101 Tips, Tricks and Hacks to be an Expert Traveler at Chicago Seminars 2016

Here is my 101 Tips, Tricks and Hacks to be an Expert Traveler at Chicago Seminars, updated for 2016.

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  • john

    can you explain the name baby after yourself? I saw it somewhere else and dont get it. So you open a FF account for them and the names match… so what?
    Anybody can buy tickets for anyone else. Does the tip involve credit cards?

  • Shannon

    but why to read the economist in first class #40? I know you love that travel shoe but it just looks too bulky

  • Shannon

    and why always VPN? isn’t that for people with special mission only?

  • Adam

    Go to the seminars– he explains it better

  • @john – well, a bit of a joke that since most miles cannot officially be inherited, there are scenarios to use them among family better when names match up, hotel mattress running for instance, if that is your thing

  • @Shannon – you never know who you will meet, maybe your next employer, better to fly classy. That shoe is the most versatile I have found and if not is on your feet and no other shoe is in your suitcase, it is not bulky

  • @Shannon – anytime on public internet, even your neighborhood Starbucks you should use a VPN, especially if checking financial and travel accounts.

  • I was at the seminar, and was intrigued by the idea of the passport card. But now I can’t remember the practical use case. Do you mind re-explaining?

  • @Ivan X – it is good as a backup ID for everyday use, domestic travel, going out in countries that have national ID and where you don’t want to carry your passport or driver’s license. The travel benefits are limited. You can use it for US land borders but only on the US side. I understand you can use it for cruise ship ports of call that are in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative though have not been on a cruise to try it.

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  • JayP

    Could you please explain #5 re: Discover card in China and Japan? We’re going soon and I thought I’d need to pretty much plan on cash. Great tips, a number I hadn’t thought of and will use.

  • @JayP – discover is accepted everywhere in China because it uses the local UnionPay network. The issue is getting merchants to swipe because it doesn’t have the logo. Discover has a bilingual card from the website that can help. Better is printing your own UnionPay logo and sticking it on the card.

  • Victoria

    Ok, so in terms of #62, do you mean in mental accounting (i.e. think of a European 4-star as a 3-star) or actual need (i.e. you only need a 3-star for a 4-star quality experience)? I assume it’s the former, but just wanted to confirm!

  • JayP

    @Stefan – that’s brilliant! Thanks

  • @Victoria – that means in the context of points hotels, especially for elite recognition, a Europe 4-star is more like a 3-star and in Asia a 4-star is more like 5-star. In other words set expectations lower for Europe and can be higher for Asia. So a Holiday Inn like the one picked in Shanghai Pudong has an elaborate executive lounge you won’t see at a Holiday Inn in America or Europe.