Intro to Points and Places

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Written by Jay- 
Welcome to Points to Places.  
My quest for points began in 2011.  I had just started traveling again after taking a few years off due to a number of reasons.  I had nicknamed myself “Jay the World Traveler” in my email addresses, My Space and various places on the web.  My serious world traveling started in 1994 thanks to the United States Navy Reserves.  Even though I was active duty I never went anywhere outside the US until I became a weekend sailor.  My first trip was to Thailand, followed by Australia, Spain and Hawaii all on the government dime, plus they paid me.  Having no fear of foreign lands and meeting locals I adventured out on my own to Paris, Ireland, Malaysia, Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico and more.  I used the internet to find last minute deals for airfare and hotels.  I learned the ins and outs of Priceline, Hotwire, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbits and others.  I shared my knowledge with friends and family.

It is one thing to travel on a good fare deal, it is another to travel in style for almost nothing.  Even the best deals have a price.  It maybe comfort, long layovers, extra connections,  really early flights and other things that enabled that deal to happen.  I started to pick up on things with every trip.  Around 2010 airlines started charging for luggage.  As a guy I could get away with carry-ons but my girlfriend needed 2 bags for a weekend.  One for her shoes, one for clothes and a huge purse and a carry-on.  What is the point of a good deal if you are going to get hammered at the airport on baggage and the overweight penalties on the weigh back because of gifts, cloths and souvenirs stuffed in every nook of the already over stuffed bag that you began with.  All of a sudden my $299 round trip to Cancun was over $500 because of fees and penalties for clothes and shoes she would never wear but had to have just in case.

How do you avoid fee?  Status and points.  I started enrolling in programs, reading fine print, and learning more with every trip.  I quickly learned that there is a lot of fine print, all loyalty programs were not equal and nor were all providers.  Information was king and the passive traveler could never catch up.   But with the help of so active bloggers and travel sights things started to click.  I learned short cuts, work arounds, and traveled like a high powered executive for a fraction of the cost.  But getting there requires work , study and strategy.

In the coming weeks, months and years, I will help fill in the blanks to get you more points to go more places.


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