How to prepare when we are on the road? The first thing we need is our flight. There are dozens of ways to find cheap flights on the web. I just booked a one-way flight from Sydney to Japan for $98! Most of the time I get my flights for free. Free? Yes, for free. The magic of this is called credit card reward programs, better known as points.
- How to get a free flight?
Get a credit card…or several of them
Once you get the introductory reward points, redeem them and get your flight. Once you have traveled with the points, call and cancel your card before the annual fee is charged. Usually, it’s good to call and cancel three months in advance of the deadline so that your credit is not affected. I always travel with two credit cards in hand: one for constant use and one for emergencies. Most airlines have their own credit cards and reward programs; use them to your advantage.
Pay for everything with your credit card
Everything? Yes, everything. Most of the credit cards ask for a specific amount to be used in the first two to three months. The better the credit card, the more they ask you to spend. How do I spend four thousand dollars in three months? If you live in any of the big cities of the world, just paying your monthly rent can get you the points. Imagine if you pay for everything, for three months, with a card. If you get the Chase Sapphire Reserve, they’re offering, at the moment, 100,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after the account opening; that’s $1,500 toward travel. That can pretty much take you anywhere in the world. Use the points and close it.
Only use what you have and pay on time
If I could only follow my own advice! But I have to put it out there, crystal clear: You should only use what you have available in your bank account, and immediately after you use the card, at the end of the day, you pay for what you use. The only way to keep good credit and being able to have easy approvals for as many cards as you wish is by paying on time and having no credit card debt.
The more expensive the city, the more money you’ll need, no science on that. If you’re on a budget and would like to travel for a longer period of time, you need to go to a place where your money is worth more so it can last longer. If you’re American, go to Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, or Colombia, just to mention a few.
From hostels to Airbnb, to hotels and luxury villas; it all depends on the budget you have. If traveling by yourself, a hostel is my recommendation. There’s no better place to meet other travelers and explorers like yourself. If you’re with a group, the bigger the group the better chance to find a nice house with a pool and everything on Airbnb. If you’re with a lover and just want that sexy time, then put it on your credit card and get that Bora Bora bungalow.
Travel light! Your back will thank me. Currently, I’m working in a backpacker store in Australia, and I cannot count the number of tiny, skinny girls looking for 70 Liter backpacks. They almost fit in the bags themselves. If you’re not going to Antarctica or on an expedition to the top of the Himalayas, you don’t need a 70 Liter bag. Simply with 40 you will be more than ok. Most people travel to warm destinations. Think about it: most of the time you will be in your swimwear and tank top. The lighter you travel, the freer you will feel to move around and explore more.
A Healthy Diet
Eat well and exercise at least ten minutes per day. The first aid kit for any traveler is a bottle of vitamin C and a bottle of echinacea. That’s how I’ve stayed alive all these years of traveling and adventuring. Sometimes you’re having so much fun that you forget to eat. Or worse, you prefer to drink a beer rather than get a meal. The best way to stay healthy is by being aware of it and making it a priority. Vitamins in the mornings, nuts and protein bars always on hand, and lots of water.
More to Come…
In this section How to Prepare, I will be posting monthly notes and posts going in depth on the points above and exploring and bringing new subjects to make sure you are more than ready for whatever adventure you decide to embark on.