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August Expenses

August included some Bulgaria and mostly traveling around Turkey. We were lucky to land some solid hotels, and BRG a few hotels to get them for free or up to $19. Obviously we used a lot of hotel points as well.

Actually, let’s just get right into expenses, and then hotels, and details about flights and buses.



  • Hotels = $431.43
    • + 185,000 points, and 5 BRGs
  • Flights = $290.10
  • Land Transit = $265.29
  • Food = $505.22
  • Misc = $164.08

Total = $1,656.12

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Hotel Status Benefits in Charts

I try to make things I don’t see elsewhere, and hotels make terrible benefit charts. You have to weed through so much junk.

For example, Club Carlson lists “free award nights” (as if anyone else charges for them),  or “points & cash”. These aren’t things that help me understand why I want status, they are just minor details of the program. Like Marriott’s page lists dozens of things, including “Member Exclusive Offers”, “Your preferences remembered”, “Promotion Central”. These are meaningless things that just make the site harder to use, and harder to find the meaningful info.

The other thing is that these benefit charts don’t list alternative ways to earn status. This is how I think all the charts should look. Status earning from credit cards, and just the meaningful benefits…

Skip ahead:

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Bulgaria and Turkey (no coasts involved): August Travels

July Travels ended in Serbia, then we caught a terrible rideshare to Bulgaria… Now you’re caught up.

Bulgaria and then Turkey will be the focus of this August Travels post (I’m splitting travels and expenses into two different posts again). Basically everyone suggested that I go to the coast of both… and I saw the coast of neither (except Istanbul, if you consider that coastal).

It’s not that I wouldn’t be excited to see the coast of Bulgaria or Turkey, both sound great, and I’ll go back for both. Especially Bulgaria. But I was in the mood for quirky inland stuff. So we did. And both were adventures.

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IHG Fall “Accelerate” Promo Q&A

IHG is back with another great promo. This is a big promotion where you can get 50,000 points for 3 night stays, or 2 free nights from 4 nights. Although the range for what promotion you can get varies greatly.

In short, the promotion (like the other recent IHG promotions) is customized to you. You have tasks to complete and prizes in points or free nights.

This post is kind of a remake of the one I did for the previous Set Your Sights promo (which is long dead). But I’ll explain it in a similar way and go over all the details.

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The Best Credit Card Formula

Which credit card should I get? Probably the simplest question I don’t really see explained super simply. You have top 10 lists, or lists of credit cards… but the best credit card is some what subjective.

This is my solution to answering the question of what credit card to get simply. I’ll have links so you can dig in more, or the post itself explains most of what you need to know.

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We have spent the majority of our marriage traveling full time, living out of hotels.   All the while, we list our expenses publicly, budgeting ~$20,000 a year for our nomadic life while still staying in mostly 4 or 5 star hotels across ~20 countries a year.
Go to About Me to learn more.