Inside the classroom, my ESL students call me “Teacher Lori.” What I enjoy most about teaching ESL is that is it never boring as no two days are identical. I got into this field from my Italian professoressa who told me that I should give teaching, specifically ESL, a shot. Grazie, Professoressa Fazzone! Outside of the classroom, my friends call me “The Master of Points.” I don’t let either title get to my head because my ultimate goal is not to be admired but to teach you everything I’ve figured out, so that a practical working professional can go on a dream vacation every year without skipping a beat by leveraging the power of his or her admirable credit score.

So how did I get into the travel game?

Actually, it’s in my blood. Picture it 1960.

Not from 1960, but this is the original travel agent (my truly amazing mom) and myself in 2011.

I come from a family of travel agents, so you can definitely say that it is both figuratively and literally in my blood. My grandparents opened up a travel agency in Newark more than 50 years ago, and my mom took it over after they retired. My Saturdays were spent learning on a computer (which was a really big deal in the late 80s/early 90s) how to book people to their dream destinations. I learned about pseudo-city codes before I even knew what pseudo meant (true story) and, more importantly, it cemented my love of travel. Plus, it showed me that it took a lot of money being saved in order to make those travel dreams come true. The travel industry was at its peak in the 1970s. When the agency first opened, tickets were extremely expensive at close to $1k from NYC to LAX; those who were fortunate to travel did so dressed to the nines. In the 80s and 90s, travel became more accessible thanks to greater competition among the airlines, and eventually the internet. Ironically, that was the demise to travel agents. I like to think of myself as the modern travel agent.

Fast forward to the year 2011, when I’m just a few months shy of returning back to the States after a two-year stint in South Korea, and determining how I’ll be able to travel as extensively as I did while I was living and working in Asia.

A quick internet search later (and I do mean quick, as South Korea has the fastest internet in the universe), the world of travel hacking was exposed to me. My inner nerd was rejoicing at the fact that I could leverage my good credit score in order to score lucrative sign-up bonuses which would net me with (almost) free travel.

Blenheim, New Zealand

I started, as most people do, by sticking my toes into the proverbial points pool by applying for one credit card, which then spiraled into a full-blown points and miles obsession, but in the healthiest sense possible. Since that time, I’ve saved over $111k, and it is 100% due to travel hacking. I want YOU to do the same and experience all of glorious wonders that the world has to offer. Of course, always keeping in mind that swiping happily-ever-after must be done responsibly.

I want to help you get started, I’ve published 30 podcasts to date:

Listen to these three if you are new to points:

http://bit.ly/newtopoints

http://bit.ly/Chase5_24rule

http://bit.ly/dontapplyforthiscard

Listen to these three if you are already seasoned:

http://bit.ly/southwestmagic

http://bit.ly/graduationforfree

http://bit.ly/shoppingportalsequalfreetravel

Listen to these three if you are looking to become a master of points yourself:

http://bit.ly/luxuryAsianvacation

http://bit.ly/europeforless

http://bit.ly/buenosaires_yesplease