A (belated) happy new year to you all! 2019 is well underway and I've just about shaken off the festive hangover. Like millions (or billions?) around the world, I've made some resolutions to lead to a more enriched and progressive life.
To all the new followers
Firstly, thanks for reaching this page! If you don't know anything about me or this site, let me fill you in.
My name is Tim Lai, and over the last 10 years of my life I've been combining my deep love of mathematics, problem-solving and travel. This has resulted in the rather unusual obsession in air miles, or how to leverage my spending power in general.
Being a keen linguist (I also speak Spanish and Portuguese) I keep track of several European airlines' loyalty programmes, such as KLM, Lufthansa, TAP Portugal and Iberia. The latter meshes with my ‘home' airline British Airways Executive Club nicely as there are all sorts of wonderful complexities which mean there are so many arbitrage opportunities. For instance, even though British Airways and Iberia use exactly the same ‘currency' of air miles called Avios, just look at how their off-peak Avios redemption dates are mis-aligned which means you can buy exactly the same flight.
Having worked for 3 years in The Netherlands then spending a year and a half as a digital nomad, I had to make a big decision on where to live due to Brexit (which in my unsolicited opinion is a monumentally stupid thing to do). But in the end I decided to buy myself an apartment in Porto, Portugal while also splitting a significant amount of time in London, UK, to cover my bases.
Useful links for beginners
As a “starter for 10”, here are a few articles which help give you a flavour of what's on this site.
- Understanding Maximum Permitted Mileage fare construction
- How to use ITA Matrix to find your cheapest flights
About British Airways, Iberia and Avios
- How to earn huge amounts of British Airways Tier Points
- 2019 peak and off-peak Avios Award Chart
- Introduction to Amsterdam-Jersey Tier Point run
About hotel points
- IHG's latest “Reward Nights. Faster” promotion
- Beginners' guide to Hotel points (though this is due for a refresh this month)
About other forms of travelling
- Digital Nomad check list
- How to get a 2nd UK Passport
- ‘Surinder Singh' European Union immigration route.
While readers who have seen this site over the years have noticed I used to post infrequently, 2019 will be different as the pressures of my previous work are no more. I am a free man!
Writing about the the European loyalty programme market exclusively I found to be a bit restrictive, so I plan to broaden things up a bit. So the aim is to post daily, and probably between 2-5 posts per day depending on my mood, ability to find new deals and speed of writing. They will broadly fall into one of these categories:
- Interesting Deals
- hotels – The big chains such as Hilton, IHG, Marriott (who acquired Starwood). Also booking agents such as hotels.com and booking.com
- flights – mainly the big European airlines such as British Airways, Iberia, Air France – KLM, Lufthansa etc. Also some of the North American ones and other sporadic inclusions where they may benefit the content of this blog.
- Review or recommendation of travel-related hardware (luggage, electronics, gadgets etc.)
- Travel related articles, but not strongly related to air miles. For example:
- Immigration and Visa policy updates
- airport or airline incidents
- tutorials or how-to type articles.
A Note on Affiliate Links
Several, but not all, of the links on this website are affiliate links which earn me a tiny commission if you click through my link and choose to buy something. Normally these will have no impact on the price you pay, but if it does I'll let you know beforehand. I use the income from these links to help support the running of this site.
As a safe bet, assume that any external link is an affiliate link.
Ways to Follow
I'm on Twitter and Facebook. You can also put your email in the subscribe box on the right to receive an email of the blog posts published (you choose the frequency), or add this blog's RSS feed to your favourite reader.
Thank you! I hope 2019 will be prosperous for all, and I wish you all a safe and fulfilling year of travel!