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Renting a car can be a pain. It’s a pain on your sanity with all the strange rules and policies of the rental companies. And it’s also a pain on your wallet, with rentals costing way more than you want to pay.
I’ve rented my share of cars over the years, and in the process I’ve figured out how to pay as little as possible. Below, I share my best tips for getting cheap car rentals every time.
To date, I’ve traveled to over 50 countries for under $100. My wife and I have flown to the World Cup in Rio for $5 (total, not each). And I’ve flown business class from Tokyo to New York for less than the cost of a tank of gas.
The secret to my exceedingly cheap flights? It’s not because I have connections in the airline industry or am some kind of secret agent. No, the answer is simple: frequent flyer miles.
Earning frequent flyer miles isn’t complex, and it doesn’t require you to spend thousands of dollars on flights. All it requires is an understanding of how the system works, and how to use it to your advantage.
Earning frequent flyer miles and travel rewards through credit card sign-up bonuses is far and away the best way to get large chunks of points quickly.
In fact, it’s the way that I’ve earned over 90% of my 3 million frequent flyer miles in the last four years.
However, when deciding which credit cards are right for you, there is one thing you must be keenly aware of:
The minimum spend requirement.
Flying can be one of the most expensive parts of traveling. Depending on where you’re going, a flight could run you anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars. And that doesn’t even include the cost of getting to and from the airport or checking luggage.
But while flying can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be if you know the right strategies. That’s why in this article we’re going to look at how you can get the cheapest flights every time you travel.
Follow these steps, and you’ll have more money left over to spend on fun things (like the world’s best gelato).
After checking your luggage, getting through security, and finding your gate, you settle down for a few minutes of rest before your flight.
But how are you supposed to relax when it’s noisy, your seat is dirty and uncomfortable, and the airport WiFi isn’t working?
You glance across the terminal and see a group of people relaxing in a lounge, separate from the noise and chaos of the terminal. If only you could somehow join this elite group of people, all the madness of the airport would fade away.
One of the most expensive parts of travel is accommodation. There are lots of ways to make accommodation cheaper, including earning credit card points and staying in hostels instead of hotels. But still, accommodation is rarely free.
However, there is a little-known way to stay in awesome places around the world for free. The technique? House sitting.
In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about house sitting, including how it works, why we love it, and how you can use house sitting to save on your next adventure.
Airport security is the worst.
I mean, of course, it’s great that it keeps us safe while flying, but going through airport security is an experience that feels like purgatory. This is especially true at large, busy airports such as ATL and LAX, where it can routinely take over an hour just to get through security screening.
However, there is a way to make airport security faster and less frustrating. It’s a program called TSA PreCheck. In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about the PreCheck program. We’ll cover what TSA PreCheck is, why it’s worth it, and how to apply for it.
Let’s get started!
Getting back into the United States after an international trip is an unpleasant process. You have to stand in long lines, answer endless questions from border control officers, and generally waste a lot of time.
However, there is a way to avoid much of this frustration. It’s a program called Global Entry, and it can allow you to re-enter the United States more quickly and with less hassle.
In this guide, we’ll look at everything you need to know about the Global Entry program, from how much it costs to how to apply. That way, you can skip the lines when you return from your next international trip.
Here at EPOP, we love getting the best deals we can on airfare. That’s why we’re big fans of Southwest Airlines for many of our domestic travel needs. The airline offers exceptional value, with 2 free checked bags, a carry-on bag, and a personal item. Plus, the fares are some of the lowest you’ll find.
But what if there were a way to make your already affordable Southwest flights even more affordable? We’re talking (basically) free flights, free in-flight WiFi, and even free in-flight (ahem, adult) beverages.
When you get one of the Southwest credit cards, all of the above (and more) are possible. In this guide, we’ll examine all of the credit cards that Southwest currently offers.
We’re always on the lookout for the best travel credit card offers here at EPOP. The landscape of credit card rewards programs is constantly shifting, with exciting new offers launching all the time.
Therefore, when we heard that Capital One had improved their Venture card, we were naturally interested. And after taking a look at the card, we’re now more confident in recommending it than ever before.
Below, we’ll take a look at everything the Capital One Venture card offers to travelers, including the current sign-up bonus and other exciting perks. This way, you can decide if it’s a card worth adding to your wallet.
There are more opportunities now than ever to use credit card rewards programs to travel very cheaply. One of our favorite travel rewards programs out there is Chase Ultimate Rewards, as it lets you redeem points you earn for flights, hotels, and even car rentals at a wide variety of partners.
To start earning Chase points, we recommend getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred. Both have large sign-up bonuses that can easily cover the cost of a transcontinental flight or several nights at a hotel.
However, once you’ve exhausted the sign-up bonuses for Chase’s personal travel credit cards, what are you supposed to do next?
We love Chase Ultimate Rewards points because they are super flexible, and depending on how you use them, you can redeem them for almost any type of travel expense, from flights to hotels to rental cars!
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best ways to earn Chase points, as well as how to redeem them for great travel perks.
How to Earn Chase Points
The best and quickest way to earn chunks of Chase points is by opening one of their travel rewards credit cards. And since they have a few options, you can easily pick the one that works best for you!
Everyone knows that the absolute quickest way to earn tons of frequent flyer miles is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses.
However, most credit cards only allow you to get the sign-up bonus for the credit card one time.
After a while, if you open a few cards, your options will become limited.
The best way to continue to get the best sign-up bonuses?
Open up a business credit card!
The world of premium travel credit cards is larger than ever. Chase has been competing in the space with its Sapphire Reserve card, while Capital One has also put out some solid offerings such as the Venture card.
There’s one card name, however, that’s been nearly synonymous with travel since its inception: the Amex Platinum. But while this card has a storied history, how does it stand up compared to today’s premium travel credit cards?
In this post, we’re going to find out. Below, we’ll take a look at the benefits of the Amex Platinum, as well as help you decide if it’s worth the $550 annual fee.
If you’ve never heard of round the world tickets, you may be missing out. Round the world tickets (also known as an “around the world ticket” or just “RTW”) allow you to fly to many destinations in one trip, often more cheaply than buying tickets individually.
But is buying an RTW ticket worth it? And how the heck do you buy one, anyway? In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know. We’ll cover what RTW tickets are, how they work, and whether or not you should buy one for your next trip.
Here at Extra Pack of Peanuts, we know how joyous and exciting travel can be. It lets you break out of your comfort zone, see places and people you never imagined, and return home with an appreciation of the vastness of our planet.
Yet while traveling can be fun, it’s also important to leave home prepared. One of the key things to do before you leave for any trip (especially international travel) is to get travel insurance.
If you’ve never heard of travel insurance, don’t worry. Not too long ago, we hadn’t heard of it either.
But now, we never leave home without it. In this guide, we’ll take a look at what travel insurance is, why it’s so important, and our favorite companies for buying travel insurance.
If you’re only going to get one travel credit card, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent choice.
It’s one of our favorite travel credit cards here at Extra Pack of Peanuts, and it was my go-to card for years (until Chase introduced the Sapphire Reserve).
Below, I’ll break down what makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred such an excellent card, but here are a few fast facts:
- Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months.
- Get 2x points on all dining and travel purchases.
- Low annual fee of just $95.
It’s not often that I am blown away by a credit card offer — but that changes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Ever since Chase launched the Sapphire Reserve back in 2016, it’s been one of the best travel credit cards on the market.
I’ll break down exactly why below, but first, here are the important details:
- Earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months.
- $300 annual travel credit for spending on airfare, hotels, and other qualifying travel purchases.
- 3x on travel and dining and 1x on all other purchases.
- Complimentary Priority Pass membership and a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
The Chase Southwest Companion Pass is one of, if not the, best airline perks out there. For people...
In this episode, Heather and I go through our list of top summer destinations around the globe. From surprising to serene, vibrant to verdant, and interesting to impactful, there’s a great destination for everyone.