Author Archives: Tonei Glavinic

About Tonei Glavinic

Tonei Glavinic is an Alaskan travel expert, educator, social justice advocate, and digital nomad currently based in Mexico City. Find them on Twitter @tonei.

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Canadian Immigration Installs New Self-Service Kiosks & Releases CanBorder eDeclaration Smartphone App

Buenos dias everyone!

I got an email from NEXUS this week about some changes coming to Canadian immigration procedures which will seem very familiar to US travelers. Starting this weekend, Canada is starting to phase out its paper declaration cards in favor of automated “Primary Inspection Kiosks”, similar to the Automated Passport Control (APC) or Global Entry (GE) kiosks used in most US airports.

These paper declaration cards are going the way of the dinosaurs.

These paper declaration cards are going the way of the dinosaurs.

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PSA: Activate Discover Q2 Cash Back Bonus Categories (Home Improvement Stores & Warehouse Clubs)

Buenos dias everyone,

If you have an eligible Discover card, it’s time to register for the Q2 5% Cashback Bonus categories: Home Improvement and Warehouse Clubs.

Discover's Q2 5% Cashback Bonus categories are Home Improvement Stores and Warehouse Clubs.

Discover’s Q2 5% Cashback Bonus categories are Home Improvement Stores and Warehouse Clubs.

You should have gotten an email from Discover with a one-click registration link, or you can just visit the Discover Cashback Calendar to activate.

Last quarter I bought discounted gift cards at Sam’s Club and Costco for the 5% cash back; I’ll probably spend a decent amount at Home Depot this quarter and then buy gift cards with the rest. I’ll use the cashback earned to buy more gift cards from Discover and sell them for a slightly larger profit.

Do you have plans for your Discover 5% category, or for the cash back you earn? Let me know in the comments.

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Alaska Airlines Announces New Routes from California (SAN, LAX & SFO) to Mexico City (MEX)

Buenas dias everyone,

It looks like Santa has been talking to the folks at Alaska Airlines, because the first wish on my travel hacker wish list was granted today: Alaska Awhirlines announced that the US Department of Transportation has granted them tentative approval to operate four flights a day to Mexico City starting this summer!

New Alaska Airlines routes to Mexico City

New Alaska Airlines routes to Mexico City! Image from gcmap.com

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Statue of Liberty silhouette photo by Chris Goldberg on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisgold/4935283295/in/photolist-8w7BMi-845xav-864SwS-ax5fA6-6Bxii4-99WAyA-5BW7bn-5UuDsd-4ekynf-8Zgd9J-4Zj3dF-nBKQWJ-ovqtVt-6Bx5fF-ccfgv-opjWHW-5oPxey-cbRBS-733rhJ-72Ykb6-cbStk-ovpPKT-oNaTPE-cbSji-85YyKP-s7DYEq-73ihhx-74tyWr-RjKbKS-sfVmCR-orS7kR-7YWqGW-nABggM-5d94Gj-8Dp9zh-9pp2Cz-9No1Qx-sq9Gh1-nBKUM8-5Yfndz-5Axiq4-724u8b-73if74-7bGnXL-RjvYqh-bgZW4B-cXe39U-QtxTQP-7AshRV-sfVmzp

Immigration & Travel Survival Guide for US Citizens, Green Card Holders, Visa Holders & Foreign Travelers

Buenas dias everyone,

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for many in the United States, particularly foreign visitors and green card holders. As a US citizen living abroad with a Mexican partner, the unpredictability of recent immigration policy changes (and the actions of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials) plus the repeated demonization of immigrants and Mexicans is scary. Here are some thoughts I have on things to be aware of and ways to keep yourself safe.

All Travelers Entering the United States from Abroad

ACLU Know Your Rights Guide. Screenshot from aclu.org

ACLU Know Your Rights Guide. Screenshot from aclu.org

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has a Know Your Rights guide about encountering law enforcement at airports and other US ports of entry. The short version is this: if you’re a US citizen, you have the right to not answer questions or to speak to an attorney, but doing so will likely mean you have a bad day.  Green card and visa holders may be denied entry for refusing to answer questions or comply with the requests of agents, and often do not have the right to speak to an attorney unless arrested. I am not a lawyer, but my recommendation in most cases is to answer questions truthfully and succinctly, providing only the information requested without unnecessary detail. Continue reading

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My 2017 Elite Status Strategy: Should I Move from Alaska AIrlines to American Airlines?

Buenas dias everyone,

Since my travel has started ramping up in 2017, I decided it was time to sit down and look at my strategy for earning airline elite status in the coming year. Which means…spreadsheet time!

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 1.08.27 PM

A portion of my elite status planning spreadsheet

Where I am Today

I currently have Alaska Airlines MVP Gold, United Airlines Gold, and Virgin America Silver elite statuses. I’ve already credited a couple of trips to my Alaska Airlines account (two on American Airlines and one on Delta). Most of my confirmed flights later this year are on American Airlines or other OneWorld carriers.  Continue reading