How I flew to Buenos Aires for $42.40 — and how you can too.


in Travel

Cold, dreary, hurricaney — that is how I remember October in NYC last year.

Sunny, delicious, and full of pool parties— that was my experience in Buenos Aires during the same month.

It was early October, and I looked outside of my New York City apartment, overlooking Central Park, and suddenly felt depressed. It was dark and cold, the little ant-sized people were carrying umbrellas, and everyone was in a hurry to get somewhere they didn’t want to be.

And you know what was worse? I REALLY craved a nice steak. Something grass-fed.

So I quickly googled some steakhouses near my apartment in Columbus Circle. The closest steakhouse offered a grass-fed tenderloin for $75. $75!!! That’s like, 7 Chipotle burrito bowls! (or 10 outside of NYC…)

The thought of Buenos Aires popped instantly into my mind. “I wonder what it would cost to go to Buenos Aires, like, tonight?” I said out-loud.

So I headed over to I checked to see when the next flight out to BA would leave, coming back two weeks later. And guess what popped up.

AA953 — Direct Flight departing JFK at 10:10pm. Returning 14 days later.

Total cost? Miles + $42.40 cents.

Fly to Buenos Aires for $42.40


I was blown away. It was 6pm then—and the flight departed in 4 hours.

So what did I do? I packed my bag, got on the subway, and headed out to JFK Airport. 10 hours later, I was in Buenos Aires. Shortly after, I was eating a grass-fed steak.

Total price? About $70, including the money spent on the plane ticket, and the grass-fed steak. That means that it was cheaper for me to fly to Buenos Aires to eat a steak than to just go next door and eat one.

How was this possible? Through the art of travel hacking. As I’ve talked about before, there is a system to earn frequent flyer miles, easily, without spending any money. For example, the process to earn 40,000 miles (enough for that Round Trip to Buenos Aires) requires only a SINGLE Citibank credit card, and no annual fee. Total time? 45 minutes over the span of one month. Total savings? Over $1000 AND a trip to Buenos Aires (steak included).

How YOU can get a free plane ticket to Buenos Aires (or anywhere)

First of all, where do you want to go?

As you know, my site Hack the System often talks about travel hacking and getting free plane tickets. However, the system isn’t always easy for some people. Things can get difficult when you’re worrying about applying for the right cards and the right mileage programs.

So, my friend Anoop Kansupada and I decided to teach our own travel hacking class — The Travel Hacking Academy. It’s a SkillShare course, so you can sign up and learn from us.

It’s pretty simple — head over to the Travel Hacking Academy. Sign up. On Friday, you’ll get access to the course — a set of videos and articles that will make understanding the process of getting your first free plane ticket painlessly easy.

Sign up to the Travel Hacking Academy for $20 now

We’ve actually taught this course in person before. Anoop did a great job, and here are a couple testimonials of people who’ve learned how to get free tickets from us before: Charlie and Scott.

So check it out — head over to The Travel Hacking Academy today, sign up, and you’ll learn how. It’s only $20 — less than 2 Chipotle bowls in NYC :p. We are going to increase the price after the launch. Spend $20, get a free $1000 plane ticket to Buenos Aires: it’s that simple.

Hope you’ll join us on the journey 🙂


Other news

1) BehaviorCon — my brother Ramit Sethi organized his first iteration of his BehaviorCon conference. I’ll be attending. It’s full of some of the most influential speakers I follow: Derek Halpern, BJ Fogg, Marie Forleo, and Ramit himself. Sign up if you’re in the NYC area, and I’ll see you there next week. (Aug 22-23)

2) Co-found a company with me — I’ve been developing some crazy hardware in Boston, and it’s getting veryyyy interesting. Here are some of the electric components I worked with last night.

Are you located in the Boston Area and interested in working with me? If you’re skilled in software programming and/or electrical/mechanical engineering, I’m looking for some co-founders for my new company. Email me back. Let me know your background, skills, and where you’re located.

If you’re not an engineer but still want to work with me, let me know — I have some internship positions available. In person only, please.

-Maneesh Sethi
Boston, MA

P.S. Don’t forget — the Travel Hacking Academy is crazy-cheap at $20 and won’t stay like that for long. If you want to learn how to get free plane tickets, make sure to sign up.


Michael September 4, 2013 at 8:22 am

Your Skillshare course is in my top 10 best use of money category.

Who did BJ Fogg like more you or Ramit? Haha.


Maneesh Sethi September 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Awesome! Thanks!


Rose August 30, 2013 at 6:02 am

Hey Maneesh, this is a very nice post, thank you for writing it. So I was wondering, you know how Tim Ferriss mentioned in his book 4HWW to get vaccinated before traveling to another country? Did you have to get those? I’m going to Italy in October but I don’t have medical insurance so I’m a bit worried.


Maneesh Sethi August 30, 2013 at 6:11 am

I wouldn’t worry about the vaccinations. Italy is very easy country with no vaccination issues.


Rose December 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Hi Maneesh, I thought I should update you but I finally went to Italy! Thank you so much man, your blog is one of those things that gave me that push. Have an awesome day.


Russ Shomberg August 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Thanks, this is awesome.

I left Boston, but if you are looking for awesome electronics guys/programmers, you should make inquiries at BUILDS hackerspace.


Maneesh Sethi August 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm



Stephen Yeh August 15, 2013 at 3:38 am

Maneesh, I have to thank you! I read a post a while back on how cheap it was for you to go to Colombia. That day, I took your advice and got myself into airline miles. I used your info to get me to China for less than $30


Brian Kwong August 15, 2013 at 12:33 am

Already signed up last week! 😀


Kingshuk Mukherjee August 14, 2013 at 6:39 pm

lets travel hack this biatchh


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