Award Travel 101

Globetrotting - 197* Countries with AwardWallet's Ryan Smith

December 29, 2023 Season 3 Episode 48
Award Travel 101
Globetrotting - 197* Countries with AwardWallet's Ryan Smith
Show Notes

Get Thrifty Traveler Premium deal/award alerts sent straight to your inbox. Use promo code “AT101” for $10 off your first year. Head to for more details and check out their Google Flights guide. Recent finds include:

  • R/T Business class to Lima for $1,620
  • R/T Emirates Business class to Milan for 108K
  • O/W Business class to Australia/New Zealand for 63K

You can find these at

The Award Travel 101 Community needs your help

If you have an interest in applying, we're looking for a few good moderators. You'll hear Ryan discuss how he got his start in this episode, so to get more information, check out our application form here.

Award Travel 101 Podcast Episode 48 Show Notes

 To provide listeners with more depth, we've included some questions and answers we didn't have time to explore further in the podcast episode. You can also check out the day Ryan completed the journey here.

Background -

  • How did your passion for travel begin?
  • When did you start chasing countries (and how long has it taken)?
  • Why?

Introduction to travel rewards/loyalty programs -

  • Do you remember when you realized the power of Award Travel?
  • First Credit Card? 
  • How many cards do you pick up every year? 
  • Any cards you’re working on bonuses for right now?
  • Favorite airline, hotel, credit card programs (and does status play a role in any of your travels)? This has evolved with needs. I’ll give a few examples, but also Hyatt and Marriott status, no airline status, losing Hilton status

Highlights - Off the beaten path

  • Is there a place that blew you away that would surprise listeners? 
  • Where would be the first place you’d return? 
  • Is there somewhere you believe once was more than enough and you’d never return?
  • Where are you heading next?

Travel Style 



Pandemic pricing was incredible. As travel was rebounding, we booked everything we could before prices exploded. 

How best can podcast listeners follow in your footsteps or is that even possible today?

More than one passport? US and Brazil
Is it possible to do this on an US Passport? With the exception of North Korea, yes, but there are delays with some visas

Tip of the week

Don’t forget to reprice your bookings. This saves us a ton of money and points every year.

Where To Find Ryan

To follow Ryan throughout his travels, you can find him on X (Twitter) at @RyanSmithTravel

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

Support the AT101 Podcast/Community