A First Timer’s Guide to Great American Backpacking Treks

Trekking through America’s vast wilderness provides a chance to strip down to basics, cast off distractions and reconnect with nature and ourselves. If planning your first backpacking trek seems intimidating, read on as TPG Contributor Liz Song of wilderness backpacking site Snowqueen & Scout highlights five trails that will challenge, empower and fill you with awe — and offers tips for feeling both prepared and safe along…

Your Layover Guide to Mumbai (BOM)

The “Your Layover Guide” series features airports and destinations around the world where you’re likely to be stuck between flights, offering tips on navigating and spending time in the airport, as well as suggesting things to do if you have time to explore the nearby city. TPG International Contributor Lori Zaino guides us through the hustle and bustle…

Travel to Cannes on Points and Miles

In the latest installation of our “By the Sea” summer destination series — and just in time for the Cannes Film Festival, where The Points Guy is today — TPG Contributor Drew Limsky gets his Riviera on. The illustrious site of the annual film festival (now through May 25), Cannes is a vibrant place to bask…

By the Sea: Laguna Beach, California

In the second installment of our “By the Sea” summer destination series, TPG Contributor Drew Limsky assures you that you actually can go home again—to Southern California’s stunning Laguna Beach, where he spent several happy years.   Full (and proud) disclosure: I lived in Laguna Beach from 2008 to 2013. My place was across the street from the Heisler Park,…

Earn Double SPG Points on Dining Through July 31

Starwood Preferred Guest occasionally offers members multiple points per dollar for dining at participating hotel restaurants. The latest such promotion is called “Spice It Up,” and SPG members can now earn double Starpoints at certain restaurants through July 31, 2015. Here’s how it works: Earn double Starpoints on dining, even when you’re not traveling. You’ll…

Hotel Review: The Ritz-Carlton, Seoul

One leg of my recent whirlwind tour of Brazil, South Korea and China was a one-night stay in Seoul with the express purpose of enjoying some Korean BBQ. To make sure I’d have a good night’s sleep with a very full stomach, I booked a room at The Ritz-Carlton, Seoul. Built in 1995 and then extensively…

Ritz-Carlton Chicago To Fully Join Brand – New Points Opportunity

The concepts of hotel ownership versus hotel management can be a bit fuzzy. One case in point is that of The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, which has paid for the license to use the name Ritz-Carlton since opening in 1975, but is, in fact, a Four Seasons property at the moment. Don’t believe me? Here’s the hotel…

Hotel Review: The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa

TPG Contributor Richard Kerr has grown skeptical of luxury hotels promising to do all but make him royalty, and generally lowers his expectations before staying at a property for the first time. But The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa in Okinawa, Japan has restored his optimism: though surrounded by dense jungle, it feels more like an oasis in a vast, dry desert. Located an hour drive north of Naha…

Where Can I Use the IHG Rewards Club Card Free Night?

TPG reader Blake sent me this question: “Is the annual free night benefit from the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card valid for any category property?” A big trend these days with credit cards is to offer anniversary bonuses. Usually these bonuses kick in after you have to start paying the annual fee, and are an easy way…

9 Mistakes to Avoid When Redeeming Hotel Points

One of the keys to a good award travel strategy is avoiding errors that can cost you time, money, and points. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Nick Ewen explains how. As the saying goes, “Everyone makes mistakes.” This pervades many aspects of life, but it’s especially applicable to using your hotel points. Even the most seasoned award…