Cody Berman of Fly to FI Travel Hacking

Learn how to optimize your finances by taking advantage of credit card travel rewards!

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In this episode, Cody Berman shares how you can optimize your finances and take advantage of travel hacking to travel inexpensively. He shares simple tips for signing up for your first travel rewards credit card and the important things to watch out for.

Cody Berman is a 20-something year old entrepreneur on the road to financial independence.

At the age of 22, he quit his corporate banking job to pursue entrepreneurship full time. He is passionate about designing a life that you love while simultaneously dominating your finances.

In this episode we cover:

  • The best starter credit cards for travel hacking beginners
  • The Capital One Venture credit card benefits we love:
    • 2x miles on every dollar
    • Earn 10x miles at Hotels.com
    • $0 intro for the first year and $95 after that
    • $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Points easy to redeem
  • What happens when you don’t meet the minimum spend
  • Some ways to help you meet the minimum spend
    • Prepay bills
    • Get an authorized user
  • Tips for getting the best redemptions when using points and miles

What is travel hacking?

Travel hacking is when you take advantage of credit card rewards to travel inexpensively or free.

The most common way to travel hack is to take advantage of credit card sign up bonuses. For example, when you sign up for a new credit card and spend $3,000 in three months, you get 50,000 points which is equivalent to $500 in free travel.

Which credit card do you recommend for tracking having newbies?

Cody Berman

My favorite credit card for someone just getting started is the Capital One Venture credit card.

The sign-up bonus might change but with the Capital One Venture credit card, you earn 75,000 points when you spend $5,000 within the first three months of opening the card.

At $0.01 per point, that means you get $750 in travel credit.

With that travel credit, you can wipe out anything coded as “travel”. This includes Airbnb stays, Uber rides, car rentals, airfare, hotel stays and more.

Resources Mentioned:

Award Hacker – Free tool to help search for the best award flights.

Airbnb – Book unique homes and experiences around the world.

How to Use the Capital One Venture for Travel Rewards – Fly to FI

Connect with Cody Berman

Website: https://flytofi.com

Podcast: The FI Show

Facebook: @flytofi

Twitter: @flytofi

Instagram: flytofi

If you loved this episode, you’ll also enjoy this points and miles episode with Brandon Neth.


A big thank you to our sponsors!

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Tips for visiting the Iceland Golden Circle

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Discover what we love about Iceland!

It’s no secret that Iceland is one of my favorite travel destinations. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Iceland three times and as I wrap up writing my first book, an Iceland travel guide for adventure seekers, I figured I would share some quick tips for visiting Iceland on the podcast.

In this episode, my best friend and I share our thoughts on visiting Iceland for the first time (Sosa) and third time (me). We also recap touring Iceland’s Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is one of the most popular routes in Southern Iceland. Don’t miss the must-see attractions like Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park – where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are shifting apart and the roaring Gullfoss waterfall.

In this episode we cover:

  • Iceland’s unpredictable weather
  • Things to do in Iceland
  • Benefits of going on bus tours in Iceland
  • Things to see on the Golden Circle
    • Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Efstidalur 2 (farm) for homemade Icelandic ice cream
    • Feed Icelandic horses
    • Geysir
    • Gullfoss
Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland.

Why go on bus tours instead of renting a car in Iceland?

I know a lot of people recommend renting a car in Iceland but honestly, I don’t feel like you have to if you don’t want to.

During my three trips to Iceland, I never rented a car. I’ve only done bus tours.

Each bus tour is dynamic – you learn about the Icelandic culture, the people and the unique things about the region you’re visiting.

On bus tours you also don’t have worry about navigating the roads. The roads in Iceland are really narrow, so narrow that if a tour bus is coming at you, you have to go off the road to let the bus pass. Driving in Iceland could be quite dangerous so take the necessary precautions.

Lastly, bus tours are economical. We got so much value out of our group tours. For the Golden Circle Tour, we boarded the bus at 11:30 a.m. and didn’t get back until 7:30 p.m.

We had a full day of sightseeing!

Natural Icelandic ice cream with a view.

Where to book your Golden Circle Tour?

We booked our guided Golden Circle Tour with Reykjavik Sightseeing.

Our classic tour cost 6,990 ISK or $60 USD per person.

You can also book a Golden Circle Tour with Guide to Iceland or any reputable guided tour company in Iceland.


Thanks to our sponsors!

Awesome Maps

Do you love keeping track of all the places you’ve been?

Awesome Maps offers a wide variety of stylish and informative maps that inspire you to discover new places and create new memories around the world, from travel journal maps that you can take with you on the road to design pieces for your home. Each map is hand illustrated by designers with a passion for illustrating and drawing.

Use the promo code “THOUGHTCARD” to get 10% off your order today.

Tips for visiting Curacao on a budget

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Tips for an affordable Caribbean getaway to Curaçao!

Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island only 40 miles from Venezuela. Known for its colorful capital, voluptuous ChiChi souvenirs, blend of cultures and picturesque beaches, Curaçao is the perfect destination for those seeking culture, delicious food, and relaxation. Curaçao has been on my travel wish list for a while and I’m so excited to share that I finally got a chance to visit. In this episode, I recap my trip to Curaçao and share tips for planning an affordable Curaçao vacation.

In this episode we cover:

  • Where to stay in Willemstad, Curaçao
  • Languages spoken in Curaçao
  • Things to do in Curaçao
  • Ways to save money on your trip
  • Tipping culture in Curaçao

Why travel during Spring?

Spring is one of my favorite times to travel.

Not only do you get to enjoy the warm weather but if you travel before and after the Spring Break crowds, you will likely find good travel deals.

My favorite times to travel are between April and May.

How much did my flights cost to Curaçao?

Flying with JetBlue was the most affordable way to fly from New York City to Curaçao.

I used my JetBlue TrueBlue points to redeem a round-trip flight from New York City to Curaçao for $65 USD (taxes and fees only).

What languages are spoken in Curaçao?

Curacaons speak several languages including:

  • Papiamento (Creole language) – spoken more than written
  • Dutch – official language spoken in Curaçao
  • English
  • Spanish

What currency to use in Curaçao?

The Netherlands Antillean Guilder (NAFI) is the national currency of Curaçao.

You can also use US Dollars.

If you’re coming from the U.S., there is no need to exchange your money, just bring some cash with you.

Major credit cards are also accepted widely accepted on the island.

Should I tip in Curaçao?

Yes, absolutely!

Tips are greatly appreciated in Curaçao.

It’s customary to tip taxi drivers and restaurant waitstaff 10%.

Be mindful that some places include a “service charge” in your bill which is equivalent to a tip.

Tips for saving money in Curaçao

  • Bring cash with you to avoid ATM fees (credit cards are widely accepted in Curaçao)
  • Stay at a centrally-located hotel like Curacao Suites Hotel which offers free breakfast and free parking
  • Rent a car only if you want to explore outside the city center – Willemstad is a walkable city
  • Buses (9-person vans) cost $2 USD cash

Overall I had a wonderful time exploring Willemstad and I hope that you will consider visiting Curaçao sometime soon!

Want to explore more of the Caribbean?

Listen to Episode 26 for travel tips to Cuba and Episode 10 for travel tips to Puerto Rico.


Thanks to our sponsors!

Awesome Maps

Hey financially savvy travelers, do you love keeping track of all the places you’ve been?

Well, Awesome Maps offers a wide variety of stylish and informative maps that inspire you to discover new places and create new memories around the world, from travel journal maps that you can take with you on the road to design pieces for your home. Each map is hand illustrated by designers with a passion for illustrating and drawing.

Use the promo code “THOUGHTCARD” to get 10% off your order.

Studying Abroad with Danielle Grace host of Young, Gifted and Abroad
Don’t let not knowing how stop you from pursuing your dreams.

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Danielle Grace is the host of the Young, Gifted and Abroad Podcast. Young, Gifted and Abroad shares perspectives on studying abroad from past and present students of color. Each episode features a person of color who studied abroad as either a high school student, an undergraduate student or graduate student.

Danielle Grace first set her sights on France in elementary school and on Japan in high school. She was fortunate to achieve those dreams by studying abroad in both countries as an undergraduate student at Michigan State University (’15). Danielle studied Comparative Culture and Politics, double majored in French and minored in Japanese.

In this episode we cover:

  • What is studying abroad?
  • The benefits of studying abroad
  • Challenges students face when studying abroad
  • How parents can encourage their kids to study abroad
  • Ways to fund study abroad programs
  • Types of expenses you might have when studying abroad

What is studying abroad?

Danielle Grace:

I like to use a broad definition of studying abroad. For me, it’s anything outside of traveling for vacation or leisure. This could be any activity or program that someone participates in, in another country while they are a student.

This can include more traditional study abroad programs that are typically offered with universities, or it could be a gap year or volunteering or an internship or even just going to an academic conference. Those are all things that I feel fit under the umbrella of study abroad.

Typically study abroad programs could last anywhere from a week to a year.

Where do you find study abroad programs?

Danielle Grace:

Definitely look online.

Reach out to your network and go to your school to see what offers are available.

Ask people who you know are well traveled. Also check with your language professors because they usually know about what opportunities are available.

What are the benefits of studying abroad?

Danielle Grace:

Studying abroad gives you a boost to believe that you are able to achieve anything you put your mind to. Studying abroad also exposes you to other parts of the world, especially if you haven’t really gotten the chance to travel yet.

Having met so many people along the way that I’m still in touch with it, it feels nice to think that you have friends around the world.

Studying abroad lit a fire in me. At this point, I feel like I could go anywhere.

What are some ways to fund study abroad programs?

Danielle Grace:

Scholarships helped me a lot.

If you are a honor student, your university may have their own scholarships so look around for scholarships, especially within your major.

I’m not going to lie, I did have help from my family. My grandfather had set money aside for me to go to college when I was born.

Go Fund Me and other fundraising websites are also a possibility. Consider asking your family and friends if they’d be willing to donate.

Connect with Danielle Grace:

Podcast: https://www.younggiftedandabroad.com

Facebook: @younggiftedandabroad

Instagram: @younggiftedandabroad


For more episodes of The Thought Card Podcast, listen to Episode 3 where Richelle Gamlam shares tips for teaching English in China or Episode 14 where we chat about how to take advantage of tuition reimbursement programs with Ogechi from One Savvy Dollar.

Cuba Solo Travel with Beatriz Reynoso
Practical tips for visiting Cuba for the first time as a female solo traveler.

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In this episode we chat with Beatriz Reynoso about how she traveled to Cuba solo after a breakup. After breaking up with her partner of six years, Beatriz wanted to get away as far as possible. At the time Cuba was legal travel to, several of her friends had already visited Cuba and it was affordable. Why not right?

Beatriz shares that if you just broke up with your significant other, consider going on a solo trip. She says, “This trip taught me that everything I need is within me. My happiness, my love and support – that comes from me and not someone else.”

In this episode we cover:

  • What it’s like traveling to Cuba as a female solo traveler
  • Resources to plan your trip to Cuba
  • Tips for saving money in Cuba
  • How much things cost in Cuba
  • Where to stay in Havana

Cash vs. Credit Cards in Cuba

For the best rates, Beatriz recommends exchanging your money when you get to Cuba. She exchanged her US Dollars at the airport and she never used a credit card. She also never saw anyone using a credit card in Cuba as well.

Read this article for more Cuba money tips.

How did you feel traveling solo to Cuba?

Beatriz Reynoso:

It was scary at first, however, once I started exploring on my own, I felt really safe. I walked everywhere and met amazing people.

Cuba is actually one of the safest places to travel for women.

How affordable is Cuba?

Beatriz Reynoso:

Because of the big boost in tourism to Cuba, I found that things cost similar to the U.S. – maybe somewhat cheaper. I was there for nine days and I still had money leftover. It’s all about how you optimize your spending.

Can you share any tips for saving money in Cuba?

Beatriz Reynoso:

I took a lot of my own snacks with me to Cuba because I heard that there were food shortages because everything is rationed in Cuba.

I took my own toilet paper and when I got there, I bought a case of water.

I would also recommend bartering with locals to get the best deals.

Connect with Beatriz Reynoso:

Facebook: @beatriz.reynoso

Instagram: @bettyrey902

Twitter: @bettyrey902


If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe to The Thought Card Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Want to visit more of the Caribbean? Listen to Episode 10 where I share tips for visiting Puerto Rico for the first time.

Multiple Bank Accounts
Saving money at the airport and why you should consider having multiple bank accounts.

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In this mini-episode, I share how you can save money on coffee at the airport and why you should have multiple bank accounts. For more money tips, join me live every Sunday over on my Facebook page (@thethoughtcard).

Tip #1: Instead of buying coffee at the airport, get free coffee during your flight. Now it might not be a latte or frappuccino but it still does the job. So if you want to save money on coffee, get it for free on your next flight.

Tip #2: Unlimited free Wi-Fi has become very popular in airports. While waiting for your flight, get some work done or connect with family and friends on social media by taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi.

Tip #3: Having multiple bank accounts is any easy way to manage your money. It allows you to see each line item on your budget separately so at a glance, you know exactly how much money you can spend.

Tips for setting up multiple bank accounts:

  • Figure out how many accounts you need based on your budget.
  • Next take advantage of automation – direct deposit money from your employer into specific bank accounts so all you have to do swipe and spend.

Resources Mentioned:

Back to Budgeting Basics: Why You Need Multiple Bank Accounts

REVIVE Your Budget Challenge – this free budgeting challenge focuses less on number crunching and more on reframing your mindset so you can reach your financial goals sooner.

Need help setting financial goals? Check out Episode 21 where we explore how setting better financial goals can lead to financial success.


This episode of The Thought Card is sponsored by my Back to Budgeting Basics course. In this self-paced online course we debunk the myths that budgeting is “hard” and I help you quickly create a personalized goal-centric budget that aligns with your priorities and values.

A budget is a powerful wealth building tool which helps you reach your financial goals. So if you tried budgeting in the past and lost momentum, or have been winging it, and haven’t really seen much progress, this course is designed for you.

If you want to pay off your debt, save some extra money or have the cash on hand to do the things you love, it’s time to take control of your finances and learn how to set yourself up for financial success with this signature budgeting course.

Frantzces Lys co-found of Chronicles Abroad
Travel is transformative!

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Frantzces Lys is a Life Coach and the co-founder of Chronicles Abroad. Chronicles Abroad is a blog and podcast that uses travel to highlight stories of personal growth. From courageous world travelers and creative wanderers to digital nomads, Frantzces and co-host Nubia inspire people who have been wavering to finally pursue their dreams of moving abroad.

Frantzces also writes for various online platforms such as Tiny Buddha and she is a regular contributor to SOULE, an online publication for LGBTQ news and pop culture. Her mission in life is to inspire people to live mission-driven lives that feed their souls.

Life is like a movie but unlike movies, there are no sequels.

In this episode we cover:

  • Living, working and traveling abroad
  • How Facebook is a go-to for finding expat communities online
  • Frantzces’ personal experience being black in Asia
  • Maintaining natural hair abroad
  • Tackling student loans while living abroad
  • How travel is transformative

Connect with Frantzces Lys:

Facebook: @chroniclesabroad

Instagram: @chroniclesabroad

Instagram: @frantzceslys

Twitter: @chronicleabroad

Email: info@chroniclesabroad.com

Interested in moving abroad but unsure of where to start? Catch the replay of Novice to Nomad the 90-minute webinar where you’ll receive the blueprint to moving abroad.

Thank you so much for listening to the show, please leave us a rating and a review!


Loved this episode?

You’ll also enjoy this conversation with Kylie Neuhaus about moving to the USA as a British expat and wife.

Also, check out my guest appearance on Chronicles Abroad where I share tips to travel more affordably – Episode 59: Danielle Teaches Affordability While Helping Others Build Financial Wealth

Are you a Women of Color interested in starting a podcast?  For information and inspiration join Women of Color Podcasters Facebook Group.