Greg’s taken a hike, Stephen’s possible plotting, last chance for luxury, and more


I sat by the pool on vacation. Greg walked 50 miles this week. Is he prepping for the cost-savings of travel on foot? Maybe I need to be concerned about my chances in #40Kfaraway after all. Should we be intimidated by Stephen Pepper? What’s he planning, anyway? Watch this week’s FM on the Air to see us discuss those topics and more.

For those who would rather listen during the morning commute or while you’re working, the audio of our weekly Facebook Live broadcast is also available for download as a podcast:



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On to our weekend recap of the week’s top stories:

When shows no availability, try a manual booking

No, this is not one of the flights I was booking. It’s just an example of a screen shot showing the date and flight info of an available flight.

A common frustration with LifeMiles is that their website just doesn’t show the same amount of availability you’ll see via other Star Alliance carriers. Did you know that you can do something about that? A manual booking may be slow, but it helped me snag an itinerary that was only available online via two Star Alliance carriers. It’s not a technique for a time-sensitive booking, but if you’ve got something that is less likely to evaporate over the course of a week, you might want to try this technique. It saved me a bundle of miles and got me an itinerary I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to book.

Mistakes to avoid on $1K Simon Visa Gift Cards

I have to admit that the thousand-dollar Simon Visa Gift Cards excite me. In fact, I’ve already purchased some and plan to purchase more soon. However, these aren’t for everyone. What’s more, if you’re going to participate, there are pitfalls you’d like to avoid. See this post for why you shouldn’t use your Marriott card, get overly caught up in the hype, or go in without a multi-prong liquidation plan. See this post for what you need to know.

[Update: Price increase 7/30] Luxury in Budapest starting at 8K per night, and suites at 13K [Sweet-spot spotlight]

If you read this post a couple of months ago and thought that you’d love to check this place out, you’ll need to make your move on that by 7/30 as the price of rooms will increase by 150%, with standard rooms going from 8K to 20K and premium suites from 16K to 40K. Maybe this is where Greg intends to finish up #40Kfarway. I’m not sure exactly when I can sneak in a trip to Budapest, but I hope to get in a reservation here before the end of this month.

Stephen’s Top 13 Obstacles To Winning #40Kfaraway

Stephen On A Pirate Ship

What’s the longest trip you’ve ever taken? Two or three weeks? Maybe you backpacked across Europe for a few months? Perhaps you took a gap year and spent a year working on a farm in South America? Stephen Pepper is on about 19 months so far. And he’s not even half way through his 5-year, 50-state trip. Know what that means? It means the man can budget. And as Greg pointed out in FM on the Air, it means he knows the things that have the potential to break the budget. But in this post, he shows that he’s thinking about so much more than just penny-pinching. I had no idea how competitive Stephen was. His focus on so many things other than flights and places concerns me. See this post for what I’m sure are only a few of the things he is carefully considering.

That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.

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