I have always wanted to travel around the world! Traveling is not only fun but also great for discovering and learning about new places and cultures. However, traveling to multiple destinations can be exhausting and costly. In this article, I will share with you two secrets for luxurious traveling at budget. More specifically, I will cover how to maximize collecting airline status points to unlock all the niche and exclusive perks, and how to get cheap tickets for a trip around the world.
Before getting into the beef of this post, it is important to have an idea of which destinations that you must visit, would like to see and/or would not mind going to. This is because traveling blindly is not be optimal for many due to time and financial constraints. Another reason is that to maximize your traveling and status points while cutting costs, you need to be flexible and include some destinations (at least as transit). For instance, for me, I wanted to travel to Australia and a round trip to Australia was around 3,000 euros in economy class from Finnair. However, flying this route had the same price point: Finland -> Singapore -> Malaysia -> Indonesia -> Australia -> New Zealand -> U.S. -> Iceland -> Finland! Six more countries and with approximately same ticket price. On top of visiting new countries, the points accumulated and lounges experienced were definitely nice to have. You sure want to know the secret of how I did that, I know you do and I will not keep you waiting. It is simple… it is flyforpoints.com.
FlyForPoints.com is an online service that helps you find flights to desired destinations while optimizing the costs (minimized) and tier points (maximized). You might ask, why should I care about collecting points and not just go with the cheapest option. The answer is getting access to exclusive perks such as free extra checked-in baggage, priority check-in, security and boarding, and, of course, access to lounges. However, choosing which program to join and which alliance to use as the main one for traveling is crucial because, depending on where you live and other criteria like the type or number of flights that you intend to fly, some programs might give you a higher status and services faster than others. There is a nice research conducted by FlyForPoints that describes the differences between the different Oneworld programs and which one should you go for.
Let’s assume that you wish to travel from Helsinki, Finland to Sydney, Australia. Navigate to FlyForPoints.com and enter the details of the flight. The image below shows the search input for the above flight details.
The service, i.e. FlyForPoints.com, offers five options for sorting the results, which are 1) cheapest, 2) most points, most points per currency, shortest and most points per duration. What is great is that regardless of what sorting option you choose, you will always see the amount of points that should be awarded for your booking. Here are the two cheapest flights returned by the engine:
You can see that in this particular case, it makes perfect sense to go with the cheapest flight because you would still get more points than the second option. Imagine, just by paying 3 euros more, you end up losing 1422 points! This is a substantial amount if you work towards collecting more points and upgrading your status. In the image, we see the results sorted by most points/EUR:
Again, you can get more points for the program by spending less, as going with the first option (cheaper) gives you 30496 which is 2185 more than the other option.
In case you would like to use another alliance, e.g. Star Alliance instead of OneWorld, you can update the search options and the search engine will find the optimal flights for the alliance and program that you picked. Here are the results for the same search but with changing the program to Aegean Miles+Bonus.
In the above results, the points are identical but with a specific route you end up paying less 😉
Similarly, you can get more bang for your buck for the first option as in the image above. However, points are not the only thing that one should consider. For instance, the duration might be important in case you do not have time to spare and would like to arrive earlier.
Alliances might have a service that allows you define your destinations (along with the dates for each one), and they would show you options visit them through their airlines. For instance, I once used OneWorld’s Round the World service to visit multiple countries. One thing to note here is their terms and conditions. It is important to get acquainted with them before booking the flights as they might vary from booking the flights directly from the airlines. As an example, when booking the flights through the service, you are only allowed to fly in one direction, so going backwards is not permitted. However, you can still do that if you wanted but you would need to book these flights separately (e.g., through flyforpoints.com).
Hope you have enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments if you have some other tips and tricks to maximize your trips and points without breaking the budget.