I wanted to write a quick write up on my thoughts to TravelCon. I missed all the events that Matt organized, #CharlotteDO because of my school’s orientation and #PhoenixDO because of an already planned vacation. There is a lively discussion for the next one, and I plan to do my best to attend the next one.
One of the things that these type of events is the purposeful use of networking amongst attendees and the “expert” bloggers. I use quotations around expert because while we may be bloggers, we’re certainly not experts, we just write about our experiences and what we have learned.
Bengali Miles Guru, presented on knowing your local market. This is absolutely, 100%, without a doubt true statement. This is why when people say they can’t manufactured spend in a city, I don’t believe them to be trying hard enough. When bloggers post anything, many readers expect nationwide availability like Walmart and Target, but it’s not the case.
Jamison and Travel Summary taught us a few tips and tricks on maximizing travel, which I’ll need to do with Virgin America on my broken power plug.
Grant covered retention offers, and I am impressed because he was receiving offers that I didn’t think were possible. He also has a funny story of his friend’s booking with a hidden city ticketing, but was impossible to use because his buddy didn’t bring a passport. Equally as impressive is PedroNY’s great post found on Doctor of Credit. I need to step up my game to receive these type of offers.
Scott presented on Alaska Airlines and he had mentioned that it is a presentation that he frequently gives. I now understand why Alaska is so impressive. I’d explain more, but just can’t.
Hao works at Hotel Tonight and on the surface, internally, I wrote them off as being an ineffective travel tool. I am now a convert and look to use Hotel Tonight in the near future. Airlines have a direct relationship with price and departure date. As we move closer to the departure date, the price increases. Hotel pricing is the inverse. One of the reasons I am now a convert to Hotel Tonight is I don’t travel frequently and have any kind of status with hotels or airlines, unless I MS’ed it. An idea point that Scott brought up is make your booking with your favorite hotel chain on points, arrive at the destination city and check Hotel Tonight. It might just be cheaper to pay for the hotel when you arrive, and cancel your points reservations. The point that Scott made was that the points bookings can be canceled free of charge without any penalties if you make it within a certain time frame, generally 24 hours before arrival. Then save your Hyatt points for instance to go Vendoming.
Finally, I’m saving what I think is best for last, Matt’s presentation. As I continue my education in the MBA program, there has been a lot to learn. One of my classes, Operations Analysis, discusses forecasting and risk management. As Matt is hunkering down for his CFP and evolving into a finance professional, his topic on risk management was phenomenal. I hope he writes a few posts about it. I plan to write about my ways to mitigate risk and exposure.
The true takeaway, I think: is meeting some of the readers, picking their brains, and putting a face to the name. I’ve only been to two large gatherings because I like to separate the blog and everything else I do. It’s just who I am. When I first arrived into TravelCon, I only introduced myself by name, I didn’t attach myself to Chasing The Points until later in the afternoon. It was fun because I was in “incognito” mode and surprising a lot of folks of who I am.