10 Travel Tips From Someone Who Logs 200,000+ Miles Each Year

One of the best things about travel is getting to meet other people. And every now and then, you luck out and meet someone who starts a conversation that leads to amazing travel advice.

I didn’t know about the talcum powder trick. The $20 idea is good but I’d also say keeping a crisp $100 somewhere is also a solid practice. One time in Frankfurt I couldn’t get one of my bills exchanged because it was an older style. Now I try to bring only new cash and use my cards whenever possible.

How I earned 4,352 American Airline miles this weekend drinking wine

I like wine. I really love sharing a bottle together with friends. I also like great deals. Deals on wine and earning thousands of frequent flyer miles at the same time? Yeah, that happened this weekend. First I’m going to tell you what I got, then we can get into the how of it all.

The What

4,352 AAdvantage miles
260 SPG Starpoint points
30 bottles of wine at 47% off list price ($249 instead of $473)

image of wine bottles

The How

Step 1: Going to AAdvantage eShopping mall
American Airlines has a shopping portal. Visiting that site, clicking through to a store that you were going to buy from anyhow, often times earns you bonus miles without costing you anything more than a couple of clicks.

Step 2: An awesome (but not entirely rare) promotion was going on
They had a limited-time deal running where you could earn 14 miles for each dollar spent at WSJWine.

Step 3: New member special
WSJWine had a promo where new members could get 15 bottles of wine for $70. This combo would normally cost $239 if you bought it from them as a current member. All that’s needed to be considered a new member is to have an email address not in their system.

Now, this is the point where I was hoping I could add to the order. The way the site is structured you sign up, pay, and the order is completed. That’s it. I wanted to get my total order cost over $150 because of step 4 but wasn’t able to do so.

Step 4: Always check your American Express cards for targeted offers
A few weeks ago I loaded my SPG American Express with a targeted offer for WSJWine. The deal was if you spent $150 or more, you’d get a $50 statement credit. I didn’t plan on using it but I added the offer anyhow… then I saw the AAdvantage milage bonus offer at the end of last week.

Steps one through three netted 1,351 AAdvantage miles. Not bad for $97 all in (tax and shipping ya know.) But knowing there was that 14 mile promo ending Saturday night and having a $50 credit waiting for me, I dove back in for more. I followed the steps outlined above and found a nice $180 package, including some Prosecco (YUM!), to trigger the AmEx offer. This total sale helped me earn another 3,001 miles.

I used my SPG American Express to earn one Starpoint per dollar spent. Starpoints can also be converted to AAdvantage miles. Using the shopping portal I earned 4,352 AAdvantage miles in addition to the Starpoints. In the end, I picked up two and a half cases of wine at nearly half price while earning thousands of miles.

A roundtrip flight on American Airlines in the contiguous 48 U.S. states can be as low as 12,500 points (7,500 if the flight is less than 500 miles). This purchase got me a third of the way to a roundtrip ticket.

With the holiday season approaching, I’m now set with host and hostess gifts for upcoming parties, impromptu get-togethers, and inviting friends over to enjoy the autumn sunsets on my front porch.

Currently, AAdvantage eShopping mall is offering 7 miles per dollar spent. If you’d like to give WSJWine a try, leave a comment. With their Refer-A-Friend program, I can help you get a special introductory offer similar to what I received plus an additional $25 off your second case purchase.

M life games

When considering a trip to Las Vegas, I’m always looking for ways to reduce my cash outlay. While this doesn’t count as travel hacking in my book, I’m all in if I can catch some discounts or freebies.

Here’s some information I’ve cobbled together so far using the M life games that are available on Facebook and as apps:

– There are 4 different games you can play to earn coins/points
    – myVegas Slots
    – myVegas BlackJack
    – POP! Slots
    – KONAMI Slots
– Each game gives you free coins and bonuses every day you open each app
– If you link them to your Facebook account, all of your coins go into one pot
– You need a M life account number to redeem your points but you can play without one
– Register for a M life account at
– You can pickup your M life card from a M life counter at any MGM property
– To redeem a reward, you need: your driver’s license, M life card, and your myVegas reward purchase confirmation number
– You need to go to the reward location’s M life counter to have the it loaded to your card
– You can only redeem three myVegas rewards every rolling 30-day period
– You can earn discounted items, buy one get ones, or fully comp’d tickets and rooms


“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ― Jim Rohn

“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.” ― Napolean Hill in Think and Grow Rich

Ladies & Love – A Simple Man’s Rule Book

Common sense ideas that don’t seem very common

Ladies & Love

  • Walk between the person you are with and the curb.
  • Open the car door for a lady.
  • Send flowers for no reason.
  • Women like men who smell good. That doesn’t mean bathe in cologne.
  • You don’t need to be in love. You want to be in love. Knowing this makes a big difference.
  • The only thing that heals a broken heart is time. No amount of alcohol, drugs, women, or food can heal that pain.
  • Love, while a great concept, is seldom an easy thing.
  • Appreciate every moment you have with her. You never know when it will be the last one.

Life – A Simple Man’s Rule Book

Common sense ideas that don’t seem very common



  • Listen when people talk. You’d be surprised what they tell you.
  • Hold the door open for the person behind you.
  • Remember tomorrow may never come.
  • Plan for the future but live in the moment.
  • Keep your passport current. You never know where the night may lead.
  • Truth is, appearance matters. The better you look the more opportunities come your way. It is your job to show your substance once your foot is in the door.
  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  • Celebrate often.
  • Books stimulate your mind. TV dulls it.
  • Confidence is key. If you don’t have it, act as if you do. No one will notice the difference.
  • A used Mercedes is still a Mercedes.
  • Your thoughts create your reality.
  • At least once in your life get a massage.
  • Write down your goals. You are more likely to achieve them.
  • Listen more than you speak.
  • You should act as if your every action affects 1,000 people for 1,000 years, because it does.
  • Never settle for less than what you want, but understand it may be a long time before you get it.
  • If you have to tell someone you are classy, odds are you really aren’t.
  • If you have more than four keys one your keychain, you live a scattered life.

The final installment tomorrow… Ladies & Love

Libations – A Simple Man’s Rule Book

Common sense ideas that don’t seem very common


  • Beer is great with the guys or if you don’t care how your breath smells. Whisky is best in mixed company.
  • Three drinks and call it quits. No one likes a drunk.
  • Scotch and…. Don’t waste scotch with anything. It should be enjoyed by itself.
  • Port comes from Portugal; champagne from France; anything else isn’t the real deal.
  • Jack and Coke is acceptable but Jack without Coke shows you mean business.
  • Champagne corks should not fly across the room.
  • Always have a bottle of champagne chilled, ready to go. You never know when you will want to celebrate

Next up… Life

Style – A Simple Man’s Rule Book

I tend to think of myself as a fairly simple person. Flashy doesn’t impress me much. True art, design, and magnificence show through in forms of simplicity.

This little series of entries is going to be shared over the next week all started when I noticed the silly things men wore in the office thinking they looked good. I never gave my sense of style much thought until I realized I had a personal set of simple rules that the women around me told me worked very well, at least at the office. These initial few rules turned into a small series of rules, thoughts, and philosophies. Most of them I follow, but like all rules sometimes they need to be broken too.

Common sense ideas that don’t seem very common

charcoal suit with orange tie


  • Fashions may change. Having style does not.
  • Button-down collars should only be worn without a tie.
  • Use brass collar stays.
  • V-neck undershirts are for open collars.
  • Crew necks are for shirts with ties.
  • The tip of your tie should meet your waist or belt buckle.
  • That little dimple in your tie makes a big difference.
  • A four-in-one-hand knot is all you need.
  • Match your socks to your pants.
  • Three hundred dollar shoes are worth every dollar as long as you take care of them.
  • Use cedar shoetrees.
  • Light heather grey undershirts look better than white under a white dress shirt.
  • Moisturize your face. You will thank yourself when you are 60.
  • If your boss wears a suit, you should too.
  • Short sleeve dress shirts and ties do not go together. Actually, there is not a good reason to wear short sleeve dress shirts… ever.
  • Undershirts are a must. No one wants to see your man boobs or hairy chest poking through that shirt. Also, they help your dress shirts last longer as well as keep you warmer in cool weather and cool when it is warmer.

Up next… Libations