The Newest Names in Travel Hacking (2015 Edition)

There’s all sorts of Pinterest boards and even a whole TED talk series dedicated to life hacks. Most startups, consultants, and even medium to large scale businesses are dependent on some sort of growth hacking strategies to syndicate content and build their audience.

These days, it’s all about making old tiresome processes faster, easier, and more efficient. Or inventing new processes all together. So yes, of course there is a whole community of travel hackers out there too. Have you ever heard of the Travel Hacking Cartel?


The model of the cartel is to show you how to hack fares, tickets, mileage programs, and more to travel for free, or for cheap, to anywhere in the world. Often times, this is as easy as getting the right credit card, and using it wisely. The Southwest Rapid Rewards VISA is my favorite – (click here to sign up with their exclusive 50,000 point bonus). And Southwest now flies to some international destinations too!

Beyond hacking credit card points and mileage accounts to travel cheap, there’s some new kids on the block providing amazing ways to hack the travel experience in general, making your life that much easier. Below are a few of my favorite new tools for when I’m planning or on the go.

For planning:



My favorite new route map/travel planning tool. Rome2Rio finds all the different ways to get from point A to point B, anywhere in the world. It shows you the possible modes of travel, the time each option would take, and the estimated costs. Then it even offers ways to book train tickets, hotels, and more right within the platform. Just pure easy and awesome.


This is a very impressive itinerary planning tool. If you’re planning a multi-city excursion, a big Eurotrip for example, you may want to give Vamo a try. Sometimes it’s easier or more fun to just plan a few legs of the journey and figure things out between, which is why I love Rome2Rio. But if you’re a big-picture person or need a little more peace of mind in your travel plans, Vamo rocks.


So I already professed my love for Southwest earlier in the post. If you fly with them often as well, your prayers have been answered. Automatic 24-hour on-the-dot check-ins with Chkmein. Don’t ever board with C group 1-30 again. Need I say more?

*UPDATE: has been shut down. Southwest asked them to cease operation, so that means we’re back to setting calendar notifications. For now…

What’s It Like

Still in beta, but launching soon, and I’m very excited for this. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve Googled “how is the weather in (fill in city) during (fill in month)?” Smart packing is weather dependent and What’s It Like is a beautiful, community-based answer to not where to go, but when to go.

For doing:


I’m always looking for the best hikes and climbs wherever I go. offers detailed trail info, beautiful photos, full screen maps, and GPX downloads for free. It’s all crowd-sourced, beautifully diverse, and ad-free without sign up. The perfect way to discover new spaces when you’re heading to new places.


Currently only in San Francisco and Austin, Detour is aiming to change the way we see a city – by hearing it instead. Detour, a new project by the founder of Groupon, provides location-aware audio tours that allow you to discover sites most tourists wouldn’t see. Walk in another’s shoes and let their stories guide you.

For working:


Share Desk

“The wherever, whenever, workplace.” From startup spaces to executive offices, find an open desk where you need it, when you need it. ShareDesk is currently available in 70 different countries giving mobile workers the flexibility we crave.

Remote Ok

What happens when you’re on a round-the-world-ticket or just exploring indefinitely and you run out of money before getting back home? If you’ve got some tech skills, log on to Remote Ok and find a daily listing of available remote jobs around the world.

Nomad House

Join or build your own Nomad House in the best locales around the world for travelers to live, work, and prosper together. The idea is to create a flexible living arrangement that brings together great people to stimulate ideas, incubate projects, and just have fun.


Have some different travel hacking recommendations? Let me know in the comment form below!

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Jonathan Ronzio
Jonathan Ronzio

Founder & Host

Founder, Explore Inspired | CMO, Trainual | Co-Host of The Stokecast Podcast | Mountain Athlete | Award-Winning Adventure Filmmaker | Keynote Speaker

    1. These are great! Love the concept of trading skills for travel accommodation, (going beyond just WWOOFing). And I’m already searching some flights for the summer on Flyr. Cheers Marina!

  1. Awesome article and thanks for your comments on FLYR. Our new web app is now live (, we cover predicitons for 100% of US domestic routes and opening International very soon (France first). Let us know what you think.
    Thanks again

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