1) Earn up to 2,000 United Mileage Plus miles on your “back to school” shopping through United shopping mall. Not good enough reason to buy, but may be for you if you are looking to top off an account. More info HERE (hat tip to Mommypoints)
2) A list of discounted awards available to CITI AAdvantage cardholders HERE
Book through the end of July for travel through September 30th.
3) The offer for $100 credit that comes with CITI Hilton HHonors Reserve card expires today. The offer is better than my affiliate link. Support another blogger or use the public link in my list of bonuses.
4) I don’t normally mention it, but if you are a fan of SPG properties, you might want to check out their promotion page SPG Hot Escapes You get a discount rate for being an SPG member, and it’s free to sign up.
5) If you live near airports mostly served by United, and are looking to fly to Caribbean or Mexico on award tickets, check out this excellent post on Miles4More
It explains a way to leverage ANA program by flying on United to those destinations. I briefly mentioned ANA before, but this post does a very good job by going into specific details.
On my mind
There is a new term coined in the travel hackers’ community. It was invented by Dia from The Deal Mommy and it’s called “vendoming.” Basically, it defines pretentious travel achievable only with the help of miles and points, with no emphasis on exploring the culture of the place you are visiting. The whole idea is to show off and tell the tale through a trip report or Facebook update.
The term was derived from the word Vendome, which is a name of Hyatt in Paris, the pinnacle redemption. I have never been there, and I’m sure it’s a fine place. Heck, I might even stay there myself with Hyatt Chase Visa certificates that come with a sign-up bonus.
It sure beats Radisson Eiffel, IMO a highway robbery at 70,000 Club Carlson points, even with a “second night free” benefit. So, it’s not about Vendome, but how travel is viewed in this community. I want to be clear, I’m NOT singling out any particular blogger here.
What comes to my mind is a picture of an empty shell. It’s pretty and colorful on the outside, but there is nothing on the inside. Perhaps bloggers think that’s what readers want. And to be fair, many probably do.
Maybe it’s corny, but to me, blogging is about inspiring to do more, to be better in some way, not just for readers, but for the author as well. I understand that some highlights and technical details are important. However, if readers see nothing but a parade of fancy toilet bowl photos and beige walls, it’s got to numb the mind and stunt imagination after a certain point.
But things are changing. It’s a resistance movement of sorts, and it’s getting louder. I highly recommend you read this post by Scott from Portland Travel Tips. It eloquently highlights an issue that is rarely mentioned in this hobby. The sad side to fancy overseas’ hotel redemptions is that they put a barrier between you and the culture you have come so far to experience.
Like it or not, anti-vendoming movement is gaining momentum. Join us. It’s bliss.
P. S. OK, the last part was a joke. I’m not looking to start a religion here! It seems my post has come off as a bit offensive, based on some feedback. Please, read my sequel to this post.
Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.