“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!

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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