Recent Articles

Hawaii With the Hilton Cards

We are really looking forward to our return next year to the Hilton Waikoloa Village Hotel. It’s a massive resort on the Big Island that we visited many years ago. As we explored the islands we found the Grand Hyatt on Kauai to be our personal chill-out favorite but, on this trip, we will be joined by our grandkids and their parents for a medical conference and hopefully, a lasting memory will be made for all of us.

The Hilton Waikoloa has a series of connecting natural pools where a couple of friendly dolphins reside. We hope to share the “Dolphin Experience” with our 6- and 8-year-old grandkids for a morning I’m sure we will never forget. It’s expensive, but just imagine those kids swimming and playing with the dolphins in a supervised setting with an instructor and family setting of just the six of us.

The hotel price in September is a reasonable $251 per night plus the resort fees, taxes and all the other goodies hotels like adding o… Read More

Chase Sapphire Preferred Review (2019)

Chase Sapphire Preferred Review (2019)

There are a lot of amazing travel rewards credit cards nowadays, and in many ways credit card issuers have become significantly more competitive when it comes to the perks associated with cards. In this post I wanted to take a close look at what has been a popular card for years — is it still as good as it used to be?

Chase Sapphire Preferred Basics

While a lot of people nowadays talk about the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review), thisChase Sapphire Preferred card was built on the basics of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

I consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to be one of the most well-rounded cards out there, and also one of the best cards for beginners, given that it has a low annual fee, good return on spending, excellent perks, and… Read More

Best Virtual Mailbox Service For Travelers & Digital Nomads

Best Virtual Mailbox Service For Travelers & Digital Nomads

Virtual Mailbox Services ReviewVirtual Mailboxes: How to Receive Mail while Traveling
Digital Nomads

How do long-term travelers and digital nomads receive mail or packages while traveling? I use a virtual mailbox service that allows me to scan and forward my mail internationally.

I’ve been working as a digital nomad for the past 9 years, basing myself in multiple countries or simply living out of my backpack while traveling.

Currently, I’m living as an expat in Italy.

Yet I have a virtual mailbox with a physical address in San Antonio, Texas.

Using this service, any incoming mail or packages is photographed, which I can then view through an online dashboard.

From there, I can decide to scan the contents (letters), forward the mail/package… Read More

Why obnoxious big-bus city tours are sort of awesome

I have a travel confession: I kind of love big-bus tours. You know, the ones with those often gaudy-looking buses with tourists piling on and off in major cities everywhere. Now I don’t like to admit that I’m the sort of traveler who hops on a double-decker bus, heads to the top deck, plugs in some cheap headphones that come with the tour and learns the lay of the land by looping about and listening to prerecorded facts and trivia about a city — but I sometimes am that sort of traveler. And even if you think you aren’t the type of traveler to get anywhere near a hop-on and hop-off bus tour, maybe you should give it a try.

Grandma is to thank (or blame?)

I can’t truly claim the fame or blame for my appreciation of big-bus tours — my mom made it happen. A few years ago, she and her sister took a fancy post-teaching retirement trip through Europe courtesy of miles and points. They went to a number of European cities such as London, Paris, Zuri… Read More

Don't wear leggings on a hike

Don't wear leggings on a hike

This is the Travel Take, where Matador’s writers and editors make the case for their favorite travel hacks, tips, and personal tics.

We get it. Stretchy leggings are just so comfortable. And they’re kind of sexy. And they go so well with a brightly colored top, which definitely looks better on the ‘gram. So why would you wear anything else if you go hiking? For one, you should not go hiking for the photos. Pictures are just a nice byproduct of the experience itself. Second, those bright printed leggings with sheer detailing on the side are simply the wrong choice for treks of any significant length. And it’s not about us policing what women can and can’t wear or what looks more legit — it’s about the hard fact that leggings were simply not built for the outdoors. Here’s why and what you should wear instead.

Leggings are tight… Read More

TPG Points Lab: How to boost your chances of getting a better seat by 91% or more

The Points Lab is TPG’s newest team, dedicated to using data and leveraging technology to create resources, tools and analyses to help readers more effectively and efficiently use their points and miles. After covering Lufthansa first-class award availability and Marriott peak/off-peak pricing, today we’ll analyze seat alerts in ExpertFlyer.

Airline seat selection can be a frustrating endeavor. Window or aisle? Preferred seat or standard seat? Pay extra or not? Should I not even select a seat and hope to score a great one at check in? In many cases, your ideal seat may not be available when you go to book. And who has time to manually check a seat map multiple times a day leading up to a flight in the hopes that a better one opens up?

Fortunately, there’s a way to do this automatically: ExpertFlyer (which is owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures).

Today I’ll take you through exactly how to set seat alerts for … Read More

Are Men Abused Online More Than Women?

Are Men Abused Online More Than Women?

(TW: this post discusses online abuse and includes screencaps and discussion of graphic, misogynistic, homophobic, and generally just horrifying language.)

I’ve been studying online harassment for a while now. I find myself a case study more often than I would like, and when I present on the topic, my slides are often screencaps of abusive Twitter replies that I’ve received. (My tweets get a lot of visibility, which is helpful for me as a writer and problematic for me as someone who doesn’t enjoy death threats.)

Tweets like these are in no short supply, and I realize that I’m hardly unique in this respect. Most women I know get comments similar to mine or far, far worse. On the spectrum of harassment, I’d put myself firmly middle of the pack. I… Read More

Best Virtual Mailbox Service For Travelers & Digital Nomads

Best Virtual Mailbox Service For Travelers & Digital Nomads

Virtual Mailbox Services ReviewVirtual Mailboxes: How to Receive Mail while Traveling
Digital Nomads

How do long-term travelers and digital nomads receive mail or packages while traveling? I use a virtual mailbox service that allows me to scan and forward my mail internationally.

I’ve been working as a digital nomad for the past 9 years, basing myself in multiple countries or simply living out of my backpack while traveling.

Currently, I’m living as an expat in Italy.

Yet I have a virtual mailbox with a physical address in San Antonio, Texas.

Using this service, any incoming mail or packages is photographed, which I can then view through an online dashboard.

From there, I can decide to scan the contents (letters), forward the mail/package… Read More