Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What One Item Makes Your Hotel Stay? has this one commercial that has been playing frequently on TV. Over time, it has started to grow on me.

The gist of the commercial is that everyone has that one thing they look for in a hotel. It got me thinking about my one "thing" that makes or break a hotel stay. Typically, my one thing is a cleanness, but that's not the point of the commercial. So.....I would say hot shower. A really great shower!

What is your thing?

 Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints! Have a question for me? E-mail me at

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What Russia and the United States Have In Common?

I don't know what this has to do with travel, but it looked cool. Very cool.

Quartz has put together a map of hard alcohol preference by country.

The United States and Russia both have an addiction for Vodka. Never would have picked the United States as a vodka drinker. On the other hand, vodka is like water in Russia.

The one country that really shocked me was Australia = Whiskey. Never would have put the two together.

Only certain types of hard liquor were considered. The data for this study came from Euromontior, a London-based market research company.

Here is the entire list:

Do you agree with the list?

Any countries way off?

 Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints! Have a question for me? E-mail me at

Monday, January 27, 2014

Huffington Post: 10 Places Every American Needs To See

Huffington Post has an article on 10 Places Every American Needs to See. The list is of only American attractions. 

Time For Kids

Unfortunately, I have only been to two of the ten. The list got me thinking that I need to explore the United States more. I know it sexy to jaunt off to international destinations, but the United States has amazing attractions as well.

Now the list: 

Highway 1, Calif.

Considering that the United States has more miles of paved roads (over 2.7 million) than any other country on earth, is it any wonder that road trips are practically a rite of passage here? One of the most meditative -- and celebrated -- drives you can take in the States is the 145-mile stretch of California's Pacific Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Monterey. Expect view after astonishing view of land meeting sea, as the road snakes and swerves high above the Pacific, past bright-green grasslands and redwood-forested canyons.
French Quarter, New Orleans, La.
No other American neighborhood provides as much eye candy as the cobblestone streets of New Orleans' French Quarter -- known as "the Quarters" to locals -- and we're not referring to the annual Mardi Gras parades, with their thousands of taffeta-draped harlequins strutting to funk, R&B, and Dixie. No, it's the architecture that's intriguing. Stroll this district, which is bounded by the Mississippi River, Rampart Street and Canal and Esplanade, and you'll glimpse nightclubs lit up in neon, French colonial townhouses draped in ivy, Creole cottages built on stilts, and antebellum mansions whose balconies are laced with intricate ironwork.
National Mall, Washington, D.C.

There's no place in America where you get more historical bang for your buck than the National Mall -- fitting, since two of its most famous memorials (to Lincoln and Jefferson) are stamped on our smallest coinage. This less-than-two-mile stretch of our capital city packs in those memorials, plus the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, among others, and it's lined with Smithsonian Institution museums -- none of which cost a dime to enter. Even if politics leaves you cold, there's sure to be something at one of the Smithsonian branches to get you going, whether it's the astronaut ice cream sold in the gift shop at the National Air and Space Museum, the inaugural gowns of First Ladies on display in the National Museum of American History, or the 45-carat Hope Diamond gleaming in the Natural History Museum.
Civil Rights District, Atlanta, Ga.

Atlanta's Sweet Auburn neighborhood draws thousands of visitors each year to pay respects to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the renowned African American preacher and civil rights leader who was born here and whose messages on dignified protest still resonate worldwide. Popular locations include King's gravesite, the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was baptized and ordained and where his funeral was held, and the King Birth Home, a Queen Anne-style house where he lived for the first dozen years of his life. A visitor's center at the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site displays many artifacts, such as the photographs from the bus boycott that King organized to fight segregation 
Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nev.

Glass pyramids. Faux Venetian canals. The 1,148-foot tall Stratosphere Tower. A couple of $100 million daredevil circuses called Cirque du Soleil. They're all part of this neon-lit desert outpost 300 miles from Los Angeles -- with a magnetic pull like no other. Every American ends up on the Strip sooner or later, whether for a bachelor party, a girlfriend getaway, a trade show, or simply lured by a shockingly cheap hotel-and-airfare deal. It's the place Americans go to let their hair down (and, okay, gamble). Aside from its new $2.4 billion airport terminal, Vegas's latest attraction is the Mob Museum (a.k.a., the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement), a tribute to the mafia in real life and in pop culture that opened in February 2012. 
Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.

Wide-open space is a unique inheritance for every American, and Yellowstone is the most dramatic example of what "wide-open space" really means. In 1872, two-million-acre Yellowstone debuted as America's first national park, and visitors began flocking to soak in its hot springs, see elk and bison roam its grasslands, gawk at its geyser known as Old Faithful, and hear gray wolves sound chill-inducing howls at dawn. Amazingly, visitors can get the same thrills today for nearly no cost. For the fullest experience, stay the night. The lack of light pollution in northwest Wyoming's Big Sky country reveals an astonishing canopy of stars that is virtually unchanged from the time of native tribes, fur trappers, and pioneer explorers.
Nashville, Tenn.

Soaking up country music in its native habitat is an American music experience like no other. Leafy, laid-back Nashville, Tenn., deserves its nickname Music City U.S.A.: It's dotted with twang-accented institutions, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium (with its famous acoustics), and the Grand Ole Opry, a weekly live-audience radio show that has been continuously broadcast since 1925. Go boot-scootin' at one of the countless honky-tonks lining Broadway, where the line dancing is first-rate 
Grand Canyon, Ariz.
Many American landmarks inspire people to think big, but none can match the leviathan scale of the Grand Canyon ( As with anything worthwhile, a mind-melting view of the fire-hued, half-mile-long rock faces at the Grand Canyon must be earned. Take a half-day or overnight mule trip, which involves a guided ride along the canyon rim and down to the Colorado River. 

Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles, Calif.

In 2013, Helen Mirren, James Franco, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Ron Howard, and another 19 actors and musicians will be added to the more than 2,400 celebrities who've left their handprints and bronze-engraved names in the pavement along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street since 1958. (We imagine tourists have been posing with their hands in their favorite stars' prints for about that long, too.) 
Pearl Harbor, O'ahu, Hawaii

This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the USS Arizona Memorial (, which honors the men who died on the famous battleship sunk in 1941's Pearl Harbor air raid. A scale model of the ship inside the monument's museum gives a sense of what it must have been like to be on the vessel while it was under attack, and public tours include a 22-minute movie presentation, followed by a visit to the Memorial itself. Nearby, a nonprofit group maintains the Battleship Missouri Memorial, which was the site of the formal Japanese surrender, while a preserved World War II submarine can be explored at the adjacent USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, run by another independent group.
The Huffington Post article has some insider tips that I did not include.
How many have you been to? 
Are there any missing?

     Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints! Have a question for me? E-mail me at

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bonus Miles from eMiles

Last week, I received an email from eMiles offering me bonus miles.

eMiles will give me 50 miles for completing 5 or more activities in the month of January. 

5 activities should take less than 5 minutes. Go check your eMiles profile today.

Don't know what eMiles is? Go here to learn more.

Check your email to see if you go this offer, now. Don't wait!

     Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints! Have a question for me? E-mail me at

Not Going To Buenos Aires Again

On a late night in November, The Flight Deal post an amazing deal from Mexico City to Buenos Aires. The total cost of this trip less than $160.

The trip would net about 10,000 miles. However, what I was most excited about was that one segment was on AeroMexico's Dreamliner.

Image from Boeing
One of my goals is to fly on every airline's 787. I know kinda geeky. This was the main reason why I booked this trip.

Earlier this month, I wrote about how I am having trouble with my name on tickets. One of the two tickets with problems is this one.

I first noticed a problem with the tickets, when I was trying to pick seats on LAN. A quick call to Orbitz, who I booked the ticket with, that LAN's computer cancelled the tickets. However, LAN would only reissue the tickets if I had a passport with the name JD Teitelman, the name on the ticket. The problem is that my passport says J David Teitelman. After 3 weeks back and forth, Orbitz told me I would not have a ticket, but they would offer me a $150 travel voucher for future use.

Overall, I am very satisfied with how Orbitz tried to help me out. They did almost everything possible to make it happen.

Am I disappointed about not going on this trip. Not really. I love the idea about going on the trip, but I was dreading doing the trip. Flying for 20+ hours on four flights sounds daunting.

Like last year, I have a feeling my boss is going to Ground me like a 787 again for the Spring market. The excitement in the real estate market is growing and I have a feeling that we are going to be busy. That means not weekend jaunts to far off places.

Therefore, Buenos Aires, I ain't going to see in 2014!

  Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints! Have a question for me? E-mail me at

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lowes Hotels Offers Free Internet

Lowes Hotels becomes the first major luxary chain to offer free internet to all guests.

Loews Hotel has 20+ hotels located in over 15 cities in the United States and Canada. The decision to make WIFI free is hitting the bottom line of the corporate profits.
"The company was making a "couple million" annually in Wi-Fi fees, Paul Whetsell, president and chief executive officer of Loews Hotels told CNBC. "But we will recapture that in loyalty and repeat business," he said. 
Why? "Because they can," he said. One reason is because the corporate guests who stay at the top hotels often aren't actually the ones paying the bill." 
The WIFI access is free to all guests staying at the hotel.
"The basic Wi-Fi will be offered for free in rooms, lobbies, restaurants and at the pool areas of all 18 hotels and resorts in the chain. Going forward, it will be standard at all new properties including Chicago and Orlando, Fla., said Loews spokeswoman Sarah Murov. Meeting spaces are not included in the free access and will continue to be sold to groups booking those areas."
The decision to offer free WIFI to guests is catching on. IHG hotel chain made the decision to offer WIFI to all members of their hotel frequent stayed hotel.

In a survey,  "free Wi-Fi is often cited as one of the most important amenities for travelers."

For members of the Millennial generation, paying for internet is one of the most annoying things.  We see internet as something that should be free. 
"I think that's right. We've been able to charge," Whetsell said. "But it's an irritant," akin to checked-bag fees at airlines that lead to griping about being nickel and dimed, he said.
Bravo Lowe's for being a trendsetter!
 Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints! Have a question for me? E-mail me at

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Always Check Your Tickets

In the past month, I have had 2 airline tickets cancelled on me. The worse part, I was never notified that the tickets were cancelled. The only way I found out was that I tried to pick my seats and an error message appeared.

In both instances, the tickets were cancelled automatically by the airline's system. The reason for the cancellation? 

My name! My legal name is J David.

No, the J does not stand for anything.

YES, my parents named me an one letter.

The problem lies in that most computer systems don't allow you to input one letter, as a first name. Typically, you get an error like this.

Similarly, if I input "J David" in as my first name, I get a similar error as above. The computer system does not like spaces in the first name.

For most of my life, I have just put in "JD" as my first name. The problem is that I don't have legal identification with "JD" anymore.

What was the name that got both of my tickets cancelled?

No space. No period.

Supposedly, computer systems doesn't like that either.

What is the purpose of this post besides me bitching?

A friendly reminder to always check on your tickets before the day of departure. We rely to heavily on technology and slowly that technology is working against us. In my case, discriminating me  because my parents named me an initial by cancelling my ticket.

As of now, one ticket has been fixed and another in the process of being fixed. The airline is balking at reinstating the ticket for two reasons:

1)They don't believing my name is J

2) it was a massive fare mistake. 

Why don't I get DOT protections? The ticket starts and ends outside of the United States. :(

Again, always confirm your plane tickets!

 Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints! Have a question for me? E-mail me at

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Hotel First For Me

In my entire life, I have stayed at maximum 200 nights in hotels. This past weekend, I went to Boston with a friend and experienced a hotel first: hearing my neighbors have sex. To be honest, I could have had past hotel stays that this occurred and I either forgot or did not notice. However, this weekend, my neighbors were particularly loud.

It all started on Saturday night around midnight, when I heard a moan, then some slapping, and then some very vulgar words. I will save you any more details. I don't know if the walls were thin or that we had a connecting door that contributed to me hearing their private session.

The noise left me awake and got me to thinking: is their etiquette on having sex in a hotel particularly involving noise? I did a quick search online to find the answer and I was shocked by the amount of information out there on this subject. After reading a bunch, there tends to be three rules that everyone agrees on:

1) Drown Out Your Noise With The TV or Music

2) Be Conscience of What Time It Its

3) Stop or Quite Down if Contacted By Hotel Staff

I don't think any of these rules are overbearing. As much as you have a right to "do your business," your neighbors have a right to expect not to hear your business.

Did I complain? No, it didn't bother me enough. Maybe gave me a little shock. Also,  it last no more than 5 minutes.

Have you encountered this? If so, did you complain?
 Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints! Have a question for me? E-mail me at

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

No New Fees In US Spending Bill

AFP is reporting that the Federal Government budget compromise has dropped the proposed increase in airline ticket fees.

Photo Credit: US Airways

This is a major win for travelers.
"Congressional negotiators earned the ire of US airlines last month when they unveiled a deal that would end billions of dollars in crippling automatic spending cuts, but chose to raise air travel fees to help pay for it. 
That deal would have jacked up the "9/11 Aviation Security Fee" from $2.50 per flight segment to $5.60, and doubled the fee for a return trip to $10.00, generating some $13 billion over the next decade."
The final bill funds the government until the September 31, 2014. Therefore, Congress may try to insert an increase in airline ticket fees in next year's bill.

At least we get a small reprieve.

                                    Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Earn Up To 50,000 Marriott Points With Refer A Friend

Marriott is out with a new promotion that earns you points for refer friends to the Marriott Rewards Program.

I learned about this promotion from an email sent earlier today. The promotion is kinda simple.

  • Refer a friend that isn't a Marriott Reward Member
  • If that friend enrolls and makes a stay within 365 of enrollment, you and they earn 2,000 points
  • You/They will earn 2,000 points for each of the first 5 stays within 365 days of enrollment
  • You can earn 50,000 points from this promotion

Looking at the terms and conditions, you can find an important rule:

  • Sponsorships are limited to 5 new members each calendar year. New members who join through the Refer A Friend program must designate Marriott Rewards points as their earning preference.
  • Miles earning preference is not an option with the Refer A Friend program.

Therefore, your friend must choose Marriott points for you to earn the bonus.

You will need a Marriott Reward account to participate. To start the invites, go to this website:

If you aren't a member of Marriott Rewards and would like an invite, email me at

Not a bad way to earn points . . .

                                       Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints!

You Know Your Obsessed With Points When . . .

Another one of my goals in 2014 is to open up the pool of women, I would consider dating. To aid this goal, I have decided to try this world of internet dating.

However, I have hit a major road block.

Which credit card should I put the monthly fee on to get the most points?

Yes, I spent days trying to decided the answer to this question. Ultimately, delaying me finishing my dating profile, which I finished in 30 minutes.

You Know Your Obsessed With Points/miles When . . . you spend more time debating which credit card will earn you the most points on your membership fee than creating your dating profile.

FML . . .

                                                   Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Observations From A Quick Mileage Run

In December, the Flight Deal post a great deal from DCA to BOS (nonstop) for only $98. I was just about to go to bed when I saw the post, but decided to jump on it. At the time, I was 1200 miles short for Aegean Gold Status.  I quickly booked a weekend trip for Martlin Luther King Weekend and decided to book another quick mileage run.

Yesterday, I went on the mileage run. A quick four hour trip. My goal was to be back in DC for brunch with a friend. As I do with every trip, here are my thoughts:

   National Airport (DCA) is a great airport for two reasons:

      1) The Metro Goes Directly To The Airport

          The Metro entrance is through those doors and down that hallway is security.

      2) Great Views of the Monuments from the ground and air:

         The Capital in the far background:

        The Pentagon from the air:

      3) US Airways Won My Heart With Biscoff Cookies


           On both my US Airways the new American, they gave Biscoff Cookies. I am addicted
           to these things. My first introduction was during US Airways GrandSlam. I ordered
           these from Biscoff get a "hit."

     4) 40,000 Miles US Airway Barclays Credit Card Offer

          On both flights, the flight attendants were hawking the new 40,000 Mile Barclays' Credit
          Card offer. If you applied in air, you got a bonus 500 miles, regardless of approval.
          The attendants didn't mention an annual fee; therefore, I assume its the $89 offer.

     5) Eating Healthy In An Airport is Difficult

         One of my 2014 goals is to eat healthier. One of the unhealthiest activities in my life is
         travel. Especially, during mileage runs. I tend to eat whatever is available and airport
         food is not always healthy.

         In Boston, I was looking for a quick breakfast and decided on this egg white avocado
         on a skinny bagel and a banana:

          Overall, this sandwich was a fail. It had a lemon aioli, which over-powered the
          entire sandwich. However, the sandwich was only 400 calories, so a win!

       6) Who is Pen Air?

            This airline had a plane here. It peaked by interested, so I did some research.

            Pen Air is an Alaskan based airline that has a East Coast hub at Boston Logan. From
            Logan, Pen Air flies to Bar Harbor (BHB), Long Island Islip (ISP), Plattsburg (PBG)
            and Presque Island (PQI).

           More research will be needed to find out why they are on the East Coast.

        7) Exit From The Back of The Plane

             On my way back from Boston, the flight attendants announced that we will be
             deplaning from both the front and back of the plane. Since I sit in the last row,
             I was one of the first people off the plane. This was a double first for me.

                   1) Deplaning from the back of the plane at DCA

                   2) Being the first off the plane.

             Have you every deplanning from the back at DCA?

The most important question you might be wondering. Yes, I made our brunch reservation at 1:30 pm at

Overall, a great Sunday!          
                                               Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

1000 Rapid Reward For Doing Your Taxes

Southwest and TurboTax are back offering 1000 Rapid Reward points for completing your Federal Tax Returns with TurboTax.

To earn the points, you will need to click the TurboTax link through the Rapid Rewards Online Shopping Portal. In addition, you will need to file your taxes by April 15, 2014. Here is the terms and conditions:

I completed this offer last year and used the 1,000 points towards my Companion Pass. This offer SHOULD work help you get closer to the companion pass. The terms and condition state, "Points will not go towards A-List or A-List Preferred qualifications." It is silent about the companion pass, so it SHOULD work.

I completed my taxes on 2/24/13 and received my points about a month later:

If you complete your federal taxes online, this offer is a great way to earn some miles.
                                Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Huffington Post: Cures for the Travel Hangover

One of the biggest downsides of traveling is coming home. Yes, we all know the feeling. You get home from an amazing trip and you feel that you need a vacation from the vacation.

National Lampoon's Vacation

Huffington Post and Smarter Travel is here to the rescue with ten tips on how to Cure the Travel Hangover.


Do this, if nothing else: Unpack your bags as soon as possible. While you might tell yourself that tomorrow is just as good as today to begin the annoying (and potentially heartbreaking) process of removing all signs of your recent trip, you're really just fooling yourself. 
This is so so so important. Get the hardest part down with quickly. Unpack and put away the suitcase until later.
Do Laundry

Leaving a mountain of dirty vacation clothes in your hamper is almost as bad as leaving it in your suitcase. Take some time out of your schedule to launder, fold, and put away the bathing suits and shorts that are only serving as painful midwinter reminders of the 80-degree weather you were basking in just a few days ago.
The first tip and this one go hand and hand. Unpack, wash the clothing and put them away ASAP. Failure to do this will only result in sadness. 
Go Grocery Shopping
Your fridge is most likely empty -- or funky-smelling from that spinach you forgot to throw away before you left -- so clean it out, then head to the grocery store and stock up on your regular essentials.
This is one thing I totally fail at. I tend not to go shopping for a week after returning. This results in me eating out for lunch and dinner, only resulting in me spending more money.
Detox From Vacation Food

One of the best parts of traveling is trying out new foods and savoring every last special treat. But when you get back, your body will probably be craving fruits and veggies, so give it what it needs. Take a break from rich, heavy feasts by avoiding takeout and preparing a few healthy dinners yourself.
As I stated above, I tend not to go grocery shopping for a week after returning.  Therefore, I continue not to eat healthy for quite sometime. This is something I need to change in my travel lifestyle. 
Get Some Exercise

Beat the post-travel blues by releasing some endorphins via physical activity, whether it's getting back into the swing of your yoga-class schedule or going on a run. The disappointment you might feel as a result of your vacation's end can lead to the feeling that nothing -- aside from getting on a plane and heading straight back -- can bring about that same energy again. Blast those thoughts away with a good workout session and remind yourself that there are many ways to get that feel-good boost.
I tend to try to exercise on vacation. I don't like to break-up the flow. Most hotels have gyms, so I tend to back gym clothes and hit the gym once or twice will on vacation. When I get home, I can get back to the gym without a problem. 

Balance Your Budget
Make sure to check your bank-account balance as soon as you get home, if you weren't already keeping up with it while you were away. Not only will your travel spending inform your budget decisions for the immediate future, but you'll want to take a close look at your statement -- while the recent charges are still fresh in your mind -- to make sure there is nothing you need to take up with the bank.
As stated, very important to check your bank account and credit cards for fraudulent charges. You need to continue to check for a few weeks. Traveling overseas opens you and your bank account to fraud. Be proactive and check your account constantly.  
Organize Your Photos

Wait too long to unload, edit, and share your travel photos, and you'll run the risk of forgetting the rich details of your trip. Don't let your camera collect dust: Block out a few hours and organize your snaps. Instead of mourning the loss of those scenic vistas, relive your vacation by making a photo album that serves as a reminder of why you love to travel.
I am guilty of this. I tend to take 1,000 to 2,000 photos on a given trip. However, I never organize them or print the ones I like. They sit on an SD card in my camera. 
Beat the Jet Lag
On your first Monday back in the office, don't give in to that urge to crawl under your desk and take a nap at 2 p.m. Instead, fight your jet lag by going to bed at the normal hour for your current location (taking melatonin or sleeping aids if necessary) and staying hydrated. 
I don't get Jet Lag often. The only time it hit me hard was coming home from my trip to Tokyo. I was screwed up for four days after arriving home. Awake in the middle of night and super tired at work.
Nurse Your Reverse Culture Shock

To beat that "What am I doing in [insert boring place] when I could be back in [insert fabulous vacation destination]?" feeling, try to remind yourself of the things that you love about your hometown. What that means is entirely subjective, but it could be anything from taking a walk through the park near your house to catching up with friends at your favorite neighborhood bar. 
I love coming home from trips and sharing with friends and colleagues my adventures. By doing this, I get to extend my vacation bubble a little longer.

Plan the Next One
In the midst of this thrust to readjust to regular life, make sure you take time to reflect on your trip and share the details of your getaway with friends and family. Think about everything you learned and what you most want to take away from the experience. And then start planning again! There's no better way to cure a travel hangover than to pull out a map, do some research, and get excited about the amazing adventures to come.
Amen! Get right back on the horse and plan the next trip.

10 Tips to Cure the Travel Hangover. If your like me, you also have a real hangover to nurse after your trip. I have you cover there to with Hangover Cures from Around The World.
                                            Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints!

Friday, January 10, 2014

2013: A Look Back

Overall, 2013 was a great year. It was filled with tons of travel, earning lots of points/miles and Do It For The Points turning 1.

Even though I had a great year, I wanted 2013 to end. Staring at the beginning of November, I had this strange desire for 2013 to end. No real reason for this desire, but just this urge to start 2014.

Before closing out 2013, I have one last things to do. Its time to look back on what I accomplished in 2013. I know people don't like these posts, because its people bragging about what they did. However, this post isn't for you. Its for me. Frequently, I write that this blog is a journal for the future. So future JD, here is what you did in 2013:

In 2013, you wrote here that your travel goals for the year were as followed:

1) Visit either South America or Australia in Business Class 

2) Revisit Europe or Africa (in any class)

3) Try at least 1 new airline

4) Visit one state, in the USA, that I have never been to

5) Do one thing I haven't done in Washington, DC each month and report back

6) 600,000 miles/points earned

7) Create and stay within a travel budget

How did I do, not to well:

1) Visited South America With Mom - Win!

2) Revisit Europe or Africa (in any class) - Fail!

3) Try One New Airline - Fail!

4) Visit One State, in the USA, that I have never been to - Texas & Colorado - Win!

5) Do 1 Thing I haven't done in DC each month - Fail!

6) Earn 600,000 Points or Miles - Smashed it ~ 865,000, this year

7) Create and stay within a travel budget - utter fail!

Accomplishing 3 out of 7 goals isn't a great record. However, I believe I accomplished much more than the my goals show. For one, I boarded an  airplane each month of 2013 and flew just under 40,000 miles. Not a huge number compared to other frequent flyers, but I paid for each of those flights with my own money or points/miles.

Another major accomplishment was taking my mom to Buenos Aires. This was her first trip outside of the United States and her first time in Business Class. She had an amazing trip. My favorite moment was when my mom said, "I have never stayed in a hotel that gives you bathrobes." That one little statement made me smile and knew the trip was well worth it.

Finally, 2013 was a full year of blogging. Never though I could write this much and so often. The strange thing is that I love doing this. I don't know if I have a niche yet or even a voice people want to hear. However, if you are still reading this, then you must find me either interesting or feel bead for me.

Time to close 2013 and move on to 2014....

                                           Follow me on Twitter @doit4thepoints!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Some Russian Airports Ban Liquids

The Moscow Times is reporting that airlines passengers departing from Moscow's Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo Airports will be stripped of any liquids in their carry-on baggage.
The new restrictions are apart of large security measures ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The problem is that each airport has its own rules:

Security officers at Sheremetyevo Airport will remove all liquids, gels and aerosols from carry-on baggage- including cosmetics and medicines- the airport said in a press release published on Monday. 
Vnukovo Airport has begun implementing similar restrictions, which also apply to baby food, but will allow liquids to be taken on board for medicinal purposes provided passengers carry an official statement, reported Wednesday.
At one airport your liquid medicine will be taken away and another allowed with a doctor's note.

To complicate matters further, "Domodedovo Airport, St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport and Sochi's airport said travelers would still be allowed to carry liquids on board in containers of 100 milliliters or less, which is the standard upheld at most international airports."

With the number of world travelers descending on Russia in the next month, its in the best of interest of the Russian Government to make the rules uniform.

It wasn't to long ago that TSA banned all liquids on flights. All I remember it sucked, no bottle water, no shampoo or toothpaste. Hope this restriction ends soon for all those traveling to Russia.

                                            Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints!

Credit Card Application Time

Important Note: I talk about credit card sign-up bonuses on our blog because they are an important part of the “game.” Any credit card links in this post will be public application links taken from the issuer's direct website. I do not earn income from you applying from the links. Similarly, please take an extra minute or two before applying for credit cards. If you do not pay your credit card balance off every month then you should stay away from this aspect of the game. Credit cards can lead to major long-term problems if not used correctly. I encourage you to read my post on Young People and the Chains of Credit Card Debt for more details.  

Credit cards are the sweet honey of the miles/points game. With one single application, your miles balance can go from "0" to enough for a round-trip ticket. For this reason, you need to be strategic with your credit card applications.

My last credit card application day was back in August. I decided against applying for credit cards at the end of 2013, because I didn't like the credit card offers available then. Now that the calender has turned to 2014, I think its a perfect time to apply for some new friends (credit cards).

The one credit card I know I will be applying for is the Citi Hilton Reserve Credit Card.

Why do I want this card? I want the 2 Weekend Night Certificates after spending $2,500.  Equally, I have want to try for the Diamond Status.  If you spend $40,000 in one calender year, you earn Diamond Status.

Going for Diamond Status is a major gamble, $40,000 is alot of money to put on a credit card. This will involve a level of dedication to manufactured spending that I have never committed to. 

After the Citi Hilton Reserve card, my planned credit card application is much less unclear. The recent announcement that American Airlines World Elite Mastercard holders will have access to US Airways lounges going forward has put that credit card into the mix:

The $450 annual fee is steep, but the add benefit of US Airways' clubs make it worth it. I fly out of Washington National airport frequently and US Airway's club there is quite nice. 

The other possible credit cards are: 

Barclays US Airways Credit Card

Already have the card, but there have been recent reports of people getting approved for another card without cancelling current card. 

Barcalys Arrival 

Rumor has it that Barclay's will convert US Airways Mastercards will be converted to Barclay's Arrival after their relationship with US Airways ends. Again only a rumor but better to get this card with a bonus vs. no bonus.

Yes, two Citi and two Barclay's credit cards. I am trying to skip Chase this time around, as I have been hitting them hard lately.

Time will see if I get approved or not!

Which cards are you applying for next?

                                          Follow us on Twitter @doit4thepoints!