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How to Fly First Class For Cheap and Without Paying Full Price

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Once you’ve experienced the luxuries of flying First Class, it’s nearly impossible to return to the cramped, close-knit quarters of coach. The extra space, next-level service, convenience and perks of First and Business Class are necessary if you want your flying experience to be memorable and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed.

On the flip side, the exorbitant price of a First Class seat can make you feel like a sucker, and as we all know, with the way airlines price tickets these days, it’s a strong possibility that everyone sitting around you paid a different price for exactly the same seat.

So how do you get the best deal for the seat you want?

I travel extensively for work, and my wife and I love to travel for pleasure. Flying is a part of our lives, and thankfully we can afford it, but there are times when I question whether paying for First Class is worth the extra legroom, priority boarding and “complimentary” drinks. Yet between myself, my wife and my executive assistant, no one has the time to do a deep dive into the inner workings of the airline industry’s pricing structures.

Related: American Airlines is Dropping First Class On International Flights

One of my clients, Matt Bennett, aka “Mr. Upgrade,” is an expert at shopping for airline tickets. He always says to me that shopping for airline tickets is very much about mindset. You’ll likely find the deals if you rethink how you travel and shop for tickets. He taught me valuable mindset hacks, techniques and strategies for getting First or Business Class tickets for little more than the price of economy seats and has given me permission to share a few of them.

1. Buy miles and points

Typically we think of collecting airline miles through flying, but credit card points are much more valuable than airline miles because you can transfer them as needed to many airline partners, with better redemption rates than the airline you are most loyal to otherwise. You can buy up to 500,000 American Express points annually for 2.5 cents each, and you can also buy miles with many airlines for as low as 1.2 cents each when they’re on sale.

Through the buy miles for cash strategy, you can get $30,000 First Class tickets for under $3,000.

Related: How to Choose a Seat on a Plane

2. Be flexible with your dates

Be on the lookout for flash Business Class fares and plan your bucket list and vacation travels around those. It sounds simple, but it’s a strategy that works. Airlines sell cheap First and Business Class tickets when there is low business traveler demand, but you won’t find them in endless searches. Sign up for premium cabin flash fare alerts from sites like FirstClassFlyer.com, as the airlines seldom promote surplus premium seat fares.

3. Be open to accidental bucket list experiences

This one isn’t obvious, but it’s brilliant. Sometimes we get stuck in our head that we want to do one thing, so much so that we put blinders on and can’t see opportunities right in front of us.

Bennett learned this in his desire to go to Sydney, Australia. First Class tickets to Sydney typically cost $20,000+, but upon research, he noticed mileage seats available to Melbourne. He went to Melbourne, caught a Serena Williams match at the Australian Open, then hopped on an inexpensive commuter flight to Sydney. Accidental bucket list.

Related: 8 Rule-Bending Travel Hacks That Help You Fly Like a Boss

4. Try the Emirates waitlist strategy

Emirates flies to more places than you think, and their service is outstanding. Emirates is an Amex partner, so the fast and quick way to get on Emirates is to use Amex points (and remember, you can buy those points if you don’t have enough).

If the airline’s website is unavailable, pick up the phone and get on the waitlist. Emirates often allows you to waitlist up to three dates. About 50% of the time, a date will open up for free award travel at a reduced rate, especially for close-in dates.

Related: What Emirates Airline Can Teach You About Brand Advocacy

5. Turn your business trip into a vacation

If you’re traveling for business, look for leisure fares that allow stopovers and tack on a side trip. For instance, if you have a business trip to Miami, you can buy a ticket on American Airlines all the way to St. Thomas or Puerto Rico, with a stopover in Miami. Sometimes this can drive down the price of a First Class fare. You get a free side trip when you have a higher-fare business route and tack on a side trip that allows stopovers with the city you were otherwise going to.

On trips to Europe, you can often add Cairo (think Pyramids and Luxor) or New Delhi (Taj Mahal) for free. Sometimes it will even drive down your original, Europe-only fare, so it can be less than free to add the unforgettable side trip.

Related: Why You Should Take Vacation Days While on Business Trips

6. Freeze flash fares

Airlines often have surplus seats. You can cash in on these deeply-discounted fares if you can be flexible. Most airlines allow you to freeze flash fares for a small fee for a few days or up to a week. This locks in the price and gives you time to think about it and make your plans. You can also stack flash fares, holding multiple bookings for a small fee each, until you solidify your plans.

These strategies and mindset shifts are simple but effective ways for busy business professionals and worldwide travelers to save money on airline travel. Do the homework, know the best times to visit the places you want to see, then be open and flexible. And seek help when you need it.

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Entrepreneurship

10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Self-care has become an all-encompassing term that has strayed from the importance of everyday commodities that keep us in good health and spirits. Though pampering and “treat yourself” moments still have value, here are ten ways to invest in yourself to produce long-lasting, positive results.

Related: 8 Self-Care Tips From Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs

1. Put money into a 401(k)

It’s never too early (or too late!) to start saving for the future. Depending on your employment status, there are different retirement savings accounts. 401(k)s are the most common since these are employer-sponsored and often come with an employer match. However, freelancers also have options, such as a SEP-IRA or a high-yield savings account, to put away extra, tax-free dollars for retirement.

2. Schedule a health checkup

Self-care first includes taking care of your physical health. It’s easy to discredit regular checkups when you’re feeling healthy, but make this the year to get your blood work done. It creates a baseline for your health to identify areas needing improvement or extra attention.

Also, choose areas in your life where you can make small changes. Improving your health doesn’t always mean a drastic overhaul; it may be as simple as drinking more water or adding an extra 30 minutes of exercise to your day.

Related: 3 Key Tips for Optimizing Your Physical Health as an Entrepreneur

3. Review health insurance benefits

Many people with health insurance aren’t sure exactly what it does and doesn’t cover. If you’re unsure, talk with your HR representative or your health insurance provider to get an overview of deductibles, co-payments and other supplemental benefits you may not be aware of. Then, decide if the health care plan makes sense for your current lifestyle.

Are you paying for benefits you don’t use, or do you need additional benefits that aren’t covered? Selecting the right plan will help ensure you have what you need without paying the extra expense for anything you don’t.

4. Ignite your curiosity

Maintaining healthy cognitive functions through new pursuits gives a boost to the brain. Get curious and find what speaks to you. This can be anything from exploring local museums, embarking on different hiking trails, learning a new language or reading more books.

There’s no limit to what you can do, and these activities can ignite more creativity and motivation in your work. While it may be helpful to look to others for inspiration, make them enjoyable so you’ll want to make them a regular occurrence.

5. Prioritize mental health

Mental health has been at the forefront of people’s lives over the past few years, as many have experienced burnout. We often equate productivity with a value that drives us to go beyond our means and leads to anxiety, stress and depression. Take note of your everyday stressors and see how to reduce or eliminate them. Then, replace them with relaxing outlets that allow you to recharge.

There are various ways to prioritize mental health, from practicing positive self-talk to meditation to scheduling an electronics-free day. You may have to try different solutions before you find one that fits.

Related: 5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur

6. Implement good sleep habits

Consistent sleep is one of the essential factors of good health but one that is often overlooked. For many, it can be challenging to wind down from the workday. Therefore, you must “train” your body to prepare for sleep by getting into a nighttime routine.

Create a sanctuary for yourself to improve your sleep habits. Enjoy a soothing cup of herbal tea, perform a skincare routine, and snuggle in with a good book rather than scrolling through your phone. Additionally, ensure your bedroom is dark and cool for ideal sleep comfort and turn on soothing sounds if it helps lull you to sleep.

7. Try something new

What have you wanted to try but have always held back? Maybe it’s public speaking or contributing to a blog. Whatever “new” has been on your to-do, make a plan, schedule it on your calendar and go for it. It’s common to hold back from these activities due to fear of the unknown or failure, but trying new things helps create confidence and can be the catalyst you need to push you to the next level.

8. Learn to set boundaries

Boundary setting is crucial to relationships yet can be difficult to master. It doesn’t always involve simply saying no to people’s requests. Instead, it requires protecting your own values when people violate them. Setting boundaries may mean spending less time with certain people, removing yourself from toxic situations, or declining invites to events that don’t improve your life. Explore areas where boundaries will help you grow, and keep in mind growth itself is a work in progress.

Related: How to Set Boundaries to Build Thriving Relationships

9. Spend quality time alone

Learning how to enjoy time spent alone is a valuable gift. We are inundated by a false sense of connection through the internet, which often makes us feel lonelier than ever. Then, we overschedule our calendars to make up for human connections, only to feel drained afterward. Slow it down and plan a few solo dates a month to see how it feels to be truly present with yourself.

For those who aren’t used to spending quality time alone, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable initially, but these stem from your own perceptions. Take in a matinee, sit in a coffee shop and read, or enjoy a concert or event you’ve wanted to attend. Alone time has been linked to improved stress management and greater life satisfaction, so it’s worth trying to give yourself more time.

Related: Turns Out, Those Who Like Being Alone Can Be More Creative

10. Get active

Getting active can take on several directions. It can be physical, emotional or spiritual. The point is to engage with people and pursuits that feed your soul. Whether volunteering within your community, setting yourself an exercise goal, or learning more about personal development, there are endless ways to get active and invest in yourself this year.

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Are You a Winner? How to Truly Define Winning in Your Business

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Businesses gauge their performance typically with dozens of goals and metrics. But you can’t do everything at once. The challenge is to get people focused on the one thing that’s most important right now. If it moved in the right direction, it would eliminate a weakness (or capitalize on an opportunity) and improve financial outcomes. You improve that, and you win.

However, not every company clearly defines winning. A catalog of goals can pull the organization in multiple directions and stretch finite resources. Numerous goals can inherently be at odds, working against each other and for conflicting purposes. For example, a cost reduction goal might undermine an innovation goal requiring a significant investment.

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Gen Z Is Making Ugg Boots Fashionable Again: Report

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Ugg boots, the furry, sheepskin boots that defined the 2000s are back, apparently, with spiking interest and Gen Z cachet, according to data from shopping website, Lyst.

The site’s annual quarterly report that highlights the “hottest” 20 fashion brands was released on Thursday, and, as Insider noted, Ugg is on it for the first time since the index began in 2017.

“Gen Z shoppers are breathing new life into once dormant brands … with over 1.2 billion mentions on TikTok — Ugg’s influence is undeniable,” the report notes.

The boots were also sold out of stores during the holidays, it added.

Generation Z, or people born between 1997 and 2012, has demonstrated a penchant for bringing back old technology and trends, from flip phones to “vintage” headphones with cords.

But Ugg boots go back much further — the word “ugg” is actually a general term in Australia that means boots made from sheepskin and fleece, according to the BBC.

The company that created the “UGG” boot, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, is based in the U.S. and has tried and failed to trademark the word in Australia (where a court decided it was a generic word and thus could not be trademarked), the outlet added.

The company says the boots began to gain popularity in California in the 1980s. They were first featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2000 (a huge brand-maker back then) and became “cherished commodities” early in the decade, according to Vogue.

The boots later gained prominence again with a fashion movement that prioritized “ugly” clothes, and have since become an unironic Gen Z favorite, per Insider. Kylie Jenner was also spotted wearing them in November.

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