39 episodes

A Milenomics Production-- News related to Points and Miles. Tips & Tricks on how to Earn More miles, Maximize Credit Card Rewards, and Travel more than ever before.

Milenomics ² Podcast - No Annual Fee Edition Sam Simon and Robert Dwyer

    • Leisure
    • 4.4 • 46 Ratings

A Milenomics Production-- News related to Points and Miles. Tips & Tricks on how to Earn More miles, Maximize Credit Card Rewards, and Travel more than ever before.

    TravelStories Episode 31: All About Baha Mar with Joey Redmond

    TravelStories Episode 31: All About Baha Mar with Joey Redmond

    Episode 31: Show Notes.



    When you talk to folks in the community, people have strong opinions about Hyatt’s Baha Mar property, and its not just in one direction. Luckily, today’s guest, Joey Redmond – who has been on the show twice before – is here to tell us all about Baha Mar, a resort in the Bahamas that he has found himself returning to year after year as an ideal vacation spot for him and his family. Tuning in you’ll hear all of Joey’s top tips, from navigating your flights to making sure you do all your restaurant bookings in advance – and what to do if you don’t have a reservation! He tells us about his favorite activities at Baha Mar, including the water park, Baha Bay, and why it’s such a big highlight for him and his family every year. We also discuss how best to use their loyalty program, what you can do to maximize the Hyatt Globalist experience, and what to expect from the Baha Mar casino. For a full account of Joey’s tips and insights on Baha Mar, be sure to tune in for this fun and informative conversation with one of our favorite guests! 



    Key Points From This Episode:




    [00:00] What makes Baha Mar such a special destination.



    [01:39] Tips on how to navigate Nassau airport and the trip home.



    [05:28] Joey’s thoughts on large luxury properties and why Baha Mar doesn’t feel crowded.



    [07:15] Why you should book your trip to Baha Mar and the restaurants in advance.



    [10:11] What to expect from restaurant prices and budgeting advice.



    [14:54] Joey’s favorite restaurants and meals, plus tips on where to eat without a reservation.



    [20:33] How to maximize the Hyatt Globalist experience at Baha Mar.



    [25:19] Why using points is usually the best option (and when it isn’t).



    [28:18] An overview of the water park, Baha Bay, and why it’s such a big highlight.



    [32:02] Other water activities and pools you can spend time at, and what the beach is like.



    [34:23] What to expect from the Baha Mar casino.



    [36:01] One of the weirdest things about their loyalty program.



    [38:45] A recap of the benefits and drawbacks of Baha Mar.



    [39:27] Why Joey has returned to Baha Mar with his family so many times.



    [41:30] An overview of what it’s like flying to Baha Mar from different places in the US.



    [45:26] Where you can find Joey online and get in touch.




    Quotes:



    “You can always find somewhere to eat. It's just a matter of the better the restaurant, the more planning needs to go into it.” — @joeyredmond [13:17]



    “It's a pretty diverse buffet. We usually stay five nights [and] I don't really get sick of it.” — @joeyredmond [19:30]



    “Baha Bay is the name of the water park. And it's four acres right on the beachfront. It's a lot of fun. If you're a person that likes water parks or likes water activities, I think you could easily fill two, three, four days there.” — @joeyredmond [28:28]



    “Generally you're not going to see anyone at the casino during the day. [That] is what I found.” — @joeyredmond [35:36]



    “I think islands always have a lot stacked against them [when it comes to] having good foods. So the fact that [Baha Mar] was able to curate a food and beverage program with so many varied and different options. I think it's actually pretty impressive.” — @TktweetsKim [43:56]



    “One of the biggest selling points [seems to be] the closeness that you've got for having everything all in one place.” — @tmount [41:34]



    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:



    Baha Mar



    Hyatt Regency Grand Puerto Rico



    Hyatt Globalist



    Hilton Waikoloa Village



    Travel Stories Episode 7: Top Tips for the Vegas Strip



    Travel Stories Episode 8: Epic Guys Trip



    Joey Redmond



    Joey Redmond on Instagram



    Joey Redmond on Twitter



    Thomas Kim on X



    Trevor Mountcastle on X

    • 46 min
    TravelStories Episode 30: First Time Istanbul Visit with Han

    TravelStories Episode 30: First Time Istanbul Visit with Han

    A First Time Istanbul Visit with Han



    Episode 30: Show Notes



    The Turkish Airlines Devaluation was a big deal. We covered our trip to Istanbul, Turkey, but the reality of the matter is, so many people booked trips to Turkey because of this devaluation and we just felt obligated to bring a second perspective. In this case, Han Chicago joins us to share his first time to Istanbul. In this episode, we sit down with Han Chicago to discuss his first-time experience of Turkey and what it has to offer. We cover everything from planning the trip to his in-flight and in-country experiences, discussing the quality of seats on the 787-9 aircraft, why he chose to hire a guide, the benefits of having a guide to get around the city, and Turkey's rich history. Han talks about what he enjoyed most about the city, visiting a spice market, intriguing aspects of the country, his experience of eating a "wet burger" for the first time, and how Turkey captured his wanderlust. He also shares why he was adamant about flying on the A350-900 and what aspects make the aircraft unique. Perhaps the best thing, selfishly, was that Han took so different of an approach to his visit, as compared to Tom and Trevor in Episode 28!



    Key Points From This Episode:




    [00:53] Introducing today’s guest, Han Chicago, and insights into his style of travel.



    [03:06] Trevor and Han debate which airline has the best first-class products.



    [04:38] A brief background about Han and traveling during the pandemic.



    [07:12] Ways the pandemic has impacted how Tom, Trevor, and Han travel. 



    [11:32] Why he chose Turkey, seats on the 787-9 Boeing, and his planning process.



    [16:50] Overview of his in-country package and how he got around the city.



    [18:43] The Grand Hyatt Hotel, exploring the city at night, and avoiding scams.



    [22:30] Han’s favorite parts of the city and indulging in a scoop of Turkish ice cream.



    [25:05] Benefits of having club access and sightseeing with a tour guide.



    [31:41] Eating a “wet burger” and his overall impressions of the food.



    [34:55] Invaluable advice for those thinking about a trip to Turkey.



    [37:08] What he would have done differently and his sightseeing recommendations.



    [39:45] Flying on the A350-900 and the quality of the food on the return trip.



    [45:12] Highlights of his JAL A350-900 experience and final takeaways.



    [49:22] Find out how to get in contact with Han.




    Quotes:



    “I am chasing [travel] products very much. It is because of, in this post-pandemic era, the new evaluations are coming strong.” — @hanchicago [9:16]



    “I can see myself going back to [Turkey]. I think it is a really fun destination. I didn’t really know what to expect.” — @hanchicago [18:43]



    “I think anybody who goes to [Turkey] will enjoy it. There is just a positive feeling there, I can’t really explain it.” — @hanchicago [24:38]



    “You cannot see all of [Turkey] in one trip.” — @TktweetsKim [29:05]



    “I don’t think I would have done the trip, to be honest, if I knew I was not getting on the [A350-900].” — @hanchicago [39:47]



    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:



    Han Chicago on X



    Episode 28: Turkey Travel



    Emirates



    Lufthansa



    Turkish Airlines



    LAflyer on X



    LAflyer Episode



    Grand Hyatt Istanbul



    Grand Bazaar



    Tour Guide Details



    JAL



    One Mile at a Time



    Thomas Kim on X



    Trevor Mountcastle on X



    The Milenomics Podcast Network 

    • 50 min
    TravelStories Episode 29: An Enchanted Princess Cruise Trip Report

    TravelStories Episode 29: An Enchanted Princess Cruise Trip Report

    Episode 29: Show Notes



    This episode on Travel Stories, we dive deeper into sharing our cruise line experiences, and if you have any of your own, we’d love to hear from you! Today, Tom walks us through his recent 10-day journey on Enchanted Princess, starting with his overall evaluation of the experience before assessing tendering and the embarkation process of the ship. We learn about the size of Enchanted Princess, the demographic it caters to, and its onboard dining, as well as its entertainment, housekeeping, and casino offerings, and we compare everything we’ve learned about Enchanted Princess with its other cruise line competitors. As Tom details the ports he visited during his trip, we discover the magic of Dominica and Champagne Beach, the beauty of Martinique, the genius of St. Lucia’s marketing team, and the wonder of the forgotten volcanic activity that occurs all along the Eastern Seaboard. Thank you for taking this journey with us!     



    Key Points From This Episode:




    [00:44] Tom gives us a breakdown of his most recent cruise on Enchanted Princess.



    [01:05] His experience of tendering on Enchanted Princess versus other cruise lines.



    [03:41] Why he was pleased with the embarkation process.



    [07:56] The size of the ship and the ports he visited during his 10 days aboard.



    [13:18] Dominica and Champagne Beach.



    [15:15] An interlude on the volcanic activity that occurs along the Eastern Seaboard.



    [17:10] Why Tom deems St. Lucia a forgettable experience.



    [19:34] The beauty of Martinique.



    [21:12] How Antigua’s marketing is on point.



    [23:22] Tom’s onboard dining experience and the demographic that the ship caters to.



    [27:35] How Enchanted Princess weighs up against Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and others.



    [32:06] Why we choose to talk about cruising on this podcast and what we’re planning next.



    [34:34] Tom’s thoughts on the entertainment and housekeeping of Enchanted Princess.



    [37:50] The casino and onboard gaming opportunities.



    [48:27] Final thoughts from Tom on his Enchanted Princess experience.




    Quotes:



    “Having to tender to get there; it added so much more time [to] both getting there and getting off the island, and it does detract pretty severely from the experience.” — @TktweetsKim [02:39]



    “If you are a person with a young family, if you have younger kids or even kids that are maybe more middle-aged that need activities and fun things to do, – you might not find it on the Princess cruise because it’s much more catering to that retiree [or] classic cruiser.” — @TktweetsKim [26:15]



    “May God have mercy on your soul on that Carnival cruise. Having been on a few, I’m just going to say, block out the following week or two; don’t plan a trip shortly after. You’re probably going to be in bed.” — @tmount [34:02]



    “Kudos to Princess and their staff. The service was pretty good, [and] their people were definitely quality people, and that’s saying something.” — @TktweetsKim [36:52]



    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:



    Enchanted Princess



    Royal Caribbean 



    Celebrity Cruises 



    Windstar Cruises



    Carnival



    Thomas Kim on X



    Trevor Mountcastle on X

    • 45 min
    Checking In Ep 26: What’s It Like to Work with a Disney Travel Agent?

    Checking In Ep 26: What’s It Like to Work with a Disney Travel Agent?

    Planning a Disney World vacation can be an overwhelming experience. With four theme parks, over twenty resort hotels, and dozens of restaurants - there's a lot to consider.



    In this episode I chat with Disney travel agent Joe Cheung and my sister-in-law Kelly to plan her family's Disney World vacation. We discuss hotel options, differences between Disneyland and Disney World, dining options, and more. Having a real conversation with a travel agent, as opposed to wandering around websites and conversing via email, enabled Kelly to confidently select hotels that will be a great fit.



    But the planning doesn't stop there. Now that they've got dates, lodging, and park tickets pinned down, Joe will continue to assist. He'll monitor their dates for hotel pricing for discounts, assist in snagging dining reservations, and be available to answer questions about how to minimize time in line at the parks.



    I hope you enjoy the conversation as a "fly on the wall" listening in on the process, and that it gets you thinking about planning a Disney trip -or- consulting with a travel agent for your upcoming trips wherever they might be.



    Check out Joe's Disney planning podcast and contact him to plan your Disney vacation:




    Disney Deciphered Podcast



    josephcheung@travelmation.net




    Thanks to Joe and Kelly for coming on the show!

    • 48 min
    TravelStories Episode 28: Turkey Travel

    TravelStories Episode 28: Turkey Travel

    Tom and Trevor’s annual guys’ trip for 2024 led them to Istanbul, Turkey, and their experience was an absolute Turkish delight! They booked their tickets via Turkish Airlines just before the award chart’s devaluation, and they were relieved to still be able to use their points. In today’s episode, we take a look at Tom and Trevor’s Middle Eastern adventure, starting with their first experience of successfully transferring and redeeming thank-you points. The journey continues as we discuss the fleet at Turkish Airlines, some interesting events at Newark, Tom and Trevor’s in-flight experience, and everything that happened after they landed in Istanbul. We also learn about how Instagram deceived Trevor, the hotels that feel like home, their day out at the Grand Bazaar, multimodal travel, and the joys of being fully cleansed at the hammam. The trip home came with a silly customs mistake by Trevor, an underwhelming lounge, a Super Bowl cliffhanger, and everything you need to consider when looking for the right car rental agency.             



    Key Points From This Episode:




    [0:00:40] How we were lucky to book our trip to Turkey before its airline’s devaluation.  



    [0:01:10] What Turkish Airlines’ devaluation means for future travel on the airline.  



    [0:04:17] Our first experience of transferring thank-you points. 



    [0:05:50] Exploring the Turkish Airlines fleet. 



    [0:08:43] How we made our bookings for Turkey and some interesting events from Newark Liberty International Airport.   



    [0:24:45] Our in-flight experience.



    [0:30:01] Arriving in Turkey: Customs, Uber’s, Salt Bae, and the Park Hyatt. 



    [0:36:08] How we tried to visit every restaurant and bar in the area, and what we paid. 



    [0:40:40] What we liked about breakfast and what we think could’ve been better.



    [0:44:21] Indulging Trevor and being pleasantly surprised. 



    [0:47:47] The Grand Hyatt Istanbul – a home away from home. 



    [0:52:52] Why we loved the hammam. 



    [0:57:10] The ins and outs of our day at the Grand Bazaar, and the benefits of meal planning. 



    [1:00:47] Our multimodal transportation adventure.  



    [1:03:13] Bidding adieu to Istanbul. 



    [1:06:55] The silly mistake that Trevor made at customs when leaving Turkey. 



    [1:08:19] Why the Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul is not as great as it used to be. 



    [1:12:17] What to keep in mind when departing from Istanbul Airport. 



    [1:15:35] The flight back, Super Bowl ads, and arriving home. 



    [1:24:00] A smooth Budget experience, and why we choose certain car rental agencies.   



    [1:34:21] Final thoughts on the Turkish edition of our annual guys’ trip.  




    Quotes:



    “Folks talk about having to jump through hoops; if you’ve done it once, it is super easy – the reality of the matter is, you go through a little bit of pain but afterwards, it’s actually not that bad.” — @tmount [0:03:58] 



    “Don’t print any checks you can’t cash.” — @TktweetsKim [0:07:46]



    “Turkey is the number one producer of hazelnuts in the world.” — @TktweetsKim [0:28:04]



    “[Salt Bae’s restaurant] just didn’t feel like what you see on Instagram.” — @tmount[0:58:11]



    “In the future, we’re going to have to plan our meals a little bit better – just waiting for the random best option to fall into our laps has turned out to be a problem.” — @TktweetsKim [1:00:17]



    “[On] our last day, we hit three continents. We did Europe, Asia, and then we landed in North America.” — @tmount[1:03:11]



    “Uber is the way to go if you need to get a taxi. It’s a way not to get scammed.” — @TktweetsKim [1:04:48]



    “When you’re on vacation [and] you can spend $20 or $30 to reduce some friction in your life, do it.” — @TktweetsKim [1:30:54]



    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:



    Turkish Airlines 



    Park Hyatt Is

    • 1 hr 36 min
    TravelStories Episode 27: A Pilot’s Perspective

    TravelStories Episode 27: A Pilot’s Perspective

    A Pilot’s Perspective: Finding the Right Approach from Cargo to Commercial



    Episode 27: Show Notes.



    We welcome Steven Kriese, a traveler, a commercial airline pilot and friend. In today’s episode, Steve takes us back in time to his first flying experience and how airline technology has steadily evolved since. He walks us through his personal preferences including his most desired routes, how his job as a pilot affects his leisure travel, what he learned from his time in the Air Force, and what he loves most about his job. We also learn about various approach styles and in particular, the RNP approach, a close examination of how air operations work, the ins and outs of miles, points, and rewards from Steve’s perspective, and why he still holds high standards of safety for the 737, which he himself flies.        



    Key Points From This Episode:




    [00:56] Some background on today’s guest, former U.S. Air Force cargo pilot, Steven Kriese. 



    [03:56] His first flying experience and the aircrafts he’s flown since.  



    [05:20] “What’s your route?” How Steve plans his flights every month. 



    [07:55] Exploring various landing styles and approaches, and explaining the RNP approach.



    [13:00] The progression of flight technology during Steve’s career. 



    [14:45] Interesting routes that he’d liked to fly either as a pilot or passenger. 



    [15:58] Noteworthy moments from his time in the Air Force.



    [17:37] His stance on miles and points, and a deep dive into rewards. 



    [28:25] Air operations: duty timeouts during delays, cancellations, and other scenarios.  



    [34:34] What Steve discovered after swapping military cargo planes for commercial ones.



    [37:28] He explains what he loves most about his job as a pilot. 



    [40:02] Why he’s confident in the safety of the 737 amid the AA flight 1282 debacle. 



    [44:40] How his experience as a pilot has influenced his leisure travel. 




    Quotes:



    “I may offend one or two, but pilots are generally cheap.” — Steven Kriese [24:51]



    “The miracle of flight in the modern age: eating a meal [and] surfing the internet in a metal tube, 30,000 feet in the air.” — @tmount [34:00]



    “In all honesty, flying cargo planes for the military, especially for the Air Force, is very similar to what we do in the airlines.” — Steven Kriese [34:57]



    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:



    Steven Kriese on LinkedIn



    Steven Kriese on Instagram



    Alaska Airlines 



    American Airlines



    United



    JetBlue 



    Spirit Airlines 



    Delta 



    Oneworld 



    Chase Sapphire Reserve 



    ‘AvTalk Episode 250: Alaska Airlines Flight 1282’ 



    DCL Podcast



    The Milenomics Podcast Network



    Thomas Kim on X



    Trevor Mountcastle on X

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
46 Ratings

46 Ratings

K Paley ,

Careful, thoughtfully-developed contentq

Although these two are not winning Oscars for their dramatic performances, they might warrant Nobel prizes for their thorough, thoughtful, and helpful travel content. In a world filled with hard sells and endless referral links, this podcast will be a breath of fresh air.

E.V.ddie ,

Trevor is a wet blanket

Even the free (no annual fee) show used to be very good when Sam and Robert hosted it. Over time it became watered down and more vague. Then recently it was farmed out to Trevor Mountcastle and Tom Kim. They used to have a podcast that was ok. Trevor can be really weak as a host. Maybe with the right co-host it might work but without super interesting and useful content like best resources used for travel hacking, the show isn’t very interesting. Listen to the Travel Horror Stories episode 15 and how often Trevor talks about himself. It’s odd to listen to someone say I, me, and we so often. It’s annoying but also bizarre. If he was a guest saying here’s my travel tips and given a segment, great. But to continually host the show? He’s either talking about himself or waiting patiently to do so. It would be the same if you were sitting next to him at dinner, on a plane, in a taxi or on this podcast. I wonder if he realizes this? Of all the interesting travel people out there Sam and Robert choose these two?

M1ke S ,

Best Mike’s and points content out there

I have been listening to these guys for years, and hands-down, for me, this is the best miles and points content available. They’re rapport is so good, and you can tell that they put a lot of time and effort into the production of the podcast. The sound quality is excellent and the contant is well researched and topical. The podcast is always quite entertaining, and I can’t wait each week for the new episode. Their premium content on Patreon is also well worth the fee. I make more points than I can spend now, and it is becoming increasingly effortless. Thanks so much Sam and Robert and for putting this together, creating an amazing community and sharing their wisdom and experiences.

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