5 Secrets to Obtaining Diamond Status, Companion Passes, and Premium Features
I hate credit cards and absolutely refuse to sign up for one, but my lust for travel has always been present. I’ve often thought of signing up for cards for a quick 50,000 points to take a free flight, but for me the costs don’t outweigh the rewards. Now, before you go off on me and say it’s just about being responsible, I get it. But they’re not for me. So, I’ve spent the last few years figuring out the best ways to get all the airline miles I need every year to maintain status on two airlines, Delta and Southwest, without opening a single credit card.
Here are my top 5 tips for obtaining status and getting airline miles without obtaining credit card debt!
1. Mileage Boosters — Delta
This may sound crazy, and it’s not free, but it’s a great way to get that reward flight much faster. When you’re booking your flight, add in Mileage Boosters on Delta. They aren’t really that expensive when you spread it out over time per flight. For example, I’ve been trying to get my 2017 travel paid for in full and am adding a Mileage Booster to every flight for about $59 which adds 3,000 reward miles. Just tack on the purchase with your ticket and suddenly you’re earning the reward ticket over time without large purchases.
2. AirBNB Hosting
This one might sound even crazier, but it’s a great way to make money and earn points while you travel. If you sign up to host on AirBNB through Delta’s partnership website, you get an additional 25,000 miles on Delta.When I leave New York , I always list my room on AirBNB. I’m averaging about $140 a night (I live in Times Square), around $180 a night during peak seasons, and I’m paying for my trips with that income. Plus, you get points for every dollar you spend on AirBNB for your vacations.
3. Company Travel, Personal Mileage
I travel a lot for work. I’m a marketing consultant, I have clients all over the world, and I bill them for my travel expenses, to a reasonable amount. I book all my travel myself and choose my airlines and tickets. I send over a report of what I spent and why I spent it to ensure they know they aren’t getting billed for first class tickets. I use my own rewards accounts. I started this with Southwest Airlines for domestic travel and have earned my Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018 just through work travel. I’m seeking status on Southwest and Delta, so Delta is my airline for international travel.
4. Buy them from the airlines
If all else fails, buy the miles you need. This is helpful if you’re only a couple of thousand miles away from a vacation rewards flight. They aren’t exactly cheap, but spending a couple of hundred dollars to get the reward flight that would otherwise be a thousand dollars is worth it.
The passing of a loved one is always sad, but I am able to see the world now using my dad’s airline miles he saved for years. My dad passed away almost 7 years ago, and recently I was only 4,000 miles away from not paying for a single flight the second half of 2017, so I started asking friends and family if they would sell me their miles (better the money go to a family member and have them transfer than to Delta). Then, my mom texted me and told me I should contact Delta about my dad’s rewards points.
After spending almost 2 hours on the phone, and going through all the possible security questions and answers, I was able to get into his account and find a whopping 196,000 miles sitting in his Delta account. To transfer these to me would be about $2,000, but I’m able to go into his Delta account and book travel directly there for myself. 2017 is going to be a great year of seeing and exploring the world, thanks to my dad. I’m dedicating all my trips to him.
So, don’t take on credit cards to get your rewards travel. Use these methods to get where you want to go for less!
If you want more travel advice, check out my book, I Know Where I’ve Been: A Year Long Journey of Self-Discovery, where I recount traveling North and South America while working virtually for a year. You can purchase HERE.
Originally posted 2017-06-18 10:49:19.
Top LGBTQ Travel Bloggers You Should Be Following
June 21st was the officially the first day of summer and it got me thinking about my summer holidays, despite the fact that I’m now a fully-grown adult and can go on holiday whenever I want.
So, I did what any millennial does when looking for travel inspiration; I turned to Instagram and ended up down a bit of a hashtag rabbit-hole from #paris to #parispride to #lgbtqtravelers. There I stumbled across some incredible LGBTQ+ travel bloggers that I think you should know about.
Meg Cale started Dopes on the Road as a means of connecting with friends and family when she lived in South Korea but she began to get questions from other queer folks who were looking to travel in Korea and the surrounding area.
Meg, who is also an LGBTQ+ activist, doesn’t sugar coat the realities of travelling as a queer person including the possibility that you might feel more comfortable passing for straight/cis in a country where being LGBTQ+ is illegal or very close to it.
While the blog was originally Meg’s domain, her wife Lindsay, who does a lot of work behind the scenes, is now joining her as a joint contributor as they begin their next adventure in Mexico.
In 2009, Adam Groffman quit his job as a graphic designer to begin travelling. After a 15-month round the world trip, Adam settled on Germany as his new home but continues to travel across Europe and across the world.
In his latest blog post (as of this article being written), Adam has put together a guide to the ultimate resources for LGBTQ+ travellers. It takes you through everything from where to find travel inspiration to connecting with other LGBTQ+ travellers to safety advice if you’re travelling to a place where being LGBTQ+ is illegal.
Tantallon Castle is amazing and we just happened to chance upon it. Driving through the Scottish countryside is a great way to find off-the-beaten-path wonders! Did you know the castle sits at the edge of a cliff and use to be the stronghold of the Douglas family? . . . #gaytravel #travelblogger #eurotour2017 #europe #scottish #castle #travelgay #lgbttravel #lgbtia #stud #gayguy #gayman #gayboy #instagay #instatravel #traveler #iglta #thegaypassport #wearetravelgays #mynormalgaylife
Jose Harvey is an out and proud gay man who sees visibility and representation as one of the most important issues for LGBTQ+ people in the world today, especially when the media so often fails to portray three-dimensional queer people.
That is why he started My Normal Gay Life, which originally just focused on his day-to-day life, but soon became about his travels around the world. He covers everything from quick city guides to LGBTQ+ advocacy while working his way through a pretty fantastic travel bucket list.
Auston Matta and David Brown are a married gay couple who like to travel in their own way, by taking things slow and really soaking in the atmosphere of a place, rather than getting caught up in the peer-pressure to hit all the sights in just a few days.
They have guides to LGBTQ+ friendly cities across Europe and the Middle East, provide info about queer hotels and travel companies, and show how you can travel on a budget.
Travel bucket list item checked off my list: I’ve wanted to experience the ‘swing at the end of the world’ ever since I first read about it a few years back. It was the first thing I did in Baños #discoversouthamerica #ecuador2017 #ecuador #ecuador #ecuadortrip #southamerica #southamericatrip #southamerica2017 #baños #banosecuador #bañosecuador #bañosdeaguasanta #endoftheworldswing #swingattheendoftheworld #swingattheendoftheworld #swingattheendoftheearth #casadelarbol #casadelarbolbaños #casadelarbolbañosecuador #allyouneedisecuador #girltraveler #girlslovetravel #lesbiantravel #globetrottergirl #adventureisoutthere
Dani believes that all travellers really need is an innate curiosity about the world around them and the passion to explore, whether that’s living as a location-independent world traveller or taking a long weekend your country’s capital.
Since quitting her full-time job in 2010, Dani has published destination guides, documented some of her biggest travel mistakes, and shared her experiences as a lesbian traveller. Bonus: she also has guest posts from other LGBTQ+ travellers because experiences can differ within our community.
Now, you may notice that my list is missing trans travel bloggers and that is simply because I could not find any actual travel blogs run by a trans person and I know that I have to be missing something.
If you have any trans travel bloggers to recommend, please let me know in the comments so that I can rectify this at a later date.
Other than that, what did you think of my top picks? Do you have any more to recommend? Let me know in the comments below.
Originally posted 2017-06-28 14:47:03.
5 Travel Brands I’m Currently Promoting (And Why)
As you know by now, I cannot seem to travel enough. Seriously, it’s in my DNA. I have wanderlust. And I’m only able to travel as much and for as long as I do with help from various brands that make products that just enhance my experience and make it easier for me to enjoy the adventure. So, here are five travel brands I’m currently promoting, and why you should, too!
I know you’ve heard me feature this app before when I talked about the must-have apps in any traveler’s toolkit, but it needs repeating. This app has gotten me through several trips now, both in the planning phase, and the “saving my life when I can’t seem to find anything fun to do” phase. This app features tips on how to live like a local in any city, and it’s all user generated content. That’s half the fun. The other half comes from creating tips and collections yourself for others to see and experience the world like you. I personally am enjoying creating different tips everywhere I go and am getting “hearts” from people telling me they’re enjoying the place, too! It’s gratifying knowing I made someone’s trip a little more fun!
2. Eagle Creek
This is your one-stop shop for all things travel gear. From backpacks, to luggage, to accessories, they have it all, and I’m in love with it all. I currently use the Mobile Office Backpack for travel because I work on the go. It’s great to organize client files, my computer, hard drives, notebooks, and office accessories in one location that I can grab and go. While their packs can be a bit pricey, I guarantee you’ll find the value after your first trip with any of their gear.
You thought they were only for organizing your closet, didn’t you? Nope. The Container Store has taken the travel industry by storm in recent years by offering a full line of travel accessories. I’m obsessing over my Reisenthel Multi Dot Hanging Toiletry Organizer (in black!) which keeps everything nice and neat. I’m not much of an “unpacker” when it comes to settling into hotel rooms and AirBNB’s so this keeps everything in one convenient place.
Not only do I travel with AirBNB, but I host with them, too. I’m not going to go into too much detail here because we’re all familiar with the way things work, but consider putting your apartment or home up for rent when you’re gone. It’s a great way to cover some of the expenses of traveling!
Trust me. Do not go on a long flight without a Tempur-Pedic neck pillow. It’ll save your life and your neck. The wrap around neck comes with an optional clasp to keep it in place (it’s a bit like wearing a necklace with really big, fluffy jewelry on the back of the necklace!) and the padding is firm, yet contours to your neck.
There you have it! My current list of travel brands I simply cannot get enough of right now. What are some of your favorites?
Originally posted 2017-06-15 01:56:13.
Smart Travel Tips: New App Saves Adventurers from Mundane Travel
Travel App Tiplr Celebrates New Version Release, Increased User Count, Content Growth
NEW YORK, NY – Tiplr, the ultimate platform for smart travelers, is celebrating the newest release of its triumphant iOS travel app. This update includes a newly launched web platform, making it easier for users to find tips and advice on what to do in unexpected destinations all over the world.
The new app is a user-generated travel machine, offering members the travel tips they can’t find anywhere else. The idea behind the app came from explorers who were tired of having to search for truly authentic experiences.
“I am genuinely convinced that there is a need for “the last guide that you’ll ever need”. When I was a kid it was all about Lonely Planet. If you wanted to travel smart and discover the unusual, you would stuff a backpack, pick up a guidebook and take off. Then Lonely Planet went mainstream and this type of approach to travel morphed into finding the same travelers in the same places,” said Stefano Bonini, co-founder of Tiplr.
Similarly, Carmine Savarese, Tiplr CEO and Founder, found his inspiration through interactions with fellow travelers while on an adventurous honeymoon. “The world needs a tool that helps us find authentic travel information, and actually put it to good use. This became especially apparent to us during a months long Trans-Siberian journey a few years ago. We found ourselves surrounded by other like minded travelers who were also trying to navigate this completely foreign land. We exchanged advice and tips along the way, using others’ suggestions that we couldn’t have found in any guidebook we carried.”
With the new version of the app, users can now use their email address to log in and create an account, search for super-users and explorers, submit photos using your camera roll (previous versions only allowed the sharing of Instagram photos), save tip drafts, and other major updates. The new version also fixed some minor bugs and speed issues.
This isn’t the end of the Tiplr road, however. The team has big plans for building a robust app, website, and global presence. “The next step is to show our product to a bigger investor in order to have the resources to complete the whole Tiplr platform, which at current moment is in his seed stage. We already have a pretty decent amount of content, and with the new app and site we are focusing now on the quality of our tips to involve more explorers to use Tiplr for their travels,” said Savarese.
You can download Tiplr from the IOS App Store, or sign up and use their website, tiplr.com.
Originally posted 2017-06-15 01:43:57.
Also published on Medium.
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