The Future of Miles and Points

Once there is a proven formula, the formula becomes broken.

This is true for airlines, blogs, miles and many other things. That’s because when everyone knows the magic formula, the formula stops working. It’s somehow bland and worthless, less novel, or spread too thin.

It’s why big public things will die, and why there will always be miles and points collectors doing crazy things. Why people will always innovate.

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Why We Flew First Class

Now I’m not a fire and brimstone blogger, but I’ll try to justify why my First Class splurge was a great opportunity. Which I wouldn’t have to do if I hadn’t spent so much time saying why I don’t fly first class. See, in general, I value seeing more and spending less. But I wanted to explain the thought process behind booking this ticket and explaining a scenario when I actually would want first class.

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Tallest Hotels in the World [Infographic]

Technically there are two ways to define the “tallest hotel in the world.” The better way is by what floors the hotel’s rooms are actually on. That’s what this infographic is about. The dumber way would be to define “tallest hotel” by the tallest point on the building the hotel is in. So, if there’s a needle on the building that goes really high, even if the hotel is on floors 1-20, somehow that hotel would be dubbed the tallest hotel. This is an infographic of the highest hotels, or the tallest hotels by a reasonable definition.

In other words, this is a an infographic of hotels where the rooms are really freaking high. Plus, this will tell you which ones can be had for free on points.
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3 Years Blogging!

The truth is, I don’t know exactly when I started blogging at travelisfree, but I do know that I registered and moved to travelisfree.com (instead of a wordpress.com blog) on July, 11th. So we’ll go ahead and say it’s 3 years of travelisfree.com!

3 years ago, the site had no direction and now we’re forging our own original direction that we’ve slowly been stepping into. So please follow me for a one minute rant as I want to set up what I’ve done and what I need to know from you!

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Ann Arbor Art Fair DO, July 19-20

There is an annual “DO” in Ann Arbor, MI. A DO is a get together of frequent flyer nerds, or something like that, and this one is free, next weekend, and your’s truly will be speaking.

… Me. That’s me… I’ll be speaking there.

In the past they’ve had Frequent Miler and Gary Leff as the speaker. But since then their standards must have dropped significantly as they (BikeGuy) have now asked me to join them.

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The Complete Guide to Hotel Best Rate Guarantees

The Complete Guide to Best Rate Guarantees

Using Best Rate Guarantees (BRG’s) we’ve gotten completely free stays at the InterContinental Vienna (a $300/night hotel), IC Budapest, IC San Juan, DoubleTree Bucharest and more. We’ve also used BRG’s to get huge discounts at the JW Marriott Bangkok, the Grand Hyatt New York and more.

It’s simple. Book with a hotel/site that offers a Best Rate Guarantee and find a lower rate elsewhere and get a free night, gift card, discount or points. Get rewarded by helping the hotels keep the other booking sites accurate.

Here you’ll learn how a BRG works, what each hotel offers, how to find them, how to submit one, and extra details that will keep you from wasting your time submitting invalid claims!
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My Top 25 Travel Experiences

The question I get all the time is what’s my “favorite country”. Which is fine, I don’t think like that, but I understand the question. What the question should be is what are my “favorite travel experiences”. Here are 25, some crazy adventures and some travel hacking related, some both.

25) Hitchhiking from the InterContinental Berchtesgaden to Innsbruck

Nothing is more symbolic of our being “broke and platinum” (as Carrie says) than checking out of the incredibly shwank 5 star alpine mountain resort – the InterContinental Berchtesgaden and hitchhiking right from the entrance. Our second ride was from a couple swedish guys who were super friendly and who we rode with for 3 hours. Then the four of us spent the evening together in Innsbruck.

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Airline Stopover and Open-Jaw [Infographic]

Many airlines allow a stopover on their award tickets. This is a unique advantage to using miles and points, as a stopover (a layover with an unlimited amount of time) does not increase the price of an award ticket. This essentially gives two destinations.

The concept is a little confusing for newbies but we made an infographic to help.

This infographic will go over:

  • What is a stopover?
  • What is an open-jaw?
  • What are the uses?
  • What are the different mileage programs’ rules for stopovers and open-jaws?

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