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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
And you could win a $25 Amazon gift card or a SteriPEN Adventurer on their site!
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 miles! Mileage 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?
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.
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:
- Impromptu dance party with a band of elderly Peruvians
- Having a cheetah jump on our open-roof car and walk around our head
- Wild camping New Zealand at the foot of glaciers, hot springs, and fjords
- WWOOF Japan: Living and working with a Japanese family on an organic farm at the foot of a volcano
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
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!
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.”
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!