Identifying your goal post is the very first step into your travel hacking journey. Not having a goal post defined, will likely set you up for failure once you know you want to accomplish. I walk through these points with my clients all the time. Here is, the very first step, into your travel hacking journey.

Identifying Your Goal Post

The most important journey in travel hacking is to understand your own travel goals. Everyone has a different travel goal.

The number of occasions I have consulted with customers who come up to me with, they have 500,000 Scotiabank Scene Reward Points, can you help me make that 2 business class tickets. Unfortunately, I cannot. 500,000 Scotiabank Scene Reward Points is great for… Economy Class travel.

a person walking in an airplane

Scotiabank Scene Reward Points is great for Economy Class travel!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad travel goal. It is a completely reasonable travel goal. But it might not be the travel goal you are after while reading this article. I still personally collect Scotia points, because they are still aligned to my travel goal. But those travel goals are Economy Class tickets.

I’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of consulting for customers who have enough points to redeem three round trip tickets in Business Class anywhere in the world, and yet we redeemed them for a hotel in Europe.

I’ve also fortunately had the pleasure of consulting with customers who decided their first travel hack is Maldives, and they started on the path with a singular focus, how do we stay at a hotel in Maldives that we could likely never afford on our own?

Ultimately, you should have goals in your travel hacking journey. Let me change that, you should have multiple goals in your travel hacking journey. Every travel hack you follow, should be driven by one of your listed goals. And it is important to know, your travel goals may change every year, and that is completely okay.

a room with two beds

You don’t want to be collecting points only to find out, Delta Hotels are the best you can do

Identifying your goal post can sometimes be hard. I will walk you through how my goal post has changed over time.

My Travel Goals from 2010 to 2019

Travel from Vancouver / New York to Singapore or India in Business or First Class

For 10 years, that’s all my focus was on. I was happy to forgo multiple experiences in Maldives, because I knew, my focus was to make my family’s journey between Asia Pacific and North America as comfortable as possible. Every credit card application, ever travel hack, every action of mine, was related to that singular goal.

a tv on a chair in a plane

My singular travel goal had me flying Cathay Pacific First Class like people catch buses

My Travel Goal from 2020 to 2022

Maldives. Business Class to Maldives for my parents.

a group of people on an airplane

This is the smile of my brother and mother… before realizing what awaits them

In 2020, I had a single travel goal, it was to fly to Maldives, and take my parents and my brother with me. I knew it would be a huge undertaking, and so I kept my target realistic. I did not care whether I flew in Business Class, but it was imperative my parents flew in Business Class.

So throughout 2020, all my travel hacking either contributed my stay towards Maldives or flights towards Maldives.

a man and woman sitting in chairs

Mission Accomplished. Parents flying Etihad Business Studio to Maldives

I was incredibly lucky, I managed to fly my entire family to and from Maldives in Business Class, but I never lost focus of my travel goal.

When I realized that I could accomplish my travel goal, my goal post shifted, to include my own travel to Maldives in Business Class.

Once I accomplished that goal, I shifted my goal post again, to now include my brother’s journey (despite my love for him, he always gets the last priority).

After I booked everything, I realized, I had about 50% of the points necessary to create a luxury experience in Dubai. And guess what happened? My goal post changed again. I went all out chasing that new goal. And I was successful.

Ultimately, my starting travel goal was:

  • Maldives in an Overwater Villa
  • Traveling to Maldives in Business Class for 2 passengers


  • Maldives in an Overwater Villa
  • Traveling to Maldives in Business Class for 4 passengers
  • Luxury experience in Dubai
a room with a view of the ocean from the window

My evening view from the bed at the St Regis Maldives

My Travel Goal in 2023

In 2023, I wanted to go to the Canadian Rockies. Travel hacking Canadian Rockies was probably my hardest travel hack to date. However, we succeeded.

a body of water with trees and a rocky cliff

Hiking in Jasper and staying at the Fairmont Jasper was a travel goal of 2023

The success was short lived however, with my mother necessitating a medical extraction in Lake Louise. The hack was successful, and I am sure we will return to finish off the trip in the future.

My Travel Goals in 2024

Well, in 2024, I took a major life event. I got married. And a big part of my 2024 goal planning is our honeymoon and also a trip to India, together, as a married couple. I did not really work towards a single goal. I just focused on earning Aeroplan Points for flights, American Express Membership Reward Points for flexibility and Marriott Bonvoy points for hotels.

We decided to go to Europe for our honeymoon. I struggled with Europe the most. However, ultimately, I had some orphaned Alaska Miles, and used that to redeem Aer Lingus Business Class to Europe. On the way back, I used my Aeroplan Points to fly Singapore Airlines Business Class from Frankfurt to New York.

Am I particularly happy with flying Aer Lingus? Not really. I feel like we will be better off doing a non-stop in Economy Class. However, it is our honeymoon, so even if it is a bad use of our miles, it will be worth every mile spent. It is also my wife’s first time in international Business Class. She is not a believer in travel hacking, so it is a slow journey to explain the proposition of travel hacking.

However, I am super excited for Singapore Airlines. It is the airline I grew up flying, it is the airline whose business class I would walk by, dreaming of being up front. It is an airline that is close to my heart, so it is only appropriate, that we fly that during our honeymoon.

a bed with a pillow and a bottle of water in the back of a plane

I can’t wait to share this experience with my wife!

I think of this as an investment into convincing her, travel hacking, saves people real money.

My Travel Goals for 2025 and Beyond

I really do not know. My strategy will not change for the foreseeable future. I call this the auto-pilot mode. Once we are back from India, I might start working alongside her to define our travel goal for 2025 and beyond. I have some thoughts:

  1. Alaska Cruising
  2. Maldives… Part 2?
  3. Canadian Rockies… Part 2?
  4. Disney?

I have not cleared up my thoughts, but before I begin to actively travel hack again, I will need to decide on my goal post, so I can work towards that.


It is important to have a goal post that is a dream. A goal post that you could never imagine making a reality. Most importantly, do not have a single goal post. Have three of them. A short-term goal, medium-term goal and a longer-term goal that might take some time to achieve. If your dream is the Ramada Inn at New York City, I’m sorry, you are reading the wrong article. But if it is the Ritz Carlton in Hawaii, then you are in the perfect spot! Identifying your goal post is the best way to get started in your travel hacking journey.