2013 was a great year – 2014 has some serious shoes to fill, but I am confident that the year ahead will be just lovely. With baby points traveler arriving any week now, life will take a different turn in exciting new ways as I adjust to the role of Mommy. While traveling impulsively won’t come as easily at first, the good news is that I’m confident that I’ll be back in the air soon enough (I’m eying April), and baby points traveler certainly will be joining me in the sky sooner than later.

So what’s in store for 2014?

  • A Blog Makeover – Yup it’s about time! I’m hoping to roll out a nice revamped layout in the coming weeks.
  • Speaking at Sessions – So far I have plans to present at the First2Board seminars in Seattle in August 2014, as well as at the Chicago Seminars in October. My good blogger-friend, Bonnie (Frugal Travel Lawyer), and I are working on a joint presentation that’ll go over strategies to maximize miles and points while traveling impulsively as well as planning ahead. We will compare the ups and downs associated both travel styles, as well as offer secrets and tips to stretch your points and miles no matter what your style is.
  • More Reader Meet-Ups – If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that I love organizing impromptu get-togethers and casual meet-ups when I’m traveling. There’s nothing more exciting than talking face-to-face with others who also love all things points and miles. Let’s be friends in real life this year, K?
  • Award Help – I get tons of email requests from readers asking for help and assistance with planning their dream trips using miles. Soon you will notice a special tab dedicated to award booking.
  • Bringing on an Intern – I have a lot of ideas to grow the blog, but of course two heads are better than one. When I was in college, I had some pretty awesome and unique internships that allowed me to work one-on-one with a mentor that I’ve looked up to in exchange for college credit. This year I am looking to do the same and bring on an intern. If you’re a college student looking to learn the ins and outs of travel blogging, then send me a quick email for consideration. College credit can be given if needed.

Status Goals for 2014

  • Airline: I’m going to keep it simple this year. Although I am disappointed that there have been so many [negative] changes with United Airlines over the last few months, I can’t exactly change the fact that I am EWR-based, so for now United status is definitely on my radar. Sadly, 2014 will be the only year I can enjoy 1K status because with the PQD-spend requirement now in place, I’ll only be able to qualify for Premier Platinum status for 2015 *if* I spend $25,000 on my United MileagePlus Explorer. I’ll continue to enjoy my Turkish Airlines Gold Status for free domestic lounge access, and I am hoping to achieve at least Gold Status with American Airlines/US Airways, depending on how the merger pans out.
  • Hotel: I still can’t say I have much die-hard hotel loyalty, so for 2014, I plan on enjoying my complimentary SPG Gold and Hilton HHonors Gold status (thanks to my American Express Business Platinum Card), Hyatt Platinum Status (thanks to my Hyatt Visa), IHG Platinum Status (thanks to my IHG Rewards Visa), Club Carlson Concierge status, Marriott Gold status (thanks to the United/Marriott partnership), and Kimpton Inner Circle.

What are your personal points and miles goals for the year? Also, what would you like to see on the blog this coming year? I’m looking for all kinds of feedback – what kind of posts do you love? hate? Speak to me – and I’ll pass along a pair of United Club passes to one lucky commenter in return.

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  • Karenc said,

    Hi Angelina,
    Love all your posts.
    Another 4 hour delay out of LGA Sunday left us wondering if we really want to stay loyal to United, but being based in Houston IAH leaves us stuck in the same position as you describe…and we fly to LGA about evy 6 wks for the grandkids. Headed back End of this month and could really use those UA club passes.

  • Jeff said,

    Loooooveeeee the college intern part! Would totally write for you if I wasn’t already at BoardingArea ;)

  • RedHat said,

    Angelina,
    I am also based in EWR and with this new United rule, I am not sure if I can even maintain my Premiere Gold status. Your statement “I’ll only be able to qualify for Premier Platinum status for 2015 *if* I spend $25,000 on my United MileagePlus Explorer”. Can you elaborate this?
    I have the same card but not aware about this benefits as well can not find it in Chase website.
    Stay warm, it has started snowing hard up here in the North Jersey.

  • SusanGol said,

    I never fly United, and all of the sudden I’m flying United to Seattle. I wish I had info on all the various lounge programs. To see if I can access any lounge. I love the columns that compare different programs – some research for your intern? A few thoughts:
    1. A list of the costs on all FREE flights, We’re flying coach to Paris, so we paid for economy comfort. Almost $500 worth of comfort. I wonder how much these extras would have cost on another airline,
    2. The best hotels in each chain.
    3. The best unexpected hotels – ie, great hotels in the lower echelons
    3. The value of membership in each chain.
    I’m looking forward to hearing about baby points traveler! Lucky kid!

  • Ron said,

    “United status is definitely on my radar. Sadly, 2014 will be the only year I can enjoy 1K status because with the PQD-spend requirement now in place, I’ll only be able to qualify for Premier Platinum status for 2015 *if* I spend $25,000 on my United MileagePlus Explorer.” Angelina, I would think with Vanilla loads to Bluebird, Amazon payments etc. this would be pretty easy to do. Otherwise I can send you a Canadian mailing address ??

  • Ron said,

    RedHat, to answer your question a HT to View from the Wing for this quote ” People who spend $25,000 a year on a United co-branded credit card or have a Presidential Plus card and are trying to reach Platinum status or lower (that spending exempts members from the revenue requirement for all but 1K status).

    (There’s also a requirement to have at least four paid flights on United, United Express, or Copa in order to earn United status, with holders of the Presidential Plus and MileagePlus Club Card exempt from that requirement.)” I would think this info came from the United website.

  • Frugal Travel Lawyer said,

    Looking forward to another great year sharing our passion for points, miles and travel. So excited to have baby points traveler joining us this year!

  • Matthew said,

    Enjoy reading the blog and the college interning
    would be a blast I’m sure. Hope to maintain
    Premier Gold status with United and earn Silver Elite
    with Virgin America. Currently a Diamond member with
    Hilton Hhonors but wouldn’t mind dropping to Gold.
    Would love to read more about the best hotels in each
    chain just as a previous poster mentioned. Happy
    travels in 2014!

  • Marina said,

    Would love to hear more about how to find the best airfare deals. Are there better websites to search? Are there better ways to search? And keep doing what you’ve been doing. It’s a great blog.

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