Though the Selfish Years started as a dream years ago, the idea for a year long trip around the world didn’t become a reality until September 16, 2011.
Mrs. Selfish and I have always liked to travel, but we’ve usually limited ourselves to one international trip per year – mostly for time reasons, but also because international trips can be utterly expensive. This all changed after our trip to Peru last fall.
After an amazing trip to Machu Picchu, I became deathly ill upon our return to Orlando. Bed-ridden, I spent an entire week lying on the couch when I wasn’t doubled over. My only solace was the internet – and on this particular day, I stumbled across an article about how some guy had spent the last 9 months traveling around the world.
And he had done it for $418.
Immediately, Mrs. Selfish and I started plotting. Was it possible for us to accumulate the necessary miles to fly around the world for next to nothing? Better yet, could we do it all in business class?
The short answer, was yes.
What is Travel Hacking?
Travel Hacking is about earning miles and points to get free flights or accommodations. Travel hackers are typically looking for ways to accumulate the most miles, points, or elite status for the least amount of money. They look for ways to game the system. Some of it can be pretty hardcore, like a mileage run where the goal is to fly as many miles as possible for the least amount of money (think New York to San Francisco by way of Philadelphia, Tampa, Dallas, and Seattle). Other times it can be pretty easy, like signing up for a new credit card, or moving your investments into a different brokerage account.
Shortly after reading the initial article last September, I became completely obsessed with the idea of earning enough miles to get us around the world. And it worked.
Over the last year, Mrs. Selfish and I have managed to rack up over 1.5 million miles and points (all without flying), including:
- – 600,000 American Airline Miles
- – 256,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points
- – 206,000 Delta Miles
- – 107,000 Starwood Preferred Guest Points
- – 169,000 United Miles
- – 96,000 Priority Club points
- – 50,000 Jet Blue Miles