Early Preview of the Travel Hacking Cartel


This is the first announcement about an all-new project I’ll be unveiling to the world in early January. The project is called the Travel Hacking Cartel, and it will be the world’s greatest alert service for anyone who wants to experience the world on a budget.

My genius design and development team (Reese, Nicky, and Libby the cat) have been working virtually with me as I’ve been hopping from state to state every day over the past three months. (They have also been very patient with me, as my main focus these days is wrapping up the Unconventional Book Tour—sorry for all the email lag, Reese & Nicky!)

Rather than tell you everything about the project now, I thought I’d share two stories from readers who have been enjoying their own travel hacking success. The first is from Nathan Agin:

I’ve been following AONC for over a year. After reading what Chris has to say about travel hacking, I decided “I’m never paying to travel again” – because it’s just too easy NOT to! After never entering into this lifestyle before, I took Chris’s advice and within 2 months, I had 60,000 points – all without spending a dime of my own money, just my time (and man, was it worth it)!

I recently sold everything I owned, and “bought” a one-way ticket to Hawaii for only $5 (thanks to the points I acquired). I’m now living a life that I thought I would only ever dream about.

I got a chance to meet Nathan last week in Honolulu. He took another flight to come over to Oahu from the Big Island… and this time, the flight cost $2.50, as in “two dollars and fifty cents.” He should be a charter member of the cartel!

You can read a recent update from Nathan here. (A video interview with bad lighting and one non-conformist author in Hawaii is included at no extra charge.)

And here’s another story from Steve Kamb:

I purchased Frequent Flyer Master last fall, and racked up over 300,000 airline miles without any flying or spending any extra money. It sounded too good to be true, but it was absolutely worth it. This year I’m headed to Australia and New Zealand with the miles, Business Class.

You can read a recent update about this trip from Steve here.

I hear stories like these all the time—usually every single day. It’s been fun to help people earn tends of millions of Frequent Flyer Miles (literally) and redeem them for fun trips. With the Cartel launch in January, we’ll do this on a much broader basis for thousands of people all over the world.

I don’t want to hype this project too much yet—we still have almost a month to go—but since you’re reading AONC, I wanted you to be aware of it as we go into the holidays. We’ll be starting with a special “pre-boarding” launch in January for those who are especially eager.

Before then, I’ll be heading out on my Annual Review trip, where I spend an entire week reflecting on the previous year and making plans for 2011. As part of the review, I’ll be making a plan for most of my upcoming overseas travel. I encourage you to think ahead to next year as well—even if you don’t care about the Cartel, is there somewhere in the world you’d like to go? What’s stopping you?

Think about that question, and we’ll be looking at it more before the launch of this project in January.

Very Easy, Three-Question Travel Hacking Survey

Every single resource I’ve created for AONC and has been improved with the input from our community. If you’re interested in travel and would like to help me create the Travel Hacking Cartel, I have a very easy, three-question survey. You can answer the survey below:

–>Very easy, three-question survey

(We’re taking the first 2,500 responses. If it’s closed when you get there, sorry!)

Thanks as always for reading, and have a great week wherever you are. Over the next 7 days I’ll be coming to the end of visiting all 50 states to meet readers. I hope to see many of you in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Seattle, and Portland.


Image: Kellie

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  • Alan says:

    Can’t wait for the Cartel, Chris (alliteration intended). Hope the last leg of your domestic travels find you well. RTW 2011 here you come!

  • Contrarian says:

    Car’tel’: def: An international syndicate, combine, or trust formed esp. to regulate prices and output in some field of business, or a coalition of political or special-interest groups having a common cause, as to encourage the passage of a certain law, or a written agreement between belligerents, esp. for the exchange of prisoners.

    Combine this project (cartel) with the mission for “world domination”, and I’d say you have a rather big 2011 planned!

    Chris – I love the idea!

  • Chris says:

    Thanks Contrarian and Alan! Yep, it will be fun, and we have a lot more planned for 2011 as well…

  • soultravelers3 says:

    Wow, this looks great Chris!!

  • The Global Traveller says:

    Funnily enough, I’ve just been nutting out my travel plans for 2011 (or at least the 50% that I pre-plan for).

  • Lisa | LL World Tour says:

    This sounds great and I’m pretty excited to hear more.
    I’m about to fly to Colombia for free also thanks to miles from my Credit Card.

    Have a great trip and holiday Chris!

  • andy says:

    survey doesn’t work for me! I’ve read a bit about travel hacking and ‘understand the basics’, ‘not sure how it works outside the us and canada’ and ‘sign me up’ !

  • Brigid says:

    I am definitely interested, sounds like my sort of traveling.

  • Carlod says:

    Is this going to be like the travel ninja guide?

  • Austin Yoder says:

    Chris – I’m so in for this. I filled out the survey a while back with my story on two roundtrip tickets from Washington to Nassau for $6 + taxes/fees. Would love to help in any way I can, and looking forward to this project.

  • steve ARe says:

    took the travel hacker survey, hit submit, was directed to an equivalent of a 404 on your homepage. will i get the info requested?

  • Alex says:

    Sounds awesome.

    Will the Cartel be geared towards US citizens, or be more general? (I’m Canadian)

  • Jason Ford says:

    I wondered when we would be learning about this.

  • Chris says:

    Thanks again, guys – and good morning from Reno! Next stop, LA.

    @Steve and Andy,

    Yes, there was an error on the confirmation page for a few minutes – sorry about that but it should be fixed now, and all data that was submitted was saved.


    The Cartel will be worldwide!


    It will be a bit different as this is focused on updates surrounding current opportunities – but maybe 15% or so will overlap.

  • Jason Ford says:

    I hope readers caught your comment about planning for 2011. To anyone who hasn’t already read Chris’s Annual Review post I highly recommend it. Now is the time to honestly and meaningfully reflect on how 2010 went and what you want out of 2011.

    In other news, I’m excited that you shared your next product with us! I had been wondering when we would be learning about it. I’ll be interested to see how you position it and what the business model will be. Perhaps your first subscription product? We shall see!

  • Bruce says:

    Fantastic! This kind of alerting service (on weekly basis?) is something that I’ve been looking for. Please do launch it!

  • Roy says:

    Very interested! Hopefully there will be something for people like me with no-fixed address 🙂

  • alwaysLovely says:

    It seems to me, the travel hacking only works for folks in US. (I’m from Singapore) would be really interested to find out more since it seems to be for anyone from this post. Exciting!!!

  • dorothy says:

    This is just a suggestion, but given the negative connotation to the word “hacking” in light of all the document leaks, I would suggest find a different word………merely a thought

  • marcia kladmanee says:

    HI Chris:
    I missed your book tour. I’m living in NJ now and your tour on Oct. Any way, I’d love to buy your book. How can I get it?
    PS : We used to meet 1 time in BKK

  • Tony Ryan says:

    Wow… Really looking forward for this service! It’s something we’ve all been needing a long time and there is no person more qualified to launch a project like this such as yourself Chris!

  • Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Congrats on all your projects, Chris! I’m bummed I won’t be able to meet up with you in LA. I’m sure our paths will cross eventually though.

  • DL says:

    I’d love to hear more on this. I finally got a passport this year and next year I really want to clear the phrase “one day I’m going to travel outside of my home country” out of my vocabulary forever. I’m just a little lost on where to start. I think there’s a guide I should be reading…

  • Lisa says:

    Libby needs her own link.

  • Morgan says:

    Survey complete! Can’t WAIT to hear about the new program! =)

  • Elizabeth Williamson says:

    Wow, this is one of the most exciting projects for me that you’ve come up with so far. I can’t wait to read up on the details of it. As a travel hacker myself (I’m leaving on a weekend trip tomorrow to NYC that I got for 22 cents all in, plus have enough miles to take myself and a friend to Easter Island next year), I’m excited for the opportunity to hear from other hackers. My one concern with it is that it’ll simply repeat information that can be found on Flyertalk or other such forums (although I would expect some overlap since not everyone hangs out in those places). Still, I’m looking forward to hearing more about it.

    Also, it was nice meeting you in Tampa. I hope the rest of the book tour goes well for you.

  • NATHAN says:

    very excited for the cartel – and really appreciate the mention, Chris! great to meet ya in Hawaii. the malasadas were a nice bonus.

    and as others mention, your Annual Review article is excellent – looking forward to my own account/planning session – perhaps from a beach on Kauai!

  • Alan Gratz says:

    I can’t wait to get started! Will this program replace/incorporate your Travel Ninja and Frequent Flyer Master guides?

  • Beverley Golden says:

    This sounds great, Chris. Hope it works for us Canadians too. Here’s to continued amazing adventures. Safe travels.

  • Darrell says:

    Sounds like a great new project Chris. Usings many of the ideas I have gathered from your publications, a buddy and I are launching a website January 1 to spread the travel hacking message to golfers. We will also be emparking on a venture to play golf in all 50 states while travelling only on miles and points.

  • Chase says:

    I’ll definitely be looking forward to this!

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