I haven’t posted for a little while for a few reasons. The chief among them was that after the PointsNerd Meetup, I came home to an attempted break-in at my home.
Dealing with the police, insurance companies, and door replacement people is a HUGE time suck but on the positive side, they door held and the thieves didn’t get into the house. But enough about my sob story … a lot of people have asked me how the meetup went so I’ll give a short wrap-up.
35 people registered for the event and about 30 ended up showing up, which was a smashing success for the first meetup in Calgary. We started off the evening with a 30-minute session where everyone broke off into smaller groups and began to introduce themselves and share their travel hacking stories. To continue these types of discussions and to build up the Calgary Travel Hacking Community, I provided a link to a secret chat group to discuss things like award routings, credit card bonuses and even manufactured spending.
Before you ask – sorry … it’s invite only and the invite is open to those who attended but don’t worry, we’ll have another meetup where I’ll offer registration again.
The reason I am keeping this group secret is the sensitive nature of the discussions … I also want to encourage people to get out to these events because I truly believe in the power of networking because it has certainly upped my Travel Hacking game.
Award Search Step-by-Step
The majority of the time was spent walking through some award searches that attendees had in mind. What was important here was not the specific redemption but the workflow of how I look for an award flight. I may have lost some folks in my explanation, which is why the secret group will come in handy for some. For those that need a primer on how to search for awards, take a read through my series Finding Award Availability.
H/T to Raymond from RayTravelsFree for the photo.
Questions and Answers
During the Award Search when we were waiting for search results to come back, I answered a litany of questions from the audience. These questions ranged from credit cards and reward programs to upcoming travel plans.
I felt like I was talking for 3 straight hours so I was exhausted by the end of the night but it was great to see so many people that shared the same passion as I do. There was a wide range of ages and demographics represented at the session but everyone seem enthusiastic about the event and the prospect of building the Calgary Travel Hacking Community.
I will be hosting another meetup in the future but the date has yet to be determined. As we head into the summer holiday season, fewer people are around so the next session may not be until the fall, unless I get a onslaught of requests.