“We Quit Our Jobs & Traveled the World for 2 Years to 33 Countries in 302 Places Across 6 Continents”

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Welcome to the next interview in our interview peeries where travel bloggers share their insights on having Big Travel with Small Money!

Miles & Points Interview:   HoneyTrek

Mike and Anne started HoneyTrek to document their around-the-world honeymoon.

And you could win a $25 Amazon gift card or a SteriPEN Adventurer on their site!

Honey Trek - Interview With Mike And Anne

Hiking to the Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina

How and when did you start collecting miles and points?

For our honeymoon, we quit our jobs and traveled the world for 2 years to 33 countries and 302 places across 6 continents.  To pull off all this travel, I knew we would need to seriously boost our mileage balances, so I dove head-first into the world of miles and points.

We took a total of 14 long-haul international flights on our round-the-world trip, and we paid for every single 1 of those with milesMileage hacking saved us $11,820, which allowed us to extend our trip by 158 more days.

Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?

As as soon as we decided to go on this round-the-world honeymoon, we knew we would chronicle the journey online with HoneyTrek.com and our Facebook page.

Anne was a magazine editor and writer and I was a digital media strategist and photographer so blogging was a no-brainer.

HoneyTrek is about sharing a dream and hopefully showing more people that traveling the world long-term isn’t just for millionaires and hippies.  It’s for anyone looking to enhance their life with unforgettable experiences.

We hope our stories and photographs will encourage people to seize today, and not wait for retirement to explore the world.

One thing that is very unique about our site is HoneyTrek Trip Coach, one-on-one Skype workshops teaching people how to travel the world affordably, safely, and off the beaten path.  When we were planning our trip, the main thing we wanted was to sit down and talk face-to-face with someone who’d done it.

Now, with 55 countries and over 175,000 miles of international travel under our belt, we want to be that mentor and show people how to make their travel dreams a reality.

Honey Trek - Interview With Mike And Anne

Wine & Cheese Picnic at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

We teach our students about a wide range of topics including:

  • Mileage hacking & earning free flights
  • Maximizing free lodging opportunities
  • Saving for a trip & budgeting on the road
  • Optimal route planning
  • Visas & border crossings
  • Packing, tech & camera solutions
  • Health & Safety

Long-term travel is achievable for anyone who sets their mind to it (especially all you mileage collectors out there!)

If you are wondering how you can take your journey of a lifetime, check out Trip Coach and reach out to us at TripCoach@HoneyTrek.com or heck…just give us a ring, 888-852-9383.  Life is short, it’s time to get after it!

What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?

If you want to literally double your mileage balance in all your accounts and every credit card bonus, convince your significant other to join you in this fruitful hobby.

Anne was skeptical at 1st, because in her entire life she never had luck booking mileage flights around the holidays.  So she thought it was a total sham.  But after traveling the world on frequent flier miles for over 3 years now, I can confidently say she is happily on board.

What’s your most memorable travel experience?

Traveling slowly and without reservations (in both senses of the word) leads to some of the most amazing experiences, and things that a pre-planned itinerary simply can’t achieve.

Here are just a few of our favorite experiences from life on the road:

  •  WWOOF Japan: Living and working with a Japanese family on an organic farm at the foot of a volcano
Honey Trek - Interview With Mike And Anne

A Cheetah Jumped on Top of Our Open-Roof Safari Vehicle

What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?

They are in total awe.  They realize that mile hacking has allowed us to see so much of the world on a very tight budget.  Our miles hobby allowed us to do our entire trip for $37 per day per person, including lodging, flights, overland travel, excursions, visas, gear, and everything else!

Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?

Our favorite tools
Important Tips

1.   I know we are all addicted to collecting points, but I highly recommend spending on a card that gives you 2% or more cash back on every single purchase.  Having points often makes you “create” ways to spend them, and find a perceived value.  Remember, cash (back) is king!

2.   I focus solely on airfare and never on hotel points, because you can find beautiful and very affordable accommodations anywhere in the world.  If someone were to offer you a flight from New York City to Bali or 1 night in a category 5 Hilton in Bali, which would you choose?  I personally will spend my 40,000 points on that flight every day of the week!

Honey Trek - Interview With Mike And Anne

Anne Thanking a Villager for Having Us Over for Tea in Flores, Indonesia

What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?

Sending 2 Mother’s Day bouquets and earning enough points for 2 flights, man do we love our Southwest Companion Pass!

What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?

How to effectively call the reconsideration lines (huge love to Million Mile Secrets for all the great tips there!)  That would have been very helpful for some of my early credit card rejections.

What would our readers be surprised to know about you?

We just signed a contract with a TV production company and are working on a US-based travel show with a travel hacking angle (Wish we could disclose more. Until then, wish us luck!).

Been anywhere cool in America?  Where should we explore? Leave any suggestions here.”

Honey Trek - Interview With Mike And Anne

Kayaking Milford Sound, New Zealand

Any parting words?

I will leave everyone with the quote which inspired us to take the huge leap and set out on our around-the-world adventure…

“Then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” -Randy Komisar

Mike & Anne have graciously offered all Million Mile Secrets readers a 10% discount on any of their Trip Coach courses.  Email them at TripCoach@HoneyTrek.com or give them a call at 888-852-9383 and mention reading their interview on Million Mile Secrets.

Mike and Anne – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!

If you’d like to be considered for our interview series, please send me a note!

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15 responses to ““We Quit Our Jobs & Traveled the World for 2 Years to 33 Countries in 302 Places Across 6 Continents”

  1. That is really exciting! Does your $37/person/day include food?

  2. I wake up everyday thinking about traveling the world. And now that I have discovered this blog among others, I feel it is even more possible to do it affordably. It’s people like Darius and Emily and the couple in this article that inspire me. Thank you for all you offer!

  3. Cash is definitely more flexible than points or miles, but it is SO easy to fly in first/business AND get free hotel stays with miles and points. The cash back required to travel this way would require multiple times more spending.

    I’m curious what it is that you like about Credit Karma. They provide fake credit scores and incomplete credit reports. There are ways to get free FICO scores that are much more useful.

  4. Marina, you can totally travel the world affordably! So glad we helped inspire you. Definitely reach out to us and we can help you make it happen.

  5. Matt, yes $37 was our average daily expenses, including transportation, lodging, activities, and food. It is exciting 🙂 Are you considering an RTW?

  6. My own 1.5 year “sabbatical” made it possible for me to visit 27 countries across 4 continents/regions-of-the-world, and I did practically all of it on miles and points, but also with other budget travel embellishments like AirBnB and some hostels here and there. Although I’ve read a lot of the interview series posts, this one somehow brought all my own wonderful experiences back to life for me, and I feel delighted & blessed right now reflecting on them. Also, the photos were some of the most beautiful I’ve seen by travellers! I’m looking forward to seeing your TV show eventually.

  7. Scott, your comment just made our day. 1. that’s awesome you made a 1.5yr sabbatical happen, and 2. that our photos and stories brought you back to the beauty of the open road. We really appreciate your kind words and hope to see over on HoneyTrek!

  8. Oh, no!! Another “Look at Me and How Great My Life Is” website/blog under the guise of “helping people with travel.” And LOL @ only $37/day of expenses. Absolute malarkey. Article said you don’t do hotel points. Yes, you could go do groceries and stay in hostels/AirBnB for $37, but that cuts out your ability to travel or entertainment. You have photos of bungee jumping, canoe rentals, park fees. So that cost nothing??? Nevermind the cost of heath insurance via Cobra/self-insurance (I guess you could be foolish and not carry it), mortgage or storage rental (if no apt or home), telecommunications fees, etc. etc. etc.

  9. You guys are my inspiration! I would love to this. I am just starting this year with the miles and points thing but in order to something like this I know my husband will have to become involved in the game too. He knows I am into it but he is indifferent and of course skeptical. Also it doesn’t help he only uses his Credit cards for emergencies and whatnot Our first wedding anniversary is coming up and i’m trying to plan a kick ass trip with very little money so he sees its not BS. haha. anyone have more advice on how to involve your partner in this more?

  10. Rose, it took me a while to get Anne on board with mileage hacking but now she’s seen how many opportunities it’s given us to explore…just dive in and he will see. We just took our 62 flight on miles, so it’s for real and my credit score is actually 30 points higher than when we started. We are super passionate about miles so we’d be happy to hop on a call with you guys if you’d like…

  11. BB, we kept our day-to-day expenses super low (HouseSitting, traveling slowly overland, WWOOF-ing, cooking some our own meals, etc) so that when the opportunity arose to do something like bungee jumping or a jungle trek we could enjoy those unique experiences. So you are right, we were not under $37/person on every single day of the trip…some days we spend $80/person, and other days we spent $10/person…When we returned home after two years, $37 was our average per day. As for insurance, there are some great plans for travelers, ours cost $1k/person for 12 months. As for a mortgage, we rented out our apartment furnished which has covered costs there. Our lives are far from perfect, there are plenty of ups and downs on the road, but we keep a positive attitude and things have a way of working out.

  12. THANKS FOR THE TIP ON AWARD WALLET !!!!! I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS SITE !!!!!

  13. No rt for me. At least not yet. I started getting into miles about two years ago and have become a bit obsessed about it. Have gone on several trips and the cost per person per day is much higher than $37. Just very impressed.

  14. MilesMethods. You are right on the ability to leverage points well beyond the 2 cents / dollar, which is why we are big time point collectors. But at the same time we are cash-collectors as well…I guess it’s a hybrid strategy. With regards to CreditKarma, you are right, they definitely aren’t perfect, but I like them and CreditSesame to keep a general idea on my credit and any flags that get raised. Do you use AnnualCreditReport to get your full report? I love them!

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