Going Locations is a brand new sequence from TripIt that highlights frequent vacationers to showcase their distinctive journey kinds and insider suggestions.
Earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, you possibly can discover Julia Menez, founding father of points-and-miles technique podcast and consultancy, Geobreeze, country-hopping round Europe or Asia. She usually took 4 or extra worldwide journeys a 12 months; often flying in financial system—and at all times on factors and miles. Her go-to mode for country-hopping? Cruises. Her favourite cease? Tallinn, Estonia.
“I’m an enormous “Recreation of Thrones” fan,” Julia advised me. “And Excessive Valyrian has roots within the Estonian language, so I used to be naturally drawn to the place. Tallinn was so charming. I like to recommend it to everybody!”
Quick ahead to 2022, and journey appears to be like a bit totally different for Julia.
“Now, I journey much more domestically—and possibly twice a 12 months internationally. I additionally go for enterprise or top quality after I do. It’s fewer journeys, however a nicer expertise—and nets out to be the identical price-wise,” she stated.
She’s additionally been planning journeys that contain much less hopping round—and extra staying put—because of the heightened border-crossing necessities in place attributable to COVID-19.
Factors and miles—a sport the place everybody wins
When she’s not touring, Julia runs her podcast the place she interviews factors strategists to learn the way they journey free of charge. She’s additionally a factors technique coach, serving to folks degree up their points-and-miles sport.
In fact, she’s at all times looking out to place her personal factors and miles to make use of.
“I keep a bucket checklist of award-travel candy spots, after which maintain a watch out for good award availability,” she stated. “In the case of reserving, I at all times seize an obtainable award first—whether or not that’s a flight or a resort—after which I construct the remainder of my itinerary from there.”
So, what’s on her bucket checklist of award-travel locations? “For starters, Greece! I turned obsessive about Greek mythology at a younger age. It’s been my dream to go to, nevertheless it’s at all times been so costly to go once you’re paying with money. I’m hoping to go this 12 months utilizing factors and miles.”
Staying organized—from planning to touchdown to loyalty standing
In the case of planning a visit, Julia and her husband cut up up the duties. She handles reserving flights and lodging with their factors and miles; he handles the on-the-ground particulars.
However relating to organizing their journey plans, Julia depends on TripIt.
“I take advantage of TripIt to maintain all my affirmation numbers in a single place. I don’t should dig by way of my emails, particularly after I’m checking right into a flight. I additionally use it to verify I’ve booked the proper resort dates. Whenever you’re getting in late, the very last thing you need to be questioning is, did I e book a room for tonight?”
When she’s on the go, Julia makes use of TripIt’s airport maps to navigate the terminal and discover out what lounges are close by. She additionally checks the COVID-19 journey steerage function to know what to anticipate from totally different international locations’ entry necessities.
And when she’s again house, Julia makes use of TripIt to assist her estimate when she’ll earn loyalty program standing. “Each the Level Tracker function and the way in which TripIt organizes itineraries are actually useful for protecting observe of after I’ll get standing every year.”
With extra luxurious journey experiences on the horizon—and plenty extra international locations to assert on her scratch-off world map—you’ll most likely catch Julia people-watching at an airport lounge, serving to somebody e book their very own dream journeys with factors and miles (test her out on Instagram for useful suggestions!), or a little bit of each.