Award Travel 101

I Travel

September 29, 2023 Season 3 Episode 35
Award Travel 101
I Travel
Show Notes

 Angie and Joe are off traveling this week, so Mike takes over the podcast with community member Erin Kilpatrick to discuss her “mid-life renaissance” this year which would not have been possible without award travel.

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All about Erin

  • Start in award travel 
  • First rewards card 
  • First personal award trip
  • Joined  AT 101 in 2018 and 201 in 2020. 
  • This Year- Mid-life renaissance!

Countries Visited

  • Ecuador (Galapagos), Uruguay, England/Wales, Norway, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Sweden


  • Portugal, Turkiye, Brazil, Germany, Tunisia

Save with CardPointers


  • Normal card applications, ~3-4/year, no particular plan
  • Last minute decision to quit and take this journey
  • Started the journey with ~ 2 million points/miles

By the Numbers Thus Far

  • 4.5 months
  • 50 hotel award nights: 50
  • 58 paid nights: (cheap in S. America)
  • 40 other nights free w/ friends/family, volunteer work
  • 12 award flights
  • 9 cash flights ($2000)

Solo Travel Summary

  • Full social calendar 
  • Met fellow travelers
  • Visit friends around the world
  • Met up with friends/family when paths cross
  • The more you travel, the more people you meet from around the world to network and socialize with in the future

Money Savings Tips

  • Pick low cost of living countries
  • Stay in one place longer
  • Grocery store
  • Stay flexible- refundable fare on discount airlines
  • Negotiate directly with locals vs third party

What Erin Has Learned

  • Diversification! Variety of points and mile currencies.
  • Focus on the more important things in life
  • Hilton program- 5th night free
  • Choice Hotels - secret of Europe
  • Amex uber credits work in Ecuador (USD)
  • Capital One Points- Redeem through Capital One statement credits vs Travel portal.
  • Fringe benefits of the award travel credit cards/status
  • Priority Pass - Most lounges are great outside the US, even in tiny airports.
  • Delta statu

Where To Find the Award Travel 101 Community

For questions, you can join us in the free 100,000+ member Award Travel 101 Community.

  1. For more intermediate and advanced strategies, join Award Travel 201 community
  2. To book time with our team, check out Award Travel 1-on-1.
  3. You can also email us at
  4. Our next meetup is located in San Antonio, TX on April 26–28, 2024, and we’ve opened up a few more tickets for members! To learn more visit Taco 'Bout A Fiesta! on Eventbrite

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