Posted by & filed under Travel Writing.

2014, they say, will be the year we see more travel reward credit cards and fancy offers than ever before… but less free reward travel and upgrades to first class.  

I believe it.  Gone are the days we could stockpile points for elite status.  In are the days where we actually have to fly to get status.  That, or own the right credit card.

Of course, as a travel writer, you can get your flights, hotel, meals, and more paid for by someone else. More about how to do that here. But sometimes it’s handy to get free travel, even when you’re not penning travel articles.

One service I know, the Travel Hacking Cartel, was started by traveler and entrepreneur, Chris Guillebeau and promises one free flight every three months using the deals and promotions they send your way by e-mail.

Methods like travel reward programs that offer free hotel rooms and airline tickets.  And credit cards that have big bonus mile incentives and other perks like priority boarding and waived checked bag fees.

If you’re smart, you can even double- and triple-dip in these programs and pile on extra nights and airline miles to travel free quite often.

It’s worth the membership fee not to have to search for these things on your own.  And honestly, even though I try to stay on top of these things and consider myself to be pretty savvy about them, I still find it overwhelming.  

This year, I’m happy to pay for someone else to do the grunt work for me so I can sit back, relax, and enjoy some free travel with my kids.

I have just these three goals:

1. Take my family to Florida without paying for it.

2. Get Silver and then Gold status on United so I no longer have to fly in cattle class.

3. See another country and use hotel points to pay for my stay.

I’ll send you a video tomorrow that includes my system-manipulating research so you don’t have to do all this legwork yourself.

In the meantime, if you, too, want to travel free this year, check out the Travel Cartel.

You can’t beat their offer of a free flight every three months.

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