Introducing “Upgrade Unlocked” and Other Unconventional Guides for Travel - Intentional Travelers
Unconventional Guides for Travel | Intentional Travelers

24 Nov Introducing “Upgrade Unlocked” and Other Unconventional Guides for Travel

About “Travel Hacking”

I want to share with you some invaluable resources I have used to get a jump start with “travel hacking” (earning frequent flyer miles in different ways for free/cheap travel).  Hacking sounds like a sketchy term but I assure you, I’ve done my research and this is legit.

Since starting to “travel hack” this past year, we’ve already earned two pairs of round-trip international tickets, with a third flight to be booked soon – all on miles. We’ve also scored major discounts on our flights to visit Jedd’s family in Hawaii.

how-it-worksI’ve had to be organized and stay on top of our credit card payments, but it has really paid off. I estimate that using miles has gotten us $6,000 worth of free travel this year alone. And both of our credit scores have actually improved.

The resources I’m talking about are online guides created by Chris Guillebeau. (Full disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, we receive a percentage of the sale. We never promote anything we don’t believe in and you are not obligated to use our links.) I’ve personally relied on Frequent Flyer Master to get us where we are now, and now there’s a new guide, just released, called Upgrade Unlocked. I’ll share about both of these below. In addition to these e-guides, you could also join the Travel Hacking Cartel which is a membership program with access to travel hacking resources and real-time deal alerts.

About Chris Guillebeau

Chris’s popular blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, is a home for remarkable people of all kinds (entrepreneurs, artists, travelers, bloggers, world changers). He also founded the annual World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon and authored books such as The Happiness of Pursuit, The Art of Non-Conformity, and The $100 Start-Up.

From 2002-2013 Chris visited every country in the world and wrote about it on his blog. He’s still traveling to more than 20 countries each year. Along the way, he shares unconventional strategies and stories on Life, Work, and Travel.



(Excerpts reblogged from The Art of Non-Conformity Nov 18, 2014)

Open that champagne you’ve been saving for New Year’s—your new year of top-shelf travel can start right now!

We’ve been working hard and are excited to finally introduce Upgrade Unlocked: The Unconventional Guide to Luxury Travel on a Budget.

If you’d like to go to Bora Bora in January—or pretty much anywhere, anytime—this guide will get you there. You’ll learn about:

  • The college graduate who earned more than 1 million miles in a year
  • Hacking family and couples travel (adventure isn’t just for solo travelers)
  • Using Round-the-World tickets and positioning flights to really see the world
  • Featuring a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (it will help you, or you don’t pay)

Special Launch Offer:
We’re debuting this guide with very low pricing, including a low-budget option and a 40% discount on the top two tiers. After the introductory period ends, the real price will kick in. Don’t wait!



frequentflyermasterFrequent Flyer Master: How to Go Anywhere in the World For Nearly Free Using Frequent Flyer Miles (Even If You Don’t Travel Very Often)

*This is the resource I mentioned at the beginning of the post that we have been using this past year to really bump up our ability to travel. – Michelle

(The following info is from

This Guide will help you…

  • Earn up to 200,000 Frequent Flyer miles a year without flying
  • Use miles to book free travel anywhere in the world
  • Repeat.

Special Bonus: One Free Plane Ticket, Guaranteed.

A Few of the Topics Covered:

  • The Big Opportunities that can quickly add 15,000, 20,000, or 30,000 miles at one time
  • Redeeming Miles for High-Value Awards
  • Opportunities for Southwest, United, British Airways, American, and 8 other airlines
  • Goal-Setting and Mileage-Earning for the Travel Rewards that matter the most to YOU
  • Mileage Mall and Finance Bonuses to help you earn miles for things you already buy
  • The Cost of Free Flights (and how to limit it)
  • The Best First and Business Class Mileage Redemptions
  • What to Do when the Airline Says No
  • How to Get Help if You Don’t Want to Do this Yourself
  • Mileage Optimization
  • How to bypass outsourced (and often unhelpful) airline customer support

Important Disclosure from Chris:
I don’t think all airlines are evil, but when it comes to disputes between airlines and individual travelers, I usually fall on the side of the traveler. Therefore, some of the info may be “black-hat” or otherwise controversial. If you prefer paying the airlines full-price, you probably shouldn’t get Frequent Flyer Master.

Frequent Flyer Master includes the following resources:

A detailed, 60-page travel hacking manual written in several different countries and on more than a few airplanes.

Stories like these:

  • The story of Aaron, who earned 250,000 miles in one program without ever getting on a plane. (When he finally did, he flew First Class to Australia thanks to the miles.)
  • The story of Sean, who took his dad to Ireland and Scotland in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin thanks to a nice bonus from American Express Membership Rewards points
  • The story of Jamie, who redeemed so many coins from the U.S. mint (65,000) in exchange for miles that her bank asked her to schedule an appointment before making the next drop-off

A 20-minute audio download (will work on both PC and Mac computers) that covers evergreen strategies of mileage earning + redeeming

Become a Frequent Flyer Master | Intentional TravelersA 4-part report on Priceline Booking Strategies to help you book discount hotels to go with all the free flights you’ll be taking

At least six free updates with additional travel hacking opportunities over the next six months.

I hope these resources will inspire and empower you to travel more. I can attest wholeheartedly to their value and am so thankful for how they’ve impacted our ability to see more of the world in such a short time! If we can do it, you can, too.


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  • Mike L
    Posted at 07:43h, 01 January

    Hi, I’m totally new to travel hacking. If I were to buy one of the two books that you have reviewed, which would you recommend?

    • intentionalmc
      Posted at 10:03h, 01 January

      Hi Mike. Thanks for visiting our site! Frequent Flyer Master is what I used when I got started, so I know for sure that will have what you need. My understanding is that Upgrade Unlocked, while it focuses on helping you have experiences that would otherwise be too expensive, will also cover the basics. Upgrade Unlocked may be a bit more up to date, but the guides always come with a number of periodic e-mail updates, so I think Frequent Flyer Master still might be your best bet. Good luck travel hacking. It’s worth it!

  • Miss Lone Star's Travels
    Posted at 08:02h, 18 January

    Thank you for all of the information! This was a really interesting article.

  • A
    Posted at 18:59h, 07 March

    Just wondering- do I need to open up credit cards – to rack up these mileages ?. That is the impression I got watching the YouTube. Basically creating an excel spreadsheet, to list all of you credit cards, making monetary purchases within the 3 months period, of opening up the credit card. Pay the bill, then close the credit card again… Then open it up again maybe the next year, when they throw in mileage carrots….

    • IntentionalTravelers
      Posted at 19:47h, 07 March

      Hi A. There is a little more to it but the short answer is yes, the fastest way to make this hobby lucrative is through credit card bonuses. There are other ways to get miles and points, which are explained in the Guides I’ve linked to on this post. And you want to make sure you have a good understanding of how your credit score works because there are methods to minimizing any damage to opening/closing cards (especially closing cards- you don’t necessarily want to close it so soon after you pay the bill). Once you have the points, you’ll also want to know how to get the most value out of them when you redeem with different airline programs. There is a bit of a learning curve to all this, but it’s definitely worth investing the time and effort.

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