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How To Guides

My New York – The City for Culture, Foodies and Adventure

July 7, 2014

This week, we introduce you to the TPG staff based far and wide across the United States and Europe. To learn a little more about them, they’re sharing with you their experiences in the destinations that they call home. Today, meet Creative Director Adam Daniel Weiss and his New York City. New York City is the greatest city in […]

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A New Parents Guide To Traveling With Children

June 13, 2014

Traveling with young children can be both a blessing and, well, a less happy blessing. Family vacations call for more planning, stricter budgeting, and better organization than the average couple’s holiday. Despite the challenges, my wife and I have taken our two daughters on several lengthy international vacations, and countless domestic ones. Not only did we survive these trips, […]

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How to Use Virgin Atlantic Miles Without Fuel Surcharges

May 21, 2014

TPG Contributor Jason Steele returns to tell us how to take advantage of Virgin Atlantic miles without getting hit with huge fuel surcharges and fees The American Express Membership Rewards program is offering a 30% bonus on points transfers to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program through May 31. While this could be a terrific […]

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How to Minimize Costs When Using Your Phone Internationally and Top Apps for Communicating Abroad

June 17, 2013

TPG contributor Debbie Emery did some research on the top ways to use your phone to communicate while traveling international, so read up before you get stuck with a huge bill after your summer trip abroad! A mammoth cell phone bill after an international trip can wipe out any savings you might have gotten by […]

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Sunday Reader Question: How Do You Book Complex Awards?

October 16, 2011

TPG reader Jim asks: “How do you guys always book those multi-segment awards for the low mileage amounts?  I use Expert Flyer and can find the segments I want, but If I try to book it, it seems like it will charge me for each segment individually and not as a single 25,000 domestic or 40,000-60,000 international. […]

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How to Get a Passport or Passport Pages in a Hurry

March 22, 2011

March has been a busy international travel month for me. In 5 weeks I’ll make 4 trips to Europe, racking up a ton of miles and passport stamps. However, on my return trip from Spain, I was somewhat bitched out by a US Immigration officer at JFK for not having enough open spots to stamp in […]

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Twenty of My Favorite Airline Awards

February 21, 2011

I book millions of miles a month in awards for clients and I’m always trying to think about what award option works the best, since most people have multiple mileage balances and flexible credit card points. Whether its wrangling a Delta award to the “low” level or helping someone maximize an American Express transfer bonus […]

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The Benefits of Hotel Hopping

February 8, 2011

There are many “destructive” activities that come along with obsessive mileage and point collecting, like buying coins, mileage running and opening up tons of credit cards. I put destructive in quotes, because what may be destructive to one person is fun and lucrative to another. While I try to think I’m mainstream in pursuing my […]

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What is the Best Day to Buy Plane Tickets?

February 3, 2011

I get asked this question a lot and I’m not sure if I’m ever able to answer it correctly since airline fare pricing is fickle and you should never count on deals on a certain day. However, that being said, one of the best deal I ever found was a Delta fire-sale on European flights, […]

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How to Protect Yourself When Weather Is About to Wallop Your Travel Plans

February 1, 2011

Here we go again, another major winter storm about to wreak havoc on air traffic. While we can’t control weather, we can control our actions when it comes to responding to it when it messes up our travel plans. The biggest piece of advice I can give, is to not stick your head in the […]

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How to Use Same Day Flight Changes to Your Advantage

January 31, 2011

One of the perks I enjoy most about my Diamond elite status, is the ability to Same Day Confirm for free to other flights when traveling domestically. Knowing how to use Same Day Flight changes with your airline is critical to traveling “smarter,” even if you aren’t a frequent flyer. I have personally used SDC to increase […]

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My Interesting Experience Booking Iberia Award Tickets

January 28, 2011

I recently had a client who approached me with a somewhat outlandish request – 2 one way business class tickets from New Orleans to Barcelona with only one stop, on a very particular date. The request also required a reasonable layover since the clients were senior citizens and to boot, they only had 90,000 Amex points. […]

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How to Create Your Own Continental One Way Award

January 27, 2011

UPDATE: Continental is now part of United. Of all the US legacy carriers, I think Continental.com is the best when searching for award tickets. It’s a pretty shrewd engine that smartly searches award availability on United and US Airways as well as a host of other Star Alliance carriers like Lufthansa, Air Canada, LOT, TAP, […]

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10 Tips on Finding a Good Hotel Deal

January 25, 2011

Check out my guest blog post about getting a good hotel deal for traveler social networking site Gotsaga.com. Do you have any ideas that I didn’t cover?

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Tips For Northeast Storm Stranded Air Travelers

December 26, 2010

The snow in the Northeast is really wreaking havoc on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Almost all flights out of Philadelphia/ NYC/ Boston have been cancelled this afternoon, leaving thousands stranded. If you find yourself stranded, read my post on weather related cancellations, Some tips for this situation- If you are […]

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Tips for Securing a Brazilian Tourist Visa

December 17, 2010

I’m going to Rio for New Years, so now that I’m done with my international mileage run, it was time to apply for a tourist visa. Brazil requires a touruist visa for all US citizens (in reciprocity for the fee the US charges Brazilians to visit) so my journey to secure a tourist visas had […]

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17 Tips for Surviving a Long Flight in Coach

December 13, 2010

While I usually try to fly business or first on international flights, once in a while a great coach fare comes along and I have to hop on it and deal with the impending doom that I’ll be packed in like a sardine for a number of hours. However, over the years I’ve learned some tips […]

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My Mileage Run Decision

December 9, 2010

It’s that time of the year- elite status obsessed flyers begin to panic about qualifying for 2011 elite status. Since the elite qualifying year is January 1- December 31, some flyers pack in some serious flying in December to hit the next elite status level (usually at the 25,000, 50,000, 75,000, 100,000 and 125,000 mile […]

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Airline Elite Status Match 101

November 15, 2010

As an elite qualifying year comes to an end (December 31, 2010), it’s a great time to decide whether to go for elite status if you haven’t already achieved the level that you desire. I’m currently 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles short of Delta’s top tier (Diamond Medallion, 125,000 MQMs), so I planned a weekend trip […]

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Should I buy back my expired frequent flyer miles?

July 28, 2010

One of the deadly sins of frequent flyer miles is letting them expire . That word alone makes me shiver. However, we are all busy these days and if you stop flying an airline, its easy to forget about expiration dates and keeping the account active. In reality, most airlines have shopping malls, so buying […]

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Using Points for Back to School Shopping

July 26, 2010

For many of you, it’s the time of year for back to school shopping, which means preparing for a major dent in the monthly budget. While I generally recommend using credit card points and frequent flyer miles for travel,  I also encourage each client to use their points for what means the most to them. […]

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5 Tips to Reduce International Data Roaming Charges

July 19, 2010

Like most travel bloggers, I am addicted to my smart phone  (IPhone). So much so, that when in Europe several times this summer, I’ve irrationally turned OFF airplane mode when I couldn’t find a free WiFi connection, so I could download my latest tweets, feeds and emails. These quick gulps of data seemed like a […]

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World Cup Frenzy- Traveling to Spain on Points

July 15, 2010

With the world (even the US!) still in a frenzy over everything World Cup, I thought I would provide a quick guide on how to get to Spain from the US/Canada using your points. Spain is an incredible country, so even if you aren’t a football/soccer fan, you should definitely consider a trip. Listed below […]

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