We have been traveling with kids for over 21 years, and these 3 travel hacks have helped us afford to travel more often and stay at resorts we couldn’t otherwise afford. Today, because we are friends, I am sharing them with YOU!
Step-by-Step Guide to My 3 Favorite Travel Hacks
1.) You Need a Good Credit Card Strategy, here’s ours.
The right credit card can make all the difference. We recommend the Chase Sapphire Card in most situations, including beginner travelers.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is known as the best travel rewards credit card in the travel industry. This card features 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal and with Lyft purchases. You get 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services, and online grocery store purchases (excl. Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs). Chase also gives you 2 points per dollar on all other travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
Like most credit cards, their points can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners which is what we’re doing when you see us boasting about those crazy savings for the Andaz Resorts we’ve been staying in.
Chase Sapphire partners also include Hyatt and Southwest. They both offer phenomenal points transfer values. For example, the Andaz Scottsdale costs $780 a night, we only paid 21,000 points which is roughly $250 in value. Total score!!! More on that below, tip #3.
This card has a $95 sign-up fee but you can get that back (and much more) by taking advantage of your sign-up bonus. The most recent offer I have seen is a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Earn 60,000 bonus points with either Chase Sapphire® card. I can be rewarded if you apply here and are approved for the card.
We are very strategic about when we open a card like this so we can hit the max on those benefits!
All that being said, we also of course recommend good money practices and encourage high credit scores. We pay our credit cards in full every month.
2.) Book a flight to Hawaii for 13,000 miles (60% less), on an airline that doesn’t fly to Hawaii.
This one still blows my mind. I am going to show you how to book the EXACT same flight, on the EXACT same plane for up to 60% fewer miles. And, this works for AMERICAN EXPRESS, CHASE, and CAPITOL ONE miles!
The key is to transfer your points to the right airline.
Flights to Hawaii usually run between 25,000-50,000 miles each way from the West Coast. That is A LOT of miles, almost a million miles for my family of 8 for just one round-trip flight.
Here’s how we book that same flight for just 13,000 miles each way.
Step 1: Visit BritishAirways.com and create an Avios account (it’s their miles program and it’s free to join). Yes, we know they do not fly to Hawaii typically, we are not crazy, just trust us.
Step 2: Click ‘Book a Flight with Avios’ and search for your dates. If you find a flight for your dates that you like move to Step 3.
Step 3: Transfer the points! Once you find your flight transfer the points needed from your Amex, Chase, or Capital One Card. They are all 1:1 transfer partners so 1,000 points = 1,000 miles and the transfer is instantaneous so you can book your flight right away.
Step 4: Book your flights and celebrate!
*One-day flights for 13,000 miles each way are based on flights from the West Coast to Hawaii.
3.) Don’t use Pay With Points, Do This Instead
Instead of booking through your credit card portal, find out who their travel partners are. Some of our favorite programs are World of Hyatt and Southwest. Both offer phenomenal savings when you transfer points into their programs.
Top-tier properties like the Park Hyatt New York and Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme top out at 45,000 points per night on peak dates with standard room availability versus $1,000+ a night when booked with cash.
Most recently we used this hack at the Andaz Scottsdale. I mentioned above that it costs $780 a night to stay there, but we only paid 21,000 points which is roughly $250 in value. Total score!!!
We also used this same hack to stay at the Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica- a complete gem of a property.
So, let me know, did you learn something new today? DM me on Instagram and let me know if you want to see more peeks into our travel savings strategies!
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