Travel Hacking Plan w/ Lee Huffman – EP 71

Travel! For many of us, it’s what we look forward to, work for, and talk about; AND unfortunately it can also be what propels us into debt. We know some people get to see the world on very few dollars; so we talked with Lee Huffman from the We Travel There podcast to pick his brain on travel hacking and how even the most inexperienced can do it!

ANNOUCEMENT: Frugal Friends Meet Up in Washington DC, Sept 7 @ 5:30 at Kalorama Park


Rakuten: We love and use Rakuten all the time so we wanted to give them a shout out. If you’ve never used it, Rakuten is a shopping portal where you can get cash-back on purchases from your favorite stores. We use it for Groupon, Amazon, Walmart, travel sites and more. And, if you haven’t tried Rakuten yet we’ve got a $10 welcome bonus for you on your first purchase of $25 or more when you sign up through

Vacation: All I ever wanted. When you have to get away a vacation is what you want. Some people prefer spending it alone, others with family and friends. Whether it’s a week away to forget someone or two weeks, which will still probably not be long enough to get over someone, try a vacation. Vacation, all anyone ever wants.

Notable Notes:

When people think of travel hacking often they think lots of cards to keep track of for a long time to get 1-2% back, but it’s not so. We jump into the conversation asking Lee all of the questions about travel hacking and how even amateurs can ‘get there’ frugally!

  • What is travel hacking and why did you get started?
  • What’s your strategy for beginner travel hackers?
  1. Determine where you want to go (who flies there, who provides lodging)
  2. Utilize shopping portals – tells you where to earn most cash back
  • What are some commonly overlooked things people should consider?
  1. Consider automatic minimum payment to keep good credit score
  2. Join mailing lists for hotels you want – you’ll be the first to find out promos
  3. Stack benefits (Dosh – dining cash back, Uber local credits, Hilton dining rewards)
  4. Learn more on travel blogs (Boarding Area, Points Guy, Frequent Traveler University)
  • What are some tricks to get the minimum spend?
  1. Chase sapphire reserve
  2. Chase Inc business preferred
  3. Capital 1 saver (4% cash back)
  4. Southwest CC – companion pass! – apply in late December (hit min spend in Jan.)

BILL OF THE WEEK – Thank you Lee for sharing your bill about your credit card statement where you learned you got a free night at Hilton anywhere in the world!

Lightning Round

Our favorite trips using travel rewards

  • Lee: Traveled from Chicago to Belgium in business class through Marriot’s ‘nights&flights’
  • Jen: Babymoon to Beaver Creek, CO and got 3 nights at the park Hyatt on points!
  • Jill: Flights to Vegas and return flights from San Diego on Southwest points, AND rental car and hotels on Chase sapphire reserve points!

Hear more from Lee at the We Travel There Podcast and his blog Bald Thoughts

Frugal Friends Book Club:

It’s August and we’re reading The Simple Path to Wealth by J.L. Collins for book club!

  • If you want a free copy, leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, screenshot the review and send it to We’ll select the winners at the end of the month.

See ya next week!

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