I’m extremely grateful to make a living running a travel site. When I meet someone at the airport, it becomes instantly evident to me that my job happens to be many peoples dream job – and I assure you, that’s never wasted on me. Thank you. If you’re reading this… thank you, truly. The best part of running a travel blog is the readers and the worst part is also the readers. At the end of a 10 hour writing day, there’s nothing worse than some blow hard making snarky (generally inaccurate) comments, but on a recent evening, it was another type of comment which put me in a reflective mood.

a lake surrounded by mountainsShout-out to the deep divers. I don’t care if its my blog, someone else’s or all of the above. The deep divers are consistently two things: polite and helpful. The non deep divers, who read one bloggers opinion and think they know everything, or search for one seat once and can’t find it are almost always ***kheads. But today we’re not focusing on the ****s. We’re focusing on the deep divers.

I’ve been amazed seeing the growth of online communities such as Award Travel 101, and on our Facebook page. I started reading a thread on our Facebook page, and found a reader who I would consider a “deep diver” offering absolutely priceless information to another less advanced reader with complete generosity. It’s the kind of thing I strive for, but don’t always have time to do, and I couldn’t disagree with a single thing they were saying. To me, this is what it’s all about. Rather than saying “this can’t be booked, or this isn’t that great” the people that help others realize their travel dreams, either via points, deals or whatever, are what make this job so fulfilling. I can’t help but adore the thought that my knowledge imparts some influence on others, who are then able to help others.

a row of seats with monitors on the sideMy advice: dive deep. Click the links on our posts, even if you’re not redeeming your points or booking on this specific occasion. Why? Because like most things in life, successful travel savvy is all about practice. When you see a flash premium deal that requires pulling up a Swedish website, try it. When you see an around the world using points, see if you can follow along and find the availability needed to book. Just because it’s not for you today, doesn’t mean it won’t be tomorrow. I learn every day. This week I spent more time dealing with Singapore Airlines award booking site, and customer service than I have in months. I learned how to unblock blocked seats, and learned how to speed up the search process for hard to find seats. I know a lot – but I am always learning. You should be too.

It’s the people that immerse themselves in this hobby that gain the most benefit. Sure, you could get a 100,000 point card and instantly cash in for a first class flight once, but so could anyone. It’s what you do after the bonuses dry up, or after you’ve already gotten the cards that makes you a master. And it’s finding the hidden opportunities, via partners of partners, or transferring hotel points to a Korean airline to book a flight on a German flying partner. The more you participate the more you win, and the more I see you helping others, lending comments, advice, suggestions or tips, the more I’ll be willing to answer your emails. I see you, I thank you and I wish each and every deep diver of the travel blogs a good day.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. As always, your posts are perfect for diving with useful info packaged into a precise and enjoyable writing style. Natural divers quickly learn how to discern who has the best info especially when a flurry of posts on Hyatt Place breakfasts hit “bloggingarea” at the same time. This is a hobby and so much more. Thanks.

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