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New! Sign Up to “Make Your Dream Trip a Reality” (A 30-Day Creative Live Course)

DreamTripHeader_converted Link: Register for Free "Dream Trip" Course

Attention, everyone! My travel hacking colleague Stephanie Zito and I will be teaching an all-new online course starting later this month, and I'd love for you to join us.

We previously taught a one-day workshop that was watched live by more than 12,000 of you. The feedback we got after that one was: “Whoa, this is great—but there’s so much info!”

For this one, we’re teaching everything through 30 short, action-packed lessons (a new one unveiled each weekday once we begin on April 26) and focusing on something more specific. It’s not just “earn a ton of miles and points,” although we'll certainly show you how to do that. More importantly, it’s about taking a dream trip, going somewhere you’ve always wanted to but haven’t planned for or thought was too expensive.

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A Tale of Two Rivers: New Film Documents Journeys in Iran and Patagonia

And as far as I can recall, I’ve seen Tom Allen in Los Angeles, London, and Portland. The guy gets around!

He's also a prolific filmmaker. Tom is returning this year with another big documentary project, this one produced with a partner with whom he undertook major expeditions through Iran and Patagonia—two places that are different in many ways.

With only 5 days to go, here's the trailer for the Kickstarter project to fully produce two feature-length films:

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Packing Essentials

It doesn’t take me long to pack for most trips. I typically bring the same clothes and “stuff” with me no matter my destination or purpose of travel. Sure, there’s some variance—a warmer scarf depending on season, or a nicer jacket depending on what kind of meetings I have on the other side.

On average, it takes me twenty minutes. No more, no less. If I’m doing laundry and sorting through the mail while packing, the whole process might take up to an hour, but that's the cost of multitasking.

The greatest challenge is indecision. Do I want two pairs of jeans? (Usually just one, but I waver.) Do I need to bring my bathing suit? (I don’t swim often, and when I do I can wear my running shorts.)

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Taking a Travel Break Mid-Career: On the Road with John Fiddler and Kathleen Egan

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

John and Kathleen opted to take a mid-career break and travel the world under three tenets: sightseeing, athletics (trail running, climbing, and long distance hiking), and volunteering.

We're two 40-somethings on a multi-year career break traveling the planet. Along with adventuring through the wild landscapes of the world to see the sights and cultures of the planet, we’re trying to give back to communities as we travel.

From kayaking the length of the Baja peninsula, trail running around Europe, backpacking through Southeast Asia (and getting married there!), to being the first expedition to traverse the high route of the Great Himalaya Trail (87 days, unsupported), to now exploring and volunteering in Africa, it has been a crazy and incredible two years.

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Traveling the Eco-Friendly Way: On the Road with Ivana and Gianni

Ivana Greslikova and Gianni Bianchini are two full-time travelers with a passion for eco-tourism. Here’s how they incorporate supporting conservation efforts in their travels:

Tell us about yourselves.

We are Ivana (from Slovakia) and Gianni (from Italy). While living in Germany, we decided to quit smoking. Our goal was to save money for a big trip, but we realized we’d be able to save enough for a Round-the-World experience.

What started as a one year plan became an indefinite journey. We are nature lovers, eco-travelers, and we’re passionate about photography. We try to immerse ourselves in the local culture while on the road.
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How to Join “The Amazing Race” for Regular People


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Have you ever wanted to be on The Amazing Race?

I’ve never actually seen the show—I preferred to focus on my own race for ten years—but one time J.D. Roth and I got up early to stand in line for auditions. After waiting for two hours, we were told that the line had closed and there would be no more auditions. Reality star #fail.

Fortunately, I know a guy who helps regular people with their own amazing race, every summer in Europe. Steve in Washington, D.C. is a full-time travel hacker. Competitours is a fun side project for him, and I thought some of you might be interested.

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Taking an Upright Piano Around the United States: Dotan Negrin’s Story

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This is a reader story. (Read others or tell us yours.)

Dotan Negrin likes a challenge. Three years ago, he started taking his upright piano with him everywhere he went. Here's how he tells the story:

I didn’t know piano playing was a goal of mine. I didn’t even learn to play until I was 19, and when I hit the road I was in no way ready to start performing. But I did it anyway because I realized the biggest thing standing in my way from living an extraordinary life was myself. Once I became determined to live differently, it was impossible not to.

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Building a Global Community One Beach at a Time: On the Road with Mirva Lempiäinen

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Mirva Lempiäinen fell in love with beaches of all kinds during college. Her passion caused her to build a career and friend base that allows her to travel to sandy destinations almost as often as she'd like.

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Tell us about yourself.

I’m a 33-year-old freelance journalist from Finland. I’ve been actively roaming the globe for almost 15 years, and have visited around 70 countries (so far). Currently, I’m spending the winter on the French island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean which suits me quite well.

I have a bad beach addiction: over the past decade I’ve spent months every year on tropical beaches around the world. You could say I’m perpetually in search of the perfect beach. I’m also a New Yorker now (and surprisingly to many, New York actually has some pretty nice beaches, too!).

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Been to Asia in the Past 15 Years? Get Free Money from an Airline Settlement

Did you fly from the U.S. to Asia, Australia, or New Zealand at any point between January 1, 2000 and now?

If so, you may be entitled to free money. Fill out this form to receive part of the distribution from a class-action legal settlement.

As the headline of this website that looks like it was designed well before January 1, 2000 says:

"If You Bought an Airline Ticket Between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, New Zealand, or the Pacific Islands, You Could Receive Money from Class Action Settlements."

I could think of at least a dozen flights that qualified for me. All you need is one, though, and you don’t even need to be that specific about the details. Just list the airline you flew and provide your contact info. Be sure to do it soon—there isn't an announced deadline as of yet, but you might as well get in line.

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When Next in Australia, Don’t Pay for Those Expensive Domestic Flights

10467388874_9b481ec233_z Greetings from my favorite country! I’m in Australia for a few days (no public events this time—just writing and enjoying paradise).

And here’s a tip: my favorite country can be a little expensive. Consider it a tax on paradise, but just about everything you purchase may seen a tad high if you’re coming from the states. Oh, and many parts of the country are still waiting for the internet to arrive—but presumably that’s improving.

Domestic flights within Australia can be pricey too, but there’s a great alternative option: redeem American Airlines miles for flights on Qantas.

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Awesome In-Flight Videos from the KLM Cockpit


561540330_4dcbb6a339_z Ever wonder how dozens of flights can safely cross the Atlantic at the same time, despite the fact that much of the journey includes no radar coverage?

How do the pilots communicate with Air Traffic Control, and what kind of instructions are they given?

Oh, and what’s the deal with autopilot—does it mean the pilots aren't really in control?

I really enjoyed watching these in-flight cockpit videos from recent KLM flights from Amsterdam to London and Amsterdam to New York. Even if you’re not an airline geek like me, you may like them, too.

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The New World of Passport Tattoo Art: Possibly Illegal, Definitely Awesome


Léonard_Combier_Illustration_04 I'm proud of my stamps and visas, and I often get a double-take from immigration officers around the world when presenting my passport—but this guy has gone much further.

French illustrator Léonard Combier sent pictures of his work to Doodlers Anonymous, where he offered anyone to send him their passport to "tattoo."

Is this legal? Well, apparently it's an open question, since technically the work involves "defacing" a government document, and some countries have more of a sense of humor than others. Fortunately, most people report that most immigration agents have enjoyed it thus far.

Here are a few examples:

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The Single Best Credit Card for Travelers: Earn 40,000 Points Now and More Everywhere You Go

Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Last year we had a celebration for Tyler, our Adventure Czar, when he came home from running a marathon on Antarctica. At the end of the night, I went to pay my tab, and the bartender said, “What is this card that all of you guys have?!”

It turned out that of the dozen or so folks that had an open tab at the bar that night, at least half of us were using the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

There’s a good reason for that! Our readers are smart. :)

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Giveaway: Business Class Upgrade On American Airlines

Did someone say upgrade? I believe it was us—and this week you can win a Business Class upgrade on any long-haul American Airlines flight!

As mentioned, a while back I took a 14-hour flight to Hong Kong, and when I got off the plane I was a millionaire—at least in miles. Upon achieving my status of two million flight miles with American Airlines, they gifted me an extra two systemwide upgrades (known as EVIPs for those who care).

I doubt I'll be able to use both of them myself, and they can't be sold—so I'm giving one away. Want to fly in the front?

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