Travel Hacking

Ben Hughes @rubiety http://benhugh.es http://github.com/rubiety
Sunday, October 30, 11

Travel doesn’t have to be expensive.... Learn to optimize and take advantage of hacks and freebies!

Sunday, October 30, 11

• 3 Years • 185,000 Miles • 132 Flights
Las Vegas San Francisco Boston Seattle Portland Chicago Los Angeles Washington DC Phoenix New Orleans
Sunday, October 30, 11

London Edinburgh Dublin Amsterdam Brussels Rome Paris Palm Springs Louisville Austin

Vancouver Hong Kong Singapore Bangkok Dubai Abu Dhabi Istanbul Athens Barcelona New York

ROC TPA ROC PHL AMS EDI DUB CIA LHR PHL DFW PSP DFW PHL ROC TPA ROC TPA ROC JFK PDX JFK ROC JFK SAN BOS

-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->

TPA ROC PHL LHR EDI DUB FCO ORY PHL DFW PSP DFW PHL ROC TPA ROC TPA ROC JFK SEA JFK ROC JFK SAN BOS MSY

MSY JFK ROC JFK AUS LGB SLC JFK SJC LGB SEA BOS JFK ROC JFK DEN JFK LAS JFK ROC LGA ROC TPA ROC ORD

-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->

JFK ROC JFK AUS LGB SLC JFK SFO LGB PDX BOS JFK ROC JFK DEN JFK LAS JFK ROC LGA ROC TPA ROC ORD SAN

SAN IAD ROC BWI TPA BWI ROC CVG SAN DTW ROC ORD ROC BWI ROC TPA ROC JFK LAS JFK SFO BOS SEA PDX JFK

-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->

IAD ROC BWI TPA BWI ROC CVG SAN DTW ROC ORD LEX BWI ROC TPA ROC JFK LAS JFK SFO BOS SEA PDX JFK ORD

ORD LGB IAD BOS SAN IAD IPT PHL SAN YVR HKG SIN BKK KWI AUH IST ATH BCN GVA SAN PHL SAN ORD ROC ORD

-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->

LGB IAD BOS SAN IAD ROC PHL SAN YVR HKG SIN BKK KWI DXB IST ATH BCN GVA JFK PHL SAN ORD ROC ORD SAN

SAN ATL SDF MSP SAN BOS SAN BOS BUF BOS BOS JFK SEA JFK BOS SAN BOS DEN SAN BOS MSY BOS ORD BOS SAN BOS

-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->

ATL SDF MSP SAN BOS SAN BOS BUF BOS SAN JFK PDX JFK BOS SAN BOS DEN BOS BOS MSY BOS ORD BOS SAN BOS DCA

Sunday, October 30, 11

Airfare Hacking
• Little Correspondence to Marginal Cost • Highly Price-Discriminatory • Extremely Route-Dependent • Variable to Flight Date (Time of Year)
Optimize entirely on price, at the expense of comfort, dates, and even destination!
Sunday, October 30, 11

Don’t Pick Destinations First
• Plane costs are a substantial portion of your budget • Ticket prices vary wildly based on many factors • So why choose destination than simply accept
whatever the price is?

Sunday, October 30, 11

My Airfare Routine
• HipMunk.com or Kayak.com for Baseline • Momondo.com or SkyScanner.com for Cross-Check • Check Airline’s Website • Check Different Airline Locale Websites
(Different Currencies)

• Check Split Itineraries (Chain Different Airlines) • Use http://www.seatguru.com/ before picking seats • Always sign up for frequent flyer programs!
Sunday, October 30, 11

A Travelphile’s Holy Grail:

Unlimited Flying Passes

Sunday, October 30, 11

JetBlue All-You-Can-Jet Pass
Year 2009:

• • • •
Sunday, October 30, 11

Unlimited Travel September 8 - October 7 $600

Year 2010:
Unlimited Travel September 8 - October 7 $700 Regular, $500 if excluding Fri/Sun

JetBlue BluePass (Boston All)
Year 2011:

• • • • •
Sunday, October 30, 11

Unlimited Travel August 22 - November 22, 2011 $2,000 All Itineraries must include Boston Logan (JetBlue Hub) as an Airport! Booking, canceling, changing can be done up to 90 minutes before departure. Must pay $10.70 in taxes/911 fee per leg

JetBlue Loopholes & Hacks
• • •
Booking Flights into Hurricanes for $100 Credit Printing Boarding Passes for your Friends Hopping Red-Eyes for free accommodation

Sunday, October 30, 11

Racking up Airline Points

Sunday, October 30, 11

Credit Cards
• 25,000 - 50,000 Miles just for signing up,
corresponding to ~$400 in flight value

• Typically yearly fee waived for first year:

Simply downgrade to a lesser card in 11 months, and keep initial points hit

• Airline Cards vs. Generic Bank Cards • Cash payers subsidize Credit Card payers:
Sunday, October 30, 11

Foregoing the opportunity to make back 1-2% is a cost

Airline Special Offers
• Follow Airline Mailing Lists / Twitter • Points for Taking Surveys • Double Points in Certain Periods • http://travelhacking.org ?
Sunday, October 30, 11

TSA Hacking
• Boarding Passes as checked by TSA are entirely
unverified documents boarding passes

• No Boarding Pass check at gate - dummy • Observe people to decide which line to go in • In connected-terminal airports, enter TSA in the
international terminal
Sunday, October 30, 11

Accommodation Hacking
• Hotwire.com • $360/night Hyatt “Resort & Spa” for $79 • $250/night Denver Sheraton for $90 • New Midsize Car Rental for $18/day • Priceline.com • Don’t book a hotel without either of these!
Sunday, October 30, 11

Stay in Hostels
• No, it’s not like the movie “Hostel”! • Quality varies, choose based on your tolerance • Often in very central areas • Meet Interesting People • Get a cheap hotel every 4-5 nights • Also: Maximize Red-Eyes - It’s a free night’s stay! • Be homeless! Travel when your lease ends.
Sunday, October 30, 11

Food Hacking
• Resist temptation to “splurge” on every meal • Street food stalls • Non-touristy Areas • Food costs vary widely from area to area - optimize! • Stock up on Lunch (Specials), Ease up on Dinner • Buffets! Eat your entire day in one meal • Las Vegas “Buffet of Buffets”
Sunday, October 30, 11

Go Travel - Cheaply!
Ben Hughes @rubiety http://benhugh.es http://github.com/rubiety

Sunday, October 30, 11