Our $38,000 Maldives Trip for less than ~$2,700 – Part 5 Food & Activities

Part 5 – Food & Activities In part 4 of this trip report, I gave you a tour of the island and showed you the different villa types.  In this part, I’ll explain the dining options, activities, and entertainment. As a refresher, here is a  map of the island: A – arrival open air area – B – lounge area C – gift shop, library, 24 hour ‘front’ desk office D – The Dining room … Read more…

Marriott 5 Night Travel Package Success!

I finally pulled the trigger on cashing in my stash of Marriott points for the elusive 5 Night Travel Package! Background With my Southwest Companion pass (allows my ‘companion’ to fly free on any flight I am traveling on) expiring on December 31, 2016,  I was researching ways to obtain another 110,000 southwest points in early 2017 so I could obtain the companion pass again for the rest of 2017 and all of 2018.  The … Read more…

Plastiq.com – Meet Spending Requirements

Hopefully you have applied, been approved, and are using your new American Express SPG card with it’s highest ever signup bonus of 35,000 pts.  If so, you might be getting nervous about spending the $8,000 requirement in 6 months.  Here is a site I use that has been helpful to pay bills that don’t accept credit cards. Plastiq.com is a site that will process a credit card payment for you and make payments on your … Read more…

Automatic Check-In for Southwest Flights

Southwest logo large

Living near BWI Airport (Southwest hub) and having the Southwest Companion pass for the past 4 years, I fly Southwest a LOT.   The flight attendants are very friendly, there is no charge for checking two bags, tons of nonstop flights from BWI, and there are no change or cancellation fees.  One thing I don’t like about Southwest is their open seating policy.  Let me explain. How it works Southwest’s open seating policy is unique … Read more…

Our $38,000 Maldives Trip for less than ~$2,700 – Part 4 The Villas

Part 4 – The Villas We were thrilled to finally arrive at the Park Hyatt Maldives and our exhaustion from travel wore off as soon as we arrived.  The island is tiny – we would walk around the entire perimeter of the island in 20 minutes. After disembarking the high speed boat, the general manager and a host for each couple traveling was at the Dusk Jetty to greet us.  Our host took us to … Read more…

Blog Report – February 2017

Wow – what a whirl wind month for the launch of my blog.  Learning to be a travel hacker is so much easier than learning how to start a blog.  But I’m happy the blog is live now and I actually have a few visitors my first month.  Here are how things started. Things Accomplished This Month I thought up the name ‘The Art of Travel Hacking’ – not really original (The Art of War … Read more…

Manufactured Spending – Grocery Store Option

Hopefully you’ve opened up an American Express SPG Business account (or two) by now and have switched all of your spending to these cards to meet the $8,000 requirement in 6 months.  But what if you think you are going to come up short on the $8,000 spend requirement or would like to accelerate your spending so you open another credit card for the spending bonus – a lot of travel hacking folks manufacture spend. … Read more…

Amex Offers – eBags

Need some new luggage or maybe a carry-on?  How about some packing cubes?  American Express has a new offer available at eBags.com – $15 statement credit when spending $75+ in one transaction by 4/30/2017.  Tweet #AmexeBags Not familiar with Amex Offers?  Read below on how to enroll in Twitter offers and check out this post to see how I saved $40 on contact lenses with a different Amex offer. How Do I Enroll? Head on … Read more…

Save 12% on Disney Park Tickets

If you have an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, here is a quick way to save 12% on theme park tickets.  I have used undercovertourist.com multiple times. Disney.com The cost of purchasing a 6 day base ticket (Admission to 1 park per day) directly from Disney is $415.35.  But we can do better than that.   Undercovertourist.com Using this link – you are able to purchase a 6 day base ticket for only $394.35 – a … Read more…