As I first mentioned last fall, inviting new contributors to add further colour to the blog has always been an inevitable step along this website’s growth.
So far, the writing team has consisted of myself and our regular contributor T.J., who has chipped in with articles on a wide variety of topics since his introduction last October.
Many readers have left glowing feedback on T.J.’s contributions, especially when he brings his own expertise to the table (like his Air Canada Altitude guides) or covers a topic that’s different from what I usually talk about (like cheap vehicle relocations or a Russia travel memoir).
The plan has always been to continue building out the writing team, but to be honest, the pandemic had put a brief pause to any expansion plans in 2020.
However, it has also given me more time to connect with fellow members of the Prince of Travel community who possess a love of travel, a knack for navigating the Miles & Points landscape, an expertise in a certain area that exceeds my own, and a desire to share that expertise on a wider platform.
And that’s why I’m pleased to announce today the introduction of three new regular contributors to the blog here at Prince of Travel.
First up, we have Amy, a Toronto-based mother of three who specializes in maximizing Miles & Points to travel as a family.
Amy will share with you all of her best family travel tips, from the best ways to rack up credit card bonuses and maximize loyalty programs as a family, to how to bring your family on an amazing trip to kid-friendly destinations while leveraging your points to maximum value.
Many readers have expressed that some of my usual advice on earning and redeeming points, which are mostly geared towards solo or couple travellers, may be less applicable when you’ve got several little ones to bring along as well. Thus, I firmly believe that those of you with larger families will find great value and enjoyment in Amy’s contributors.
Next, Kirin, a friend of mine based in Edmonton, will bring a budget traveller’s perspective to the world of Miles & Points.
First Class flights and luxury hotels grab a lot of the attention in our space, but let’s be honest, picking a reasonable budget and sticking with it – perhaps with the occasional allowance for a splurge – is how most of Canada and the world travels.
Through an easy-going writing style with a unique sense of humour, Kirin hopes to bring the everyman or everywoman’s perspective to Prince of Travel and complement the aspirational stuff that tends to dominate our usual programming.
Finally, we have Tiezheng, the Toronto-based founder of the Vicarious Voyager YouTube channel, where he produces brilliant flight review and aviation videos.
As part of his work at Vicarious Voyager, Tiezheng has combined his intimate understanding of premium cabins and the aviation industry with a sharp sense of wit and a staggering level of production quality, leading to the explosive success of his channel. So when he expressed interest in cataloguing his thoughts in written form, I knew that a role as a Prince of Travel contributor would be a great fit.
Tiezheng will cover all things aviation, from premium cabin comparisons, to airline-by-airline analysis, to some of his best tips for the flying experience whether you’re a first-time flyer or a frequent business traveller.
Similar to T.J.’s contributions, you can expect to hear from Amy and Kirin once every couple of weeks to a month or so. Meanwhile, Tiezheng and I have agreed that his contributions will occur on a more spontaneous basis, between his busy schedule as a medical student who also runs a YouTube channel on the side.
The vast majority of daily content here on Prince of Travel will continue to be authored by yours truly, with the understanding that our contributors may chip in more often if I happen to be busy travelling or otherwise need to briefly step away from writing duties for whatever reason.
I’m confident that our new voices will provide a wider range of perspectives to help every Canadian unlock the power of Miles & Points and travel the world in the way that’s fulfilling for them.
Stay tuned for more exciting developments to come as the website grows. For now, without further ado, I’ll let each of our new contributors introduce themselves to the reader base in their own words.
Hi, my name is Amy. I’m very excited to be a contributor here and to bring a family perspective to the world of Miles & Points.
I love to travel. As a child, my family vacationed a lot within North America. When I was a university student, I expanded my travels to South America and Asia. Then I got married and we began travelling for two.
We weren’t really into the travel game at that point, but we both had a good credit card, through which we eventually accumulated enough points for our first economy redemption to New York City.
A little later, we would make our first business redemption. What a thrill it was to fly basically for free! As someone always on the lookout for a good deal, I loved the idea of travelling comfortably without having to pay the hefty price tag.
And then came the kids. Not just one, but three! Ever since, trip planning has taken on a whole new dimension. We can no longer just pick up our bags and go. We look for safe and kid-friendly places. We find hotels that are conveniently located. Carry-ons won’t cut it anymore; first it was bottles and diapers, and now it’s three times the clothes and toiletries. And don’t forget the stroller!
Then there is balancing our priorities and interests with those of our kids. I can spend a whole day sightseeing in the heat and humidity, or hours in a museum, but the kids? Not quite their thing. On top of all that, there is the increased cost in both money and points. Anyone who has travelled with kids can probably relate. Family travel can be stressful.
This is when I started looking for ways to reduce the stress without giving up the comfort. Though there are numerous travel blogs out there, it was hard to find one focused on Canadian content. Then I stumbled onto Ricky’s blog, and I went down the rabbit hole. That same year, I attended PointsU, a Canadian Miles & Points conference where Ricky was a guest speaker.
I began dabbling into different reward programs and developing a more systematic approach to earning points, prioritizing travel goals, and finding a way to make those goals a reality for my family. Every year we take at least a couple of family trips and adult-only trips, and travel rewards have really changed how we travel.
So, I really owe it to Ricky who has helped me on this journey. I hope my contributions here can help your families navigate the reward system to make it an additional tool in making your travels more fun and affordable, and to also help take some stress out of the planning.
Hey, all. My name is Kirin, and yes it is actually spelled the same way as the beer.
I’m stoked about being included on the Prince of Travel team as the in-house value hunter. During my younger years in the Armed Forces and beyond, I was in many respects the model of financial mismanagement, and so have had to really improve my monetary savvy. Hence, my desire to seek redemptions with what I deem to be value.
I’m new to this game, having started following the blog only in 2019, but am a quick study and glad to give back to a place that taught me so much.
I got started on the search for Miles & Points when eating pho at a strip mall with a good friend. He paid for our soup with his World Elite MasterCard, and asked that I reimburse him my portion via e-transfer.
This made me consider two things: firstly, how could I get a sick-looking black card like his, and secondly, why would anyone want to pay for something on a credit card and be compensated later?
This led me down a wild rabbit hole of reading half the articles on this site along with many other Miles & Points resources available online. I wanted to figure out how to travel the world in the flight section where you didn’t have to listen to as many screaming babies, or stay in hotels that didn’t demand cash up front and smell of disconcerting sterilants.
When I moved to the great city of Edmonton in May 2019, I was able to rapidly expand my knowledge base and points collection after meeting some of the best folks I’ve been honoured to come across. My business class flight home to Toronto at Christmas only got me more hooked – it’s not every day you get to sleep soundly for the entire flight!
I’m hoping to add a bit more of an off-the-cuff approach to how we think and talk about earning and redeeming points. Expect some irreverent banter and more than a few memes, all for the purposes of keeping my articles light and entertaining.
Lastly, I’m contributing here because I want to convey my belief that value is much more than a simple calculation of “cents per point” or “dollars saved.” I am of the opinion that your personal goals in travel should always come before chasing a supposedly “hot deal.”
And that’s why I hope you’ll join me as I explore this planet all the way from Pyongyang in North Korea down to Madagascar and beyond, all on a budget. Happy travels!
Hi everyone! My name is Tiezheng.
I’m very happy to have been invited to write for Prince of Travel, and am already teeming with ideas on what exactly to write about.
Travelling has been a major part of my childhood, and more recently, I’ve been lucky enough to have frequent flying as part of my professional life. As such, this site has been an indispensable resource for me personally, both as an education on how to spend the miles I’ve been racking up, and as a curation of the best trips on which to spend them.
Getting to fully understand airline loyalty programs can be a daunting task. Airlines deliberately make it complicated and convoluted. I was lucky to have someone show me the way, and now with this opportunity, I’d like to pass that forward. Perhaps now more than ever, entering the post-COVID jet age, we can all benefit from sharing our findings, whether they be deals, opportunities, or some other news that will impact the way we plan our future travels.
I’m looking forward to writing about my experiences and insights going forward, from the softest First Class seats bought with pennies on the dollar, to the hardest Ryanair landings, bought with… just pennies.