The Last Plane Home

S1 Eps 13 - How Far Can You Go With Points

March 15, 2021 Guy Guyton Season 1 Episode 13
The Last Plane Home
S1 Eps 13 - How Far Can You Go With Points
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we speak with Travel Points guru, Alida

Born and raised in Panama, Alida came to the US for college, obtaining a bachelor’s in finance and multinational business. She built up a career in Financial Planning for 20 years before retiring to pursue her passions and teach people how to travel hack as she has for the last 15 years.

In this episode, we talk about: 

  • How you can plan your trips by using points and miles
  • Some of our favorite places to explore by using points and
  • What are some of the best resources you can leverage to stay up to date on all things points and miles

Want to ask Alida a question? You can reach her on Instagram at @alitravelpoints 

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Until next time travelers, Peace!

Guy Guyton:

Hey there and welcome to the last plane home podcast. I'm your host Guy Guyton here on the show each week we bring you travel tips, guides and hacks you can get the most out of your travel experiences. We share with you how to get the most value out of each and every one of your travels. Today on the show, we have travel points Guru alita. Born and raised in Panama, Alina came to the US for college, obtaining a bachelor's degree in finance and multinational business. She built up a career in financial planning for 20 years before retiring to pursue her passions and teach people how to travel hack as she has for the last 15 years. In this episode, Elisa and I will cover how you can plan your trips by using points and miles. Some of our favorite places to explore by using points and what are some of the best resources you can leverage to stay up to date on all things points in miles. Okay, travelers, I'm pumped, so let's get into the episode. Hey, Lita, how's it going?

Alida:

Hi, guy. I'm doing great. How are you?

Guy Guyton:

I'm doing good. So let's hop in. And you know, when I was preparing for this interview, I was looking at your Instagram feed, which I'm a huge fan of. And I saw I came across your travel profile, and it says it's adventurous. That bucket is full to the brim. Tell me just what does that mean? What does it mean to be an adventurous traveler?

Alida:

Okay, so for me, I love having adventures, anywhere that I go. So I love exploring as many places as I can in unique ways, so that I can have a different experience than just go on a tour and do the regular you know, bus or guided things. So for me, like if I'm going to a bike friendly city like Amsterdam, or in some cases, we went to Spain, and other cities in Europe where there's a lot of culture around bicycling and getting around by foot. So we like to hop on any public transportation, whether it be a rickshaw or renting some bikes and getting some guides around with your with your own GPS device. Or even like when I when I've been to Greece, I like to ride the donkey on the way down or the take the cable cars on the way up, went to the Great Wall of China and went down by a toboggan which is like a sleigh. Riding rickshaws and Shanghai I've skydive twice. And when I was in Hawaii, you must serve so why not take a lesson in Waikiki? So those are just some of the things that I like to take advantage of, you know, just to look for unique things to do and the places that you're at, like when you're there why not try this because you never know you might not ever have the opportunity again.

Guy Guyton:

I love that I entirely agree that you know, you never know if you're gonna be there again and I remember being in Greece to in Santorini going down on the donkeys in the entire time like this is so scary I'm just waiting for the donkey to like fall and he's going to drop me in they keep like going to the left rail and eat and grass and mmm remember in the moment I was like so like afraid and then I saw the photo afterwards and it's such a like a snapshot like just sort of a cute photo and instantly just transports me back into then so totally agree. I mean I love I love that adventure mentality and just trying something different.

Alida:

Yes, I agree. Yeah, I remember the the donkey ride there were some people that did not want to pay to go on a donkey so they were trying to walk down, but the donkeys kept getting in their way so they kept like slipping around the donkey poop. Not a good trail to be walking down the donkey trail.

Guy Guyton:

Oh, seriously. Wait. So tell me about tobogganing in Great Wall. I was when I was there. I think I walked up and you get this badge of honor if you climb certain stairs. I didn't get all the way there. I got close. But I didn't see any tobogganing that sounds amazing.

Alida:

And yeah, it was I don't know if it was right by one of the parts that we hiked, but it was fairly close from one entry point to the other. Like when you went up by like the ski lift, then you kind of had to hide to like another section. And that's where the toboggan was. I don't know if it was a well known thing. Maybe our tour guide knew that at the time. We had our own little private guide that we had hired all five of us on our our trip our girls mother daughter trip family trip we did in Asia like seven years ago. Gosh, that was like seven kids ago from my sister and my cousin was before they were married and now they have like five kids. I have three. So this is definitely when we could do those things. We took advantage of that, because we haven't been able to experience that as a family ever again. So that was a that was a quite an excursion and definitely worth it. And of course, for the points, yes,

Guy Guyton:

yeah, I was about to say. So I heard Hawaii, I'm hearing Greece, China. A lot, a lot of Avengers, a lot of places. You mentioned, three kids and a family. So I'm assuming that can add up pretty quickly. Right. So one of the things we're talking about today is definitely how we can hack some of that and get some value in using points and miles. So maybe I'll ask where, you know, where points in miles taking you? And are there any trips that are particularly memorable, because you were able to use those points?

Alida:

Sure. Well, I can go way far back, but some of the more memorable ones just because of the experiences that they gave me. Like I mentioned, the one in Asia, it was about 21 days. And it was for countries that it started as a solo trip with a friend. And it ended up being a five, a family of five of mine, that we united, we got together in Asia to meet up and then explore together because I live, I live abroad, and they are all in Panama. So that was a great way to meet up. And of course, I booked my route all using my points. And I got four stops and in three countries and the party, landing in one and departing out of another one using those open jaws. So all of that was with points for me. And economy at the time. I would think that twice next time. I learned that lesson, the long haul as a long haul and economy. But at the time, I was like oh yeah, it's a great redemption for 65,000 points. And that was going by myself. I said no, how rough can it be? But that was that was a great experience with the family. Another great one was when I surprise I went to Santorini twice. The first time was for study abroad back in college and my mom bought my ticket with her points at the time. So I knew about points and miles from college from

Guy Guyton:

legacy. Yeah.

Alida:

She is the O g points. influencer in my world for sure. And this was before the blog ages, so I just took it to another level. But when we went to censor Remi, she wanted my mom wanted to go for her 60th birthday after I went for a college I got to go see century Annie but she did not. So she wanted to go for 60th. And it was going to be another family trip with her siblings and my my siblings, but everybody, not everybody but my siblings and significant other partner, my spouse, everybody decided not to go because of the terrorism attacks at the time. This was six years ago. So at the end, I had already accumulated all the points and miles to go fly high. And because the trip got disrupted, and my mom wanted center radian and Turkey, I I stayed in touch with my aunt and I found out the entire itinerary that they had booked. So I just showed up and surprise her in Frankfurt. Again, I'm living in the US she's living in Panama. So I surprised her showed up at the gate and I had booked all business class seats for myself all the way to Istanbul. So I gave her all my seats. So she got to enjoy the rest of the journey in business class and then the cherry on top was on the way back. For me to return back home to the US I got the the prized holy grail Singapore suites from JFK from Frankfurt to JFK. Yeah, that myself. Yes.

Guy Guyton:

That is that is absolutely a dream Dream route for me specifically JFK to Frankfurt, which is which is amazing. Yeah, maybe explain a little bit what Singapore's sweet skill is.

Alida:

Oh my gosh, well, that was an experience in and of itself. So you walk in it's a whole separate entrance than everybody else. You have like a concierge that comes in greed to bite name from the entrance and I was looking like, I didn't want to look like a travel blogger or anything but I wanted to video my experience. So here I am trying to hide my camera phone. While I'm like walking in into my little private suite, and they introduced me to my Butler. Her name was Emily who greets you with Dom Perignon, and your you know amenity kit, which I still have have full size perfume of Salvatore Ferragamo. It was very high end. So towards the end of the night you get, I mean, all the food is amazing. You get to order it from a chef even in advance and look at the menu. And towards the end of the night, they asked you if you want to, I feel ready for your turndown service, and they come and give you a bag and it's the pajamas, you go and change, you come back and they have your whole bed made out like it's a room in a hotel. The only difference is there's a seat belt. And you get to lay down and have the TV at your footsteps. And you don't want to wake up from that flight. Trust me, you're like, Oh my gosh, we're already here. Or it's time to eat again. I guess I will. Yeah,

Guy Guyton:

I mean, the thing that's hard about that is you think about how much money that it's like, how long do you actually want to sleep? Because it's such a great experience. Really, how much does it weigh? Like sleep versus but it's such a good sleep to? Yeah, it's such a hard trade off first world problems.

Alida:

And no, it is. I mean, once you you've experienced that you're like well, what what can top that? Nothing. So I just share it that those six hours forever. Six years later, I'm still talking about it.

Guy Guyton:

That's incredible. I mean, a trainee is probably I think the most romantic spot in the entire planet. Anyways, those sunsets in Fira and Ori are just amazing. And the honestly the guilty pleasure there for me as the olive oil because it's such fertile ground and I'm I just wanted bread and everything I just put oil and everything.

Alida:

Yeah, the food is incredible. Grease was is a special place in my heart just because that was the journey I went on right before I went into like adulthood and you know, became a financial Yeah, stop living my college life and wanting to you know what we are today? But But yeah, it was definitely great to go back and have that have that experience. And then we were able to do another family trip. Again to Europe, but this time bring it all the grandkids oh my gosh, that was like 18 days, 10 cities 10 hotels, road trip in Ireland with a car and, you know, seeds, what do you call it a car seats. And that was traveling with children abroad and with a group that I was the organizer of every single stop and every activity. That was a that was a feast. That was quite a feat. But it was again, you know, things you got to do to make those memories. It's all a lot of work, but it's all very rewarding.

Guy Guyton:

So yeah, are you are you like a spreadsheet planner? Are you like every detail and everything gets organized?

Alida:

No, I'd like to say I am but at the I am a habitual, like note taker. And I have like lots of like, posted and little notes everywhere. But at the end, I if it's other people involved, then for their sake, I try to be organized and send them, you know, somewhat what we're doing. Because some of the people I tend to travel with, tend to just leave it up to me. Ah,

Guy Guyton:

yeah, I'm definitely one of those times I am, I do not plan much I, I'll plan. Let's say I'm going to Europe, I'll plan like my flight to Europe, my flight back and that's about it, and just kind of wing it from there and see, see what's working out.

Alida:

And I'm glad you mentioned that because I love that experience too. Like I don't like both being necessarily tours unless it's like to see a specific thing where you need somebody to tell you the story or the history of whatever monument, you know, some level of expertise, I can't just rent an audio, you know, tour on or give you a unique perspective from a cultural experience. So if those things are not involved, yeah, I definitely feel like just wandering and and saying, I love to figure out Oh, what, what are the cool areas areas to walk around in and maybe just sit around and people watch and have a whatever food is from that place and just soak it in? Because I tend to go to places for maybe two to three days. So just like well, I am on the gogogo. But then I also want to experience you know what it's like to live there. Yeah, I'm

Guy Guyton:

the same way. The three day mark is usually my average for a city and I try to get as much as I can. And I think travel is about exploring and getting lost and just walking the streets and getting the vibe and I've gotten a lot of benefit from that. But I have to say your point is dead on. There are some cultural things that if you don't book and plan ahead like you're just not going to miss. I've been to Amsterdam, maybe four or five times and I keep missing the Anne Frank House, and I am just so upset. It's so hard to get you to book it, like six months in advance or on the same day, which means you have to wake up at like 7am and do the lottery. And I've done it a couple times, and I've always failed. So for the most part, being flexible has helped, but that one is just a complete loss for me. Oh, man,

Alida:

I went to that house when I was okay. So my culture, they celebrate Kingston, yes. You know, when you turned 15, I did not have a Kingston yetta I had a trip to Amsterdam and Austria with my mom, my mom, the travel hacker. So that was my that was my first. No, that was my second trip to Europe. But either way it was, it was one of those things that we just did together. And you just when you were that because this was in the 90s. The Anne Frank House was not I mean, obviously, it was very popular. But there was no such thing as reservation online or anything. So we were able to get in. And I was a little obsessed with Anne Frank at the time. And I used to watch Schindler's List, and I watched you know, her, her I read her diary and all that. So as a teenager, so it was super important for me to see it. And I'm happy I did. But every time I've gone again, no one that I've been with has been able to go.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, it is a hard ticket. And I think the cultural experiences have been phenomenal there. And that's really what I like about travel too, is going into those history components and just walking around and kind of experiencing it. I mean, books are fantastic, but there's some things that you can never get from book you just kind of have to go and experience it yourself.

Alida:

And you know what, if you've read the book or seen the movie, you know how they live in an attic. They live in the attic that opened up like a like a bookcase. Yeah. And that's where they hit upstairs. Well, in the house I live in right now you know how most homes that have an attic that is from the garage? Well, I have an attic that's from inside of the house. That is a closet that opens up into an attic that is now converted into my craft room. So I call it like my little Anne Frank. It opens like a big bookcase like a secret. Totally secret room.

Guy Guyton:

It's your walled off room. Yeah.

Alida:

There's just no Wi Fi in there. So I'm a little you know, it's only my craft with no no internet.

Guy Guyton:

So it's just analog, you just have an analog hobby, which honestly, I think it's great to live in such a world where everything is digital, and the ability to just step away from screens for a while. It's fantastic.

Alida:

Exactly.

Guy Guyton:

So it took Amsterdam a little bit too and going with your mom. And you know, that'd be a good segue, just thinking about like, how did you get into points and miles and kind of what's your background with this. And it seems like your mom was such a big influence here.

Alida:

She was, she grew up from a family of four kids. And early on. My grandfather had a diplomatic position in Italy when they were teenagers. And so they had to move to Italy for a number of years. And my grandmother wasn't working. So at the time, you know, they just made ends meet with because they had to also pay for private schools and all of that for the other kids. And so whenever they could travel, they would do it all piled up in a car, road tripping all over Europe, as and they wouldn't make reservations, they would just go to the next town until they'd be tired and, you know, all pile up into a room traveling very frugally, making snacks and packing them to go on to the next destination. So they were able to explore a lot in a very short time with limited funds with only one income. And ever since those times my mom grew up always wanting to explore more. So she was a very avid traveler by the time I came along. So when back in the 80s, I was born in 1980. Exactly. So in the 80s there was she had a clothing business, she was very entrepreneurial, and she had a boutique and so she would travel to the US and California specifically to buy her inventory and wholesale and go to the fashion districts and stuff like that. So she was able to learn about frequent flyer miles and using credit cards and then figured out Oh, I can move points from my frequent flyer account to the airline and get some free tickets. So during that time, my The country was under a dictatorship by a guy named Noriega. So when my sister was born In two months, because the banks shut down, it was a financial crisis. And, obviously her business, she had to close it. And there was no money because the the banks essentially shut down and froze everyone's money for a very long time. And so if you had no cash, you can buy anything. So needless to say, you know, her, her business was not a priority and people's minds when it's either food on the table, or am I buying clothes. So they had to make a decision and saw that the things were not looking very promising. And thankfully, my my stepdad at the time was a US citizen is. So we were able to come to the US back in the 80s. In 88, my sister was born. And two months later, they liquidated everything. And we started from scratch in Miami, Florida. And thankfully, my mom and my stepdad had a stash of cash at the time to deliver my sister because you couldn't even pay in the hospital if you didn't have cash, imagine, so there's a lot of distrust in the financial system. And that's still, that's not necessarily the case to this day anymore, because the financial industry is very strong now in Panama. But in a lot of similar countries like ours, they've seen some more or less some situation like that at one point or another. So the fact that my mom came abroad and still felt like, oh, there's still opportunities here with, you know, using our money wisely and using credit to our advantage and how to use leverage and coupons she learned she was obsessed with coupon. So I became obsessed with coupons after a while. So all things to be frugal, so that you can save live below your means save as much as you can invest for the future. And that any excess, you know, our vacations consisted of just going back to Panama for the for like five years, instead of traveling abroad and getting to see other places because that's where the priority was. So after a couple of years, things got better. And we moved back to Panama. And my stepdad was the director of the airport. And so that we were even more immersed in the travel industry, because then he was recruited by American Airlines to be their general manager there. So with that, we flew a lot, but not with miles or points, but in standby. That's a whole other story.

Guy Guyton:

Another travel.

Alida:

Yeah, not not as luxurious. I mean, it can be if you can get the business seats $35, which I did a couple of times. But

Guy Guyton:

you're basically at that point, which is equally exciting.

Alida:

Yes. It's like Oh, yay, somebody did not show up, I get bumped. Or Oh, no, the whole flight is full. So I'm not getting on. So sometimes we had to drive from one airport to another because there was no availability. I remember doing that in Colorado from through the Rocky Mountains, so we can go out of another from steamboat to Denver. I don't remember. Those were American Airlines days. But you know what, when he retired from America, and he still had a bunch of miles that he had accrued from being there or whatnot. And he gave them to me, and that was my first trip to Hawaii was with his miles.

Guy Guyton:

Wow, that's so cool. Yeah. I grew up with my dad working in my stepdad working in like TV and production. And so we would do all these weekend road trips, and I just never knew where we're going to be. But we grew up like, pretty fortunate. like they'd pay for hotel, we just hop in the car, and we were in New England area. And so we'd drive up to New Hampshire, New Jersey, and I didn't really know where we'd end up. But we were kind of like, where a lot of my travel started from, like, I just was really comfortable being in hotels, and every weekend not really knowing where we'd be, but we were doing it. We were always doing it as a family as a unit and a lot of fun, you know, and just poking my sister and bugging him out or as long as I could.

Alida:

Right? That's, that's incredible. Yeah, road trips with your family can be so so memorable. You know, as long as people get along, sometimes most of the time.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, sometimes you don't. But you still you're still getting the experience there. So this is definitely rooted, you know, entirely in your DNA here. So that's definitely how you get started. What are you doing now to stay up to date? Like, what resources do you check out? I'm sure there's a lot more resources today than there was back in the 80s. And there's so much more information.

Alida:

Well, absolutely. Well, early on. I learned with a lot of the blogs that are now super huge and I would study them day in and day out. So some of those I still check from time to time our dance deals one mile at a time. All the consolidated blogs on boarding area so you can get updated news like from several bloggers all at once. thrifty traveler, TEDx traveler. I get some newsletters from a various of them various different points, resources that just send me you know what's what's happening. But a lot of times I don't I get my most updated real time, info from my other points, friends on Instagram. So I tend to repost some of those that apply to some of the things that I like to do. Because those are I tend to see that more often than my inbox.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I was never doing this 567 years ago, where a lot of these blogs that are have blown up now, we're pretty underground, and it felt a little bit more intimate and you're getting these, there wasn't as much data holistically. And so everything new that came out and like yes, this is awesome. And it felt new. And a lot of it. There's there's been a lot of devaluations, but I feel like a lot of things haven't changed. And so I agree, I mean, I get a lot of my information, I just draft off your Instagram account, and some others that are all just fantastic. And I think there's so much information that you kind of want almost like a spirit guide in some of these writers to be part of the community where you don't feel like you have to do all the research yourself and constantly monitoring when there's so much information that you can get to get almost anecdotally from from some of your friends.

Alida:

Right, and it's just a conglomerate of information that I get to apply my deals. So I like to teach people from the ground up, which is why I haven't gotten into the more complicated award routing bookings that I've done, because I feel like people will just be so discouraged, like, Oh my gosh, that's so complicated, I can never do that. But if you start out with like the basics and start practicing, so I could go as simple as just Google, your next destination travel with points, and so center any travel points, and then read and research all the different ways that people have been able to book those destinations in different airline partners, or different frequent flyer programs, because you may have thought of one but maybe not have the third or the fourth one. And I tend to look at three or four at a time before deciding what routes I'm going to take. So I like to see, you know, maybe what is the process and then practice it on my own to see what works for me, because my destination hub will be totally different than yours. And so will the departure areas. So I for example for me, I want to try to go to French Polynesia, soon, relatively soon, if possible. So, yes, so I have some banked united points that I have on there that are stuck from my canceled trip to France last year. So hopefully I can, you know, use united award routings maybe through San Francisco to get down there. But I would like to try to get a free stopover with that. So I'm going to play around with the, what they call that free excursion as perk. So I can maybe stop at another region for free. So in the meantime, you know, I like to just stay informed with extra deals, extra bonus points, extra little things that some of the airline programs are offering. But for the most part, once you have the ground and the base of knowing how to how to do your award search, I don't really spend as much time reading the blogs anymore, just in case there's an extra bonus I didn't know about or an extra way to get globalist that I can take advantage of.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I entirely agree. I think there's a ways there's ways to make this so complicated. And it's almost frustrating and intimidating. Versus you get the understanding, get the groundwork. I mean, the first thing I always do is just pull up Google flights. Sometimes I just get bored and pull Google files and say, Where do I want to go. And we'll kind of look for prices, and then get some inspiration there and get some inspiration from some other bloggers and I just look up the routes that people can take there. And I look up the alliances and I kind of build up my strategy from there. And I think you can make this super complicated and you can find five or six different routes and when you have time and you're kind of bored like this is a fun hobby to do that and kind of cracked the code. And other times you can just do it really quick and simply and just find a route and not use cash so your way it's gonna work out.

Alida:

Exactly. And I think knowing the different options and how to compare to figure out is this a good deal for myself. A lot of people don't know how points translate into the dollars saved, versus paying in cash. Because sometimes the cash fares do make sense in very few cases, but versus using points. But it pays to know how to how to determine whether this is a good deal for my points, or whether I just pay cash. because, frankly, most people that are traveling, they have the cash to pay for most of these vacations. We just rather not.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I always look at it as if I can get my hotel and my flight for free. All of that money that was going to us on that just goes into the trip, it goes into more experiences, it goes into, Oh, interesting, because I've only have a couple days, I would rather pay for like a taxi than the public Metro. If, you know I'm short on time. And I like I know I don't like I want to get from A to be as quick as possible. So I'll spend more money in different areas. It's really like just how I allocate, which changes the most for me.

Alida:

And that's exactly right, because then I don't feel as held back by doing maybe more boogy things that I would probably feel like are splurges. If I'm then tacking on all the other extras that really are the big expense. So I may decide to goes apply neighborhood take a helicopter ride or two extra things that are typically high higher ticket items. We rent, we chartered a boat in Santorini, for example. And that was my mom's Happy birthday, little ride around center, rainy around the island. But you know, when you're spending on the flights and staying on the island, you know, now you're thinking 1000s and 1000s of dollars. Every day, you stay on this on these paradise, paradise places, you're like, oh, there's so much money that's gonna go out by the time I get back. But I don't add up all of what I spend on my vacations. But I could typically say I don't spend any more than in any of my big, big, big ones. No more than 5000 all in with kids and everything. So family. Yeah. Yeah, that's fine business and everything. So

Guy Guyton:

I think that's amazing. And, you know, it's, it's better to be able to, you know, take advantage. And we all I think a lot of people who use points are just trying to be financially conscious. And most of us have budgets that we set for our family for travel and things we allocate against that. And, you know, there's a practice of getting good habits here, including, you know, you're not carrying large debts, and you're not ever carrying interest on your cards and things about doing that discipline you're seeing in other areas, too, like when you're traveling and planning from that perspective. So it would be interesting to see and maybe if folks are have questions about understanding what's a good deal and redemptions? I mean, we can do a whole episode on that. So leave a comment if you know you want that or just send a DM. But maybe I'll ask you one thing too that I love getting perspective on from from travelers, but what is something that you've learned from traveling that you don't think you would have any world?

Alida:

Well, through travel, I can learn everything firsthand. I like to learn the history and the cultures. on my own. I don't I like learning about them from other people like oh, this is what this place looks like. Or this is what these these cultures do. It's one thing to hear about it. One other thing is to actually see it and experience it yourself. So that is the one thing that nobody can ever take away from you ever in your life. So I love sharing that with my spouse, he got his passport, as we started dating for the first time he had never been out of the contracts are for cruises. And with my children. They've all had passports as they're two months old. And they've all gone International. So I just hope that they remember some of the experiences we've taken them on otherwise, here's my Instagram now, because that's part of why inspired me. Yes, it's inspired me to document and teach other people how to do it also. And as somebody that came as an immigrant to this country, knowing that you can make anything happen, you just have to stay discipline and learn a couple of basic rules and be an avid student to continue to learn the tips and the tricks of how to figure it out because that's even how I studied finance because I wanted to figure out how people in this country made money investing, because that's something we did not do back home. So I became a student of that subject until I figured out how to do it for myself and others until I retired last year. So then now I want to help other people figure it out from an eating easier, easier to understand perspective, if at all possible. So I welcome any feedback at all times, if something doesn't make sense, or because I've been helping my friends and family, go on these bucket list destination travel experiences, also using their points and miles, and getting them started from the ground up to actually booking it for them and how to transfer the points. And so seeing how families can go and celebrate after you know, suffering from having a cancer diagnosis in the family, and going through chemotherapy and how those type of experiences, you know, can change your life. And if travel can make one thing be not as terrible, and at least, you know, have some family memories, then that makes it so much worth it. And like other families I've I've sent to like pilgrimages all, you know, in the Middle East and saying the, you know, other spiritual encounters that, you know, mean a lot to other people. So, I think all those things through travel are priceless experiences.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, that really resonates with me, I remember, when I first really got into this travel hacking thing, like nothing, I didn't think traveling internationally was ever even on the table for me growing up with, with my workout and things like that. So just starting off kind of rebuilding credit and understanding and getting these values. And I remember my second trip, I was in Europe, and I was just talking to someone also traveling about you know, I think they were studying abroad, okay, I probably will never be able to do this again, and probably won't ever, ever be able to afford this because they were studying like journalism or something. You know, they had goals that were non financial, you know, they were actually they were really committed to changing, you know, some of our culture and our society and things like that. And I was just sharing with her how I got here, you know, how I was able to travel hack and just kind of opening that door. And it just so it felt so rewarding to be able to share that and say, this is something I never would have thought like five years ago, four years ago, I would never been able to do and now now here I am. And now you know, continuing to do that and doing that repeatedly. So I entirely agree. You know that feeling of sharing in teaching others this because travel, the more we can travel, the more experience of like cultures we can share, you know, will realize that we're more alike than we're not alike. And hopefully we can resolve some of these just foolishness conflicts. Because we're all pretty close.

Alida:

Yeah, exactly. And like that trip I came back from Santorini that I mentioned, one of the there was a lot of terrorism that year I remember in Europe, and three days after I left assemble that's when there was a bomb threat in that airport. So it's one of those things that you're just like, oh man, can we all just get along? We don't all have these threads and impact our travel for everybody. I know

Guy Guyton:

there's all these gorgeous places that I'm like I need to go now before we can never go again. And it's because of these conflicts that just shouldn't I mean that's a whole nother episode.

Alida:

Yes. Bottom line is go when you can look at me on the Wall of China. Is anybody going to China anytime soon? God I went on that

Guy Guyton:

same theme that is incredible. All right. So maybe before we let you go what are what are your some of your travel plans for 2021 anything you're looking forward to you?

Alida:

Well, I am heading to a very exciting magical world of Disney World. Wow. Nice and domestic two hours away.

Guy Guyton:

You're You're damn exciting and mine differ slightly.

Alida:

Well, I come into birthday season my kids birthdays are March April and May so because my sister's coming from Panama with two kids we're like go let's go and stay somewhere local with two intentions. One stay at a Hyatt and continue to earn my nights that I need to reach globalist and then to head down to Cancun once I reach globalist and then take the family for spring break which is the week after. Hopefully if it all pans out. We'll be in Mexico because my husband hasn't wanted to jump on a plane since last year. Yeah. if things do get better and the skies open up and the rainbows start shining. Then we'll head to French Polynesia.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I think moon and all inclusive spa and Cancun. It'll be our next spot as well just hop on the plane. we've, we've flown a couple times in 2020 and 2021. Honestly, I don't think it's that bad you wear the mask, he stays, he say kind of separate. It's okay. And a lot of ways it actually is more enjoyable because there's not a lot of people there and those times and things like that. And so staying in like an all inclusive spot where you have your own kind of space and views and things like that might be the next move for

Alida:

us. You know, what's another great place and I went last year because of the pandemic and I canceled that trip to France. I went to Arizona solo trip to America wellness retreat. All Inclusive adults only that I had to go again. I went again in December it was that good. And it's the highest link property.

Guy Guyton:

That sounds great. Yeah. Bianca without the kid, like the adult only sounds perfect right now. Just with the sun.

Alida:

Mm hmm. Yeah. But this has like all kinds of activities for men and women. And it's like my body and soul. And it's got like challenge courses and hiking and mountain biking. It's pretty pretty isn't that I would go there again,

Guy Guyton:

super refreshing right about now because I've been sitting in this studio for like the last year and a half straight. It feels like

Alida:

Oh, man, no, I get it. I'm always thinking of places to go. My husband just like, rolls his eyes. But he comes along, eventually. But yeah,

Guy Guyton:

I have this great idea. You just have to say like, yeah, we're gonna go all the way to Asia first. And when he says no to that, just say like, okay, we'll go to French Polynesia and said I'll compromise

Alida:

instead of Maldives.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah. Oh, yes. Oh, 20 2020. Let's, let's be honest, that's the dream goal for this year. If things. There's a lot of things that have to go right for that. But that would be that would be it.

Alida:

Yeah, no. All right. So

Guy Guyton:

before I let you go, how can the listeners get a hold of you if they will have any questions?

Alida:

Well, right now I am hosting weekly workshops on points and miles for beginners to intermediate to advanced on Wednesday nights, on clubhouse at 7pm. Eastern Time, and regularly posting on my Instagram, both with the same handle at Alli travel points. And I like to post notes that can be downloaded on my Lincoln bio, from after our clubhouse workshops so that anybody that attends or does not get to go or attend the session, they can still get the resources that we talked about with clickable links and PDFs and stuff like that. So that always comes in handy. So

Guy Guyton:

that sounds great. So we'll link that in the show notes below. I highly recommend clubhouse. I mean, it's I sent this in my newsletter the other week, it just what clubhouse is, and I feel like it's Twitter. It's like Twitter in a podcast met and like had a baby. Awesome to just like drop in audio, you kind of played in the background. It's only on iOS. It's those iPhone users for now. And if you need a link, actually elite is the one who got me on the clubhouse. And Amy gave me a wink. So appreciate it. And now I have a few more. So feel free to dm either one of us if you want to link and get into that. And we'll definitely get you set up. I definitely try to attend as many of those on Wednesday nights as I can too. So I would highly recommend; Awesome

Alida:

Thank you guy,you know, those are fun to do and coming up with a daytime hour his next

Guy Guyton:

Two a days. That'll e great. We'll see. We'll see. A l righ

Alida:

Yeah, I'm working on working on the speakers at the moment. So we can have all guests every week.

Guy Guyton:

I'll definitely sign up for one of those shifts. All right. It's been great having you on the show today. Thank you.

Alida:

Thank you so much, Guy. This was fun. Thanks for having me.

Guy Guyton:

Hey, travelers, that's our show for this week. We really appreciate elida for coming on the show and sharing her best tips and tricks to travel hacking. Feel free to reach out to her and give her some love from the show. We'll link all of her info in the show notes below. Have any questions from what you heard in today's episode, reach out, you can DM me on Instagram at travel with guy or on Twitter at travel with guy underscore. Thanks so much to everyone who's already subscribed to the show that really helps us grow and only takes a second if you haven't already. Make sure you never miss an episode by clicking that SUBSCRIBE button now. If you'd like to read a transcript of this episode, you can find that in more on our website travel with guy.com Okay, I'm getting out of here. Until next time travelers