Everyone’s got a zillion favorite travel tips. Sanitize your tray table. Book with Airbnb. Airline bottles of alcohol are under one ounce and, as a result, can go in the clear plastic bag in your carry-on.
And while those examples may keep you healthy or save you a little bit of money, author and career coach Chris Guillebeau is full of next-level travel hacks that can help you see the world for way less money and with much less stress. In his class, Make Your Dream Trip a Reality here on CreativeLive, he does just that.
If you’ve got big travel dreams, booking a Round-the-World (RTW) ticket can save you real money and help you earn mileage. And while they do take some definitely time and research, and the upfront cost can be kind of staggering, they’re worth it if you’re going to be on the road for a while, or if you just want the flexibility to be able to change flights and times and to visit a lot of places in a year.
“My tickets are around $5,000 each,” Chris explains, acknowledging that “$5,000 is a lot of money, of course, but when you consider all the flights you can take, the price per segment goes way down.”
“My price-per-segment is about $300, and this includes many long-haul flights that otherwise would cost thousands of dollars,” he says.
You can get all of the details — including a few cautionary tales — on RTW booking on his blog.
Does your credit card help you travel? If not, it might be time to reevaluate. Not only do mileage cards offer access to airport lounges (which are great for a more comfortable flight experience), they also give you the opportunity to travel more just because you bought things you’d already buy. And you can be really clever about it. Chris tells this story:
I went to the Apple Store to buy a new computer. I had already done my research and knew what I wanted. I just needed to verify a few things in person, which I did with the helpful associate. “OK, I’m ready,” I said—and then I logged on to a website from the in-store computer to make the purchase. The associate was a little confused.
“I can ring you up right here, and for the same price.”
“I know,” I said, “But this way I’ll earn more miles.”
I bought the computer through the AA shopping mall and selected “In-store pickup.” For pickup time, I selected “Now!”—as in, literally that moment.
The big purchases you have to make anyway — and especially those that, if you buy them for work, you can write off on your taxes — are great potential earners of mileage points. As Chris says, “always be earning.”
One student, Matt McLean from Guillebeau’s recent class, Make Your Dream Trip a Reality, earned over 200,000 airline points from every-day purchases and taking advantage of short-term points offers. Read about McLean’s story here.
It’s simple math: The less time you spend in transit, the more time you get to spend seeing the world. The goal of traveling is decidedly not to wait in a customs line, so acquiring Global Entry is key.
“Global Entry is the US program that allows you to have expedited border entry,” explains Chris. “It’s a fast-tracked process.”
Participants are pre-approved by the United States Customs and Border Patrol. Eligible participants include U.S. citizens as well as Mexican nationals and citizens of Germany, the Netherlands, Panama, and South Korea. The Canadian counterpart is the NEXUS program.
Even if you don’t travel internationally that much, Global Entry is a great help for domestic trips, too.
“The other fun thing about global entry is…it qualifies you for TSA Pre,” explains Chris.
Applications for Global Entry cost $100 and are non-refundable, but that’s a relatively small price to pay for the convenience and speed of skipping the line.
Want more travel tips that’ll get you around the world on the cheap? Join Guillebeau’s class, Make Your Dream Trip a Reality right here on CreativeLive.