A Letter to my Younger Travel Hacker Self

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Last night, my wife and I were watching Lifetime’s Married at First Sight.  On that episode, the contestant wrote letters to their younger selves, so I thought it would be fun to write a letter to my younger travel hacker self.  Here goes…

Dear Grant,

Your love of travel will continue to grow and you will experience many amazing sights, sounds, food, and memories along the way.  Enjoy the little things in life (like an upgrade or two), but remember to be flexible with your travel plans when things don’t go your way. 

Find people who love travel and travel hacking as much as you do, but don’t be discouraged if your close family and friends are not as excited about these things as you are.  

Take the trips you want to take when you want to go, even if they are not the most flashy or exciting. Don’t chase other’s dream trips and don’t compare yourself or your trips to others.  

Set low expectations for your trips so that you will be happily surprised with the journey.

Last but not least, don’t fall in love with a single credit card or reward program, they can break your heart at a moment’s notice.  Remember, loyalty is not always a two way street.

Sincerely, yourself, from the future


I could go on and on, but I wanted to ask you if you had any travel or travel hacker advice you would give your younger self.  Please share in the comments section below.  Have a great day everyone!

11 thoughts on “A Letter to my Younger Travel Hacker Self

  1. Greg Marinski

    “Don’t chase other’s dream trips…” We are all unique in our travel aspirations and need not feel guilty because we did not hop on the travel blogger bus to the Maldives.

  2. Mike Lynch

    This isn’t a letter to my younger self, but…..

    As my dad advised when he was 70 and hitting every place on earth. “There are two times to travel. When you’re young, and when you’re old. I seriously advise you do it when you’re young.”

    That’s an all too pat consideration of travel. Of course hackers and others find ways to work around the system and in the cracks of work and family life and do it in style. But, the body breaks down as we age. You get tired earlier. Jet lag becomes a bigger issue (sometimes killing a double digit percentage of the time available to enjoy), the likelihood of picking up a bug and it hanging on is greater. Medical care if the need arises is going to be less than in the States.

    Being 60, with fewer trips planned than I would want……PLEASE travel, travel, travel when you’re without kids, and then when you have kids, invite your kid’s grandparents to live/visit with you to be your built-in babysitter as you continue to travel the world when you’re young.

    That’s all I got.

  3. docntx

    Love this!
    I am 70, and I actually have a bit of a corollary to the above comment about traveling when you are young. Was blessed to travel a lot when I was very young, there was “hacking,” but it was different, “student open tickets,” and other similar now unthinkable offers to young people from airlines, and that encouraged me to continue traveling, but, to also take care of myself so I can travel on, and on. Curiously, for me, every trip becomes more magical, and you learn that, today will be “the good old days of travel” of the future.

    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Doc, thanks for sharing some of your favorite “hacks” from back in the day. I don’t think student open tickets were a thing when I was younger, but I’m sure there were some good uses for them. Safe travels!

  4. Brian

    I’ll pitch in on the “travel before kids.” We did do some great trips before having two kids, but have continued afterwards and now they are 8 and 10. Driving Australia’s east coast in a campervan with kids sounds less cool than luxury hotel stays but its just a different kind of rewarding. This summer we went to the Galapagos and kids were a rarity among the well to do retired tourists. I would have been blown away snorkeling while penguins and sea loins zipped through the water…..but seeing the wide eyes of my 8 year old son made the amazing into the magical. No one on their deathbed will ever say “I should have travelled less with my family, should’ve dumped them with Grandma.” Next weekend could be a romantic getaway to Charlottesville at the Omni for us, but the kids will come and it’ll just be a different kind of good. My bit of unsolicited advice

    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Brian, thanks for sharing your experience and perspective travelling with kids. It sounds like you all get along (for the most part) and are rewarded with amazing memories that everyone will cherish for years to come.


Leave a Reply to docntx Cancel reply