Posts by Ryan Kangail

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare for the Win

alaska airlines plane

Have you heard of the famous Alaska Airlines Companion Fare?  If you’ve ever flown on Alaska Airlines, I’m sure you’ve at least heard it mentioned.  Toward the end of most flights, they offer you an application for their branded credit card which comes with the Companion Fare.  It also usually comes with at least 30,000 miles to be used for flights. While it’s not always the most lucrative offer out there because it doesn’t give you completely free flights, it can be very handy.  

oregon ducks alaska airlines planeALASKA AIRLINES COMPANION FARE COMES IN HANDY

The Alaska Airlines Companion Fare is a one-time use certificate that grants you a second ticket for the same flight by paying only the taxes and fees while purchasing one full price ticket (after the first year $99 plus taxes and fees).  I’ve found the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare to be very beneficial to have when I have specific dates that I need to fly and there are no reward flights on those dates. For me, this happens somewhat often because my wife is a teacher and only has specific dates that she can travel.  This makes budget travel very difficult.  In particular, around the holidays and spring break for school are hard times to find available reward space.


The more your flight costs, the more savings you will receive from using the companion fare.  I’m currently looking for flights to Hawaii around the New Year and let me tell you, they are not cheap.  There are also no reward flights on the dates that we need to travel, so I am most likely going to use our yearly Alaska Airlines Companion Fare that I get from my Alaska Airlines credit card.  Because the flights around that time are so ridiculously expensive, I will likely save nearly $800 by using it.  Keep in mind that you are also allowed to use the Companion Fare on a first class flight whether paid for or upgraded.  If you’re looking to fly first class and have to pay for the flights, you could save even more money!


The details of the Alaska Airlines credit card are the following:alaska airlines credit card

  • $1000 spending limit in first 90 days to receive bonuses.
  • 30,000 Alaska Airlines Miles.
  • $0 + taxes & fees Companion Fare.
  • Free checked bag on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America flights for you and six others.
  • Yearly $99 + taxes and fees Companion Fare when credit card is renewed.
  • $75 yearly fee

Overall the Alaska Airlines credit card is quite beneficial.  It can help you out when you’re in a sticky situation and can’t find reward space.  The 30,000 miles is also a decent chunk of Alaska miles.  It can be enough miles for a round trip flight in coach or a one way first class flight within the continental US or Alaska.  I have the card and I find it valuable enough to pay the annual fee to keep the card.

Travel Hacking News – Ep. 7

bucket list ideas

I found a few interesting travel hacking news articles over the weekend that I’d like to share with you. This episode of “Travel Hacking News” is brought to you by ORGANIFI. Check out their “Green Juice Go Packs” to stay healthy while traveling.  I started drinking their Green Juice daily and I haven’t been sick since.  That’s a lot to say since my wife is an elementary teacher who wears a slew of germs home with her on the daily… They’ve given us an exclusive coupon to take 15% off all orders, so if you decide to do your immune system a favor, USE CODE RYANK15 at checkout and you’ll pay less!  Now Let’s jump right in to the travel hacking news for the day.


Speaking of staying healthy while traveling… If you’ve ever felt like it’s impossible to eat healthy while flying, this one’s for you. It goes into more detail about how a few health experts stay healthy while on the go and in the air.


travel with kidsWhile I’m not a mom, my wife and I do want to have children soon, so this one hits home.  Many people with kids claim that it’s impossible to travel once you have kids.  I’m sure you’ve heard something to this extent before…  Well, whether they mean financially or just the difficulty of added passengers who don’t always obey or even understand, I’m going to boldly say they’re wrong!  No, I don’t have children yet to judge how hard it really is, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say we won’t stop traveling when we have kids.  This article explains how traveling with her kids actually made her a better mom.


Airplane seats that kill bacteria instantly?  Sounds like people will be getting sick less from travel… Oh wait, aren’t some bacteria we carry good for us?  I’ll let you decide for yourself whether or not these newly designed airplane seats are a good thing.


Ok, this isn’t really travel related unless you consider driving to 7-11 travel… But, they’re giving away free 12 oz cans of Redbull at 7-11.  All you do is click this link, input your phone number, and you’ll receive a coupon.  Make sure not to redeem the digital coupon until you actually are ready to purchase the Redbull, because the coupon will only be valid for 15 minutes from that point.

80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Ink PreferredFREE REDBULL COUPON

Here are a few ways you could redeem 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, which happens to be the amount of points currently offered through the signup bonus for the Chase Ink Preferred credit card.


Thanks for tuning in to this episode of “Travel Hacking News”.  If you missed the last episode you can find it HERE.  See you later Travel Tribe!

Vacation Condos are Cheaper and Better than Hotels

beach vacation condo

Most of the time when people go on vacation, they naturally think of staying in a hotel.  While that mindset has changed a bit with Airbnb’s emergence, hotels are still the norm.  I’d like to show you that you have options when it comes to accommodations while traveling. There are a handful of reliable options when it comes to booking a place to stay. Staying in vacation condos or houses can be cheaper than a hotel, but that’s not the only benefit.  You can have more space, more privacy, separate rooms, possibly laundry, and most important to me, a full kitchen. Vacation condo and house owners also often have useful items for their guests such as beach chairs, coolers, and recreational equipment.


taking a nap in vacation condoHaving a little more space than a hotel room is nice sometimes.  For instance, If someone wants to take a nap, they can do it without occupying the whole space.  Or, if someone wants to go to bed early, they’re able to go to their own room. Often, condos and houses will have much more privacy too.  Everyone who occupies the housing next to you isn’t coming and going regularly as they would be at a hotel.

In a vacation condo or house, you have more ability to live like you would if you actually lived in the place you’re vacationing.  With laundry available in many units, you can throw your clothes in the wash if you spill mustard on your brand new white shirt.  You can dry that swimsuit before you stick it in your luggage. Just having the option to do laundry without any hassle is a nice amenity, especially if you’re on a longer vacation.

preparing meals vacation condoPREPARING MEALS ON VACATION SAVES MONEY

The biggest reason I love staying in condos or houses while on vacation, is for the kitchen.  The ability to cook your own dinner, pack lunches for on the go, and have cold drinks readily available are so valuable.  Think about how much money you could save by not eating out for every single meal! Food, drinks and tips can really add up after just a few days, even if you’re not going to the most expensive restaurants.  When my wife and I go to Hawaii, we definitely still eat out some of the time, but most of our meals are prepared in our condo. We pack lunches to take to the beach in our cooler on most days, which also saves us from having to pack everything up in the middle of our day to go eat.  Many of our dinners we prepare either in the kitchen or on a barbecue which are also usually included at condos.


vacation eating outFor some people, traveling is all about the food, in which case this may not be the best option.  For me, I don’t care too much about food on vacation, other than trying some of the local specialties. I am happy to eat out a few times, and prepare the rest of my meals. Not only does this save a lot of money, but it is usually much healthier. Besides travel hacking, this is one of the best ways to save money and make budget travel possible.

Next time you’re booking a vacation, think about whether you want to stay in a hotel or in a vacation condo or house.  There are many options for finding vacation rentals that make it very easy to book. The one’s I’ve used are VRBO and Airbnb.  I’d suggest checking out both when you’re searching for a place to stay because the variety differs between the two.

Travel Hacking News – Ep. 6

visit brazil

More travel hacking news is in order.  I’ve found a few blog posts from around the travel hacking community that I think will either benefit you or spark your interest.  These are the ones that caught my eye today…

Here’s a list of the worst travel habits out there.  Hopefully you aren’t one of “THOSE” people, when it comes to flying…


air vent on airplaneKeep that airplane air vent flowing!  It may just prevent you from getting sick… did you know that those vents were originally made to clean the air from cigarette smokers on planes?  I still can’t believe that was ever allowed… DISGUSTING!


If you’re trying to meet a minimum spend for a credit card, or have a credit card that earns multiple points per dollar you’ll want to know about these two promos going on right now.  I’ll be heading to both stores with my Chase Ink Cash credit card that earns 5 points per dollar at both.


grow business with credit cardsIf you have a small business, or work independently you may find this article interesting.  It describes a few ways that credit cards can help your business.  As a small business owner, myself, I find this topic interesting and will be writing about it soon as well.


In case you missed it, here’s a link to the last episode of travel hacking news.  Leave a comment if you found any of these blog posts useful.  I’d love to hear what you think of them.

Southwest Hawaii Flights – UPDATE!

southwest hawaii flights

In my prediction last week, I was slightly wrong about what cities the new Southwest Hawaii flights would depart from.  Originally I had guessed flights would be from a few different west coast states including Washington and Oregon, but they will actually all be in California.  The four departure airports that will have Southwest Hawaii flights are Sacramento (SMF), San Jose (SJC), Oakland (OAK), and San Diego (SAN).  I was close with some of my guesses, but I’m a little bit disappointed there are no airports in the north west.


Another surprise is that Southwest plans on flying inter-island routes.  This is excellent news that I didn’t expect, because currently there are only a few options to go between the islands.  Maybe this will create some cheaper fares to get from island to island.  I love Hawaii and travel there often, so it’s nice to be able to split up a vacation between multiple islands, like my wife and I are doing this summer.



hawaii budget flightsThe only things left for Southwest to announce about their Hawaii launch, are how often they will fly these routes and when they will begin flying them.  I’m definitely excited for Southwest Hawaii flights to begin, both because I love Hawaii and I have a companion pass coming my way this month.  That means my wife and I can both fly to Hawaii for the price of one ticket.  Also, that price can points instead of money, so it has the potential of being an extremely cheap/free way to get to Hawaii!

Southwest Flights to Hawaii

southwest flights to hawaii

Adding Southwest flights to Hawaii is just about as good as it gets. Two of my favorite things in travel are joining forces. Southwest Airlines and Hawaii are getting together! Southwest just announced that they will soon be offering flights to the four main islands of Hawaii, starting in late 2018 or early 2019. I would guess it will be early 2019, but southwest hawaiimaybe I’ll be in for a good surprise. The destination airports that they will be adding are Kahului, Maui (OGG), Kona-Kailua, Hawaii (KOA), Lihui, Kauai (LIH), and of course Honolulu, Oahu (HNL). By far, these are the most frequently used airports in Hawaii so it makes sense why they chose them.  Budget travel to Hawaii just became a little bit easier!

Finally! Southwest Flights to Hawaii are Announced

Now that the destinations are no longer a secret, it brings up a few new questions. First of all, where will the direct flights be departing from? Will they offer inter-island flights? And, how often will they fly these routes? If I had to take a guess on these three hawaii southwest airlinesquestions, I would say no on inter-island flights, one flight per day for each departure/destination pair, and as for departure airports they could be SEA, PDX, SFO and LAX. Along with these airports you could possibly throw the other Bay area airports and San Diego into the mix. Time will tell. I’m hoping for PDX as I live in Oregon.

Budget Hawaii just got easier

I’ve been waiting for this day for years, and absolutely love that there will be Southwest flights to Hawaii. I’ve been to the islands on average, at least once a year since I started travel hacking and I don’t plan on stopping. It’s a magical place, and my favorite on Earth. Having these new routes available to go along with a Southwest Companion Pass will allow for some extreme deals and savings! Just think, buy one get one free flights to Hawaii for two consecutive years! That’s incredible in my book. I might just have to bump that number up to two Hawaii trips per year.

Travel Hacking News – Ep. 5

bucket list

Here’s another episode of “Travel Hacking News” brought to you by none other than myself, Ryan from Travel Freedom.  Today I’ve rounded up five articles that may help you in your travel hacking endeavors.  Articles like these helped me find my way and now I’m here to pass on the good stuff.

First off, for any of you attending the World Cup that’s coming up, you won’t need a Visa to be allowed.  Maybe the first good news from Russia you’ve heard in a while!  If you are attending please leave a comment.  We’d love to hear about your plans and set up an interview.

world cup russiaRussia Waiving Visa Requirements for World Cup – The Points Guy

The Chase Ink Preferred normally has one of the best signup bonuses, but if this is true and the bonus is even higher than normal… Oh boy, jump on that if it is indeed true.  100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points can go a long way.  No joke!  I can think of four ways I could spend them… how about 4 round trip flights to Hawaii from the west coast.

Increased Chase Ink Preferred Signup Bonus – Miles to Memories

Let’s keep it going with increased Chase signup bonuses!  This one is for sure… Normally this card will give you 1.5 travel contest winnerpoints on all purchases, but now they’ll give you double that in the first year of having the card.  Three Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all types of spend is something to write home about!

Chase Freedom Unlimited (double) 3x Points – Mile Value

On to the list articles for the day.  This one by The Points Guy and his peeps is a list of 10 things people decide to do while on vacation…  Some good, some bad… All life changing.

10 Life Changing Decision People Make on Vacation – The Points Guy

luxury hotelNext on the list of 10 articles is one about the best hotels around the world that will cost you less than $300 per night.  $300 per night is pretty expensive in my book, so I’d sure hope they’re nice!

10 of the Worlds Best Hotels that Cost Under $300 – GODSAVETHEPOINTS

That’s all for this episode.  Thanks for tuning in.  See you next time on Travel Hacking News.  Ryan Kangail signing out.

Southwest Companion Pass – BOGO Free Flights for Two Years

 If you haven’t heard of the Southwest Companion Pass, you’re about to be enlightened on what I would consider to be the best deal in the airline industry.  Receiving a Southwest Companion Pass is achieved by earning 110,000 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards miles in one calendar year. While that may sound impossible for the regular traveler, it’s not.  The 110,000 Southwest miles do not have to be earned solely through flying. They can be earned through the Chase Rapid Rewards credit cards as well. This means that both the credit card signup bonuses and the money spent on the cards will earn points towards the Southwest Companion Pass!

What is the Southwest Companion Pass Worth?

travel hackingWhen you achieve Southwest Companion Pass status, you’re essentially getting a card that gives you BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE, for every flight for the year you earn it and the next year.  Yes, you heard that right. If earned in January 2018, you’d have it for all of 2018 and 2019. Even better, the free companion is valid on paid flights and reward flights. That means that those 110,000 miles you just earned are now basically worth 220,000 miles!  Hell to the yeah!!! It doesn’t get much better than that. If you decide to travel a lot on Southwest while you have the companion pass, you can save thousands upon thousands of dollars.

travel hack hawaiiI almost forgot to mention that Southwest has grown their flight routes over the past few years. They now fly to Mexico, Central America, and much of the Caribbean.  Also, they plan to begin flights to Hawaii in late 2018 or early 2019. I’m guessing you can see why this is my favorite deal in the airline industry.  Although Southwest doesn’t fly all over the world, if you’re looking to travel within the U.S.A. and our southern neighboring countries, it’s an amazing deal.

More about the Southwest Credit Cards

There are currently three Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards offered by Chase and they typically have a signup bonus of 50,000 miles each (lately, some of them even have a bonus up to 60,000 miles).  With three cards available, that means if you can get approved for two of them, and meet the minimum spends for both, you’ll instantly earn a Southwest Companion Pass. Chase offers two personal credit cards (Plus & Premier) and one business credit card (Business Premier).  Yes, you must have your own business to qualify for a business credit card. However, a sole proprietorship is valid. That means if you have any kind of “side hustle” you have a business. Do you sell things on Ebay or Craigslist? That’s a business. Maybe you have garage sales… Get creative!  If you need inspiration, check out these two blogs: Smart Passive Income & Side Hustle School.

companion pass southwestGetting approved for two cards at the same time is absolutely possible.  I’ve done it on multiple occasions, my wife has done it, and many travel bloggers have done it as well.  If you don’t get automatically approved for one of them, call the reconsideration line and see if they’ll manually approve you. For instance, you may want two personal cards to separate your spending from two categories, or you may want a personal card and a business card to keep expenses for your business out of your personal finances.  Either way, it’s possible to get them both approved.

southwest companion passFind Your Companion and Start Traveling More

If you’re looking to do a lot of traveling in the upcoming years, and you’ve got a companion to do it with, this deal is absolutely worth attempting to achieve.  It works especially well for couples, but remember that the points must all be earned on one account to earn the Southwest Companion Pass and transferring points won’t help.  After my wife completes her second minimum spend, we’ll have Companion Pass status for the third straight year (and 4th next year).

If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll help you out!

Travel Hacking News – Ep. 4

bucket list

Hey, there Travel Tribe!  Hope you’re having a great week so far.  I just wanted to catch you up on what’s happening in  travel hacking news today.  There seems to be a lot of news around issues with planes this week, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough of that elsewhere.  Let’s check out these articles that may be useful for travel hacking, instead.

This article shows which airlines have the most and least legroom. It also compares how the sizes of seats in many of the airlines have changed over the past 30 years.  It’s kind of funny to me that over that 30 years while people seem to be getting fatter, the seats are getting smaller.airplane seat sizes

Have Plane Seats Really Shrunk – The Telegraph

Is Google going to make a run at in-flight wi-fi?  Well, it’s uncertain, but this article explains why it may be a potential for the tech giant.  I’d have to say, more options for wi-fi on planes would be a good thing.  Sometimes in-flight wi-fi is a bit too pricey for my budget and maybe this will help.

Google’s In-flight Wi-fi Play –

To end today’s Travel Hacker News, I’ll leave you with this weeks travel contests and giveaways.  You may think you’ll never win one because the odds are so bad, but it’s not true.  Someone’s travel contest winnergotta win… why not you.  I used to sign up for every travel giveaway I saw and I surprisingly won 5 or 6 giveaways, including 100,000 Starwood points which ended up giving me about 10 free nights at some great hotels.

Travel Contests – Johnny Jet

Good luck!  Talk to you next time.  If you missed the last Travel Hacking News it can be found here.

Travel Hacking News – Ep. 3

travel hacking news

What’s up Travel Tribe?!?  It’s that time of the day again.  Travel Hacking News presents the best articles I’ve seen today.  Hopefully one of them will catch your eye, or maybe all of them will.  Reading articles like this, is how I became a travel hacking expert and how I’m able to travel pretty much wherever I want without being super duper loaded.  There are a lot of great travel blogs out there, but it’s hard to keep up with them all.  I’m here to help… Without further ado, let’s get into the articles.

travel hackingFirst up, we have a short article from Frequent Flyer Bonuses, that tells you about a Southwest Airlines promotion that you need to sign up for if you’re planning on flying with them before summer.  Two words – DOUBLE MILES!

SW Rapid Rewards Double Points – Frequent Flyer Bonuses

Here’s one that’s been on just about every travel blog this week.  It’s about a 60 Minutes episode that talks about an airline that’s not safe to travel on.  Supposedly, many of their pilots don’t let their families fly the airline they work for.  Hmmmm… who could it be?  Maybe you’ve flown them. It’s US budget airline, Allegiant.  Stay safe Travel Tribe.

Damning Allegiant Air Safety Expose – Live & Let Fly

travel hackingThis travel hacking news article shows you how it’s now possible to pay your rent with a credit card for a 1.5% fee.  That may sound crazy to pay extra, but it could be useful if you’re trying to meet a minimum spend on a new credit card.

Pay Rent by Credit Card for 1.5% Fee – Frequent Miler

Car rentals are always a difficult one for me.  You don’t get a lot of value using your points on them, but it’s also sometimes hard to find a decent deal.  I usually check Hotwire and Costco Travel, but will definitely be trying out the tricks I just learned in this article.

travel hackingHow to Save on Car Rentals – Million Mile Secrets

Welp, big gulps huh… That’ll do it for today’s Travel Hacking News.  If you missed the last one you can find it here.  Until next time, keep it real Travel Tribe!

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