[Please note that TBB is traveling!]


Travel is Free wrote “An Odd Christmas Week Dealing With Credit Card Hawks“. You know I am interested in this particular topic and how to help bloggers who “add value” instead of pseudo experts pumping credit cards to “help family and friends travel for free”.  I identified with this particular thinking (blogging is indeed all consuming!) how to monetize a blog and do it the right way. I can assure you that TBB won’t be releasing any products by the way :-) To revisit this sometime in 2014…I left a comment that did not immediately post. Maybe by the time you read this my comment shows up…


An Odd Christmas Week Dealing with Credit Card Hawks – See more at: http://travelisfree.com/2013/12/25/an-odd-christmas-week-dealing-with-credit-card-hawks/#sthash.tgy0ahhV.dpuf
An Odd Christmas Week Dealing with Credit Card Hawks – See more at: http://travelisfree.com/2013/12/25/an-odd-christmas-week-dealing-with-credit-card-hawks/#sthash.tgy0ahhV.dpuf

I really like how Loyalty Lobby does this “Pros and Cons” series and updates them:

Pros and Cons of Hilton HHonors

Pros and Cons of Hyatt Gold Passport


Head for Points wrote about an award search website: AwardTravelr.com  Anyone using it? Note that is in beta.

Loyalty Lobby with some great advice on the potential problems of separate airline tickets.

Found the link to this hilarious video of “Boarding Group 1” at Milecards.

In case you were living under a rock, Hyatt eventually has done away with its Stay Certificates.  This is so shocking…Not really!

Milenomics on “Planning Domestic Travel with Miles in 2014” and “Mileage Conservation with Milenomics-Redux Edition“. Great advice, a blogger in the zone!


The Old Men and The Sea. By Twisted Sifter. I just love this!

Picture by Hai Thinh

Picture by Hai Thinh


Eric Lafforgue’s Candid Photos of North Korea.

north korea street lonely car

Hope the bicycle makes it across without getting run over!


While we are on the subject of North Korea, here are some pics summarizing what happened there in 2013.

Kim Jung Un North Korea bonkers

Kim Jong Uno visits island, time to go bonkers woohoo!


 View from the Wing found this photo and titled the blog post “Would You Fly Here?:-)

Moron Air Base



This photo won the 2013 National Geographic Photo Contest Grand Prize: This is just…wow, can’t find words to describe actually…

polar bear lurking National Geographic

“The judges unanimously agreed the Grand Prize should be awarded to Paul Souders for his image of a polar bear lurking beneath melting sea ice in Hudson Bay, Canada.”


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33 comments on “Blog monetizing, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, Milenomics advice, AwardTravelr, North Korea WTF, Polar Bear

        • I reckon you may have recognize my username from DDF. I never commented on TBB until now, yet I’ve been reading every post here (and the great comments!) for the past couple months.

          I do feel a bit bad that I missed out on the blogger bashing rants, though Steve and others seem to help out with that nowadays.

          Great job with the blog, keep it up!

          • Thanks for the kind words, they mean a lot! Yeah, blog had lots more fireworks with blog bashing and all that jazz…just got tired doing it for a year non stop! The result of that is in the “Blogs I Avoid” list on the “Blog Reviews” tab.

            Hope I can keep cranking this baby out in 2014 too!

  1. BAD NEWS from back here in the States. I hate to break the news to you Buzzy, but your main man, Justin Bieber announced on Xmas that he is retiring. We can only hope it is true!!!……They don’t put all those crazy toppings (Hawaiian) on pizza there, do they?

    • The market cap on Twitter TWTR is now over 40 Billion dollars. If that is not reminiscent of the 90′s dot.com bubble, I don’t know what is. All these buyers jumping on board now are going to lose their shirts. This stock is NOT Google. How are they, TWTR, going to generate enough revenue to support the valuation?

      • I kept it safe on the pizza toppings last night…

        Hope Bieber shuts the phuck up for ever!

        Yeah, Twitter is a little crazy. But I lived through the dot com craze and I can safely say this just does not feel like it back then. Twitter CAN be huge if they manage it well. Will I invest in it? Of course not, just don’t need that excitement in my life right now :-)

      • No need to worry about that right now. As long as their burn rate isn’t too high and Ben will continue to print money, the ” trend is your friend”. Sure the market has been and will be due for a 10-20% market correction. This has been a disliked bull market. Just eat the sh!t and smile.

        • At the end of the day nobody knows where the markets will go. I know quite a few colleagues sitting in the sidelines waiting to pounce on that 10% to 20% market correction and have gotten slapped silly in the past few years. “Disliked bull market”: No doubt about that! Which i think makes it all more remarkable!

          I am in Greece, part of the Europe. Surreal sight and smell tonight as I made my way to the local cafe for one more (last one) coffee and to use the wifi: There is a fog and strong smell from people burning wood stoves to save money on heating bills! You can criticize Ben all you want…but, SO FAR, his approach is winning in a landslide!

          Of course time will tell as it always does.

          Yes the market correction will eventually come of course. We just don’t know when. The more I hear about it though…the more upside I think this market may have…as crazy at that sounds!

          I took some gains and have secured son’s first couple of years of college…because I am not a hog :-)

      • Twitter Ads just launched in the UK and I tried it for Head for Points. It is very powerful, basically I can target very deeply, ie UK based people who follow Avios, Business Traveller, Points Guy, whatever. About 1 in 300 people who saw the little ad in the margin signed up, and you only pay for those – and the other 299 were all relevant to me and I have a bit of brand recognition with them now.

        Whether they will monetise is a different issue. However, if you had hugh enough ad rates (like the Boarding Area guys) it would be easy enough to work out. Take average number of click throughs from each month from each Twitter follower, then compare the ad revenue from that page with your Twitter acquisition cost and see how many months break even is. And that is without any card referrals ….

        • I need to hire an intern in charge of advertising/monetizing :-)

          As I said, Twitter can be special. With an emphasis on “can”! I think it comes down to good management and execution…as it usually does with them startups. The valuation is totally nuts and is directly opposed to my investing style…which is extraordinarily boring :-)

  2. After booking family trips to ANC, KOA and JAC on this morning’s Delta mistake, I contacted some friends who could have used the info. Somehow I forgot George! I hope that somehow you saw it and your Maui trip is all set now…

    • Please don’t forget me next time! :-)

      I saw it way too late. I am not online much these days in Greece. It is my last night in my hometown. I have two nights at the Thessaloniki Hyatt next and then I am on my way back to the US (flying Aegean and Lufthansa on Business class via Munich and Chicago). I saw some of the “scores” and loved it, happy for you all! Could not have happened to another airline that thoroughly deserved it than Delta!

        • When it comes to baseball and hockey I know absolutely nothing about them. I just never developed the interest in these two sports. Going to squeeze my butt to sit in a frozen stadium to watch two teams skating around with a tiny puck…well, I could think of many things to do before I do such a thing :-)

  3. CC affiliates can be a prickly bunch. Say one thing, expect another. I had the same experience as ‘Travel is Free’, but with CK, his new affiliate. I have a feeling he’ll run into the same thing.

    • I have gotten the same message too. CK totally blew me off, I mean, not even the courtesy of a return phone call or message. I have heard both positives and negatives about these companies. And negatives outweigh the positives…

  4. @ABC “This has been a disliked bull market. Just eat the sh!t and smile”……..Is this a quote from Warren Buffet or Peter Lynch?

  5. Those of us TBB readers on the west coast who happened to be vacationing in Vegas missed the fare too. I feel bad but such is life.

    We had great fun in Vegas – gambled $3.00 and lost $2.45! But playing the old one-armed bandits was great fun for an hour. I specifically searched out the old machines. I had never been to Vegas and it is a trip, for sure. We did not stay on the strip (thank god!) and really had a great stay at the new Downtown Grand. All five nights at the Grand were BRGs. We even got an upgraded room and the resort fees were waived. The hotel cost us just $104. We did of course wander the strip to take in all the excess.

    We LOVED the Valley of Fire, a state park which has the most incredible rock formations. Ditto for Red Rock Canyon. Saw the Jersey Boys, got to know Bugsy and his boys at the Mob Museum, did a night tour of the Neon Graveyard, gawked at the gamblers and mega-hotels, and totally enjoyed the gorgeous, sunny days. We will for sure go back. But Vegas did not make any money on us!

    While I feel bad to have missed the mistake fare, travel is what this hobby is about and better to be traveling than trolling FT and Twitter for mistake fares, right?

    Happy New Year!

    • Been to Vegas several times and only once I gambled some spare change I had one night, think it was 45 cents or something. Lost it all and it still bothers me :-) I am just not into gambling at all!

      All 5 nights were BRG’s, Wow, that is just awesome!

      That mistake far was epic and it was gone in a flash. I wish I had taken advantage of it but I am not going to let it bother me at all.

      Currently blogging from the lobby at the Hyatt in Thessaloniki, Greece. A gem of a property in a sea of chaos around it.

      Breakfast was included. Staying here 2 nights at 12k points per night. Had a nice time with Boarding Area blogger Running with Miles last night talking about this “unique” hobby, life in general, the state of Greece and on and on.

      I think I will go see the Wolf of Wall Street tonight at a mall nearby…

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