018: How To Travel For Free (Ben Schlappig)

Ben SchlappigIf you’re like most people, you’ve had at least a fleeting thought about making a living from travel or at least traveling whenever and wherever you wanted to without paying for it. So what if you could go anywhere and everywhere, where would you go and who would you go with?

Our guest for episode 18 is living the traveler’s dream. Ben Schlappig is the creator and curator of the travel blog, One Mile at a Time. And today he tells us how he got into that and how he turned his travel obsession into his everyday life.


Ben has been traveling since infancy! His family is originally from Germany and he has been going back for visits since his first trip at six weeks of age.

And by the age of 5 he was determined to be a commercial airlines pilot; he only wanted to be on a commercial plane, he didn’t want to be in the military or private sector. He was so set on his course that at the age of 15, he began to work on acquiring his pilot’s license.

But all of that changed when 9/11 happened and he began to rethink his plan. With the travel industry economically shaken, Ben realized it was time to go in a new direction but the only vision he had ever had was being a commercial pilot. He knew he loved to travel and he loved aviation, but what could he do with that if he wasn’t a pilot?


  • What was the inspiration for his blog?
  • How he got over the mental obstacles to being self-employed.
  • Has he ever worked for anyone else?
  • Who was he writing to for his first year of blogging?
  • What are his favorite places he has been to?
  • And so much more!

Around this point in his life, Ben was finishing up high school so he did what was most young people do at that age: he entered college, hoping he would figure out what was next for him. While at college, he continued to search and eventually majored in marketing, which he found to be the most relevant subject to pursuing his travel passion.

One day he overslept and missed an exam so he decided to do something productive with his time: he started his travel blog. For the next year he wrote even though he was convinced only he and his mom were reading and no one else!

But the lack of readership didn’t really bother him, because he had found a new outlet for his travel passion. So he continued to write throughout college.

Upon graduation, he looked for a regular job but wasn’t offered any positions. And then he thought: how could he make a living as a blogger? He had no clue but the idea excited him!

He knew he was on to something so he applied hustle, ingenuity and creativity. It took time along with networking and a thick skin, but today he makes a living from travel. He has two sources: his blog and a service he’s created that helps people redeem their miles.

Hearing how Ben achieved his dream of making a living from travel is inspiring for multiple reasons: obviously making a living from travel is pretty cool but it’s also great to hear how he made a comfortable living in a saturated niche.

Leave a comment below or send Ben a Tweet sharing what you learned about creating a living from your passion in a competitive market!

Tweetable: “If you rely on yourself, that’s about as stable as you can be.” Ben Schlappig



Take Our Listener Survey!

We want to hear from you! Click the link above to take our short listener survey, so we can learn how to better serve you. Oh, and we’re giving away a $50 iTunes gift card to one lucky person who completes the survey 🙂

Share this post!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit

Join the Conversation


  1. I really enjoyed this podcast because not only did Grant stay true to the “How did you get into that” as with every episode – he was able to bring in a traveling tipster and an “underground” way to travel for free or cheaply. While I was listening to this podcast I got excited to check out One Mile at a Time and see how I could experience the world and do things that may not be financially possible at some moments in life.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *