Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of articles saying that the price of flights is going to go up during and after this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. It makes sense if you know anything about how business works (and believe me, I am not the most business-minded person but I get it). The demand is down. Way down. So, there are fewer people on the planes and the airlines are running fewer flights. Scarcity creates high demand. This drives up the price. There is good news: you can still pay for cheap flights in the age of the coronavirus.
The airlines have had to suffer through extremely low demand since the country (United States) has been under “shelter in place” orders from state to state. We are all at home and not traveling so there aren’t as many people traveling. Airlines have requested to cut flights to major cities and planes have been less than full.
With all of this going on, it has been predicted that prices will go up when we are free to travel more. This is a problem. I love to travel. I was in the process of planning flights for every month this year. I believe the price of flying is the most problematic issue we have to deal with (some believe it is hotels, but that’s an issue for another blog post). I am a travel hacker and cheap flights are the name of the game. I use all the tools available to me to mitigate the price of flying. I have been able to make my flights cheaper, upgrade to better seating and even at times gotten flights for completely free. (Check out my blog post about when my family of four flew for free to St. Thomas.)
At this moment, we don’t know when we are going to be free to fly again. There are people flying now but things are very sketchy. We don’t have widespread testing. Airlines aren’t consistent with the rules they are applying to. There are those of us, like me, who don’t want to risk getting sick right now to take the chance on flying, so, I am going to wait. In the meantime, I am constantly earning more and more reward miles that will go to my next flight.
That’s right. I am working towards earning a free flight to wherever it is I want to go next. I still have a trip in July where my flight is free because I used my reward points and I’m waiting to see if that has to be postponed, but, while I am waiting that out, I am earning miles.
Let me tell you how.
At the time I have a Capital One Venture card (there are other cards that may fit your needs). I have used it to fly to Orlando and St. Thomas for free and I’ll be flying to the Bahamas for no money out of my pockets. I was a person who didn’t use credit cards. I believed in paying cash. But, I realized at some point that credit cards aren’t as evil as we like them to believe they are. There’s a system here and you just need to work it to your benefit. So, I have the Venture card (among others, again a story for another blog post) and this is my go-to card at the moment. I earn 2x points for every dollar I spend. I pay all of my monthly bills that I can with a credit card and make sure I pay it off at the end of each month before it accrues any interest. I pay things like my car insurance, gas, electric, homeowner association and subscriptions like Hulu and Netflix with my Venture card. They are set up for autopay so I earn these miles without even thinking about them.
Also, you can turn negative situations into a positive, like paying a speeding ticket or car repair. Every situation is an opportunity to earn miles. Hence, my hashtag/motto #AlwaysBeEarningMiles. I once had to put a new engine in my car for $3400. That translated into almost 7,000 points. I pay my son’s college tuition with my Venture card. That’s 4000 points twice a year. (Note: Right now, Chase is offering 5x points on groceries with their cards.)
There are plenty of other opportunities to earn miles. The credit card companies have deals set up with other businesses where you can earn at accelerated rates. One of my most profitable situations was taking advantage of a deal that Capital One had with Hotels.com. If you booked with the Venture card at their designated site, you would earn 10x the points you spend in dollars. I was able to take advantage of this twice. Once for St. Thomas and Bermuda. I earned 30,000 points for my Bermuda stay and 1,600 for the stay in St. Thomas.
So, back to the Coronavirus lockdown. We are all trapped in our homes right now, but, there will come a time when we will be able to get back out into the world and all of us travel lovers will start exploring the beautiful planet Earth again. Prices may be higher, but we can do something about that. Always be earning points. We’re not sure how long this will go on, but we should be making the most of this time. I am earning points every time I go to the grocery store (prices have gone up and with 4 of us home all day long we are eating more) but I am turning that into a positive by earning more points.
This is what Vacation Mode is about. Earning that free time when you don’t have to worry about work. We all put in our time on our jobs but we all deserve a vacation and time away from worry about the things in our everyday lives. We can get into vacation mode more often if we mitigate the price of vacation and travel reward cards can help us with this.
#vacation-mode #vacation mode #alwaysbeearningpoints #escapethe9to5matrix