“Points Can Open Doors to Parts of the World I Never Thought Were Reachable”

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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:  Modhop

Jake writes Modhop to share his travel experiences to readers and to make sure they travel comfortably.  You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube!

Sometimes the Best Trips are Close to Home. Here’s My Family at an Airbnb Just a Few Hours From Our House.

How and when did you start collecting miles and points?

I’ve been jumping on healthy credit card sign-up bonuses for the past 5 or so years, but have never been a very serious collector.  I’ve earned enough to circle the globe in Business and First Class aboard some great airlines, but only with the help of services like Points Pros and Cranky Concierge who knew how to make it happen.  Without them, I’d be clueless.

I’m a Huge Fan of the 747, so It Was a Thrill for Me to Catch One Last Ride on This Cathay Pacific Bird Before They Retired the Fleet!

Why did you start your blog?  And what’s special about it?

I started Modhop in 2008 hoping to focus on global budget travel.  And at some point, I started getting status upgrades domestically.  Those upgrades were my gateway drug to the more luxurious world of premium international travel and the blog followed suit.

For the last few years I’ve focused mainly on upgrades, and reviewing the premium cabins and amenities of domestic and international airlines.

As for what makes Modhop special, narrated video reviews have the blog’s bread and butter.  Those, combined with adding new visuals to trip reviews like 360-degree pictures, help make it unique.

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

I tend to leave in-depth mileage advice to the blogs that do better math, but I’ve had success with big credit card sign-up bonuses.

It’s just important to remember to not get carried away with cards if you’re new to the hobby or have trouble keeping track of things, because I’ve nearly lost my way a few times.

One of the Cooler Things I’ve Seen From the Sky…Passing Over Mt. Fuji

What’s your most memorable travel experience?

It’s really hard to pick one.  In the air, my favorite was a First Class flight in a Japan Airlines 777.  I was flying from Frankfurt to Tokyo and shared the cabin with just 1 or 2 other passengers, so service was highly personalized.  And food was amazing…for a plane.

Most memorable on the ground?  Probably Siem Reap in Cambodia or one of the many vacations taken with my wife.  She’s a fantastic travel companion and doesn’t hog the arm rest when we’re in economy.

My Suite in First Class Aboard a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380

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

Most don’t get the points thing at all and think I’m rich.

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

Because I’m not a points expert, I turn to those that are when I want to plan something important.  Hopping on to Flyertalk and asking for advice is a good start.  But when I’m looking for a more specific itinerary, I turn to services like PointsPros or Cranky Concierge.

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

My points mostly come from expected places like credit card sign-ups, category bonuses, airline and other shopping portals…notice I haven’t said flights?

Deep Thinking in First Class Aboard My Last Cathay 747 Flight

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

That it can open doors to parts of the world I never thought were reachable.  Plus, had I known, I probably would have started maneuvering my way into Business Class at a younger age.

What would your readers be surprised to know about you?

Good question.  When you combine Modhop with my social feeds, there’s not much that you can’t find out about me.  From my often Instagrammed ride to work each morning to the occasional radio show, I’m a pretty open book.

My Signature “Here’s All the Legroom You Get” Shots From One of My Many Seat Reviews. This Was in First Class Aboard American Airlines Transcontinental Service Between Los Angeles and New York.

Any parting words?

None that I can think of other than thanks for letting me play along with the Million Mile Secrets Q&A.  Cheers!

Jake – 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!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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