Many families work on a tight budget, but you still want to find some ways to make more memories with day trips, weekends away and even aiming for that once in a lifetime trip.
If you want to stretch your budget and get the chance to enjoy those special trips, you need to know how travel hacking works and get the lowdown on things like how to redeem Chase points for the best value and plenty of other tips and tricks besides.
Something for nothing
It seems that some travel hacking gurus believe that you can achieve a goal of being able to take one free family vacation each year.
There are very few of us who would turn down that sort of opportunity and it highlights just what sort of incentives and rewards are around, you just need to know how to tap into them and take the best advantage of what is being offered.
You will most likely need to board a plane to get to your holiday destination, so one of your first priorities is to try and work out how you might be able to earn a free trip for you and your family.
The trick here is to take the time to work out what each airline is offering in terms of rewards and then develop a strategy that allows you to maximize their value.
You might need to transfer rewards where possible to boost your points and another simple trick that far too many people miss out on, is not taking the opportunity to get the most points available.
If you have just one card earning points between you and your spouse or partner, you will not be getting the best out of the situation. If you both apply for a card in your own name, you will be instantly boosting your rewards earning potential.
Rewards for buying food
Get yourself a good cash back rewards credit card and you could soon be accumulating some significant rewards and bonus points, just for using the card when you buy your groceries.
If you use your card responsibly for everyday spending, this can be a great way of building up a decent level of points in a short space of time, which will certainly make a significant contribution towards your holiday plans.
If you do use your card in this way, it makes sense to ensure that you clear the balance when you get the bill, so that you don’t build up any debt and clear the way to start earning some more points the following month.
Using your points wisely
It is one thing to work hard at building up a decent bank of rewards points, but it would be a crying shame to almost put that effort to waste if you end up not using your points as wisely as possible.
It should pay to work out when it is a good time to use your points and when it is right to resist the temptation.
There is no doubt that certain destinations don’t always make much sense in terms of points , as you might be able to get a better deal without using them in some cases. Always look at your options rather than being blinded by the fact that you are getting something for nothing, as it could be that a better deal for your points is just around the corner.
The other point to consider here is that there is always an optimum time to spend your points. Hoarding your points can be a bad ploy, as you might find that issues such as changes of terms, which could devalue the value of your points, might come at short notice.
Applying your rewards
A final tip would be to look at all of your options when working out how best to use your rewards.
Flights and hotels are always a popular choice, but you might find that it could pay to use a cash back option to pay for car rental for example. Take the time to calculate the optimum way of applying the rewards that you have accumulated, and this way you can tick off all of your requirements as you go.
This could even mean that you get to a point that by being savvy with your points, you could potentially be heading off to an exciting destination with the family, without having to pay anything for the pleasure.
George Jackson is able to travel with his wife and two kids fairly regularly thanks to his travel hacking skills. They enjoy exotic trips to dream locations around the world but are equally happy having long weekends away exploring the next state.