Why you need to check out our “Complete Guides”

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Perhaps you’ve noticed that Drew and I have been releasing some visual-heavy content on his blog recently.  Or perhaps my facebook friends have noticed that my drivel feed has been lacking in drivel as of late.  That is because infographics and complete guides take me an embarrassingly long time to make.


BECAUSE they take so much work for Drew and I, I wanted to take a moment to share why we believe they’re worth making.

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Why you should check out our Complete Guides and Infographics

The information we find the most useful or the information we feel the most knowledgable about, is the information we want to make sure we present well.  Plus, we know that the internet has evolved into an attention-getting machine, and any article or website that doesn’t keep up, gets “skimmed” at best or essentially, ignored.

This is what we’re competing with folks.

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So rather than generating Buzzfeed type articles like “I signed up for a credit card and what happened next will amaze you!” or “Ten mind-blowing ways this hippie couple traveled the world. Seriously, number three is unbelievable!”, we decided to create complete guides and infographics that use visual organization and graphics to help illustrate complex content and help keep readers from missing the point because the alluring poptart cat was a few clicks away on another page.

So what’s in these things?

I can’t talk up these complete guides and other visual pieces without making them accessible.  So below I’ve collected the complete guides and a few other visual pieces that could be really helpful resources for someone trying to figure out this hobby.  I’ve also included a few brief notes about what you’ll find in each one.

1.) The Complete Guide to IHG Rewards

Drew and I have spent a ridiculous amount of time in IHG hotels this year and it’s because this is the hotel chain that we found most sensible for getting free nights.  Our non-stop travel style demands that we care about free nights over excess luxuries.  As a result, we’ve spent 133 nights in IHG properties this year, 93 of which were free.  I think our average expense for IHG hotels came out to $32 per night or something like that. Click on the Complete Guide link above to read more about IHG Rewards.

2.) The Complete Guide to Hotel Best Rate Guarantees

Many hotels have “Best Rate Guarantee” policies.  This just means that they’ve made a promise that their own website will provide the best price for their rooms.  That means if you find out some other website is listing their rooms for a better price, you can potentially fill out a best rate guarantee form to receive a gift for your pointing out a disparity.

Some hotels offer discounts while others can be more lucrative.  IHG for instance will give you the last night of your stay free, even for one night stays.

Read more about other BRG policies and their details by clicking the above link and checking out our guide.

3.) The Complete Guide to British Airways Avios

British Airways Avios can be very useful in certain situations and much less so in others.  This is in part because they are a program with a distance-based award pricing system and in part because using their miles (Avios) will not spare you from fuel surcharges.  That’s something we tend to be picky about since American Airlines and United are such good mileage programs for avoiding fuel surcharges,

Still, with a bit of intentionality, you can avoid steep fuel surcharges. For instance in this complete guide we suggest the best partner airlines to fly with, stating low-to-no-fuel-surcharge options region by region so that you can see what we might recommend for whatever trip you have in mind.

4.) The Complete Guide to United Miles

United is perhaps the topic Drew has spent the most time geeking out over.  He has spent many posts discussing advanced tricks for complex routes.  But this guide takes a step back, spelling out the (unpublished but so far consistent) routing rules as well as other details about earning and burning with United.

He also goes over a few more details about having status with United, something we don’t often mention in our other posts about United.

5.) A Guide to Earning Miles with Star Alliance Partners

This is not a “complete guide” since it goes over such a specific topic.  Honestly, I didn’t know a thing about how to credit miles with one Star Alliance partner when flying with another until Drew gave me the content for the guide.  The guide includes all kinds of information about fining the “class code” of your flight so that you can determine how much you’ll be earning.  But the meat and potatoes of this guide is a series of 4 charts organizing the earnings of various partners towards mileage programs within Star Allinace for discoutn economy, economy, business class, and first class.  Of course this chart is all about paid flights so it will be most helpful for people trying to earn status with United, Lufthansa, Aeroplan, etc etc.

6.) Best Hotel Rewards Program Infographic

I’m featuring this infographic basically for the sake of a few sections that I found myself referring back to long before we even published the infographic, when it was just a photoshop file on my hard drive.  I constantly found myself reference both the hotel credit card section to see which credit cards earn what, and a section detailing how much money would have to be spent in order to earn enough points for a free night at each of the major hotel chains.

I’ll include a bit of that display here, but make sure you click the link above to check out the entire display.

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Please let me know what you think of these resources.  Good, bad, and ugly, I’d love to hear your thoughs!


5 Comments on “Why you need to check out our “Complete Guides”

  1. I have a boatload of AA miles. I look at a map and think where do I want to go? A “complete guide to “x miles” would be great. Maybe have a chart that shows,, You have “x” miles. You can use them here and here(partners). This is how to use them here and here(search tools).They can take you here and here(hubs). Best time to use(weather @ destination),etc.Use visual bubbles and go from one step to another. Throw in some sweet spots/tricks per airline as well.

  2. I love those complete guides! I’m a visual learner so the graphs and charts are awesome. Nice job!

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