Prince of Travel recently turned two and a half years old, and we’re now bringing the joys of travelling on points to more Canadians than ever before.
I personally am taking advantage of my relative lack of travel plans this September and October, before my November round-the-world trip kicks off another heavy travel period, to buckle down and put in as much work as possible into the website in order to bolster its growth in the future. I wanted to take this opportunity to quickly share with you a few new things I have planned on the horizon as we enter this period.
More Blog Posts
Right now you can usually expect around 5 new blog updates per week, which works out to about one every weekday. Starting this week, I’m going to experiment with posting 7–8 blog posts per week. The reason for the change here is largely the same as when I had made the move from 3 to 5 weekly posts:
As someone who lives and breathes travel, I find myself bursting at the seams with ideas that I want to get down on paper, for which an allotment of 5 posts per week simply isn’t quite enough
I’d love to expand into a wider range of blog topics on both the points and travel side, such as exploring even more award programs out there that we can benefit from, the ins and outs of the US credit card market, points advice for people in different situations from my own (larger families is one that comes to mind), general travel advice, and talking about the travel gear I use
As usual, I’ve got tons of reviews and travel stories of my own to catch up on, particularly with a TON of exciting new airline products lined up from November onwards – I’d hate to promise you those reviews and then make you wait for several months after-the-fact before getting to read them, which is something I know I’ve been guilty of in the past!
This move to a more frequent posting schedule also gives me space to think about bringing on additional contributors to the blog in the long run. I think this is the right direction for a few reasons:
I can’t be the only person in Canada who has a way with words as well as an enthusiasm for all things travel, points, credit cards, airlines, hotels, trains… you name it. I’m certain that there are people out there who share my core philosophies about travel but can also bring their own valuable insights to the table and make Prince of Travel an even stronger platform.
A little bit of work-life balance is always nice, and in the future I’d love for some fellow contributors to take the workload off my hands, especially when I’m on the road travelling (which is why I had started this website in the first place). I have no problem putting in my full shift when I’m at home, but as I’ve touched upon before, working and travelling at the same time is always a precarious balance. These days I end up having absolutely jam-packed days along my travels and end up getting very little sleep as a result, which isn’t really something I can sustain forever.
As I said, though, these ideas are for the long term, and for now it’s still my silly grin that you get to look at in the sidebar. I haven’t formally decided on any contributors yet, but rest assured that I’ll have a very high standard when I do, and that they’ll be people I personally know and like. Stay tuned on this.
More YouTube Videos
Earlier this year I shared with you my goal of taking my YouTube channel more seriously, and I’ve since polished off the eight-part Intro to Miles & Points series, which I think is excellent viewing material for anyone who’s looking to get started in the game and get a high-level understanding of how things work (if I may say so myself).
For the rest of the year (starting this week!), I’ll be continuing to make videos on a variety of topics within the Miles & Points world. In my view, there are so many topics in our space that could make for fun blog posts to write, but even more fun to make as a video, especially since everyone seems to be on their mobile phones watching videos these days.
A recurring theme in the feedback I’ve gotten from many of you is that you appreciate the clarity and ease of absorbing information in watching a video vs. reading a blog post, so there’s no doubt that the YouTube channel, which has been growing at a steady rate, will continue to be squarely within my focus going forward.
Join My Facebook Group
If you want an additional dose of Prince of Travel in your life, you can now join my official group, Prince of Travel Elites, on Facebook.
This group used to be run by my friend Matthew McLean, who used to blog casually on the side and spoke at a few PointsU conferences.
He’s since moved to Australia and has left me with the reins of a Facebook group consisting of over 3,000 eager Canadian travellers, so with his blessing, I’ve transformed it into the official space for Prince of Travel readers to discuss everything related to travel, from Miles & Points tips, to cheap flight deals, to seeking recommendations when visiting a new place.
Right now we’ve got a few weekly discussion posts (Question Mondays, What Card Wednesdays, and Success Story Saturdays), and we’re about to introduce a few more exciting new things around the place to liven up the discussion even further. I myself will be participating actively as well, so I hope to see you there!
Send Me Your Reader Success Stories
This is a feature that many readers have been clamouring for over the years, so I’m happy to make it an official thing.
I love sharing with you my own trips that I’ve taken thanks to the magic of Miles & Points, but I’m also eager to showcase the success stories of all of my readers in order to demonstrate that it’s not just myself who can travel in style at a fraction of the price, but rather any dedicated reader who’s willing to put in the work and make it happen for themselves and their loved ones.
If you’ve benefited from the knowledge here at Prince of Travel and treated yourself to a memorable trip as a result, I’d love to hear about it and potentially include it in a monthly feature here on the blog!
Simply send me an email with your success story – you can either use the contact form or just use my email address, which should be apparent if you’re subscribed to my newsletter. Either way, be sure to include “[Success Story]” in the subject line.
Make sure to put some thought into your story for the best chance of being chosen for the monthly feature. Have some fun with it – get all those juicy details in there about the credit cards you obtained, the spending strategies you employed, the frustrations you faced, the trip you eventually took, and the part(s) of the trip that left you feeling most inspired. Don’t hesitate to include some pictures and/or links to your Instagram as well.
If your submission is chosen, I’ll send you a little reward of 5,000 Aeroplan miles in order to get you closer towards the next trip. I look forward to reading about all of your successes!
Those of you who’ve been following Prince of Travel for a while will know that I do love bringing the community together at in-person events. After successful events in Toronto and Vancouver over the last few years, I’m excited to be bringing the Miles & Points Event to Montreal on Saturday, October 19, 2019.
As I mentioned in my newsletter this past weekend, I’ll be formally announcing the event and putting tickets on sale at noon Eastern Time this upcoming Thursday, so make sure to check back then to secure your spot at the event.
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a PointsU Conference this year, which had become something of a traditional gathering place for our community here in Canada over the past little while.
After the Montreal event in the fall, my focus will shift towards how I can potentially fill this gap and try my hand at hosting a larger-scale event for my readers and the wider Miles & Points community, scheduled at the soonest for early-to-mid 2020.
I’m also thinking about potential ways I can help to build the community and meet readers in smaller cities in Canada like Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, or Halifax. Many readers in these places would love to attend an event in their local area just as much as I love to travel around Canada, but it’s simply the logistics of organizing events that can get burdensome. I’m actively looking for solutions for this, so stay tuned!
I introduced the Points Consulting service at the start of the year, in which I provide one-on-one guidance to readers looking to travel the world on points. Whether it’s building an optimal credit card strategy to meet their travel goals, or helping them book spectacular trips that maximize the value of their points, I’m available to help clients with personalized consulting sessions every step along the way.
The feedback I’ve received from doing these consultations has been very encouraging, with the vast majority of clients finding that they’ve gotten great value for money out of session. Click here to check out some of my clients’ testimonials.
As a result, I plan to charge a higher fee for my services going forward. However, I know firsthand the negative backlash that results from an overnight devaluation in our industry 😉, so I’ll be keeping the fee at $149/hour until the end of 2019, at which point I’ll begin charging a higher fee of $200/hour.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this as an “enhancement of the value of my services” or anything like that. The fact of the matter is that I’m raising the price because I’d like to ensure I can continue giving 100% attention to every client as I simultaneously work towards all the other goals for Prince of Travel that I’ve outlined above.
Finally, Go Read PointsNerd As Well!
Before we close, many of you may not have been around for this, but back when I started Prince of Travel in early 2017, it was my friend Jayce from PointsNerd.ca who first shouted me out on his blog and gave me my first spike in traffic.
Indeed, it was also Jayce who had shared his wisdom with me about starting a website in the first place, and without his encouragement and kindness in helping me cultivate the first batch of Prince of Travel readers, who knows where the website would be today.
A lot has happened since then. In particular, Jayce joined the dark side and went to work for WestJet for a while, thus having to give up his position at PointsNerd in favour of setting WestJet down the path of actually having a competitive loyalty program one day (or so we can hope…)
Recently, though, Jayce has left his position at WestJet and has taken up the mantle of writing for PointsNerd again, and so it’s time for me to return the favour. I encourage all of you to visit PointsNerd and follow it on a regular basis – not only does Jayce specialize in in-depth analyses of everything to do with Miles & Points, but he now has the insider knowledge from the industry that I’m sure many of us (myself included) would find fascinating.
In particular, check out Jayce’s comprehensive guide to Aeroplan fuel surcharges, which he just published today to mark his return to blogging – a classic example of the nitty-gritty content that he was well-known for before his little trip to the dark side.
It’s an exciting time for Prince of Travel now that we’ve been around for a while. The expectations, from both myself and my readers, are higher now, and I look forward to working towards the above goals over the new few months.
Ultimately, I’m just happy to have so many of you to share this journey with, so make sure to join the Prince of Travel Elites group on Facebook, send me your success stories as you rack up the victories, and come out to the Montreal event and future events in order to be there every step of the way.