You want six pack abs, world peace and a mind bending non stop luxury vacation that you don't have to pay for. Though two out of those three will require some time, one is entirely possible, with just a bit of savvy consumerism. Here are a few credit card strategies to make travel truly free, or at least INCREDIBLE, and close...

The Basics

When traveling your main expenses are flights and hotels. Incidental things like meals, tours and local transportation take a big back seat, but they're still important, though you'd likely incur those same costs at home. The most powerful basic advice out there is to acquire credit cards which will offer you the best rates using points and miles for the hotels and flights you'd like to take. If you want to make the taxes, surcharges meals and other stuff free too, grab a cash back card, which helps refunds those purchases. Let's talk strategy below...

Strategy For FREE Flights #1...

The most instantly gratifying strategy is to go for two cards whose points can be combined, thus giving you enough points for two round trip economy, or one round trip business class flight almost anywhere in the world. For example, you'd get a card from the airline you want to fly or whose partners you want to fly, the options are endless. Next you'd get a card with transferrable points like an Amex Gold, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Citi Prestige or any card whose points you can transfer to many different airlines, mainly, including the airline whose card you just grabbed. For example, if you got a Delta Amex and then a regular Amex, you could combine the points all into one big pile with Delta. Picking an airline who has their own credit card with a generous bonus AND is also a partner of Chase, Amex or Citi is a great move. Simply Google the airline you want and credit card, like "Asiana Credit Card" to see options...

Strategy For FREE Flights #2...

If you can spend a lot on a card without paying interest, either through your business or a relatively high level of income, the best card out there is probably the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express. Even though it's a hotel card, you can use and transfer it's points on a variety of airlines, many of whom are impossible to earn points with any other card. You can unlock incredible values at shockingly low rates, like 80,000 points for round trip First Class between the US and Europe on Emirates, or around the world in First Class for 150,000 miles. Best of all, for every 20,000 points you transfer to an airline, you get 5,000 bonus miles.

Strategy For FREE Hotels #1...

Many hotel credit cards around the world offer generous bonuses including a free night at any of the hotel chain's properties. For an easy leg up, it never hurts to grab one or two of these cards, which immediately unlock a free night (or more) and gets you well on your way to many more nights. The best current example of this is in the United States, where the Ritz Carlton Rewards card offers 3 free nights at almost any of it's properties when signing up for the card and hitting a reasonable spending goal. Three free nights in a Ritz Carlton and it's safe to say that the start of your vacation is sorted. Other opportunities generally include the IHG Rewards Card, Hilton Card, Marriott Card or Hyatt card.

Strategy For FREE Hotels #2...

If the places you want to stay don't offer a free night up front from their credit card, focus on excellent low points hotels which offer excellent value. In each city there are almost always "sweet spot" hotels where you can stay in a nice property which requires a smaller than usual amount of points. Figure out where you want to go, look for an IHG Points Break hotel, a hotel that's nicer than the category the chain has put it in. For example, there are some really nice Sheraton's which Starwood Preferred Guest has put at a lower than normal tier, requiring just 10,000 points per night. 

Strategy For FREE Meals, Expenses...

Wherever we are on earth we need to eat, but when we're traveling it can really add up and so can tours, transportation and purchases. If you want to offset those meals and purchases, consider grabbing a lucrative cash back card to compliment your mileage earning arsenal. I'm a big fan of the Chase Freedom which offers rotating 5% cash back categories, as well as the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which offers unlimited 1.5X cash back.