Scott Keyes is about to go on a two-month trip that involves 21 countries and covers 32,000km. And it will barely cost him a cent.
Finding discounted flights tends to be hit or miss for most holidaymakers, but one savvy traveller has managed to plan out an entire two-month trip that will barely cost him a cent.
Scott Keyes, a 28-year-old writer for Think Progress, is about to travel 20,000 miles (32,000km) on 21 flights, stopping by 13 countries along the way in Europe and South and North America while enjoying first class service.
All this for free.
Keyes decided to plan his trip when he realised he had some free time between his departure from Oaxaca, Mexico, where he has lived for the past year, to return home to the United States and get back to full time work.
So he rounded up all his airline miles, and the points he had acquired on his 25 credit cards.
In the end, he was able to book a holiday with stops in Mexico, Nicaragua, Trinidad, St Lucia, Grenada, Germany, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Lithuania and Finland, without having to pay more than a few dollars on any of the flights.
He will also be in the United States a few times, but just to catch connection flights.
In the end he spent somewhere between 10 and 15 hours putting the entire trip together, which also includes free hotels, at a cost of 136,500 frequent flyer miles.
"It's tough when you have a job and you have to ask your boss for time off," Keyes told Business Insider.
"You only have a limited time off and then you spend a lot of that travelling. I figured while I'm in a position where I don't have a 9-to-5, I might as well take advantage."
In fact, Keyes is such a pro at travelling on a shoestring budget that he even wrote two eBooks detailing his strategies: How to Fly for Free and How to Find Free Flights.
And the easiest way is a bit more obvious than many might think.
"If your ultimate goal is to be able to find as cheap a flight as possible and go somewhere cool for not much money then starting with an open, blank slate and going wherever there's a cheap flight right now is going to be your best bet," said Keyes.
This strategy has certainly worked for the young man as he has logged an impressive 354,000 miles in the sky while visiting 30 countries over the course of his lifetime.
This next trip will increase that number to 42 countries.
Those credit cards meanwhile come in handy during those long layovers thanks to the access they provide to private lounges where travellers like Keyes can enjoy free food and drinks, hop online and even grab a quick shower.
"I've got a nice work space, food, drinks, some Wi-Fi. This is like this whole other world," said Keyes during a stopover in Dallas, Texas as he sat in the American Express lounge.
Even better, Keyes explains that the more you look for discounts, the better you become at finding and anticipating airline deals.
"It's not necessarily easy or intuitive for beginners," he said. "But the good news is that because if you do a little bit of leg work - learn how to get a few miles and how to use them well - you can start to travel really, really well."
- DAILY MAIL