Two to Travel (And Tango)

Travel Tips and Inspiration From Millennials, For Millennials

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SPG Moments Cubs Review: Using Starwood Points for a Suite at Wrigley Field

I love Starwood points. I’ve mentioned this before. Of the hotel loyalty programs, I think Starwood has the most valuable currency. It doesn’t hurt that I also happen to like their hotel chains, have their American Express, and have linked my Uber account to my SPG account so I get free Starwood points for every Uber ride.

I consider my Starwood Amex my second most valuable credit card behind my Chase Sapphire Preferred. It’s the card I use for most general day-to-day purchases (unless I have a card that earns more points per dollar in certain categories like travel and gas stations).

And unrelated to my small crush on Starwood, I’m a HUGE Chicago Cubs fan. I am also one of those nerds trying to see a baseball game in every ballpark in the country. And it just so happens the Cubs, for the first time in years, have decided to grant mercy on their loyal fans and actually be competitive. Since my son was born (and yes I take full credit for this win streak) they’re winners of 9 in a row and 15 of their last 16 games.

And so when I was flying out to Chicago for a conference in June, there was one thing I knew I had to do: Use my Starwood points to get two tickets to a fancy suite right behind home plate for the Cubs vs. Dodgers. 

Maybe the Cubs aren’t your thing. Here’s the not so secret, secret: That’s OK- because Starwood offers you the chance to use your SPG points for concerts with back stage access, the best seats at sporting events, and more! You just have to know where to look!  Continue reading

Limited Time Starwood Signup Bonus Increase: Now 30,000 Points Instead of 25,000

We love our Starwood Preferred Guest American Express. It’s second only behind the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for me. But you can count on this: Unless it’s dining out or travel (which I use my Sapphire for to earn bonus points), I almost always use my Starwood Amex. There aren’t many cards I would consider keeping in my wallet every single year, but the Starwood Amex makes the cut.

And so this is my favorite time of year: The Starwood signup bonus for this great card increases temporarily. Usually you get 25,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months with the card. But Starwood has introduced a limited time offer of earning 30,000 Starpoints for spending $3,000 in 3 months. But here’s the thing, it’s a limited time offer, so if you want the card, you’ve got to act quick. Why get the SPG Amex? I am glad you asked!

Continue reading

Using Netflix Abroad: A Surprise Benefit

I’ve become hooked on The Good Wife. #DontJudge. There’s just one problem: The Good Wife isn’t on Netflix. Or so I thought…  Continue reading

What we’re reading this week: What does your zip code say about you? 8 charts predicting global airfare in 2016, and more!

It’s been an unusually busy week for us this week. Our first child was born and to the surprise of no parents out there I can confirm we’ve learned a few things the hard way:

1. Sleep is indeed a luxury, you can survive with very little of it. Nonetheless, I miss it greatly.

2. People post weird things on social media between 2 am and 4 am. You also hear some really strange conversations outside your apartment door at that time of day.

3. When changing a diaper, put something over your child’s penis, otherwise he might… Well, Laura can tell you more about this as soon as she gets out of the shower.

But lots of time soothing a crying child means little time to write, but tons of time to read. And we’ve read some cool stuff this week. 8 charts that predict global airfare in 2016?!?! Where will it be cheap to travel, and where will prices rise? What’s your zip code say about you? A cool map that tells you about trends, income, demographics, and more! So where should you travel and where should you live? Great reads at 3 am this morning!  Continue reading

Mine to Love: Our First Child Was Born This Week

Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on beauty. The question was provoked by this video I show at a lot of my public speaking engagements, where one of the young women poses the following questions:

“What are these fundamental experiences of beauty and what do they say about how we’re supposed to live our lives and how we’re supposed to respond to them?” And with the birth of my son, these questions are racing through my mind.  Continue reading

Travel For Free? Here’s the Problem: Travel Isn’t Free. But…

It’s the email or Facebook message I get the most: What’s the best way to travel to (insert city of your dreams) for free?

And the answer is inevitably disappointing: In your dreams.

Because here is the deal, the real cold, hard truth: Travel isn’t free. No matter what Rolling Stone might have recently said. No matter what you hope. It just isn’t free.

But as one of my favorite bloggers Ben (coincidentally the subject of the Rolling Stone profile that inspired this post) says, getting into the travel game is about how to make this:

Business Class on a Qatar Airways 787 Dreamliner

Cheaper than this:

Economy is nice in the LAN 787 Dreamliner but let's not fool ourselves: It' not business or first class!

Economy is nice in the LAN 787 Dreamliner but let’s not fool ourselves: It’ not business or first class!

And that’s where simple strategies like these come into play!  Continue reading

Reminder: Fandango Buy One Get One Free Movie Tickets Today

It’s Friday. Which in the summer translates into Fandango buy one get one free movie tickets with your Visa Signature. It’s been hot and humid in LA, and so the idea of going to a cool theater and chilling out excites us.

Remember the simple but important rules you need to know in order to get the buy one get one free promo from Fandango: Continue reading

First Trip With Baby: The Balloon Fiesta. Total Cost? You’ll Be Surprised

It’s official- he’s not even here yet, but as far as American Airlines is concerned he is. First trip with baby has been decided! Today, Laura and I put the finishing touches on our first trip as a family of three: Albuquerque here we come. Why Albuquerque?

1. The Balloon Fiesta. I could try to explain it at length, but suffice it to say this for now:

Just a typical October day in Albuquerque

2. Our first flight will be a relatively quick one: Under two hours. Poco a poco, we’ll do our best to build him up to even longer flights.

3. Oh, did I mention 550 of these taking off a day while we chow down on Christmas style breakfast burritos? 

But here’s the real kicker: Prices go sky high in Balloon Fiesta season in Albuquerque. So had did I get airfare, four nights accommodation, and a rental car all for under $900? A few simple tips can help you plan a trip like this, even during a cities peak travel season, AND save A TON of money.  Continue reading

T-Mobile Mexico and Canada News: How’s Fast and Free Work For You?

We’re big fans of our mobile carrier T-Mobile. We’ve had a chance to talk to the CEO and he’s simply disrupting the mobile phone market as we know it. We wrote about all of this when we did a review of T-Mobile, but the simple facts are this:

1. T-Mobile provides free text and (low-speed) data in about 120 countries.

2. Streaming music doesn’t count against your data.

3. You can use T-Mobile to text in the sky on Boingo for your next flight.

4. T-Mobile is cheap. Dirt cheap.

But they decided that wasn’t enough. And now there is big news for any of you who ever travel OR call/text to Mexico or Canada. And while it won’t cost you anything to add this service, there is one important thing to note: You have to know how to opt in. What’s the great deal and how do you get it?  Continue reading

News You Can Use: Passport Tips Edition

First, a huge congrats to the winners of our contest from last week: Anthony G, Sayda S, Michael B, John T, and Hillary R! We’ll get in touch with you to get the best address to send your item to!

I love my passport. I am sure many a traveler would agree. Passports serve a very practical purpose, but of course we know they’re more than that. For many of us, it might be the only book that documents our experience. Sitting with an old passport and flipping through the faded stamps bring back memories that refuse to fade.

Creative Commons: hjl

Creative Commons: hjl

Fascinating Passport Website

And so I was engrossed in a very cool website a reader sent me the other day. Ever wondered what every single passport cover looks like? Curious how your passport “ranks” in terms of how many countries it gets you into without the need for a visa? There’s one webpage that has the passports of the world organized by geography and rank, and it’s by far the coolest website I have visited in the past week!  Continue reading

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