How To Redeem Travel Points (Beginner’s Guide)

November 10th, 2016|How To|

I believe that everyone can benefit from reward programs, whether you want to travel smarter by paying less for economy, or travel better by maximizing points to fly premium cabins and stay in luxury hotels around the world. Through rewards programs, I’ve been able to travel extensively in premium cabins and stay at some of the finest hotels; something that [...]

Increased Sign-Up Bonus In Canada on The American Express Gold Rewards Card

June 6th, 2017|Credit Card Reviews|

Introduction: American Express in Canada is currently offering an increased sign-up bonus on The American Express Gold Rewards Card! I already consider it the overall best travel rewards card for Canadians, so this increased welcome bonus only sweetens the deal! Here are the details: 30,000 Membership Reward welcome bonus after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of membership and adding [...]

Review: ANA All Nippon Airways Boeing 777 First Class San Francisco – Tokyo

June 5th, 2017|Flight Reviews|

Introduction: You always remember your first... This was our debut international first class flight, and second flight on a trip around the world that included stops in San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Singapore, Munich and Denver. I originally hadn't planned to write a review for any of this trip (we took it in summer, 2016) as a lot of the photos are [...]

Review: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Deluxe Room

May 29th, 2017|Hotel Reviews|

Introduction: Staying at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has been on my travel bucket list for quite some time. Located in the heart of the city, this historic building is currently undergoing a renovation (complete July, 2017) that will see the magnificent castle brought up to modern standards while retaining all of it's unique charm and rich history. It took me a few [...]

Review: United Airlines Polaris First Class Boeing 767 Paris – Chicago

May 24th, 2017|Flight Reviews|

Introduction: I don't think United Polaris First class is on anybody's bucket list, including mine. Furthermore, United is in the process of eliminating first class on all long-haul flights, and the following information will be obsolete in the near future. Unfortunately when I booked my 11-day trip around the world, United was the only option crossing the Atlantic ocean without [...]

Booked: Easter Weekend In Hong Kong

April 10th, 2017|How To, Travel Booking Hacks|

Introduction: Two months had passed since I returned from my 11-day trip around the world and I was starting to itch for more travel. With Brad leaving for Mainland China in a couple of weeks, I had been spending a lot of time looking at flights to Asia and thought it might be nice to go back myself. Originally I was [...]

Review: Thai Airways First Class A380 Bangkok – Paris

April 3rd, 2017|Flight Reviews|

Introduction: I decided to route home over the Atlantic on my crazy 11-day trip around the world in an effort to try as many new products as possible. My business class flight on Singapore Airlines arrived in Bangkok just after 8:00pm, which allowed for 4 hours in the Thai First Class lounge. I was met at the jet bridge by [...]

Review: Rosewood Hotel Georgia Vancouver Junior Suite

March 28th, 2017|Hotel Reviews|

Introduction: For those who may not know, my partner Brad is currently finishing his Bachelor's of Eduction degree in Vancouver and has been buried in books for the past 6 months. Spring break was rapidly approaching, and I knew I wanted to spend some time reviewing some new properties, and getting re-acquanitied with the person I share my life with. [...]

Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class A330 Singapore – Bangkok

March 22nd, 2017|Flight Reviews|

Introduction: My flight from Jakarta on Singapore Airlines in first class arrived just after 5:00pm, which gave me just over 90 minutes before my departure to Bangkok. An epic thunderstorm rolled in just after we touched down so I spent the first 15 minutes at Changi Airport gazing out the windows at the torrential downpour. I was excited to try two [...]

Review: Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta Premier Suite

March 15th, 2017|Hotel Reviews|

Introduction: Jakarta was the turnaround point on my crazy 11 day trip around the world and I had planned to stay two full days before starting my journey home. While Jakarta wasn't on my list of places to visit, I couldn't pass on the opportunity to redeem 30,000 Alaska miles for a first class flight from Tokyo on Japan Airlines, [...]

Review: Japan Airlines First Class 777-300ER Tokyo – Jakarta

March 8th, 2017|Flight Reviews|

Introduction: My flight from Tokyo to Jakarta was about the midpoint of a crazy 11-day trip around the world and I was seriously starting to question my sanity when booking this itinerary. What had started as a quick trip to Hong Kong to try out Cathay Pacific's fantastic first class product had turned into a whirlwind trip covering more than 50,000 [...]

Review: Marriott Rewards Program

February 21st, 2017|Hotel Reward Program Reviews, How To, Travel Booking Hacks|

Introduction: Late last year Marriott finalized the takeover of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and with that, became really relevant for Canadian travellers, as well as the largest hotel company in the world. As an individual program, I never found it all that enticing, as I don't find the Marriott brand 'aspirational' (with the exception of some Ritz Carlton properties), earning [...]

Review: The JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity

February 20th, 2017|Hotel Reviews|

Introduction: New Delhi wasn't originally on my list of places to visit, but after Japan Airlines became bookable with Alaska Air Mileage plan, I decided to jump on the opportunity to fly from New Delhi to Tokyo in business class and Tokyo to Jakarta in First class for 30,000 miles on Japan Airlines, which eventually transformed into an 11-day journey [...]

Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class A330 Hong Kong – New Delhi

February 20th, 2017|Flight Reviews|

Introduction: I checked out of the Marriott SkyCity Hong Kong Hotel at 4:00pm and managed to catch the airport shuttle leaving on the hour (shuttle service runs every 30 minutes). As a Marriott Gold Elite, I was entitled to the same private car transfer as when I arrived in Hong Kong, but the shuttle was no less convenient. I personally prefer [...]

Review: Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel

February 16th, 2017|Hotel Reviews|

Introduction: Hong Kong was the second stop on my crazy 11 day trip around the world, and I was scheduled to be in town for just over 24 hours. Originally I had planned to stay at The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, with sweeping views of the harbour, but Hong Kong weather during during the winter can be foggy, so I thought [...]

Review: Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Los Angeles – Hong Kong

February 14th, 2017|Flight Reviews|

Introduction: This was my first time flying Cathay Pacific first class, and the anticipation was almost unbearable! I had read many trip reports and reviews and had a good idea of what to expect. Speaking of expectations; mine were high, as Cathay Pacific is largely considered one of the best first class products in the sky, with a great hard [...]

Review: Sheraton Gateway LAX Los Angeles Airport Hotel

February 9th, 2017|Hotel Reviews|

Introduction: When I originally booked this trip it was just a quick weekend in Hong Kong over Chinese New Year, courtesy of some first class award availability being released in advance by Cathay Pacific, although things evolved drastically over the course of a couple months. My flight was scheduled to depart at 8:25 am, so I decided to spend the night in [...]

Review: The Four Seasons Vancouver Hotel

February 7th, 2017|Hotel Reviews|

Introduction: We decided to book a stay at The Four Seasons hotel in Vancouver the night before I started my journey around the world for a couple of reasons. First, I'm making an effort to review all of the American Express Fine Hotel and Resort properties in Vancouver this year, and second, because I had never stayed at a Four [...]

The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver: No Photographs Please

January 24th, 2017|Hotel Reviews|

As I set to embark on my 11 day trip around the world, I thought I would share an interesting story from a recent communication with the Director of Public Relations at The Four Seasons Vancouver. I booked the property for a one night stay using American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. The Four Seasons doesn't participate in any loyalty programs, however, [...]

The 5 Best Travel Reward Cards For Canadians

January 24th, 2017|Credit Card Reviews|

Not all travel reward cards are created equally. Many banks tout their cards as the best, with either 'no blackout dates' or 'zero taxes and fees' on award redemptions. While some of this is true, most is just clever marketing. I've compiled a list of what I consider the best travel reward cards available to Canadians. I always like to [...]

Are American Express Cards Worth It For Canadians?

January 19th, 2017|Credit Card Reviews|

The Canadian credit card market consists of three main players: Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Many Canadians have mixed feelings about American Express Cards, and admittedly, I used to be one of them. Some common complaints I often hear are: Most places don't accept American Express they have high interest rates Annual fees are expensive However, most of that is misinformation, [...]

Review: American Express Canada Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

January 16th, 2017|Credit Card Reviews|

Introduction In my opinion, Starwood Preferred Guest is the most valuable loyalty program out there. SPG points are undoubtedly the most flexible and valuable points currency available to Canadian travellers. Ironically, most Canadians aren't even familiar with SPG points, or how to earn them. Starwood Hotels and Resorts is an American hotel company with many different brands operated under the [...]

Review: Fairmont Pacific Rim Vancouver Signature Harbour Mountain View Room

January 13th, 2017|Hotel Reviews|

Introduction The Fairmont Pacific Rim is my favourite hotel in Vancouver, and certainly in my top 5 worldwide. The building is stunning, with lively common areas, and rooms that feature all the comfort and technology one comes to expect in a luxury hotel. What really stands out, however, is the service. Fairmont never fails at making you feel special, and in [...]

Review: Fairmont President’s Club

January 12th, 2017|Hotel Reward Program Reviews|

Fairmont is probably my favourite hotel brand overall. Just last month I had the opportunity to stay at The Fairmont Pacific Rim on New Year's Eve and was blown away by the overall product. Fairmont Pacific Rim Welcome Amenity Furthermore, I was able to redeem one of my complimentary night certificates from my Platinum membership on one of [...]

Booked: Around The World In 11 Days

January 11th, 2017|How To, Travel Booking Hacks|

Introduction I just finished planning my upcoming trip and thought I would write a post on the planning and booking process in anticipation of my departure on January 26th, 2017. This trip has certainly evolved over the past 2 months, when I initially planned to visit Hong Kong for a few days after finding some first class award availability on [...]

Japan Airlines Now Bookable With Alaska Air Mileage Plan

January 9th, 2017|How To, Travel Booking Hacks|

Back in June 2016, Alaska Air announced a new partnership with Japan Airlines which included a codeshare agreement and reciprocal mileage earning opportunities. Alaska wasn’t clear on when partner redemptions would be available, however. I’m happy to report that as of December 6th Japan Airlines reward flights are now searchable and bookable using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan! This new opportunity [...]

Four Seasons Jakarta Best Rate Guarantee Experience

January 9th, 2017|How To, Travel Booking Hacks|

Most hotel brands will offer special incentives to book directly; whether its complimentary internet, enhanced rooms, or special rates. It’s clear hotels are trying to shift consumers from using online travel agencies for reservations, which has become the norm for most leisure travellers. A lot of the big brands offer a best rate guarantee – if you find a lower [...]

American Express Gold Rewards Card (Canada) Review

January 7th, 2017|Credit Card Reviews|

I consider the American Express Gold Rewards Card the best travel rewards card for Canadians due to the generous welcome bonus, annual fee waiver for the first year, and high earning potential for everyday spend. Furthermore, American Express Membership Rewards points are a flexible points currency that can be transferred to a number of airline loyalty programs, including British Airways [...]

Review: The Plaza New York City Edwardian Suite, A Fairmont Hotel

September 29th, 2016|Hotel Reviews|

Introduction There has always been something magical about The Plaza Hotel. With charming, old-world style, and an ideal location on 58th and 5th, The Plaza offers a lot of convenience and style. However, with prices nearing $1000 USD per night, staying there has been nothing more than a lofty dream, until recently. The Plaza New York Flexible Rate [...]

Cathay Pacific Lounge, Vancouver Airport (YVR) Review

September 28th, 2016|Airport Lounge Reviews|

Introduction: I arrived at Vancouver Airport at 8:00pm for my 10:50pm departure to New York and was immediately helped by a friendly check-in agent. He explained to me the location of the lounge, and how to find security. This flight to New York is unique in that you don’t actually clear customs in Vancouver. There was no line-up for security [...]

Fairmont (Junior Penthouse Suite), Singapore, Hotel Review

August 12th, 2016|Hotel Reviews|

Booking Singapore was the last major stop on our first ‘Mini Round-The-World’ trip using Aeroplan points. We had originally planned to spend a week at The St. Regis Istanbul but the political tension in that region forced us to make some last minute changes. Having never been to Singapore, I found choosing a hotel less than a week before our [...]

American Express Platinum Card Canada Review

July 21st, 2016|Credit Card Reviews|

When it comes to premium credit cards, The American Express Platinum Card for Canada is top contender for its various benefits and earnings potential. Although the card doesn’t come cheap at $699 per year, it can be very easy for the frequent or leisure traveler to get many times that fee in value and rewards. The card is an absolute [...]

Fairmont Chateau Whistler (Deluxe Slopeside View Room), Hotel Review

June 29th, 2016|Hotel Reviews|

This past weekend I spent a night in Whistler with some friends and decided to check out the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. I usually stay at The Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre or Evolution in Creekside but decided to try the Fairmont given my loyalty to their brand. Fairmont Chateau Whistler Booking I booked the Fairmont Chateau Whistler using my Platinum [...]

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