Hardcore Pawn Stars Les and Seth Gold On Racking Up Points and Accidentally Flying to the Wrong Portland
Les and Seth Gold, the stars of truTV’s popular show “Hardcore Pawn,” reveal what it’s like to face a stomping, snorting rhino, what to do when you accidentally fly to the wrong Portland and how to book your dream vacation with points and miles.
Got any good packing tips?
Les: We do a lot of three-day events so we learned to take it all in a carry-on. Get toiletries when you land — a lot of those are free at the hotel. Take advantage of that and do all that you can not to slow yourself down.
Are you a points guy?
Seth: Yes. We’re very loyal and that’s how you earn points. Some people like to accrue points with many different cards. Keep it simple. I rack up points and I take trips with my Medallion [status from Delta]. Stay with one card and take advantage, that’s the way to do well with points. Loyalty pays off. You can have the vacation of a lifetime if you use your points and you pay attention.
How often do you fly?
Seth: A couple times a month.
How often do you use your frequent flier miles?
Seth: As much as I can. They may be worth more now than later. What if changes are made and more points are required for a trip a year from now? What if rules change? I look for upgrades with my points.
What’s in your wallet?
Seth: My Delta American Express card.
What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?
Les: I went to Kruger National Park in South Africa and it’s my favorite trip ever. My wife and I got up at 4:00am to go on safari. It was the most amazing thing seeing animals in their natural habitat. Seeing a cheetah walking in the jungle and a pride of lions was just incredible. The crazy thing is that you’re always in jeopardy when you’re in the animal’s habitat.
What was the scariest situation?
Les: A snorting, stomping rhino was in front of our car with two female rhinos. That was pretty scary.
What did you do?
Les: Our driver backed up very carefully. You never know what can happen when you’re in the wild. You read about what has happened to some tourists on safari. Bad things can happen.
Any travel horror stories?
Seth: I was going to sleepaway camp in Portland, Maine, when I was in the seventh grade and had to catch a flight from Detroit to Chicago, where I made my connection. I was hurried onto a plane with some buddies going to camp. I thought everything was fine until I heard the pilot say we’re crossing the Mississippi River. I thought we were maybe taking a different route due to weather, but when the pilot came on later and said, ‘we’re flying over South Dakota,” I knew we were in real trouble.
Seth: We were kids and we just dealt with it. We were treated to dinner and flew back to the right Portland. It was more of an issue for everyone’s parents. It’s an example of how things can go wrong at an airport. If something like that happens to you, just enjoy the experience. You can't do anything about it.
What’s your secret to a successful trip?
Les: Stay with the locals. I’ve traveled a lot. I go where the locals go. Don’t go with the tourists.
Where have you always wanted to go but haven’t yet?
Seth: I’ve never been to South America. It looked so cool during the summer Olympics.
What’s the longest flight you’ve ever taken?
Les: Atlanta to South Africa, which was 15 hours and four minutes. I took a sleeping pill.
What items can you not travel without?
Les: My buckeye and a gold wishbone.
It’s odd for a Michigan guy to have a buckeye...
Les: It is, but it’s a gift, which I appreciate.
What is the last stamp on your passport?
Seth: Hong Kong. I went because Delta had a great deal for Platinum Medallion members and I took advantage since I pay attention to the offers. You should see what special offers you can get as a member and what you can get for your points. Look for deals. You might find something you can’t resist.
What’s your favorite weekend getaway and why?
Les: We have a place on the west side of Lake Michigan. It’s a 2.5-hour drive from Detroit. I go with my wife. We take walks. I love it because it’s relaxing and peaceful.
Checked bag or carry-on?
Seth: I like Detroit. It’s so easy. I also like Las Vegas. There is so much to do at that airport.
Favorite credit card?
Seth: American Express.
Les: The Peninsula Hong Kong. The beauty and the service at that hotel is amazing. And shopping is close by, which is good for my wife.
Window or aisle seat?
Red-eye or daytime flight?
Seth: Day flight.
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