHase Sapphire repeatedly earns glowing reviews.

  3. Fantastic list. We take full advantage of our travel rewards program and use any credit card that features it as a way to get extra points.

  4. What a great list! I wish we had more/better credit card options in Canada that don’t require a ridiculous fee. The cost-benefit ratio is just not worth it for one of those travel reward cards 🙁 I’m a huge fan of EVA so we’re with Star Alliance (since Air Canada’s part of the alliance too and the travel reward cc’s are linked to Aeroplan) but it really sucks that we can’t collect miles on most of our flights, since they’re not in the right “class”. It’s very frustrating!

    • Wow EVA! That brings back memories. I travelled to Thailand with them yonks ago! I definitely earn most of my rewards through cards

  5. Some very good tips and tricks. I LOVE my gold Delta AMEX card. I just got a free round trip ticket from South Korea to Ohio, USA using it and a deal they had recently allowing me to use points and get more than without the card. Gotta keep on top of that stuff because it can truly work wonders.

  6. Great list of hacks – I think there comes a time in each travelers life where they become a travel snob – we’re definitely now there … can’t do without my upgrades or lounge access anymore :D!

  7. yup always use you airline loyalty points and if possible even get a credit card tied to one of the alliances. We always make sure to never forget to bank our points and anything haha!

  8. I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and it has been the best credit card ever. From lounge access, to point transfer 1 to 1, luxury hotel perks, no foreign transaction fess, and so many more things. Before I ever had this card I was scrambling around in 50 directions to maximize benefits across several platforms. This has made my life effortless almost.

    • I would so love to be eligible for that card in the UK. Everyone raves about it. Come on Chase – get over here and give us Brits these incredible deals too!

  9. Getting access to a lounge certainly helps if you’re in transit, especially if you’re between long flights. I always collect travel miles and usually rack up enough to get a free Business Class flight every few years.

    • I have managed to up it to one or two a year now by following the tactics in TTG4L 90 Day Challenge particularly with credit cards. It makes all the difference flying long haul in business and softens the blow of those horrible taxes.

  10. I am terrible and barely take adventage of any of thes – with the exception of credit cards for travelers. I really need to educate myself better – this post is a good intro to all the great options out there!

  11. I am a huge fan of travel hacks and take advantage of all of these tips 🙂 I love the lounge access when I have long lay-overs. They make such a huuuuge difference 🙂

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