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Joining the Boarding Area family was one of the highlights of 2016 for us. Although BaldThoughts.com lives on Prior2Boarding, this week we’re fortunate enough to also share our adventures with you. Stay tuned for our posts and watch out for our sweepstakes to win some fun freebies, including two United Club Lounge passes later today!
What is Bald Thoughts?
Bald Thoughts was created as a way to chronicle my travel adventures, with a small focus on saving money and investing for a better future with all of the money saved by using miles and points. The “bald” comes from me losing my hair at an early age. And “thoughts” refers to the thought and strategy needed in the miles & points world to maximize the value of points.
My blog was created in December 2012. And we joined the Boarding Area family in May 2016 after an introduction to Randy by my good friend Angelina.
Who am I?
My name is Lee, and I love traveling with my family. My wife, Anna, doesn’t have as much vacation as I do, but she’s as cool as can be. She encourages me to travel with friends and the kids whenever she can’t go, but I still spoil her as much as possible with premium flights, airport lounges, and five-star hotels.
I’m a huge fan of Kimpton and the way they spoil me as an Inner Circle member. Southwest Airlines is my favorite airline because of their personality and their Companion Pass. This year marks the 10th year in a row that I’ve had their Companion Pass!
Who is Charlie?
I’ve known Charlie since we did a GORUCK event in June 2013. Seriously, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. If you want to push yourself wayyy past your comfort zone during a team-building event like none other, sign up for GORUCK.
Growing up I never had any opportunity to travel the country, yet alone aboard an airplane. My family’s version of a vacation was driving down to see relatives in San Diego, CA for the weekend. It was not until I enlisted in the U.S. Army that I took my first flight and experienced what world had to offer. Ever since then, I’ve been on the road and never looked back. From the battle lines of Iraq to the enchanting Phi Phi islands in Thailand, I have seen the worst and best the world has to offer.
Over the years, I have slowly learned the in’s and out’s of the travel industry from my day job being a marketing manager which requires me to travel frequently. After several inquiries from my friends and family asking me for travel help. I decided I wanted to share my knowledge and techniques to more people.
I met Lee (that ugly bald dude), oops did I say that too loud? during a GoRuck event in 2013. I reached out to Lee and asked if I could join his blog. His philosophy of travel more, spend less, live better resonated well with me. Lee was nice enough (ok, I take back the ugly part back) to welcome me to his blog and allow me to write with him to his audience.
Who is Tyler?
Fun fact: I didn’t even meet Tyler in person until we went to the FTU in Costa Mesa over Halloween weekend.
My name is Tyler, and I first connected with Lee via Twitter. He contacted me about manufactured spend, and I did my best to answer all of his questions, and I picked his brain in return. Lee and I continued sharing tips and tricks, and I started writing on BaldThoughts this past October.
I am currently finishing college and am the resident deal expert here at Bald Thoughts. I accumulate miles and points to travel with my friends, family, and girlfriend during school breaks and on the weekends. My favorite airline is American, but due to the adverse changes in the last six months, I am currently playing the airline “field.” In the past, I have been a Starwood loyalist but hope to make a move to Kimpton in the next few months.
Why do we blog?
I’ll let you in on a little secret, blogging requires a lot of time and energy. While my wife and kids sleep, I’m writing trip reports or sharing the latest deal I’ve found. During vacations, I often find myself searching for a cool photo to include in a post rather than being “in the moment” with Anna and the kids. That’s something I’m working to fix… the kids may be 5 and 22 months now, but they’ll be grown up and “too cool” for Dad and Mom before I know it.
So, I blog to have a journal of our great experiences for them to look back on. And to share how easy it can be to take vacations with your family. The first major international trip I took with Anna is thanks to miles and points. We went to Paris with Timmy and my mother-in-law for 2 weeks. If I had to pay cash for a trip like that, I might still be saving up for it… or too frugal to pull the trigger on the $5000-$10,000 it would have cost for airfare and hotels. Instead, we used 280,000 AA miles (economy there, business class on the return), our timeshare, some hotel points, and less than $2,000 to make that trip happen.
After that, I was hooked! And haven’t shut up about the possibilities since.
My goal in blogging is to share my knowledge and experiences to empower readers to explore the world as cheaply as possible. You don’t have to be wealthy to enjoy a lavish travel experience. With a strong passion for East and South East Asian culture and history, my voice will be in deals and unique experiences in that region.
I enjoy talking, writing, and learning about all the different avenues of the travel world! Since most of the world doesn’t partake in these travel techniques, it’s nice to connect with others who don’t want to pay $7,000 for a one-way from Sydney to Abu Dhabi in Etihad’s, The Apartment.
I have learned so much from during the last 4-5 years that I can’t resist sharing tips, tricks, and experiences that I’ve obtained. Traveling is multi-dimensional as you can learn about different cultures or time periods, or you can simply lay on the beach in Costa Rica! I write with the intention of teaching others everything travel related, especially how you can leverage frequent flyer miles and credit card points to complete your travel wish list.
What about money?
I also talk about money to anyone who will listen. I’ve been trained in financial planning and have worked in bankruptcy, banking, and financial services for the last 20 years. I want people to save on travel using our tips and tricks, then reinvest that money into their future by paying down debt, building an emergency fund, and investing for retirement.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve paid off my car, refinanced and paid off my student loans, and one of my rental properties. This year, I’ll pay off another rental property as part of my plan to retire from my day job in the next 10 years to focus on travel writing, real estate investing, and spending as much time with the kids before they go off to college.
The Bald Thoughts
Each time we write a post, we like to summarize what we shared with you and provide a final insight on the topic. Think of it as the Cliff Notes version of the blog post. Hey, we’re all busy people, and sometimes you just need an overview. You’ll find that here.
Thank you for reading. We look forward to sharing more with you this week. Be sure to come back in a couple of hours to try to win two United Club Lounge passes. Have a great day!