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Three Tricks to Get Cheap International Flights

I've been on an awesome run of trips recently. I've gone to China, Peru, Mexico, and Japan, and have paid $1350 total for all four flights. That's roughly the cost of the normal price of just ONE of the more expensive flights on that list. I have a few tricks to share with you which are responsible for these four flights.

FlyerTalk Mileage Run Forums

You may already be aware that there's a group of people online who are completely obsessed with miles and status on airline frequent flyer programs. They all congregate on a site called FlyerTalk.com and discuss mileage runs, which are flights so cheap that it's (nearly) worth going just for the miles. In fact, many members go on trips that last for just hours before they get back on the plane home.

You may not want to take trips like that, but you can use their forum to find extremely cheap flights (and get miles while you're at it). Just go to the Mileage Run subforum and search for your home airport. You can also check out this thread which has deals that are still very cheap but don't earn enough miles to qualify as a mileage run. Sometimes that's because the price is a bit higher, but often it's because it's an obscure airline with a crappy frequent flyer program or a fare class that doesn't offer miles.

About next week (中国)

On The Incomprehensibly Stale Elephant

Hi everyone! For those of you tuning in just now, my name's Brendan, and this is my excellently-named blog! I figured I'd get the first post out of the way by explaining what I want to do with this blog, and my first big project relating to it.

The intention of this blog is to serve as a document of my journeys both distant and local; whether I'm sampling a new beer on tap at a cafe in my local haunt of Tacoma, WA, or I'm venturing off to a new country to take in a new culture, I want to share about my experiences in the most engaging way possible. It is my hope that I can make even my smallest adventures into something worth reading.

Now that I've gotten the basic formalities out of the way, let's talk about my first big project. On July 3rd, 2014, I'll be hopping on a flight to Honolulu, HI, en route to Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China. This is a huge thing for me; in my 22 years, I've been on a grand total of four flights (six, if you're willing to count a pair of layovers as separate ventures), with the longest flight time that I've endured currently sitting at 5 hours, from a nonstop flight I took on a return trip from Atlanta, GA. Adding flights with layovers to the consideration, I have yet to spend more than 8-10 hours travelling between airports.

And yet I'm getting ready to fly to China.

How did I, as a relatively untravelled college kid with a wealth of book knowledge and little worldly experience, get myself into this terribly exciting mess? Well, let's start from the beginning. In 2012, I became a student at the Tacoma campus of the University of Washington, and one of my first classes sparked the pilot light of curiosity regarding Chinese history and culture. Later, in an attempt to fill out my class schedule with learning I found "interesting," I would enroll myself in a beginning Chinese language class, not realizing what I had gotten myself into until it was too late!

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