“I Flew in a Luxurious Seat, Ate Steak and Drank Champagne, Then Took the Subway to My Hostel”

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Welcome to the next installment of our interview series where folks share their thoughts about Big Travel with Small Money!

Miles & Points Interview:  Rich Travel / Poor Travel

George shows people how he flies all over the world in First Class for free on his web series Rich Travel / Poor Travel You can also follow him on Twitter!

Rich Travel Poor Travel

Pondering My Life in Tokyo

How and when did you start collecting miles and points?

I’m 6’5” and don’t fit too well in coach seats.  I figured there was nothing I could do, until the summer of 2012 when I stumbled upon the world of miles & points.  Once I discovered there was a cost-effective way to upgrade to First Class, I was off and running.

Why did you start your web series?  What’s special about it?

I got the idea when I flew Qantas First Class from Dubai to London.  I hung out in the Emirates First Class lounge where I ate steak, drank champagne, and got a foot massage.  Then I flew in a luxurious seat, ate more steak and champagne.

But once we landed… I took the subway to my hostel.  The harsh realities of my life came crashing in the moment I left the airport and I couldn’t help but laugh at these highs and lows in my lifestyle.

I work in television, so making this series was a natural marriage of my two passions, TV and travel.

Rich Travel Poor Travel

Yoga in an Etihad Apartment

What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?

Miles & points are a full-time hobby.  Embrace it and make it a part of your daily routine.  Pulling off the trip of your dreams doesn’t come down to one big decision, but rather the series of small everyday decisions that net you more miles.

What’s your most memorable travel experience?

It’s gotta be shark diving in South Africa.  I’ve done some crazy stuff in my life like skydiving and bungee jumping, but nothing compares to being 6 inches away from a great white shark.

Rich Travel Poor Travel

Eye-to-Eye With a Great White Shark in South Africa

What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?

They think it’s awesome, but I think they’re tired of hearing me talk about it.

Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?

It pays to be adaptable.  The state of the hobby is constantly in flux and the ability to make changes to your strategy on the fly is invaluable.

Rich Travel Poor Travel

McDonald’s in Front of the Best Restaurant in the World

What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?

Getting 2,000 United Airlines miles for complaining about a broken headrest on my flight.  I generally don’t complain about things, but I figured I’d send an email afterwards and got something for it!

Rich Travel Poor Travel

Hungover on the Eva Air Hello Kitty Flight

What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?

Just how much fun planning the trips would be!  Finding award availability and piecing together the flights you want is the best kind of jigsaw puzzle.  Because when you finish, you get to travel in First Class!

What would your viewers be surprised to know about you?

Even with all my international trips, my number one travel goal is to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums.  I’ve been to 19, have 11 to go!

Rich Travel Poor Travel

Getting some Point-of-View Footage in Tokyo

Any parting words?

It may not cost much money, but the miles & points hobby does require time and effort.  As with everything in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

George – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!

If you’d like to be considered for our interview series, please send me a note!

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4 responses to ““I Flew in a Luxurious Seat, Ate Steak and Drank Champagne, Then Took the Subway to My Hostel”

  1. I’m at 22(we’ll 21, since the braves will be in a new stadium this year)! Going to Yankee Stadium this spring on Delta Miles!

  2. Thanks for the write-up! This guy looks like he’d be fun to travel with. It’s cool to hear about other people experiencing the comical rich/poor transitions when traveling.

  3. Love the pic of you in front of Noma eating McDonalds!!

  4. This was my favorite interview since the series was inaugurated.
    Very much relate with George, from height to juxtaposed travel extremes, to the raw joy of travel puzzle solving – sometimes just for the fun of it and then put it away for a rainy day, and do it all over again.
    [That may make sense to some hobbyists.]
    The new Suntrust Field awaits you here in the ATL!