Technology and Travel

Greetings from somewhere in between Frankfurt airport and Baku, Azerbaijan. (This post is going up in advance, since I’m not sure I want to rely on in-flight internet.) Approximately one billion people—perhaps slightly less—have recently asked me about what kind of travel gear I use to roam the world and work.

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How to Request an Airline Status Match

In 2008 I earned Executive Platinum status with American Airlines the hard way– through lots of flight hours logged all over the world. In 2009 I also earned the same, highest-level status with Northwest, Delta, and Continental, but I flew less than 10,000 miles with each of them.

On a recent Atlanta-Miami flight operated by Delta, my upgrade cleared three days ahead of the flight. I watched as more loyal Delta passengers waited at the gate thirty minutes before departure in hopes of getting a seat up front. Is it fair? Depends on how you look at it, I suppose– but travel hacking is all about gaining some kind of advantage over the system.

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Photos from Bhutan, Kathmandu Taxi Rides, and a Brief Store Update

Greetings once again from the South Asian kingdom of Bhutan. It’s been a great trip to a fairly remote place.

There aren’t really any “undiscovered” places in the world anymore, but when you look at lesser-known destinations, Bhutan definitely tops the list. Today I’m getting on a plane and headed back to Kathmandu, but I’m glad I stayed as long as I did. If you have $200 a day to invest in a unique travel experience that is sustainable and adventuresome, you can’t go wrong with Bhutan.

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How to File a Freedom of Information Act Request for Your Travel History

Early this morning I sent out an envelope containing an official Freedom of Information Act Request to the U.S. government.

Am I a conspiracy theorist? Have I started stockpiling canned food and building a bomb shelter behind my apartment?

Sorry to disappoint anyone holed up in a cabin somewhere, but not really. I refuse to visit any bomb shelter that doesn't provide wifi and a french press. In this case, I'm mostly just curious ... what do the feds know about me?

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The Latest in Travel Hacking

This is a story that involves a) a frustrating series of calls to Expedia, b) a way to repay Expedia's unhelpfulness by giving many of you $200, c) my attempts to order a total of $16,500 coins from the U.S. Mint, d) a Lasik eye exam in pursuit of Delta SkyMiles, and much more.

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Running Around the World

I’ve been a dedicated runner for about five years now, and a casual one for several years before that. I find that running is the best overall exercise I can do, and the minimalist in me enjoys the fact that running is very low-tech. All you need are some decent running shoes – no fancy equipment or nice clothes are necessary. I like to listen to music when I run, but other than an iPod shuffle, I don’t take anything with me.

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This Is How it Begins

I previously wrote about how a long trip begins from Seattle. I didn’t have a car there either, but public transport required a high threshold of patience and pain. In Seattle it took up to two hours to begin a trip, which was especially interesting when the first flight was at 6:00 a.m.

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