Better Travel for Less Money (August 2018)

travel hacking.jpg
travel hacking.jpg

Better Travel for Less Money (August 2018)

from 100.00

Travel-hack with miles and other smart trip-planning techniques

Get a lot more for less (business class!), keep costs down where you can (boo exchange fees!), and make the most of your precious hours on the ground. Learn to think like a travel-hacker to make every trip you plan more affordable, more enjoyable, and less stressful.

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Date: Tuesdays, August 7, 21, 28, September 4 (skips 8/14)
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Location: Sunnyside Community House | 3520 SE Yamhill St

Tier A Pricing: $197 ($30/hr or above wage earners)
Tier B Pricing: $150 ($16-29/hr wage earners)
Tier C Pricing: $100 ($15/hr or below wage earners)
See our Pricing + Generosity Policy for more information on tiered pricing. 

PUGS is about both learning and community. Register with a friend and get 33% off with the code YOUVEGOTAFRIEND

Perhaps you’re eager to take the family on an overseas trip, but when you sit down to plan you get overwhelmed by how complicated and expensive it all seems. Maybe you travel frequently and manage your miles prudently, but you’re have a hunch that you could be doing it better. Possibly you’re keeping your eye on a flight right now and trying to figure out when or if to pull the trigger.

From takeoff to touchdown, this course will teach you the practical skills and state of mind for planning better, cheaper trips. We’ll spend plenty of time talking about how to easily earn and effectively use miles — what’s become known as “travel-hacking” — while also looking at the method to the madness of air travel and learning how to craft an affordable yet enjoyable on-the-ground experience. We’ll use the lens of international vacation travel to organize topics and examples, though most of what we learn will apply to other types of journeys.

So come to class with the next airline credit card solicitation junk mail you get (seriously!), and head home with dreams of champagne in the sky and your feet in a pool, or whatever it is you’re hoping for. Because you’re likely going on this trip with someone, why not bring them along for the planning too: the code YOUVEGOTAFRIEND gives you both 33% off the registration for a class you take together.

Note that the instructor will donate his portion of your registration fees to Portland’s Immigrant & Refugees Community Organization (IRCO), as an acknowledgment of the privilege of traveling out of choice rather than necessity.


Week 1: Airlines, airports, airplanes. Whether you find air travel exciting or enervating, understanding the methods behind the madness will empower you (and your luggage!) to travel more comfortably, more on-time, and often a lot more cheaply. Discussion will cover broad themes such as alliances and fare-finding strategies, lesser-known but easy-to-use cash-saving techniques like open jaws and hidden-city fares, and handy specifics like which Bay Area airport is the most prone to delays (hint, it rhymes with Mess-F-O) and how to save on in-flight WiFi. As is PUGS tradition, we’ll go out for optional drinks after the first class...perhaps an Aviation?

Week 2: Make the most of miles. You can save thousands of dollars by doing smart things with miles. We’ll talk about how to use credit cards and even online shopping to boost your mile bank, loopholes for getting more travel for fewer miles, and how to identify situations where you’re actually better off spending the money (hint, it’s sometimes so you can get more miles!). We’ll also cover some amazing, random benefits to playing the mileage game, including the credit card that gets you free artisan booze and a decent sit-down meal every time you pass through PDX.

Week 3: Smart planning = low-stress saving. Now that you’ve learned how to cross borders and oceans with euros or yen or rupees to spare, we’ll craft an affordable adventure that makes the most of both time and money. Decide which cities or regions to visit based on how you’ll get between them, find lodging that’s either a good deal for your needs or aggressively inexpensive, discuss what is and isn’t worth your precious luggage weight, and get your money and technology in order to avoid paying irritating fees.

Week 4: And we’re off! Both the joy and anguish of travel are rooted in the unexpected, and that includes expenses. We’ll discuss a money-conscious balance between planning and spontaneity; tools, techniques, and cultural notes that ought to improve our daily travel experience or at least reduce our chance of getting swindled; and how to mitigate the small inconveniences and big problems that can throw a curveball at even the best-crafted plans. Speaking of surprises, we’ll do a potluck for our last class, and you’re encouraged to bring a dish representing somewhere you want to go.

Jesse bio.jpg

Jesse Friedman got his travel planning start at 12 when he planned a family trip to Costa Rica, using miles, of course. In his eleven years at Google, first as an administrative assistant to a globetrotting director and then as an internationally-focused marketer for Google Maps and Google Translate, he learned the tricks of the modern elite traveler from travel-hacking colleagues; he’s been to 42 countries and flown to four continents in business class using miles. He’s now a freelance marketing and communications strategist, and, with his wife Laura, runs United Noshes, a fundraiser dinner party series featuring one meal from every country in the world in alphabetical order.