2. Take part in, consolidate, and cash out travel rewards
I’ve had a Hilton Honors American Express card since I was 25 (I was traveling up to 100% then as a consultant and literally lived in hotels). I’m not saying you should run out and immediately open up a new credit card account. But if you value travel and are good about paying your credit card in full, then why not direct your spendings towards a credit card that will earn you travel rewards? I chose the Hilton Honors American Express card because I stayed at Hilton affiliated hotels and wanted to earn free hotel nights. I am diligent about signing up for different travel loyalty programs and being aware if a hotel is part of a frequent traveler program. I cashed out once for a 6 night stay in H’awaii and have enough points for a week in any Waldorf Astoria hotel!
Each major airline is also part of a frequent flyer alliance so choose to consolidate your flying in one alliance so that you can redeem rewards within that alliance (just remember to select only one airline when you choose to earn miles!) Each airline also has tiers of status starting at 25,000 miles flown per year so you may get bonus miles and free upgrades for flying on an airline.
2a. Third party hotel booking sites like hotels.com and agoda.com offer points and rewards if you book hotels through their website. The cool thing about this is that it enables you to choose from hotels in very different locations and across hotel loyalty programs.
4. Keep an eye out for travel deals on flash sale site