While you might never have thought about it before, traveling whenever you get the chance is just another way to steer your life onto the path of success.
You’ve probably heard before that traveling in your 20s is like a rite of passage before you can officially enter real adulthood.
It’s true that frequent traveling in general has its benefits. It allows you to explore new and unfamiliar places and forces you to step outside your comfort zone more often.
Comfort zones, of course, are what keep most of us from being as happy, successful and fulfilled as we otherwise could be without them.
If you’re going to be doing a ton of traveling anyway, why not sign up to become a frequent flyer?
These programs are similar to signing up for memberships or rewards programs with your favorite stores. You really do end up saving money even when you spend it, meaning the rewards really do outweigh the costs.
So how do you become a frequent flyer, anyway?
In short, all you really need to do to get started is pick an airline you’re willing to stick with and purchase an airline credit card. Do a little research to figure out which frequent flyer program will work best for you.
You’ll have to do a little travel hacking in the beginning to find cheap flights through your airline—we’ll get to that in a minute.
The more you fly, the more points you earn, which can add up to rewards like free tickets, complementary first class seating and more.
These perks are great and all, but how do they make you more successful? How does saving money, learning to be more flexible and traveling more often on your own time help you become more fulfilled?
Here are a few benefits you might not have considered before.
You will save money
A little travel hacking goes a long way … literally.
It’s very easy to decide where you want to go, pick the airline that’s most convenient or the cheapest and book your flight in no time at all. To save money traveling though, whether for business or for pleasure, you have to look at the big picture.
Travel hacking involves spending a little bit more time online hunting for flights through your loyal airline so you can find the cheapest tickets available.
The extra time is worth it, though. Over time frequent flyers accumulate points to earn whatever kinds of rewards they want to redeem. Free tickets aren’t available for every flight through your airline, but you might still be able to use your points, or “miles,” to upgrade your seat or check your bags for free.
Check out this article for more travel hacking and money saving tips.
Frequent flyers are more flexible
Being a frequent flyer means you have to choose flights based on when your airline is heading to your destination, not when you prefer to arrive at the airport.
This, and plenty of other factors, over time train you to become more flexible and accept that you cannot always be in control of every situation.
Flying in general requires patience and a willingness to go with the flow. Flights are delayed, seats change at the last minute and sometimes flights are even canceled altogether, essentially tearing apart whatever your perfectly mapped out travel plans may have been before.
No matter where you are, whether it’s in the office, on a trip or out with your friends, the ability to be flexible is often the difference between getting more done, and more out of an experience, and crushing your productivity.
Practicing flexibility more frequently will ultimately lead to more success in your life, as long as you keep traveling and don’t let your frequent flyer miles expire.
Frequent flyer programs give you an incentive to keep traveling
It’s a myth that traveling always has to be expensive. If you think you are too broke to afford it, quite honestly, you are probably wrong.
Another “perk” (if you are willing to look at it that way) of becoming a frequent flyer is that, if you go long periods of time without flying anywhere, all the frequent flyer miles you’ve accumulated will disappear.
The same way we need to be repetitive and consistent when trying to establish healthy routines in our lives, to be more successful, it’s important to keep up with your frequent flying as part of your airline’s rewards program.
Doing something once and then abruptly abandoning it just isn’t the way life works. Making commitments, staying loyal to certain partners and brands and sticking to your promises—even the ones you make only to yourself—is a key to success many people lose or never find at all.
Depending on your career, you might end up traveling on business a lot more than you ever planned to. Frequent flyer programs aren’t just for business travel, though, which is why looking into them now is an absolute must.
You might think you can’t afford it, or that you won’t be able to handle not being in control of every moment of your itinerary. You might still be afraid to step outside your comfort zone or you might worry that you’ll get tired of traveling after doing it too much.
Once you become a frequent flyer, you won’t regret the decision. Neither will your wallet or your anxiety.
Leading a successful life is all about engaging in experiences that stretch us beyond our limits. Not to mention that when you stand at the center of an international airport, you very well could be breathing the same air as people from all over the world.
Don’t let your budget or your busyness keep you from experiencing the world. The memories you create, the people you meet and the frequent flyer miles you accumulate along the way will not turn out to be a waste of time.
Here are some more examples of frequent flyer benefits when you reach elite status. Get to flying!