One of the best reasons to go to the Chicago Seminars is to meet people. Sure it is about learning about tips and tricks, but it is by far the best way to put this game of travel hacking that we all play into perspective. Registration for the event this October will open shortly.
Whenever I talk with my friends and family about booking travel I try to put myself in their shoes. What’s important to them? What do they want to get out of the trip?
During the last Chicago Seminars I had the pleasure of meeting Stacey who writes the Very Good Points blog. We chatted about mutual programs we’re in, travel experiences we’ve had, but most importantly we’ve kept in touch since; I consider her a friend. In fact I have the luck of meeting with her just a few weeks ago while on our trip to Thailand. She spends a lot of time in Thailand, made some great recommendations on where to go, what to do, and did what she could to help us out. (stay tuned for some posts on our trip)
She wrote a post and posed a contest that really got me thinking … “What’s Your Travel Dream” …
What is my travel dream? As I wrote this I was flying from Hong Kong to Phuket, in business class for pennies on the dollar. I’m living my travel dream. I’m on the other side of the world, visiting places no one in my family had ever dreamed of seeing. And me, being a schemer I found a way to rack up enough points and miles to do it. But is that really my travel dream?
Honestly, I think I’ve figured out what my travel dream is: to build memories. Sure I’ll create mine, but doing it myself isn’t a feat in and of itself; I’ll do this by getting my family and friends to be able to take these trips too. A few years back I sent mom to Hawaii on Delta in first class (she got to fly Delta’s A330 which is an internationally configured aircraft) from Atlanta to Honolulu on her way to Maui. She spent a week in Maui. Mom’s only costs were the Mai Tai’s she had on the islands. She still raves about the trip.
This year my brother and I will be sending her and my stepfather to Paris, Vienna, and Prague. Mom has the travel bug, and my stepfather is a lover of music … so we want to get him to Mozart’s birthplace, and them to spend some time together in Paris.
Sara and I are sending her Aunt and Uncle on a dream trip to Warsaw, Rome, and Vienna this Spring … it was a Christmas present. Ya know how some people just deserve good things? The people that would give you the shirt off their back??? They’re those kind of people.
They could have made the trip on their own, but by using points and miles we’re getting them there in business class, they won’t fret about trying to save a few bucks (that they can now spend while at their destinations) and they’ll never forget the trip. They’ll be thankful, they may get into the game themselves, and pass on what they learn to someone else.
I’d like to challenge each and every one of you to do the same thing. Be infectious. Share this passion we have. Get someone else to that dream trip. If you have questions or need a piece of advice don’t hesitate to ever email me or shoot Rick a note … or have them email us. Happy to help … just pay it forward.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day TopCashback is donating $50 cash (to be deposited to your TopCashback.com account) for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (along with your First Name, Last Initial, and Airport Code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post by TODAY at 11:59pm ET to be eligible to win. That gives you two days to win!
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49