Travel Hacks from a Travel Warrior

This year alone, I have had 2 free international flights, multiple free hotel stays, a discounted rate at a luxury resort as well as a discounted travel package from a travel agency. I did all of these and more using a combination of common and uncommon travel hacks.

travel beach
Add-on bonus: A blogger hack. Free stock photos from Pixabay.

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve - After the successful launch of the Sapphire Preferred card, here comes the most talked about card of the year. Reserve is the most powerful of the lot in travel amongst the Chase credit cards. They have lowered their bonus points to 50k currently, but with 3x points in travel, which btw includes your Uber/Lyft ride, 1.5x travel redemption, Global Entry/TSA Pre-check fee credit, no-annual fee on your first year and an excellent customer support service that goes above and beyond to solve my concerns, what's not to love? The only downside to Reserve that I would have expected that they work on, is that many low-cost, budget airlines are nowhere to be found on their travel redemption, especially those from Europe and Asia. I'm a big fan of Easyjet and Air Asia, respectively.

Hint: If you're looking for a Norwegian Airline flight miles redemption and don't see it on their travel website, call customer support and they can get it for you.  

2. Skyscanner - This is my preferred travel comparison site because it sources from even the most unknown websites, which I've eventually bought from. Compared to Momondo or Google Trips, Skyscanner wins because it usually has the cheapest rate of them all.

3. Ebates - If your primary method of booking travel is online, then you must have Ebates. It offers cashback on the most popular sites, such as Expedia, Orbitz, etc. I use their Chrome extension so it is easier for me to detect whether the website I'm on is part of the Ebates program. Recently, I received a $5 cashback from my booking on Vayama for a Thai budget airline because I could not redeem it on Chase. It works on numerous shopping sites as well for non-travel related items.

4. Airbnb and its substitutes - If you haven't booked an Airbnb yet, you are missing a lot. Here's $40 that you can use for your first Airbnb booking. But if you have, know that there are vacation rental options that you might have not heard about, such as HomeAway and VRBO.

5. Be nice - Here is the most uncommon travel hack of all time. If you run a travel blog or have significant followers on any social media platform with a media kit, be nice to boutique hotels or even travel agencies. For my next misadventure in Bhutan, a country that requires a travel agency to obtain a visa and a well-planned out itinerary, I requested via email a media rate from more than a dozen agencies and received a positive response from two companies, ranging from 20% to 50% discount on my 5-day travel package to the happiest place on Earth. I got a similar result from my inquiry at a luxury hotel in the Philippines.

Hint: The average media rate discount is around 20%. All it takes is your time to send email inquiries and use a tried and tested email template, such as the one I've used below.  

To get the email template that gave me positive results for asking nicely, simply follow the steps below. All I ask is for a nominal $5 fee since I've tweaked it many, many times before achieving the results I wanted.




Happy travel hacking!

Disclaimer: Affiliates links on this post. 









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