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.

Double your rewards and help local businesses

Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving in America. For several years American Express has run various promotions to help raise awareness about this day. 2016 is no different.

Well, 2016 a little different because the offer has changed. For me, it’s a much more exciting promotion. If you have any travel related American Express cards, log into your account NOW. Well actually go to amex.co/shopsmalloffer.

There is a targeted promotion that runs from now through the end of 2016 where you can earn 2X rewards when you shop at local businesses with an enrolled card as part of the Shop Small initiative.

In the past, they gave you something like a $10 statement credit after spending $10 at a local business when buying on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year the point accumulation seems unlimited and it’s running for the next 10 weeks, not one day.

  

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)

WSJWine
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 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 3001 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, shoot me a message. 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.

Dear John

Dear John,

No this isn’t that sort of Dear John letter… I started Benevolent Badass with the intention of creating a fun site focused on men’s style. Clearly there hasn’t been much happening here since the initial launch last year.

I’ve been keeping myself busy! In the past year or so I’ve traveled to Pensacola, Frankfurt, Stadtsteinach, Atlanta (three times) and Las Vegas (twice). I’ve had the good fortune to see Prince in concert the last night he publicly played. I’ve been to a few mesmerizing Cirque du Soleil shows, spent time with dear, lifelong friends and some new ones too. I say all this not to try to impress but because it has brought me to a realization.

Part of my definition of being a Benevolent Badass is living a rich life sharing experiences with friends AND doing it with style. This thought process has helped me understand my focus should be more than just men’s style. I want to share some of the incredible tricks I’ve learned which helped my friends and I have some great experiences.

Dressing well, laughing with friends, free room stays, comped bar tabs, whiskey tastings at no charge, nearly-free flights… all of this is doable for most anyone. Let me know if there is something specific in these areas you’d like to learn more about. Leave a comment below. I read them all. Also if you know someone who may be interested in these things, let them know about the site. Have them sign up for the email list.

Until next time…

Summer means Canvas

It’s the middle of summer. You’re rocking canvas shoes, right? This post from Primer has a simple style hack to get a designer look on shoes for half the price.

Primer's canvas shoe hack

Looking amazing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It can if you want it to, there’s no shame in that. BUT not having a ton of extra cash isn’t an excuse. Set a new standard.  (I may have ordered this combo to test out for an upcoming adventure.)

The shoes.

The laces.

Baby powder sold separately.

The Key to Being More Attractive

You get more of what you focus on. Focus on the positive.

Don’t be a bummer to be around. 😉 Appreciate the present moment.

A pocket notebook kind of guy

Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up in your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory. — Jack London

A pocket notebook. They sort of seem like a quaint idea from a past era in this age of smart phones and iPads. BUT there are benefits to handwriting some things. Man of Attack hits on some of the highlights in this post about being a pocket notebook kind of guy. Style isn’t just about fashion, ya know.

As a bonus, here is a video on how to improve your cursive handwriting. (Yes, that’s still a thing too.)

Block off your calendar

Imagine meeting people that are looking to improve themselves in the same way you are.

Engaging with people from all over the globe seeking to dive deeper into the world of fashion, fitness, business and lifestyle. Picture an environment where people are working together and sharing ideas, connecting with them in person. Visualize seeing how we can help other men improve themselves, be better at what they do, and improve the people around them.

Connecting with people is so invaluable. If you’re interested in improving your life, your style, and in being a man, there’s no other place that’s going to put the right people in the right area for you to listen to and to learn from than StyleCon 2016.

Join me at in Atlanta, Georgia this upcoming March 11 – 13 for StyleCon 2016. It is sure to be an AMAZING event.

100 Skills Every Man Should Know

The Art of Manliness has a great list of 100 Skills Every Man Should Know. Take a look. Can’t really argue with many of them.

When you get to number 91, forgo the french press and get an AeroPress. It will be the best $30 you spend this year!

Leave a comment. Which is your favorite?