by Mike Lawrence, Business Consultant and Guest Blogger
By the end of the year I’ll have flown 100,000 miles, traveled to almost 20 cities, in nearly a dozen countries, for a fraction of what it would have cost — and that’s just this year. Some was leisure travel, some was business, and some was both. Although I live in New York, which I consider to be one of the greatest cities in the world, I enjoy my life in the air. In fact, I’m writing this article from 36,000ft high on my way to LA right now for a bleisure trip.
Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
Yes, hopping from airport to airport can be hectic, especially across multiple time zones, but it’s afforded me the opportunity to see the world for pennies on the dollar. Living that kind of life is easier while I’m young (relatively speaking), so I’m taking advantage of it while I can. When I travel, I do everything I can to optimize my trip. On a business trip, I might take an earlier flight, stay an extra day, or use my time in the evenings to go explore the city. Not to sound cliché, but I work hard and play hard.
The other way to cash in huge on business travel: POINTS. If you find yourself at a gig where you’re traveling frequently, do some research on travel hacking and loyalty programs. (The Points Guy is a great place to start.) I have my preferred hotel and airline loyalties, along with their credit cards, and put all my spending on those cards accordingly. As you climb your way through the ranks of status, you accumulate points faster and faster. Add the combo of credit card points and other loyalty programs, and you really maximize your return on travel. You can even get upgrades. Who doesn’t love a room with a view or a first class seat?
Top 5 Travel Tips
- Apply for a good travel credit card – The best cards have no FX fees, grant you access to some of the airport lounges, accrue points best suited for travel, and some even have travel insurance.
- Google Flights – Whether you’re trying to find the best fares, plan a trip with several stops, or best time of year to travel, I highly recommend Google flights. You can even set up alerts and tracking for fare prices. (I saved nearly $600 on my trip to Tokyo when a fare dropped for a couple hours thanks to a Google Flights alert.)
- Expect your luggage to get lost – Now I’ve only had my luggage end up in the wrong place twice, but it’s inevitable. If you’re traveling internationally, or have multiple connections, pack an extra day or two of clothes and all your important things in a carry-on. Brands like TravelPro and Samsonite are sporty, simple, and have a lot of packing room. They fit neatly in an overhead or under your seat.
- Maximize points/status with alliances – Airlines have alliances internationally; booking with the same alliance helps you accrue miles and status quickly. Not to mention, status with an alliance goes a long way when something does go wrong (like lost baggage or canceled flights).
- Alliances aren’t just for flights – Many hotels, airlines, retailers, and ride-share services have alliances, but they’re usually opt-in programs. Check with your loyalties to see what alliances exist and get them set up so you can be earning points and miles on everything!
Like I said, I hit nearly 20 cities in nearly a dozen countries in the span of a year for a fraction of the cost by making the most out of my business trips. Not a bad deal for spending a few hours a week in the air.
- Prague, Czech Republic – I’ve always had an interest in architecture, and when I visited
- Prague I was blown away by the iconic castles and structures. There is no such thing as a bad view in Prague. The pastries are also a delight! Should you find yourself there, find street vendor and get a chimney cake (or as the locals call it tderlnik)!
- Dubai, UAE – Opulence on the grandest of scales. Dubai pushes the limits of imagination and possibility. Everything in Dubai is done to the most exaggerated degree. Even the Dubai Mall is so large there are taxis inside to get shoppers around!
- Singapore, Singapore – I’m cheating here, I haven’t been yet – but I will be in less than two months! Everything I’ve heard from how clean the city is, to the cutting-edge technology and luxury restaurants and hotels makes me excited to go.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that the publisher receives a commission when you buy a product referenced on this site.
About Mike Lawrence:
Caffineaholic, innovator, and world-traveler on a mission to live life and inspire others. I started exploring the country at an early age growing up around the country from San Francisco to Chicago, traveling from Florida to the Midwest. Now I’m living in New York City, but my second home is in the air. I love to always be on the go jet-setting somewhere fun.
I have a passion for travel-hacking – the art and science of free or discounted travel. Whether it’s finding flight deals, credit card bonuses, or creating a crazy itinerary to squeeze in an extra city for a couple extra bucks, I enjoy it all.Bleisurebleisure livingCredit carddestinationsFlightsLuggagePeopleProductiveTraveltravel tips