Side hustles make you smarter, please review your VRBO, the great American road trip and more


In this Frequent Miler week in review around the web, read a doctor’s opinion on how a side hustle can expand a specific type of intelligence, why it’s important you review your VRBO experience, hustling some money from your money in the bank and more. Read on for this week’s recap.

How Having Side Hustles Can Increase Your Fluid Intelligence

Does your side hustle make you smarter? Dr. McFrugal says it can and reading this post I couldn’t help but think how focusing on miles & points ticks a lot of the same boxes as a side hustle for the purposes of increasing fluid intelligence. Many of us have spent a lot of hours studying award charts and bonus categories, elite benefits and how we might manufacture more miles. Do you think this game has expanded your mind?

What’s the Best Simple High-Interest Checking Account?

And if passive income is your thing, you should definitely be thinking about where you keep your money. With so many bank account bonuses and high-yield accounts on the market, there’s no reason to be accepting less interest than you could be earning. This post from Doctor of Credit answers the question for those looking for simplicity, while pointing out some other ideas worth considering. There is money to be made between interest and bonuses that is worth the time invested in finding it.

When a VRBO rental goes bad.

Home rentals like AirBnB and VRBO have become very popular in recent years — they can offer the space and amenities of a suite and more authentic local experience at the price of a regular hotel room. But have you ever had one gone wrong? Years ago, my wife and I made the mistake of renting a shared apartment in Barcelona with a guy who said he rarely ever stayed there. The first night, he had his girlfriend over and you could say they had an open-door policy. We didn’t end up staying for the 3 weeks we had booked. We look back on that one and laugh, but this story that starts funny and ends kinda creepy from Mr. Jump Start from Scratch is a reminder to both read reviews carefully and to leave your honest review so that we don’t rent that place in the future.

Best Ways to Redeem American Airlines Miles

American Airlines Planes

Whenever I hear someone say that American Airlines miles are worthless, I know they must be referring to using them for domestic travel or for business class travel to Europe (since British Airways is the most prominent European partner and adds such high surcharges). This post from Travel Miles 101 lays out why I love American Airlines miles — they have very useful for partners to and around Asia and the South Pacific as well as within South America. I like AA miles for piecing together a longer trip where you’ll visit more than one region as you can get long flights for reasonable prices (think Japan to the South Pacific for 40K miles one-way in business class or Perth to Cairns via Brisbane in business class for 20K). Lots more ideas in the post.

Long Live Route 66

An enjoyable vignette reflecting on the romanticism lost and yet simultaneously found in the recreation of the great American road trip, with a final realization that there isn’t really just one great American road trip. It makes me feel old to say that gas was about $1 per gallon when I got my first car — a small coupe that got as many as 44 miles per gallon on the highway. That car led me to a love of the open road and some ridiculous trips (want to drive to a city 10 hours away to stay for 26 hours? Sure, I’ll drive) that has been tempered by an SUV and modern gas prices, but this piece made me nostalgic for sure. What’s your favorite route in the United States for a long drive?

That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.

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