Drew’s Guide to Albania (& Macedonia)

As I mentioned in my complete guide to Eastern Europe, there were 4 countries we hadn’t been to – Albania, Macedonia, Moldova and Belarus… and Kosovo (although the UN doesn’t recognize it as a country).

Before things started really moving at our new company, we planned a trip with a friend to travel around Albania and Macedonia.

As you may know we posted live videos to Instagram Stories, and I’ll be loading those onto the TravelisFree Youtube daily (see the Youtube Albania series playlist here) and Facebook. But I wanted to do a recap of our trip, and talk about some of the highlights and experiences of Albania and Macedonia.



I’ll first show some highlights, and then show specifics for each place we went.

  • Albania: Tirana, Shkoder, Theth, Sarande, Ksamil, Gjirokaster, Berat, Elbasan
  • Macedonia: Ohrid, Skopje
  • Kosovo: Prizren

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Qantas Miles in the Pacific (the best for hopping around Polynesia)

Qantas miles is a Citi transfer partner, and it has unique partnerships, making it one of the best networks for covering the Pacific.

The route options are limited, so it’s a short post, but it’s worth mentioning in case anyone can use the unique destinations, or if you want to hop around Polynesia for super cheap.

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Travel Planning Routine

Here is my complete travel planning routine. Everything from what booking sites I check, to how I put it in my calendar.

This is the nitty gritty details. I realize I have the same simple routine, and it’s been working for me for years.

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Follow our travels live!

Carrie and I just started a flight to a country we’ve been wanting to visit for a while…

And I thought it would be a cool experiment to post videos of our travels live.

The new Instagram stories is perfect for this.

If you have Instagram downloaded and follow TravelisFree, then at the top (in the app) you can watch our recent videos.

Videos go away after 24 hours, so it has a live feel. But if people seem to like it we’ll post the videos online after.

Luckily the country we’re going to is newly added to TMobile, so it will be cool to be able to show our live experiences of a lesser travelled country.

Follow along, ask questions, and give feedback.

One Credit Card Bonus /w Over $2,000 of Travel!

Perhaps the biggest news of the year (certainly the most buzz), is the brand new Chase Sapphire Reserve coming out today, and available now!

The card is giving a sign up bonus of 100,000 points (that can be used straight up for $1,500 of travel!), and it gives a ton of benefits.

Benefits include a yearly $300 towards travel (in addition to the $1,500 of travel as a signup bonus), lounge access (via Priority Pass), 3 points per dollar on travel, $100 toward Global Entry / TSA PreCheck, and more.

This is the most exciting credit card application we’ll do in a long while.

In your first year, that’s at least $2,100 worth of actual travel, and I’d argue the points are worth much much more.

This is targeted to be a high end card, similar to the Amex Platinum card. But I’m going to argue why it’s way better.


That’s the short description, now lets go into the long list of benefits.

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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 $25,000 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.