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So, I just scheduled my first free trip to Europe. Last year I went to Belgium for about $900 total between flight and hotel, but this year the flight is free (actually $180 in fees). I am going with two friends and they each paid about $800 – $900 for their tickets. I did this by signing up for an American Airlines Advantage card that gave me 75K miles just for signing up and spending a certain amount of money within three months. I saved myself $600 to $800 from the biggest cost of travel, the air-plane ticket. Getting these credit cards and strategically earning miles or points is called Travel Hacking and y’all should be doing it!
We will be flying into Paris, staying for two days, then taking the train to Brussels. We are going to stay in Brussels for two days and attend the largest open source software conference in the world, FOSDEM. Then, we are going to take the train to Amsterdam and spend 3-4 days there. The flight into Paris was 20K miles, and the flight back to the US from Amsterdam was 20K miles. This wasn’t even half of my 108K points I have earned this year!
Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences, especially when you get to go for cheap or free. I studied French for about a month before I left. This year, I am going to study for about three months and hopefully get a personal tutor. We will see how far I get, but it will be fun either way. I have also been listening to Rick Steve’s Audio Europe which will get you excited. There are apps for both Android and iOS. His descriptions of the cultures in Europe and around the world will get you wanting to travel in no time, so remember, Travel Hacking = Free or Cheap Travel!