I have to say, it's been really fun running the reader survey and contest. After more than 1,000 posts, it's really cool to know what you identify with, what you care about, who you like to fly, what you need to know and all that good stuff. One question I asked in the survey was the best tip that GodSaveThePoints.com has given you. Since there were quite a few answers, I thought it would be fun to round them up into one big post of genius level insights, and modesty.
Deals, Deals and Steals
Many of you seem to love when I post deals. I always post the most earth shattering business class deals, but generally, with few exceptions, don't bother with the economy deals. It's not because I don't love them equally, it's because there are other great sites which cover these sort of things far better than me. I often retweet them from our Twitter and I actually have two posts on finding the best Economy Deals and finding the best Business deals. I will however aim to include more deals after seeing such positive feedback!
One of the greatest pleasures of the job is getting pictures and messages of thanks from readers. I have a philosophy that once you've earned elite status with an airline or hotel, you should never go without it again, even if you stop traveling. The truth is, it's very easy to parlay one elite status into matching status with all the other airline or hotel alliances, while retaining your original airline or hotel status. Most of the details HOW can be found HERE.
Using Open Jaws and One Ways, Even On Round Trips.
When it comes to travel, most of us do not think outside of the box. Not even around the edges. The truth is that travel can be cheaper and more fun if you do. Even on a round trip, you should consider booking one way tickets, not only giving you more flexibility, but also allowing you to compare airlines, go one way with miles and so forth. Open Jaws are another great outside the box tool. The idea with Open Jaw is that you can see two destination cities with one round trip ticket and a one way ticket. If you wanted to go from New York to London and also see Rome, rather than buying a round trip from New York to London AND a round trip from London to Rome, you'd just buy a flight that leaves New York, arrives in London and returns from Rome to New York. All you'd need to do is buy a one way ticket from London to Rome, which generally saves money and travel time.
Best And WORST Seats
I really hate the term aviation geek, mostly because I hate many of the people that share the passion (many other travel writers). Anyway, I suppose at heart I am one. As such, I love looking at new seats, new designs, specs, entertainment and all the deal breakers in economy, premium economy, business and first. Many readers mentioned that tips of the best and worst seats were very helpful in planning their journey. Here's to many more posts about seats!
Traveling With ONE Airline But Earning Miles With Another
I'm really glad you guys enjoyed this one. If I think back to starting the blog, it's tips like this one that made me actually press go. People always say "oh, I fly too many airlines, I have miles with everyone". Sometimes that's valid, but most times it's not. There are only three major alliances. Within each alliance there's often more than 15 major airlines with which you can earn miles. The key here? You can earn miles on any one airline in the alliance, while flying almost every other airline in the alliance. So if you are a regular British Airways flyer, you can earn miles from American on all those flights. Same applies across Star Alliance, One World Alliance and SkyTeam, all of which I detail HERE.
Clever Tools To Book Airline Tickets
If you read regularly you'll know that changing your online location or the currency you purchase a ticket in can lead to major savings. If I am trying to fly from Hong Kong to Bangkok, trying to buy the ticket from the US Expedia, Orbitz, whatever is going to cost me a fortune. Using the site local to where I will be traveling can be a huge money saver. You also probably then know all about the ITA Matrix, allowing you the most powerful and flexible tools to search full calendar months, different currencies, a varying length of stay, alternate airports and all the other things to save you a fortune. Hopefully you've also figured out that you can get cash back on every booking with online cash back sites, just for clicking to your favorite travel agency or airline from them!
Using Your Miles, Valuing Your Miles
Someone wrote "understanding that miles are literally useless if you don't use them" as my best tip. It's true! Knowing how to use them, is great, knowing how to use them in optimum ways is even better. You should always be getting at least one cent per mile or hopefully, much better. Therefore, you should never use more than $25,000 miles to cover a $250 ticket. In fact, you should really be striving for more like four or five cents per mile or better. You'll also want to avoid the horrible surcharges that some airlines add to "free tickets"; they factor into that equation as well. My best one line tip for using miles? Earn and burn, use them for travel up front that's generally too expensive and find a great seat to use them on. A perfect example would be using just 40,000 American Airlines miles to fly on Etihad's Apartment in the sky, the First Apartment....
I love writing this blog more than you know. I live for the interaction with our world number one readers, yes it's a fact. you are world number one! I will continue banging on about airlines making genius moves, terrible moves and everything in between to help you elevate your travel, hopefully at minimal expense. I might even be doing a world's first in just over a week...
As Always, Get In Touch: GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com