Destination in Mind

So you’ve decided that you want to start traveling for pennies on the dollar. What a great decision! You’re probably wondering where to start. The best place to start is by figuring out your travel goals. That means having a destination (or two) in mind. It will also involve determining the type of travel that works best for you in your situation.

Spending Goals

Some folks are looking to spend as little money as possible out of pocket to travel. You might not care that much about fancy hotel accommodations or luxury airline flights. Others are definitely looking to save money on their travels but want a more comfortable and upgraded flying experience (like I had when I traveled to Norway).

Perhaps you really appreciate the extra touches found at 5 star Hotels and Resorts. Maybe you want to travel to exotic locations. Your travel plans may have you visiting your children, grandchildren and close friends who live afar. Still, you may be the person who wants to take all the savings you would realize from using points and miles and put that money toward a special project or charity. I’m sure there are as many possibilities as there are people interested in this hobby.

I started out in Travel Hacking by signing up for an American Airlines credit card while online booking a flight to San Diego to an annual gathering of dear friends over two years ago. A little message popped up on my computer screen offering me a $100 credit toward the flight I was booking at the time and a chance to earn 40,000 American Airlines miles that I could use toward a future trip if I met a minimum spending requirement. In this case the minimum spending requirement was $3,000 spent in the first 90 days after being approved for the credit card.

The Savings Potential

Immediately, I realized there was a great opportunity to save $100 right away. It also became clear that 40,000 American Airline miles would likely be enough for a round trip flight to San Diego the following year. I was hooked from that very moment. The following year, I did book that trip to San Diego by redeeming the American Airline miles I had earned on that Credit card.

Maturing in the Hobby

Since then, I’ve learned quite a bit about how this hobby works and I’m looking forward to sharing what I know with you so you can experience the joy that I do every time I use my points and miles to take an almost free trip ( I just pay the taxes and fees which are usually less than $15 round trip for domestic flights).

The point is this; it is really great to know that you can collect lots of points and miles by jumping into the Travel Hacking hobby, but if you don’t have a destination in mind, those points and miles won’t do you much good. Where do you want to go? Dream big, the sky is the limit!

Please comment below and tell me where you want to go as well as when you’d like to travel. I want to help you make it a reality.

Published by Lisa Joy Phillips

I have a passion for Travel Hacking using Points and Miles to Travel for Pennies on the Dollar.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hey Lisa! Great blog! I enjoy reading about your experience and how you got into this interesting hobby. I am planning a trip this summer to visit my brother, who recently relocated to San Francisco. I haven’t looked at flights yet but I have almost 70,000 points so far on my Chase Sapphire card, thanks to you!

  2. Hi Lisa,
    I just received my Capital One Venture card and plan to meet the 3 month spending to maximim to rack up the points. I would like to travel to Ireland next spring with myself , my husband and my two adult children. Both my Children are looking into cards for travel points. Which one would you recommend for the anticipated trip to Ireland?

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Congrats on the Capital One Venture Card! Can your husband sign up for cards? How old are your children? What is/are your home airports? How much monthly spend can your children put on their cards? Lots of things go into the decision to pick a card. Next week’s Blog post will name my favorite card to apply for first and explain why I think it’s the best card to start with for most people.

  3. I am thinking about going to Knoxville, Tennessee to see my daughter, and go to New York, just to visit.

  4. I want to stay in Florida for 2-3 months in Fort Myers. I would drive down but would love to get some ideas about how to hack for some decent, long stay hotels with a small kitchen since it’s in season at that time and they are often quite expensive. Thanks Lisa!

    1. Hi Christa,
      A card like the Capital One Venture can get you over $500 to use toward your stay. The one card partnered with another card I have in mind could give you over $1,000 to work with in time for your trip. Contact me to discuss further.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *