Collecting Cans To Buy Airplane Tickets
In June of 2008, oil was trading for over $155 per barrel.
This not only hit commuters at the gas pump, but also major corporation’s bottom lines. Everyone was feeling the pain.
But one company did something very smart. Southwest Airlines loaded up on hedges against higher fuel prices.
“The reason for Southwest’s rapidly increasing advantage over other big airlines is much simpler… Southwest owns long-term contracts to buy most of its fuel at the equivalent of $51-a-barrel oil through 2009.”
Southwest was filling up their planes for half the cost of its competitors. It was an enormous advantage for the airline as customers gobbled up their cheap(er) ticket prices.
I was one of those customers.
A the time, I was still in college and being strapped for cash, I wasn’t exactly a world traveler.
Actually, the only traveling I really did was driving to Mexico with my friends to surf. We’d load up our pickup trucks with firewood, beer, surfboards, and canned beans. We’d disappear into the coastal desert for a couple weeks and spend maybe $200 each. It was awesome.
But I did hop on a couple Southwest flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I remember the fare being $49 roundtrip – which was a lot for me at the time.
Luckily, my roommate and I had a side hobby: collecting cans from college parties on the weekend.
Honestly, it was pretty embarrassing. We’d show up to these big parties at about 3 in the morning and start collecting cans. Our classmates would laugh at us because we were collecting cans instead of drinking beer.
We took the money from recycling those cans and bought those $49 tickets to San Francisco.
We flew up in the morning, walked around the city, had lunch with a couple of friends who were going to school in the Bay Area, and then flew back in the evening. It was a lot of fun.
Although driving to Mexico or flying within California is not exactly groundbreaking… it wasn’t what most college students were doing – at least not ‘for fun.’
The reality is that traveling is expensive.
It’s very hard to justify spending money on travel unless… the travel is ridiculously cheap OR the destination is profitable.
At least that’s how I started to rationalize travel in my mind.
After college, I looked for the cheapest travel options with the best upside potential.
In other words, I wanted to travel for almost nothing, show up to an exotic destination, and make money.
It obviously takes a lot of work… but… I want to show you something…
I just bought roundtrip plane tickets from Los Angeles to Hangzhou, China for $480. That’s cheap. SUPER CHEAP.
Let me give you a little perspective on how cheap this flight is…
The first flights from the US to Asia (Manila, Philippines) started in 1936. The journey took 56 hours, had four stops, and cost a BOAT LOAD OF MONEY.
Source: SF Gate
How much? $950.
Adjusted for inflation, it would cost over $16,000 today. AND THAT’S JUST FOR A ONE-WAY TICKET!
Source: Inflation Calculator
So, I can fly to Asia for about $250 one-way on a clean jet that gets me there in about 14 hours, compared to the 1936 trip that took over 2 days and cost over $16,000.
And here’s another thing that’s amazing…
Asia (and the rest of the world) is full of HUGE opportunity. More than any other time in history.
BUT, you have to target these opportunities effectively.
Here is what I mean by that… The internet has leveled the playing field for a lot of people. You can send an email to anyone in the world for free. You can reach out, make relationships, and do business.
However, there are a lot of people in that space. There are a lot of people sitting in their home doing business around the world.
There are far fewer people traveling to different countries to make things happen. It takes more work to travel. Plus, most people are afraid to step outside of their bubble.
Yes, it’s expensive to travel, but as I just showed you, it’s very inexpensive compared to the past.
I am encouraging you to take a hard look at the value of traveling to find opportunity.
As I’ve said before, “Drinks And Food Have The Best ROI.”
#1 Human relationships are highly underrated. You’ll be shocked by how much more you can get done when you have the right people working with you. And when that relationship is face-to-face, it’s even more valuable.
#2 Competition in this space is almost zero. I’m talking about going out of your way to physically meet people and strike up business together.
If you go to Facebook, LinkedIn, or any social network, you’ll find everyone constantly sending messages to each other. It’s easy and free to do. But it’s also a bit cheap. Meaning, sending an email or message to someone is easy and free, so there is not a lot of implied value to the message.
Meeting someone for a drink or meal subliminally suggests more importance. Both parties are taking a significant amount of time and money to make the meeting happen. There is more value.
I understand that this is much easier said than done.
And that’s why I’m bringing all of this up…
Look, I enjoy writing and talking about investing. It allows me to double-check my ideas, connect with incredible people, and keeps me disciplined.
I can offer you all kinds of free advice, which you can take – or not.
But, the real value is in relationships. The real value is found – and made – by physically going to locations where you meet other people looking to accomplish great things.
That’s what I personally focus on.
I’ve been sharing with you many investment ideas through the Explorer Report, and I have no plans of stopping…
But the truth is that I prefer traveling to places to meet and invest with amazing people. That’s why – starting soon – I’m going to make that available to anyone who wants to join me to actually get out there and G.S.D.Oh! I almost forgot the entire reason for writing this in the first place! It’s to show you the great airline deals out right now. Here are just a few:
Norwegian Air just announced US transatlantic flights costing $65.
WOW Air (based out of Iceland) has some equally crazy deals to Iceland and Europe.
United Airlines just opened two new routes to Hangzhou and X’ian and they’re offering very low prices. I also just picked up tickets from LA to London for $500 – that’s almost the same price as LA to NY!
“I’ve been sharing with you many investment ideas through the Explorer Report, and I have no plans of stopping…”
Please don’t stop writing I personally have benefited a lot from reading your articles here.
Best Wishes from Oman,
I’d join you in getting shit done in a heartbeat. What can I do to help?
Does anyone know a website that this computer science student created but it got shut down quickly because of airlines hated it?
What it did (from what I understood) was that it allowed passengers to pick a final destination and it would automatically search short distance flights (which are cheaper) then it would allow you to book the cheapest flight.
The travelling time would be longer but overall cheaper.
I’ll have more very soon (this week).
I’m waiting to join you and get that shit done!
Right on! (you can do it here!)