Good morning everyone, I hope your Sunday is going well so far. Here is the second Q&A post with my new writer Tonei. If you missed the first Q&A with Whitney, I recommend checking that out too. It seems like I have known Tonei for a long time, even though we only met last year. We tend to have similar travel styles and approaches to travel hacking. I always enjoy listening to Tonei’s travel stories, adventures, and misadventures. Tonei is very resilient when things go wrong and tries to put a positive spin on things, just like I do. Eric, myself, Dawn, and Tonei (pictured below) are co-organizers of the ever expanding SF Travel Hackers Meetup group (1,300 members and constantly growing). Without further ado, take it away Tonei…
- Name: Tonei Glavinic
- Location: Mexico City, Mexico
- Preferred Airline or Alliance: Alaska Airlines + its Global Partners
- Preferred Hotel: I love Starwood properties, but usually end up staying at IHG hotels since they have such great promotions.
- How did you get into travel hacking? I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and started traveling across the country when I was still in high school – which meant that I hit MVP with Alaska for the first time when I was 17, and I’ve had status every year since. I also discovered Flyertalk around the same time, which is how I started down the rabbit hole.
- What is your short-term goal and long-term goal? I try to keep a healthy balance across my transferable points programs so I can quickly take advantage of opportunities when they arise. I definitely want to visit Australia and New Zealand sometime soon, and want to explore Hawaii further. I’d also like to visit Korea and possibly spend some time in China.
- What has been your biggest accomplishment travel-wise since getting into travel hacking? Last summer, my partner and I spent a month traveling through Honolulu, Tokyo, Osaka, and Hong Kong. (We had originally planned to go to Australia and Taiwan as well, but ran into visa issues).
- Where else have you been able to go because of travel hacking? Bangkok, Belize, Costa Rica, Dublin, Fairbanks, Foz do Iguaçu, Jakarta, Kenya, London, Palestine and Israel, Puerto Rico, Santiago, Sao Paolo, Singapore, and Taipei, plus lots of trips between the Bay Area and Mexico City.
- What vacations are you currently planning? My partner and I are spending the holidays in Paris, London, and Cancun, and we have a round the world trip in February with a group of fellow travel hackers that involves stops in Austin, Madrid, Algeria, Doha, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Los Angeles. We’re also planning a trip to Japan in May to see the Wisteria Tunnels at Kawachi Fuji Gardens.
- Are you chasing status? I currently have Gold status with Alaska and United, and Silver status with Virgin and (soon) Delta. I maintain my Alaska status easily through my regular trips, but since I qualify for an EQD waiver now I may try to keep the United status as well.
- What are your main channels of manufactured spending? Gift card reselling and a bit of retail arbitrage (mostly buying items to help other resellers circumvent purchase limits, but I occasionally sell things myself.)
- What is your routine for MS? I’m part of various private groups that let me know when there are deals worth jumping on, and will usually take advantage of anything that is breakeven – though I of course prefer profitable deals. I also regularly keep an eye on my Amex Offers for potential gift card reselling opportunities.
- What is your routine for credit card applications? I usually only apply for one or two cards at a time depending on promotion availability. I plan to apply for an Avianca card soon (see Grant’s recent post about the Avianca Vuela Credit Card), and maybe an Amazon store card, but need to let my credit score recover from some GC- and Black Friday-related high balances.
Those are all the questions I have for Tonei. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and Tonei will be sure to answer them as soon as possible. Have a great day everyone!
P.S. I have a few more writers to on board and a few more Q&A posts coming soon. Stay tuned!