Steven Zussino show how to travel affordably via his blog, CanadianTravelHacking.com. Travel Hacking for Canadians reveals Zussino's tips, tricks, and secrets to travel more and pay less!
You will learn how to master the art of travel so that travel doesn't have to be expensive. With this book, you'll learn about the ways to travel that aren't in travel books.
Using smart spending strategies and understanding the frequent flyer programs, I have been able to travel for free saving me thousands of dollars. My goal in writing this book is to make travel easier and more affordable for most Canadians. I share valuable advice in this book that can save you thousands of dollars.
Best frequent flyer redemptions in Aeroplan and AIR MILES®
Assorted travel hacks that you can use without joining any frequent flyer program.
How to earn thousands of frequent flyer miles.
Secret strategies to get the lowest prices using these websites.
Ways to get the lowest price for the major travel websites and hotel chains.
Alternatives to staying at hotels that will stretch your travel dollars.
Workarounds when booking a car that can save you some money.
Tips and tricks to make cruising more affordable, and what to look out for.
I have travel strategies and tips in this book for Canadians. This book is written for Canadians that want to use their AIR MILES® and Aeroplan miles, want to know how to stretch their travel budget, and stay in the finest hotels for a fraction of the cost.
Travel Hacking for Canadians is over 300 pages of solid advice and tips. I have attached a few sample pages to show some of the content you will receive. This book shares the best rewards available to Canadians among the frequent flyer programs (Aeroplan, AIR MILES®, etc), and shows you how to maximize your rewards while spending the least amount possible, enabling you to travel on a budget.
Aeroplan should be a familiar program with Canadians. This is the frequent flyer program for Air Canada.
Aeroplan miles are earned by flying with Air Canada and other Star Alliance™ airlines. Star Alliance™ is the largest global airline network in terms of daily flights, destinations, and countries to which it flies, and number of member airlines within the alliance.
The Aeroplan miles you earn are based on the distance you fly, and the fare option you purchase.
The Aeroplan program rewards members who book their tickets with the highest fares. Currently, travel booked with a Tango fare (the lowest price) receives only 25% of the possible Aeroplan Miles, and members flying in the highest fare classes, Executive Class Flexible and Executive Class Lowest, earn a 25 to 50 percent mileage bonus. When flying on partner airlines in the Star Alliance, you will generally earn 100 percent of miles flown, although mileage earning varies with the partner and fare class.
Aeroplan has an extensive list of earning partners, including hotels, car rentals, online retailers, credit cards, financial services, and more.
Roundtrip economy class ClassicFlight awards within Canada and the U.S. are 15,000 miles for selected short-haul flights, and 25,000 miles for long-haul flights. Business class ClassicFlight awards are 25,000 miles for short-haul flights, and 50,000 miles for long-haul flights. Flights from Canada to Hawaii are 45,000 miles in coach, and 80,000 miles in business. Flights to Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean are 40,000 miles in coach, and 60,000 miles in business; flights to Europe 1 are 60,000 miles in coach, and 90,000 miles in business; and to flights to Asia 1 are 75,000 miles in coach and 150,000 miles in business.
When redeeming your Aeroplan miles for travel with Air Canada, the program has two categories, ClassicFlight and Market Fare. ClassicFlight awards are capacity controlled and Market Fare awards offer access to more seats for variable mileage levels, and are only available on Air Canada and Air Canada Express.
One of the best ways to rack up frequent flyer miles is usually being a frequent flyer. However, getting into an airplane is not the only way to earn frequent flyer miles. Since I no longer travel for work, I have to find new ways to acquire frequent flyer miles. This chapter shares many ways to earn frequent flyer miles without flying.
Credit Card Applications
Signing up for credit cards to earn frequent flyer miles is the easiest and quickest way to earn miles and points for free travel. You can sometimes earn as many as 50,000 miles for a single card application.
Now before you start applying for credit cards, you need to take a closer look at a few things:
Check your credit history
Your credit history is recorded in files maintained by at least one of Canada's major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. It is possible to obtain your credit file for free. Please consult the agencies' websites in order to obtain more information. These files are called credit reports. A credit report is a snapshot of your credit history. It is one of the tools lenders use to determine whether or not to give you credit.
To get your all-important credit score, you'll have to spend some money. Both Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada offer consumers real-time online access to their credit score (your credit report is also included).
Before you actually apply for a new credit card, I would recommend getting your free annual credit report, and making sure that all of your accounts are in good standing. You will want to make sure that you have no credit card debt, that you have a high credit score, and that you can pay your credit card balance in full each month.
Minimum spending requirements
Many credit cards require you to complete a certain amount of minimum spending before you get the sign-on bonus (i.e. spending $1,000 in the first three months of having the credit card). While $1,000 in three months may sound like a lot, that comes out to under $350 a month for three months.
To satisfy these minimum spending requirements, make sure that you put all of your finances on your credit cards. Use cash only when you absolutely have to!
If you charge your groceries, gasoline, cable, cell phone, vacation, shopping, dining out on your credit card, it is fairly easily to meet the minimum spending requirements in the designated time period.
Another important factor to consider when looking at a credit card is the annual fee.
Many of the credit cards will have an annual fee attached to them. Some of the cards will have annual fees that can be as high at $699. The credit cards with the higher annual fees have more benefits, including higher mileage benefits.
The annual fee will sometimes be waived for the first year. If you enjoy the benefits of the credit card, and do not want to cancel the credit card, consider requesting that the credit card company waive the annual fee.
When an annual fee comes due on a card, you can often get the bank to waive it by downgrading to a related card with no adverse credit effect, or by speaking to the retention department to receive some bonus (statement credit or annual fee waived).
Having powerful cards with big sign-up bonuses is the easiest way to jumpstart your collection of frequent flyer miles.
Below are my recommendations for the top overall cards:
American Express Gold Rewards Card
This is a travel credit card that offers flexible rewards. You are able to transfer your points to frequent flyer programs like, Aeroplan, Alitalia, British Airways Avios, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Hilton HHonors, and Starwood, or you can charge any travel to the card then pay for it with points that you receive with your spending.
You earn two points for every $1 in Card purchases at eligible gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores in Canada and eligible travel purchases, including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more. You earn one point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else.
You have the option to transfer each point on a 1:1 basis to Aeroplan&rt; and other programs (other programs have different transfer ratios). You will need to transfer a minimum of 1,000 points.
This card has a high earnings ratio based on the two points earned on many purchases.
Now that you have seen all the tips and tricks that you can use to acquire frequent flyer miles, I wanted to share some of the best ways of using the miles. Each traveler's requirements are different; some want to redeem miles for a business class trip to Europe or Australia, while others may just want to take their family from Toronto to New York. This chapter will explore the best use and return for your frequent flyer miles.
Before you start to redeem your miles on any program, you should be organized. I use a free service like Awardwallet.com that lets you input and track all your frequent flyer accounts (even includes Esso, Groupon, Petro Canada, and Starbucks) in one place.
AwardWallet provides a free service that helps you manage your reward balances and travel itineraries. The website supports 612 loyalty programs - air, hotel, car rental, credit card and others. Founded in 2004, AwardWallet quickly became a popular choice for both road warriors and casual travelers. Today, over 178,000 active members rely on AwardWallet to manage over 37.9 billion miles / points representing $758 million in value. AwardWallet is not affiliated or related to any of the loyalty programs offered by the airlines, hotels or credit cards identified on this website or tracked and monitored using the AwardWallet service.
AwardWallet.com is designed to help keeping track of different loyalty programs for you and your family. It can login on your behalf to the different reward accounts and retrieve your balance, expiration, elite level, etc. and show this information in a single, easy to understand report.
This chapter looks at the major frequent flyer programs for Canadians, and examines the pros and cons of each program.
This chapter shares many ways to earn frequent flyer miles without flying.
This chapter will explore the best use and return for your frequent flyer miles.
I am going to show some tips and tricks on how to save money on air travel with some travel hacking - No frequent flyer points needed!
I have some great tips in this chapter that will help you get the rock-bottom price for your room for Priceline&rt; and Hotwire.
This chapter will review the major loyalty programs, and share some of the benefits that being a member provides. Includes some interesting redemptions with each loyalty program.
This chapter includes great alternatives to staying at hotels that will stretch your travel dollars.
Renting a car can be expensive, but if you know some of the workarounds to the high-pressure sales agents when booking, you can save some money.
This chapter will share my tips and tricks to make cruising more affordable, and what to look out for when booking.
Appeared on the Late Shift Radio - NEWSTALK 1010.
The beauty of Travel Hacking for Canadians is this book consolidates that information in one tidy package. - review.
So in summary, get this book, it will give you a great head start to travel hacking your way out of your Canadian city for super cheap - review.
If you are looking to save money while travelling, this book is a great resource to have - covering virtually all aspects of travel. - review.
Thankfully Steven's book has a number of great tips on how to save money on travel, a lot of which I've never tried before. - review.
If you were previously unaware of travel hacking, you read this book from cover to cover, and then put the strategies into practice for the next 10 years even traveling only once or twice a year, then you will save thousands of dollars. - review.
As a special offer for the launch I am offering both the eBook edition and a Paperback edition for just $19.99 with FREE Shipping. Price includes shipping to anywhere in Canada. This is a direct purchase from the author and is greatly appreciated!
Steven Zussino is the author of Canadian Travel Hacking. His blog, canadiantravelhacking.com shares travel hacks, tips, and deals for Canadian travelers. Zussino has an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Lakehead University, with a major in Information Systems, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Royal Roads University. Previously, he co-founded Grocery Alerts Canada with his wife Lina, where they share grocery coupons, grocery deals, and show ways for Canadians to shrink their grocery bill.
His saving tips and advice have been featured in CNN Money, Global BC, Toronto Star, MoneySense, The Globe and Mail, and BC CTV News. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia with his wife and daughters.
While on parental leave, he travelled to over four continents and thirteen countries, with his nine month old daughter. He decided to start writing this book to encourage more Canadians to travel, and to share his tips and tricks on how to make travel both fun and affordable.