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Poll : Best Frequent Flier Hotel Chains

In every frequent flier destination, thinking of a hotel to spend some few days is a major consideration. Just like the frequent flier miles points, hotels also offer some loyalty points to their frequent customers.

The capability of being able to redeem the loyalty points has made them even to be valuable.

Whether you are traveling for business or for leisure, comparing the loyalty points programs offered by different hotels can end up saving you some money as well as earning you redeemable points.

Therefore we have come up with a poll to let you vote for  your favorite hotel chains  recommendable for a frequent flier.

 

[polldaddy poll=8147003]

Do you feel like we have left something out ? Please leave your comments and suggestions in the comment box below.

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The 5 Joys Of Solo Travel

There is joy in solo travel. There is an unspoken pleasure in finding yourself again amidst a new culture. It teaches you something. You get back to your roots. To your essence. You don’t have your homely friends and family to rationalize it. You live it. You prepare for it, and you live each moment of it. Traveling with others certainly has its benefits. Solidifying family and friendship bonds for one, but there is also a case to be made for solo travel from time to time. Why you ask? I’ll give you 5 reasons why.

 

1) Painless Logistics

It’s just you on this journey. You only have to take what you require to survive and have fun on your journey. You can pack a tonne. You can also just pick up the essentials and go. You decide the time, place and nature of your travel. It’s pretty flexible. Whereas while traveling with others you have to keep their logistics and itineraries in mind and in your plans.

2) Flexible Itinerary

Ever wanted to take a detour to a place but couldn’t? Because you had it all planned out with family or your partner? Well, with solo travel you can take those plans and ignore them! Yes you can. You have the freedom to go wherever you want and follow what catches your imagination and fancy. Am not denying that it’s good to plan ahead of your trip, all am saying is that you can ignore those plans and still rock your travel time.

solo-travel-quote

3) Bucket List Item Crossed!

Take out your bucket list now and have a hard look at it. (If you don’t have one, it’s high time you made one 🙂 ) What do you see? A lot of places you want to travel to, right? What has been stopping you so far? Well, you will say you can’t go and leave your family behind, or your partner or your cute little dog. However, if you travel alone (from time to time), imagine all the places you’d cross off on that list. And let’s face it. Sometimes it’s difficult explaining to others why you need or have to go to a particular place. There is a good reason why that destination is on your bucket list. So take the time, travel alone.

4) The Maestro Global Citizen

Have you ever noticed how you stick together with your travel buddies on trips? Because they are known quantities. Because as humans we are tribal. Just look at the many pockets of “little nations” we have in America today. We just cocoon together! Solo travel changes all that! You don’t have anyone to cling to. You are forced to meet, greet and get to know folks in your host nation/destination. You make friends, you meet other interesting people on a similar journey. You learn about them, because you realize that your situation would be precarious without them. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn about different cultures and be a truly global citizen!

5) Get Lost

You are thinking, “Why in the world would I want to get lost in a strange place?” I’ll tell you why. So that you can find yourself. By “get lost” I mean two things:-

a) Get physically lost – which come to think of it, who ever gets lost these days with GPS enabled smart phones, right? Try it though, walk a day without your phone. Get lost. Meander into unknown places. I mean, what’s the joy in life if everything is known, right? Plus, while lost you get to ask for directions. Many a friendships have been started that way. (Yeah right, that argument is weak-ish, but try it anyway)

b) Get Spiritually lost. Am using the term “spiritually” very loose here. But I mean you get to pursue your passions while you solo travel. You can be anyone. You can re-invent yourself and your life on the road. It gives you a chance to nurture yourself, to “sharpen the saw” as Steve Covey puts it. To rediscover yourself and what stirs you.

Conclusion

It’s true. Happiness is real when shared. There is nothing stopping you from sharing that happiness with the people you meet on your travels. Solo travel affords you the opportunity to rediscover yourself, re-invent yourself, think deeply about stuff. And more often than not you come back re-energized, full of ideas and ready to tackle the world. So, don’t hesitate. Pack yourself a bag sometime soon and fly away or drive somewhere. You’ll be glad you did it!

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Weekly Roundup – Jobs That Allow You to Travel The World

You do want to explore this universe but you lacks the means and resources. Worry no more. There are plenty of employment opportunities that requires you to travel across the globe. I urge you to go out there and grab them. Here i share with you just a few of those jobs that allow you to travel the world and at the same time earning some good cash.

English Teacher

You are a native English speaker and probably you have a college degree. Then, this is your opportunity to travel the world. English being one of the world’s spoken language, almost everyone all over the world is in need to learn it. This is the best opportunity to go to a foreign country, teach, interact, explore and at the same time get paid. Why waste your time while you could be in Japan passing your skills to them and at the same time exploring her beautiful nature! Grab this opportunity.

Travel Writer

This another great opportunity for you to grab. There are several travel companies and magazines out there willing to pay as long as you can travel and write quality articles. The company may cater all travel expensive though you have to produce quality work. Travel writing needs dedication, hard work and of all being creative. So, are you a good writer, creative and ready to travel? Then, this is your opportunity

Travel Nurse

In the four corners of the world, we do need nurse services. That said , there is shortage of nurses thus high demand. The shortage can be the opportunity to travel the world while still pursuing your career. Nurses are now required to travel from point to the other, hospital to the other in caring for many people in different cities as well as different countries.

Tour Guide

If you love or you’d like to travel the world then Tour Guide is the career for you. Where else will you explore beautiful Paris or Athens and get paid for it?

To be a tour guide you need to relate well to people, have rich history of the place, its secrets and its amazing culture. If you’re a multilingual that’s an added advantage.

Pilot

Being a commercial airline pilot it’s another way to see and explore the world and you get a good salary on top of that. Here you get the chance to travel and see biggest cities of the world.

For you to become a commercial airline pilot you need to have the qualifications, that is, a degree in piloting and other requirements may be needed depending with Airline company.

Flight Attendant

You need to have a specialized degree to become a flight attendant while other airlines require customer service experience and certification.

Being a flight attendant you enjoy cruising across many and big cities of the globe.

Which other jobs you feel I’ve omitted and they should be included in this post? Feel free to add them in comment box below

Amazing Reads of The Week

Summer To-Do List – Travel Channel

The greatest retirement asset you’ll ever have – My Own Advisor

How passive investing is improving your mental toughness – Monevator

How to Fly on American Airlines for Free (or Close to it) – Your Personal Finance Pro

West Marin – Crisp Days, Cheese Trails & Wild Beauty – Woman Traveler

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Travel Blogger Interview – MonkBoughtLunch

Stephen is the authors of Budget Travel and Photography blogs MonkBoughtLunch and Stephen Lioy. He quieted teaching job to travel the world. He have been all over Asia, North America, Europe, and the Middle East. You can follow Stephen on twitter, facebook or Google plus.

Tell our readers a little bit about who you are….

I’m a traveler, photographer, budget travel blogger, an several other –er’s who has been on the road for about six years exploring the world under various different titles. I graduated college in the US in 2008, moved to China for a one-year stint to teach English as a Second Language, and from there went down a path that hasn’t ended yet.

What led to quitting your job to travel full time?

I never really had a ‘proper job’ in the US before leaving. My first job out of school was as an ESL teacher in Shenzhen (China), and the schedule allowed for lots of opportunities to travel through China and Southeast Asia. At some point, intending to go to law school back in the US, I decided to opt out of the job and focus on travel for a while. Law school never quite happened, but the travel is an ongoing thing!

What is it about Asia that has kept it the primary focus of your travels?

The vastness, the diversity and the color. As a photographer, there is just so much beauty spread across Asia that I think I could travel here for the rest of my life and never see more than a few small corners of it. As a budget traveler, I love that it isn’t hard to travel fairly comfortably without spending a ton of money.

What is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?

Kyrgyzstan keeps drawing me back in, to the point that I’ve actually started looking for a part-time job in the capital city (Bishkek) in order to sort out a residence permit and stick around for a while. The mountains are amazing for hiking and camping, the people are incredibly friendly, and the cultural is sufficiently ‘exotic’ to me that it never gets boring. Uzbekistan is also great for travelers, though I’m not certain I would want to settle there for any length of time.

Are there any places that you regret visiting?

I’m hesitant to say there are places I ‘regret’ but there are certainly places I’m not in a hurry to get back to. One of my least favorite experiences ever has been Azerbaijan, but then I’ve also talked to other travelers that passed through there and really loved it. The thing is, these things are very personal and very context dependent – so even if somebody tells you a place is horrible make sure to give it your own consideration!

What places are still on your bucket list?

So many! Bhutan, India, and Bangladesh are very appealing to me as well as perhaps North Korea. Russia interests me a lot, as does Iran. I’ve also never made it to South America at all and have only been to Egypt in Africa. So, there are a lot of roads left to walk down. If the situation remains calm there after the ISF leaves, I’d really like to check out the Afghan side of the Wakhan Corridor in the next year or two to compare it to life on the Tajikistan side of the border.

I noticed you mention budget travel on your about page. What are the most effective ways you limit costs when traveling?

More than any specific secret, I think the best strategy is just to be conscious of where your money goes. I’m pretty good about tracking my travel expenses while I’m on the road, which helps me keep an eye on how much I’m spending. It can be easy to spend $3 and $5 there, and all of a sudden you’re spending $200 a day in a place that could easily be enjoyed for $50. The other best tip is what you guys talk about a lot on Airline Miles Experts: learn how to get the most value out of Points and Miles programs, and then exploit those as much as possible.

Are there any budget travel strategies that you tried but decided weren’t for you?

You know, I really love Couchsurfing as an experiential thing but as a budget travel strategy I usually don’t enjoy it. If I try to surf because I don’t want to spend the money for accommodation, it seems to negatively impact me experience in a place and my interactions with my host.

What’s your experience with airline miles credit cards?

Quite a bit over the last few years. I’ve earned and burned quite a lot of Continential/United; as well as some small interactions with AA, Delta, and Alaska. I currently hold cards with Alaska and US Airways, as well as the gold standard Sapphire Preferred. I think that with responsible management of spending and a solid strategy on how to spend the points Airline and Hotel cards can be an amazing way to travel for cheap or free – these two things are normally your biggest set costs after all!

What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever received?

Slow down, pack less, listen more. Solid advice, whether for travel or life.

What led you to start your blog?

Originally I had a page that I would update occasionally to keep family up to date on life in China while I was teaching there. Once I decided to leave there and travel full time, it seemed worthwhile to create my own page (MonkBoughtLunch) to have more control over the layout and management. It sort of progressed from there to become what it is today, though I’m hoping to spend some time updating the design over the next few months to make it a bit more enjoyable to interact with. So, check back in over the next few weeks and see if you like the changes!

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Your Favorite Places You’ve Visited and Why?

Today we’ll be starting a new series on Airline Miles Experts. In this series we’ll be asking some of our favorite bloggers their opinion or advice on a specific question. This way instead of just getting our thoughts on the topic, you can read a diverse range of views from some great bloggers.

If you’re a travel blogger and would like to take part in this series in the future, please contact us.

This week the question we asked bloggers was:

Of all the places you have visited, what is your all time favorite and why?

Stephen Lioy at MonkBoughtLunch

I really really love Hong Kong. It has literally everything I want in a city, and a whole lot besides. There are beautiful hiking trails and awesome beaches to get out and enjoy nature a bit, but at the same time you can get back to town in time to have a nice dinner out at a fancy restaurant or grab a drink in Wan Chai. The fact that it ALSO serves as a huge flight hub for both traditional alliance carrier and Asian LCCs means you can get to anywhere in the world without too many hassles.

Audrey Bergner at That Back Packer

It’s hard to choose favourites, but my recent trip to Prague completely blew me away! The first thing that struck me about this city was its beauty; picture Art Nouveau and Baroque facades painted in cheerful pastel colours. The average European city will have a charming Old Town Square while the rest of the city has a decidedly modern feel, however, in Prague even the residential areas further removed from the city centre had plenty of beauty to boast. I also liked that Prague had a mixture of historical sites (like castles and ancient fortifications) alongside fun activities (like room escape games and absinthe bars). This is a city I’d be happy to revisit.

Norbert Figueroa at Globo Treks

Thailand. It is the first country I backpacked solo, so it holds a special place in my heart. In addition, Thailand is a great country by itself. It offers everything from budget to luxury, adventures and culture, mountains and gorgeous beaches, and everything in between. I think it is a great place to start traveling if you’re curious about visiting Asia.

Auston Matta at Two Bad Tourists

David and I traveled to Madrid in June 2012. We immediately fell in love with the culture and our desire to learn Spanish really made it one of our favorite places we visited on our round the world trip. And even though we were applying for a long term French Visa when we decided to move to Europe, we quickly made Madrid our home over France. We love the pace of life, the energy of the people, the weather and the location, making it perfect to travel easily across Europe and beyond.

Jan Ross at Wanderlust Wonder

The Hawaiian Islands, without a doubt. The islands are a great vacation destination for families, couples, and groups of friends because they are so versatile and offer such a variety of activities for all ages and all types of adventure. Each of the islands is unique and travelers should make an effort to check out what each to offer. Our favorite activity in all of our many travels was flying in a helicopter over the active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Jacob and Vanessa at Cash Cow Couple

My family took a vacation every year when I was young. We never went back to the same place, because we always experienced everything the destination had to offer. Although I loved exploring new places, I always begged my mom to plan another road trip to Maine. When I was 14 we drove there from Missouri, and we stopped at destinations, bed and breakfast inns, and mom and pop restaurants along the way.
On the way to our way to our destination of Bar Harbor, Maine, over 24+ hours away, we stopped at Hershey Park and Niagara Falls before arriving in Maine. Once we were in Maine, we kayaked, went on whale watches, puffin tours, lighthouse tours, and ate the best seafood I’ve ever experienced.
This trip not only stood out because everything we did was fun, thanks to my mom’s meticulous research methods, but also because of the execution strategy of the road trip. A lot of people would have driven 24 hours in 2 days to get to their destination in Maine. But my family did it differently. What made it so memorable and enjoyable is that we truly took joy in getting there. Some of our mini destinations were a little out of the way, but that was ok. Most of the fun was getting there.
I’ve carried the memories of this trip with me throughout my lifetime, and I believe the same execution strategy should be applied to one’s life. Don’t be so focused on your destination that you miss out on the joys of getting there. That’s where the true memories lie, and what you’ll look back on as the best moments of your life.

Susan Shain at Travel Junkette

This is always the hardest question to answer! I’ll give you three: Italy for the oh-so-amazing food and wine, Colombia for the friendly people and vibrant culture, and Alaska for the gorgeous scenery and abundant wildlife.

April D. Thompson at The Absolute Travel Addict

That’s always a difficult question because I honestly have so many positive memories from every place I’ve visited. If I have to pick just 1, I’d go with South Africa. It was my first time on the African continent. It’s also the first place that I was able to spend an extended period of time as an adult exploring a foreign land somewhat on my own — from Durban to Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Umtata, through the Garden route and many more cities and townships in between. I was there for research, studying engineering education reform programs, visiting schools of all levels and learning about the history of the country. But what left the biggest impression (which is the case everywhere I go) were the people. And as cliche as it sounds, it truly felt like home.

This June, I had the opportunity to travel back to South Africa, specifically Durban. Nearly 9 years later, and yes, lots of things have changed, but my feelings being there hadn’t. It still felt like home. I look forward to returning again in the near future for a 3 month (or longer) stay.

Annette at Bucket List Journey

Traveling to Tanzania, Africa was one of my most memorable experiences because of how it changed my perception of such a foreign land. My prior knowledge of this continent had only been through magazines and television, so it was incredible to witness a portion of the land first hand.

During my time there, I was able to take a four day safari, go glamping in Serengeti, eat a traditional Ugali meal at a local restaurant, spend time at an orphanage in Arusha and visit the most amazing children in a private school.

I know you guys have traversed the globe. There is that place you felt in love with and you feel this is the favorite place you’ve ever been. Share with us in comment box below that place and the reason it’s your favorite.

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