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The 14 Week Plan To Travel Hack Like An Expert

A recap of the 14 week plan to help you travel hack as an expert

Well peeps the challenge is almost over. Just a few days left for your to bag a few more points, followed by our last Twitter chat, so it’s time for a roundup of all the tasks from each week that you need to complete to ramp up your balance.

This will hopefully serve as a gentle reminder if you have lost your way and may just get you back on track.

You can still download the travel hack bundle and grab your free copy of the E-book which brings all this information together in one convenient location. It’s just a taster as I’m putting the finishing touches to the final product but feel free to send me any feedback if you go ahead and download.

So here’s the recap for the 14 weeks.

Week One – Getting Started

This week was all about selecting the best airline alliance and thus loyalty programme to meet your needs and is the foundation stone of the challenge. If you start off with a scattergun approach you will simply end up with lots of little frequent flyer balances which are harder to redeem. This results in disappointment as I discovered personally – there is nothing worse than accruing points only to see them go to waste.

Ignore this advice at your peril.

Tasks

  1. Pick the best airline alliance for you and select your preferred airline from that alliance with the help of this free airline alliance infographic. You may also wish to check out the companion voucher post before making your decision.
  2. Both you and your partner (and children if you have any) should then sign up you for their loyalty program
  3. Record the frequent flyer numbers on this handy infographic
  4. Share your progress in the #TTG4L 90 day challenge Facebook group or pop a comment below
British Airways redemptions using AVIOS
Source: PIxabay

Week Two – Credit Card Golden Rules

Credit cards are really the best way to boost your balance quickly through both the sign up bonus and ongoing points accumulated through spending. For some, the thought of debt strikes fear into their very bones, and let’s be honest we have no desire to spawn a nation of debtors, so this post gives you a bunch of tips to stay out of trouble whilst using credit cards to bump up the miles.

Tasks

  1. Download the Credit card tracker and note the details of your existing cards
  2. Add details of any additional cards you may apply for and keep us updated in the Facebook group. 
Fly business class by managing travel credit cards
Source: Pixabay

Week Three – The Best UK Credit Cards

Following on from week two, this post considers the best UK credit card options. Jackie and LeAnna have advice for US travel hack wannabes.

Tasks

  1. If you haven’t already, check out the different travel credit cards and apply for the one which appeals the most
  2. Log the details on your Credit card tracker and start diverting as much spending as possible onto your new credit cards
  3. Grab the golden rules of travel hacking using credit cards infographic and for more help getting organised, check out LeAnna’s post showing you how she manages 60 credit cards. Yes, really!
  4. Of course, make sure you pay off the balances in full each month and let us know how you are getting on in the Facebook group. 
best uk travel credit card Pinterest
Source: Pixabay

Week Four – Shopping

Week four considers how you can turn your everyday shopping into loads more miles. Again credit cards are key and by using cards in select ways, you can double and even triple the points you earn. I’ve earned enough points in three months to fly business class long haul by using these very tips.

Tasks

  1. Sign up for a Tesco Clubcard and change your preferences to convert points automatically to either Virgin Flying Miles or AVIOS
  2. Sign up for Top Cashback and always start your online shopping journey here to ensure you are not missing out on valuable cashback which could be converted into BA miles.
  3. Finally sign up for an AVIOS and Gate 365 account then share your progress in the Facebook group. 
shop online to earn airmiles
Source: Pixabay

Week Five – Flying

Now you may think it is obvious that you can earn miles from flying, and indeed you can, but in addition there is a ton of other ways to earn miles in connection with your flights. From parking, to airport spending to lounge access there’s a bunch of other ways you can bag yourself even more BA miles so think smart and earn even more miles.

Tasks

  1. If you are ever likely to use Heathrow airport, then register for Heathrow Rewards
  2. Check out AVIOS and Top Cashback to see which rewards you with the most miles for parking, travel insurance, lounge access and currency for forthcoming trips.
at the airport for a transatlantic flight
Source: Pixabay

Week Six – Free flights and layovers

This week considers some canny ways to get more value from your miles including free flights and stopovers so is a worthwhile read before you even think about redeeming points.

Tasks

  1. Have a play with FlyerMiler, TripStreak, Skypicker and Matrix ITA and decide which you like best. Jot a reminder in the ultimate checklist
Calculating the AVIOS you can earn
Source: Pixabay

Week Seven – Review the proposed timeline for earning your first free business class flight

Tasks

  1. Set up a schedule for you and your partner (assuming you have one) to sign up for as many credit cards as possible in the next 12 months based on your potential spending.
  2. Figure out when you need to apply, reach the minimum spending and cancel. Don’t forget to refer one another before cancelling.

 

enjoy champagne in business class
Source: Pixabay

Week Eight – Hotels

In week eight, we turn to hotel programs and how these loyalty programs can help you earn free hotel nights and/or airmiles. Indeed it is possible to do both with some programs such as Hilton whereby I earn points in the HHonors program and bonus points into my British Airways Executive Club.

Tasks

  1. Select your favourite hotel rewards program and explore opportunities to earn more hotel miles
  2. Sign up for hotels.com for those times when you cannot use your hotel rewards
Top Travel hackers share tips for free hotel nights
How about escpaing to this hotel with your travel hacking rewards? Source: Pixabay

Week Nine – Companion Vouchers

Week nine considers the use of companion vouchers in the UK (Jackie has you covered with news of the very envy inducing SouthWest Companion pass) to get more bang for your bucks.

There are a number of options for companion vouchers but not all are created equal and in fact, some are downright rubbish so be sure to check this out before taking the plunge with a specific airline alliance,

Tasks

  1. Review this before deciding on your chosen airline alliance
Couples travelling together on a companion pass
Source: PIxabay

Week Ten – British Airways Redemptions

The first of the redemption posts considers a ton of ways to get more value from your BA miles and even whether you should use them at all. It also gives you information on a bunch of useful resources that you can use to book and research flights.

Tasks

  1. Pick a destination you would like to visit and find out how many AVIOS you will need by checking the British Airways site.
  2. See how this compares with the points you may require in another program as you may decide to put more emphasis on one program to achieve your goal.
  3. Feel free to visit the #TTG4L 90 day challenge Facebook group.
British Airways plane
Source: Pixabay

Week Eleven – Redemptions with any airline

The second in the redemptions post considers the different ways to get more value from your frequent flyer miles irrespective of which airmiles you have been collecting.

Tasks

  1. Try piecing together some itineraries using one way segments, cash and AVIOS or upgrading with AVIOS/points.
  2. Bookmark the post so you will be able to find it when you need it to actually do this for real.
Lufthansa
Source: Pixabay

Week Twelve – The Ultimate Travel Hacking Resource Bundle

Week twelve pulls together all the useful resources mentioned during the challenge into the ultimate travel hacking resource bundle packed with infographics, checklists and spreadsheets to help you on your way to business class flights for less than economy.

Here you can download the entire bundle or individual infographics to suit your needs.

Tasks

  1. Download the Ultimate Travel Hacking Bundle or our free E-book showing you how to Rocket Fuel Your Airmiles. Remember it is just a taster but those who download it will be notified when the final version is launched.
paperwork bundle
Source: Pixabay

Week Thirteen – review

So here we are at the close of the challenge. How have you got on? I’d love to know along with any thoughts on how we can improve the challenge in the future. Would you like to see more videos, webinars or something else entirely? Drop a note in the comments box so we can bear this in mind!

Tasks

  1. Your task this week is super simple – review all the prior tasks and catch up on any you have yet to complete.
  2. Download the final checklist which can also be found in the ultimate travel hacking bundle

Week Fourteen – the TTG4L Twitter Chat finale

So we have our final Twitter chat party on the 30th August which is your last chance to ask questions and mingle with other travel hackers. We would love for you to join us so just click on the above link and say yes you are coming to receive updates so that you don’t forget (is that just me?!).

Travel hacking Twitter chat
Source: Pixabay

Celebration time

Otherwise, congratulations you have completed the #TTG4L 90 day airmiles challenge (Pinterest).

We would love to stay in touch so if you would like to be updated of future events, webinars, challenges or podcasts, click here to get yourself on the Expert Travel Hacking List.

So that’s all folks. LeAnna, Jackie and I have had a blast getting to know you, answering your queries and seeing your poll answers. Feel free to keep visiting the Facebook group as we will keep adding content and would love to hear how you are getting on.

Pin this so you will always be able to refer back to the 14 week plan:

Where do you want to go with your frequent flyer miles Pinterest?
Source: Pixabay

This post may contain affiliate links which pay me a small commission should you click on them and make a purchase. These help towards the cost of running the site, and the occasional glass of wine, but you are under no obligation to use them.

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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32 comments

  1. I’m always on the look out for free flight or layovers. There are some great airlines that offer free city trips during the lay over! Love it

  2. Great set of tips! Flyermiler is a great tool, but don’t forget about AwardAce! (It looks up all the ways you can fly from A to B with points)

    • Well you learn something new every day. In all the time I have been doing this, I have not come across this site. Awesome heads up thanks.

  3. Wow what a thorough guide. I love that you explain everything in detail. I will follow your steps.

  4. Great recap! We are big into travel hacking but it’s not easy to teach others how to do it–I’m definitely going to share this with people when they ask about travel hacking! Thanks for creating such a good, comprehensive guide!

  5. Thanks for the tips on UK credit cards. Will definitely look into one of these, as my current one doesn’t collect any miles. Shock horror I know. ????

  6. These are such great steps to getting the most of the reward programs. I need to sit down and make an effort to sign up for all the rewards on the airlines. I do a good job with the hotels but fail miserably with airlines and credit cards.

  7. So interesting. Though I do fly quite a lot I never use any of these hacks -should change that 🙂

  8. What a great way to round-up the highlights of the #TTG4L Challenge, Anne! It was great to collaborate and learn more about travel hacking in the UK! 🙂

  9. As always, what a fantastically put together final product! This challenge was so great and I enjoyed every week of it, especially learning about our UK counterparts!

  10. Looks like a great plan for frequent travelers. I keep seeing these credit cards/miles/hacking ideas for a while now but have a feeling that they are not really popular in Europe and worke better for USA or maybe UK from Europe. Very thorough advice though and bookmarking for future use 🙂

  11. Is there a hack to make all of this more easier…lol. I’m so glad some one understands all this and is helping everyone else. Thanks for this!!!!

  12. This hack would be useful if I was back again in the corporate world, where I will find myself eventually in a few months. I’m not really spending enough to warrant this hack nor can I use my credit cards in most places I’m currently traveling in. But, I’ll keep this in mind once I’m back working.

  13. I need to hack a lot more. Problem is I live in Thailand so it’s quite different. Credit cards favor more material things. I asked for a travel package but they keep sending stupid things to buy for home and all. Langauge is a probem too.

    I use hotels.com but it’s difficult to rack the points and all. Airlines also, we keep using different ones. AirAsia has big points but sometimes we travel Thai airways. Reckon we join all their programs?

  14. I would probably give up after the first week; though, I’d like to commend you on the great efforts you’ve put into this thing. I actually just signed up for the Chase Reserve card that gives you 100k points after spending $4k – it’s a wonderful deal. Maybe you can look into it.

  15. Wow, this is seriously all kinds of incredible! First and foremost, gotta applaud you on your effort to assemble this! I will absolutely pin it as one day, when I try my hand in travel hacking, I will definitely need this. I like the tasks breakdown per week, feels a little easier to digest this thorough information!

  16. You have such a comprehensive understanding of this whole process Anne. I really am amazed. You would have been very proud of me. Signed up for a new credit card (which we never do – have had the same one for 10 years or more) and scored 75000 FF points for our preferred provider !!!

  17. You’re always SO helpful when it comes to this stuff. Thanks for your personal help with some of my recent questions. This is a HUGE and GREAT guide for anyone who wants to get started with travel hacking. I totally recommend it as it can shave off lots of travel costs 🙂 Thanks again!

    • You are welcome. Let me know how you get on with that latest card. Hopefully it will fund some exciting trips once you return to the states

  18. Huh, that is lots of effort. I think i would easer go for 14 week wight loss program:) Very comprehensive and detailed guide, thanks for sharing!

  19. Quite an exhaustive and thorough summary of the travel hacks. Reward points and flying miles are great ways to cut down on your costs without at the same time compromising on your comforts.

  20. This is a very comprehensive travel hack and many interestimg tips mentioned here. I will definitely try this once I am free from my busy work loads.

  21. This is really interesting! Shopping around for the best travel credit card is always hard. There’s so many decisions to make. The signing up and canceling part is always tricky too, but with this advice I can see how you make the most of it and how it works for you! Great advice!

  22. I feel completely under-prepared when it comes to travel rewards and hacking the system. What a help! I wonder if any of these would transfer over to Canadians…

  23. This seems so intense and I’m glad you’ve laid out every detail to this awesome plan you clearly know so much about. I’m pretty clueless when it comes to this sort of stuff, so I am always happy to read more up on it to educate myself. Thanks so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge!

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