Below is a collection of travel products that I use to keep track of my expenses and miles. These are all of the sites that I use to book flights and hostels. *Updated February 2014
Credit Cards: Churning & Manufactured Spending
After accumulating a mountain of credit card debt after college and living and working overseas to pay all of it off, I was a little weary to get back into using credit cards on a regular basis. Fast forward six years since I left my undergraduate days behind: I am much more financially responsible, and I even participate in credit card churning to earn miles and points.
There are a number of resources available to help you learn more about the points and miles ‘game’ and to help you to earn hundreds of thousands of miles easily. Three of my favorite resources include: Million Mile Secrets, The Points Guy, and Free Frequent Flier Miles.
I have signed up for a numerous amount of frequent flier programs through various airlines. Before I started to use AwardWallet a couple of year ago, I found it difficult to keep track of all of my programs. Award Wallet keeps track of all of your frequent flier miles, hotel points, and credit card points.
I used to use TripIt to keep track of all of the flights I take and all of the travel that I do. These days I take a more simplistic approach. In my GMail account, I create different folders for the destinations that I am going to travel to, and I place every email related to that pertains to my travel plans in that folder, with anything from flight reservations to hotel/hostel reservations. When I do create ‘rough’ itineraries, I use Microsoft Word and create a document and then upload it into Google Drive to share it with my family.
Flight Deals & Booking
Depending on where I am departing from and where I am going to, I use various sites. I tend to stick with regional airlines (for example in Asia I have flown on Air Asia, Air Busan, and Cebu Pacific Air; in Europe I flew British Airways) as I find the best deals.
I used to use Vayama and Expedia quite frequently for booking flights, however these days I usually use sites like Matrix, The Flight Deal, and Kayak Explore as my starting websites for looking up flight prices (no flights can be booked on any of the aforementioned sites) and then I venture into looking at my different loyalty airlines . I typically tend to purchase directly from the airline after using comparison sites to determine which price will be the best. When booking a flight, I always suggest doing plenty of RESEARCH and booking in advance if possible. Some of my best deals have been booked months in advance.
When looking for a place to stay in any given country that I go to, my first option used to always be Couchsurfing before I got into miles and points. Couchsurfing is a great community in which people don’t just share their home with you, but they also share their life with you. I have met so many amazing people since I began surfing and going to meet-ups in 2011.
If there are no couches available in the area which I will be visiting, I head to HostelBookers next to find inexpensive accommodation with no booking fees. Sometimes, the listings can be limited on HostelBookers and in that case I head over to HostelWorld.com.
Finally, I use hotels as either
What about you? What travel products do you use when you are planning to travel or traveling around the world? Share them in the comments section below!