Category Archives: Trip Reports

Travel with Grant Turns 8 Years Old & My Top 8 Travel & Blogging Moments

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is off to a great start.  8 years ago today (back on May 1, 2013), Travel with Grant was born!  Even though I am not a full time blogger and writing this post from a secluded beach, I’m still very happy and grateful to still be writing and sharing my thoughts with my readers.  Every year (when I remember), I like to write a birthday / blogiversary post about TWG.  If you want to reminisce through the years, check out these old posts: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, and I forgot about year 7 during the Coronavirus Pandemic (oops).

Before I share my top 8 blogging moments, I wanted to share some advice I learned about blogging:

  • I feel like the traditional advice and reason for starting a travel blog is to “help friends and family travel.”  That couldn’t be further from the truth for me.  I was tired of telling my friends and family about all the cool credit card sign up bonuses, cool airline alliances, cool sweet spots, and having them not care at all.  I started my blog because I wanted to help people that actually wanted to travel!
  • Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme either.  Most of the time (at least for the first few years), you will be working for free or working for less than minimum wage.  Don’t start a blog for the money because you will run out of steam and enthusiasm very quickly.
  • Anyone can start a blog, but keeping a blog going week after week, month after month, and year after year takes a lot of dedication.  Which leads to my next point – write about the things that interest you.  If you are not excited about a topic, chances are your writing will come off boring and your readers will be bored too.

Without further ado, here are my top 8 travel & blogging moments (in chronological order):

May 1, 2013 – Travel with Grant is born.  I was between jobs at the time and thought that having a blog would help me get a job.  A few months later, I started working at Panasonic Avionics (in-flight entertainment and global Wifi provider), so maybe my plan worked out.  I had never started a blog, so I brainstormed blog names and chose Travel with Grant over Grant’s Trips because when you type out the URL, it looked like www . grant strips . com and I didn’t want people to be dissapointed when they clicked the link.  Looking back at the first few months of blogging is like looking at your work from kindergarten now that you are in college.  Thankfully, my writing, logo, and blog layout improved over time. Continue reading

My Experience Booking Vacasa Vacation Rentals with Wyndham Rewards Points

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  A few weeks ago, Greg the Frequent Miler wrote 2 great articles about using Wyndham Rewards Points to book Vacasa vacation rentals (article 1 and article 2).  I wanted to provide my experience booking 2 Vacasa vacation rentals, so I followed the 4 steps that Greg laid out in the second article:

How to book Vacasa Vacation Rentals with Wyndham points

Here’s the step by step process that I recommend:

    1. Start your search here: www.vacasa.com/search?maxbeds=1&place=/usa/
      This link filters to a maximum of 1 bedroom. If you want more than 1 bedroom, change the filter, but keep in mind that 2 bedroom units cost twice as many points.
    2. Use the Vacasa website to find properties that are available for cash rates for your dates of interest. I recommend finding at least three options that would work for you, if possible.
    3. Email Wyndham to inquire about those properties and dates, here: triprewards.fulfillment@wyndham.com OR call: (506) 646-2943
    4. Put a reminder on your calendar 31 days or more before your stay to remind you to cancel if it doesn’t look like the stay will work out. Bookings are non-refundable within 30 days.

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Attend FTU Virtual Seminar on Saturday April 10 ($25) or Free with FTU Online Annual Membership

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  If you have no plans this coming Saturday (April 10), I highly recommend attending the FTU Virtual Seminar (tickets available for $25).  The seminar starts on Saturday at 11am ET / 8am PT.  I really enjoyed attending the first FTU Virtual Seminar back on December 12 and I’m sure this seminar will be just as entertaining and educational.  If you have the FTU Online Annual Membership, you can attend the seminar for free.

If you registered for the seminar on Saturday, but are unable to watch the live stream, you can access the recording of the seminar and watch later on.  This is also a great way to re-watch your favorite presentations and catch any details that you originally missed.

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Stay at this Cool College-Themed Hilton Hotel in San Luis Obispo

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great Easter and Passover.  A few days ago, Laura and I did a roadtrip around California and stayed at The Kinney San Luis Obispo, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.  The Kinney is a few blocks from downtown San Luis Obispo (SLO) and a short drive / bike ride to the campus of Cal Poly SLO.  Since the hotel is close to the university, the hotel has a college theme.  Basic rooms are called Campus Rooms and the suites are called Grad Suite, Dean Suite, and Professor Suite (see all pics and room descriptions here).  I used points to book a Campus Room and was upgraded (thanks to my Hilton Diamond Elite Status) to a Grad Suite.  I enjoyed staying at this hotel and the location was great for exploring downtown SLO and the surrounding area.  I would definitely stay here again the next time I visit SLO.  Here are some pics of my room and of the hotel.

Image source: https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/oakerup-the-kinney-san-luis-obispo/

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Last Day to Register for Tomorrow’s FTU Virtual Seminar (Saturday February 20)

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I just wanted to remind you that today is the last day to register for tomorrow’s FTU Virtual Seminar.  If you have no plans tomorrow (Saturday February 20), I highly recommend attending the FTU Virtual Seminar (tickets available for $25).  The seminar starts on Saturday at 11am ET / 8am PT and will run for 3 hours with a virtual social mixer afterwards.  I really enjoyed attending the first FTU Virtual Seminar back on December 12 and I’m sure this seminar will be just as entertaining and educational.  If you have the FTU Online Annual Membership, you can attend the seminar for free.

If you register for the seminar, but are unable to watch the live stream, you can access the recording of the seminar and watch later on.  This is also a great way to re-watch your favorite presentations and catch any details that you may have missed.

Continue reading