I love my holidays, I mean I wouldn’t have a travel blog if I didn’t, but sometimes I am limited in my options by the fact that I can’t always afford what I want to do. I also usually travel on my own so that can massively bump up the costs too.
One way I try to save money is by collecting air miles, well, actually Virgin Flying Club miles. There is a simple hack to earning miles on all your regular shopping and it doesn’t cost you anything!
Firstly, make sure you have a Tesco Clubcard. You can then choose to have all your points automatically tip over into your Virgin Flying Club account at every statement. It means you won’t get your money off shopping vouchers, but they do tend to go much further with air miles.
A way I boost this amount is by having a Tesco Clubcard Credit Card. I use this card like a debit card, in that it is paid off IN FULL EVERY MONTH, but I earn money for shopping anywhere and everywhere (although I do believe there is a minimum spend for purchases which aren’t at Tesco which last time I checked was £8). I am therefore earning Clubcard points, and then subsequently Flying Club Miles, just by going about doing my normal shopping.
I live on my own so this doesn’t add up massively, especially as on the whole, I try to be frugal, but it does add up and that’s the key.
I don’t have one, but there is now a Virgin Atlantic credit card, which gives you more points on your spending outside of Tesco, but I don’t know the figures as when I looked into it I wasn’t eligible.
The great thing about Flying Club Miles is that you can earn them in other ways too, such as shopping through Virgin Atlantic’s shopping partners through their website, and also obviously earning them when you fly with them. You can even pay an extra supplement and boost the miles you earn when you fly. If you know you are going to use them, this can be a brilliant way of getting a lot of extra miles quickly.
You don’t need enough miles to cover the full price of the flight, although this obviously is an option (although you will still have to pay taxes and fees). You can also use them for upgrades or “miles and more” which is basically where you pay partly in miles and partly in money.
There is no way I would ever have been able to fly Upper Class with Virgin if it wasn’t for my hacks to earning extra miles. I treated myself to fly Upper Class from Heathrow (as I wanted to use the Virgin Lounge) to New York. The lounge was divine and it got even better onboard. I explained to the stewardess that I had never flown Upper Class before (and probably wouldn’t again) and although I wanted to make sure I slept on the flat bed, I asked her to wake me up if I was going to miss any food or anything.
Having a flat bed on a plane is possibly the coolest thing ever. The food and the service is better too (although I still think Virgin are excellent across all their classes of travel) and it was an absolutely amazing experience. It did however mean that I had to fly home economy, as that was all I could afford, so as I am sure you can imagine, that was a pretty horrible flight, but it was totally worth it! Next time I do Upper Class, I’m going to make sure I have enough miles to do it both ways!