ur generation today has evolved to be all about a global mindset. Travel is the new definition for wealth and experiences is the new currency for living. Travel expands our minds and allows for better awareness towards understanding of others people’s culture and backgrounds. Through travel we can get to appreciate the essence of humanity by itself and appreciate how other people live because travel allows us to be immersed in and experience a degree of other people’s culture, language and beliefs. When we understand the humans different from us by visiting their locations- we become more unified and as such we increase the chances of a better world.
Pascal Wagner is the author of “Fly for Free” which you can find on Amazon. Being amazed at how frequently this man is on the go and always travelling to different parts of the world garnering a wealth of experiences, I caught up with him to share the secret to his ability to fly around the world. We title this brief piece “The Art of Travel” because from the moment you decide to travel to the points at which you start analyzing how to travel, where to travel, who to travel with and so on- you are crafting a unique experience for yourself and that is an art by itself. If you have been itching to travel more, I hope Pascal’s story and tips below equips you with some practical tools to guiding you on your next travel adventure.
I believe that experiencing life through traveling is an essential part of the art of being alive.
“When was the last time you flew across the world? Took a trip to Europe? Or how about took a vacation in Hawaii?
If you are anything like I was a couple years ago, you are itching to travel the world and see what it has to offer, but flights that cost thousands of dollars are stopping you in your tracks from reaching this dream.
Perhaps, like me, you want to walk in the footsteps of centuries-old civilization, slip into the bluest waters on our beautiful planet, and lick your fingers clean after tasting your first fried grasshopper in the packed streets of Thailand, but you have no idea how to get started.
If this is you (or if this has been you), I can tell you that I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve looked through every travel magazine and scoured Lonely Planet like nobody’s business, dreaming of all the places I wanted to visit.
All I wanted was to get out of the United States and see the other 99% of the world I’ve been missing out on, but I just couldn’t figure out how to get past paying the thousands of dollars for each flight.
I kept doing this until I discovered the art of Travel Hacking — beating the credit card and airline companies at their own game. It’s a strategic way of using credit cards to earn frequent flyer miles and trading them in for free flights.
My first “free” trip I ever took using this new strategy was to Hawaii in January of 2014. On a Thursday I went snowboarding in Keystone, Colorado, and then Friday I was lying on a beach in Maui. It was like a dream. For my trip from Denver to Hawaii I spent a total of $10 in taxes and 37,500 frequent flyer miles.
And then there we were, all of a sudden – Hawaii.
From then on, I was hooked. I tried applying for as many cards as I could using this new Travel Hacking strategy.
I used air miles to fly to Los Angeles for a dance festival. Total cost: $5 and 18,251 miles.
Then there was a business conference I wanted to attend but previously couldn’t afford traveling to. Total cost: $8 and 12,000 miles.
I flew to weddings across the country. I went to business conferences on the east and west coasts. And I took spontaneous weekend getaways to Florida for less than the cost of a pair of sandals.
I then started to realize that I could use my miles more strategically and take flights that would cost me a fortune (especially during the holiday season).
My favorite trip of them all: I saved enough frequent flyer miles to afford an around-the-world ticket.
In the summer of 2014 I flew from Denver to London, Germany, Bali, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, Los Angeles and then back to Denver. It was the trip of a lifetime. I applied for 3 credit cards amounting to over 150,000 points. The entire trip cost me $633 and 140,000 miles.
For 633 dollars I got to fly to Thailand where I could ride elephants, fly to Sydney to see the historic Opera house, and go to the vantage point in Hong Kong overlooking the big city.
633 dollars. That’s it.
A typical around-the-world ticket would cost you $2,700 to $10,000, making $633 a steal.
I’ve included a video of my 2014 around the world tour just to show how cheap travel can actually be and what you set your mind to.
(Riding on the back of a moped through rice fields in Bali, 2014)
I sometimes still can’t believe how all of this was possible. At the time of this writing, I’ve racked up 10 (nearly) free flights. And here’s my Excel tracking sheet to show it.
Long story short, I’ve traveled to more than 50 countries and to more than half of the United States. My friends often asked how crafted together everything and that’s what led me to writing my book titled Fly For Free which within it’s first three days became a best seller.
Today I spend my time enjoying new cultures and living on the road. Two weeks ago I was in Egypt riding a camel next to the Pyramids in Cairo, Egypt and then the following week I drove around cars on the F1 Track in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Now I’m calling Ubud, Bali my new home for the next several months with periodic visits to Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan. Here’s the view from my office today and for the next couple months.
After reading the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss four years ago I set myself the dream to become location independent and travel the world. Today I’ve realized that dream and am excited for the next step of my life.”
Grab Life Big,