EPoP 011: How to Book RTW Tickets and the Value of Indie Travel with Sean Keener


In this rollicking interview, Sean Keener, founder of Bootsnall, one of the webs’s very first communities for travelers, sits down to discuss a myriad of topics including how to book Round-the-World (RTW) tickets, the value of “indie” travel, and how the internet has changed the travel landscape (for better and worse).

Sean has been writing and talking about travel on the internet since the days of dial-up internet, and founded Bootsnall a whopping 15 years ago.

Sean’s energy and enthusiasm for travel are contagious and haven’t waned a bit (and in fact, have probably grown) since he started the site as a 25-year-old.

Couple that with extensive knowledge of travel, and you’re looking at an awesome interview.  So hold on to your hats and dig into this inspiring interview full of practical travel advice and great stories!

Right-click to download this episode directly

Don’t forget, I’m giving away $100 if you rate the podcast (which takes 2 minutes).

Yep, I want a chance at $100.  Take me there!

In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • The definition of “indie travel” and why it’s so valuable.
  • How to search for and get instant pricing on Round the World tickets.
  • How the loosening of work visas are allowing more people to travel.
  • The importance of community, and why no one owns it.
  • It’s ok not to follow Yelp all the time.
  • Why studying abroad may be the best way for young people to start traveling.
  • Why a RTW trip may be a better education than college.

Links Discussed in This Episode:

I Need Your Help

Sean is a great friend of mine and one of the most enthusiastic people on the planet about travel, so show him some love by clicking “tweet this” below:

“@SEKeener, you’re an incredible inspiration to travel. Thanks for sharing your expertise on the EPoP Podcast with @PackofPeanuts.

Tweet This!

I’m giving away $100 once we hit 100 ratings on iTunes, so why not take 1 minute, leave a rating, and enter to win!

Leave a Rating for the Podcast, Win $100!



EPoP 010: How to Earn THOUSANDS of Miles Per Hotel Stay Instead of Hundreds

Jay Hoffman, Rocketmiles CEO

In this episode of the Extra Pack of Peanuts Podcast, Jay Hoffman, founder, and CEO of Rocketmiles sits down to discuss how savvy travelers can earn thousands of frequent flyer miles per hotel stay as opposed to just a few hundred.

Jay is a self-proclaimed frequent flyer addict who once headed the loyalty program at United MileagePlus before moving to Groupon.

From his experience at those two places, he saw the need for a place where frequent flyer lovers like himself could go and have the opportunity to earn large chunks of miles from their hotel stays, not just tiny amounts that would take forever to add up.

With the mission of giving people more vacations, Rocketmiles was born!

Since launching in April, Jay says that one customer has already been able to rack up 450,000 frequent flyer miles just from hotel stays with Rocketmiles, which is enough to fly 2 people anywhere in the world, first-class, for free!

So if you’re someone who is looking for yet another way to build up your stash of frequent flyer miles and take that dream vacation even sooner than you realized, you won’t want to miss what Jay has to say!

Right-click to download this episode directly

I’m giving away $100 once we hit 100 ratings on iTunes, so go rate the podcast now for your chance to win!

Rate the EPoP Podcast on iTunes!

In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How to earn thousands of miles for every hotel booking.
  • Who is the target market of Rocketmiles?
  • How one person has already earned 450,000 frequent flyer miles in 3 months with Rocketmiles.
  • Why frequent flyer miles offer greater value than cashback.
  • Why Rocketmiles only shows 10-20 hotels per city vs. hundreds.
  • How airline miles breed spontaneity in travel.
  • Why using your frequent flyer miles it the most important part of the process.

Links Discussed in This Episode:

I Need Your Help

Rocketmiles is an amazing tool that is helping redefine the frequent flyer landscape, so show Jay some love by clicking “tweet this” below:

“@Rocket_miles Thanks for coming on the EPoP Podcast with @PackofPeanuts. My mileage balance will be skyrocketing in no time!”

Tweet This!

I’m giving away $100 once we hit 100 ratings on iTunes, so why not take 1 minute, leave a rating, and enter to win!

Leave a Rating for Trav’s Podcast



EPoP 009: Dalene Heck on How To Live Rent Free Around the World

Dalene Post pic

In this episode of the Extra Pack of Peanuts Travel Podcast, Dalene Heck of HeckticTravels.com joins the show to talk about how she and her husband Pete have lived in some amazing houses around the world, from the Caribbean island of Roatan to a penthouse in Manhattan…


Their secret?


And during the podcast, Dalene reveals everything you need to know to start doing the same.  From what sites to use to find housesits to how to build a killer housesitting profile that will get you noticed, it’s all there, and then some.

Dalene is the person who introduced me to the wonderful world of housesitting and with 13 housesits under her belt in 4 years, is the ultimate authority on the subject.

So if you’re looking to score a sweet apartment in downtown Barcelona or a relax on a vineyard in Tuscany, all for free, give this killer interview a listen!

Right-click to download this episode directly

Been listening to the EPoP Podcast and love it? Help us dominate iTunes by leaving a rating!

Rate the EPoP Podcast on iTunes!

In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How housesitting works.
  • The best sites to find housesitting jobs.
  • A few things you should think about, and do, before accepting a housesit.
  • The most crucial part of getting a housesit you want.
  • How a brand new housesitter can create a profile that stands out.
  • What countries have the most housesitting positions available, and why.
  • How saving money by housesitting can lead to a $600 helicopter ride in Greenland!

Links Discussed in This Episode:

I Need Your Help

Dalene is awesome, so show her some love by clicking “tweet this” below:

“@Hecktravels You rule! Thanks for teaching me how to live rent free around the world on the EPoP Podcast with @PackofPeanuts. #housesitting”

Tweet This!

If you haven’t already done so, I would love if you took one minute (seriously, only one) to leave a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below!  It is vital to helping us move up the iTunes rankings!

Leave a Rating for Trav’s Podcast




EPoP 008: Benny Lewis on The Best Ways to Learn a Foreign Language (or Several) and How to Haggle Like a Champion!

Benny Post pic

In this episode, Benny Lewis from Fluent In 3 Months sits down and reveals all the best ways to learn a foreign language.

And wow, does he know what he’s talking about!

In the past 10 years, Benny has gone from only speaking English to now being conversational or better in 12 different languages, and his website has also helped tens of thousands of people do what their high school selves once thought was impossible.

In those 10 years, Benny has traveled all over the world, and he’ll share some of the best tips he picked up for saving money while traveling.

He’ll even tell you how he was able to get the “native price” for an apartment in Turkey without speaking the language and his secret haggling method that scored him a $3 waterfront villa in Goa.

Benny is THE definitive internet expert on how to learn a language in a unique, fun, and highly effective manner.

So if you’re someone who has always wanted to learn a language but never succeeded, you’ve got to give this a listen.

Note:  The audio is a little choppy at points between 8 minutes and 23 minutes but still listenable and the message is well worth it!

Right-click to download this episode directly

Been listening to the EPoP Podcast and love it? Help us dominate iTunes by leaving a rating!

Rate the EPoP Podcast on iTunes!

In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How Benny reaches a conversational level of a new language in only 3 months.
  • Why “I’m not talented at languages” is a weak (and not viable) excuse.
  • Why children learn languages better (and no, it’s not because their brain is better equipped).
  • What is Esperanto and why you should learn it first.
  • Why expressing yourself like Tarzan is a good thing.
  • How to apply the 80/20 rule to language learning.
  • An amazing trick to find the cheapest accommodation prices even if you don’t speak the language.

Links Discussed in This Episode:

I Need Your Help

Benny is amazing, so show him some love by clicking “tweet this” below:

“@IrishPolyglot your advice on the EPoP Podcast with @PackofPeanuts was incredible. Thanks for helping me tackle language learning!”

Tweet This!

If you haven’t already done so, I would love if you took one minute (seriously, only one) to leave a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below!  It is vital to helping us move up the iTunes rankings!

Leave a Rating for Trav’s Podcast



Oh, the Places You’ll Go…With Frequent Flyer Miles!

Trav Oh The Places You'll Go


Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!

You have miles stored up.

You have feet in your shoes.

free travel awaits you

any direction you choose.

And while every day is a great day to have frequent flyer miles, there are certain times when I’m reminded by just how much they’ve changed my life.

Today is one of those days.

And so, I want to take a moment to simply list the amazing places that my family and I have been able to fly to.

This isn’t mean to brag.

Instead, it’s meant to INSPIRE you to keep earning using your miles.

I don’t think I’m special because I’ve been able to do these things.

In fact, anyone, especially Americans, can do exactly the same thing.

If you want to know how, sign up below for my newsletter and get a free copy of the Become a Frequent Flyer Millionaire series.

Here goes:

Trip #1: Homeward Bound

August 2011: Japan-America-Japan

My first trip with frequent flyer miles was in August 2011 and it was for Heather and I to come home for a visit to America after we’d been living in Japan for a year.

We attended a few Phillies games, hung out with friends and family, and enjoyed being able to speak the same language as everyone.

phils game

I even flew back to Japan in business class and felt like a king.

Trip #2: Christmas Down Under

Dec 2011/Jan 2012: Japan-Australia-Japan

That Christmas, we were able to fly from Japan to Australia for a 17 day vacation through the Land Down Under.

Christmas in Melbourne, New Year’s in Sydney, and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.  As you can imagine, it was awesome.

Great Barrier Reef with frequent flyer miles

Trip #3:  The Parents Come to Japan

July 2012: America-Japan-America

In July 2012, my family got to benefit from frequent flyer miles for the first time when my parents flew to Japan to visit us for two wonderful weeks.  And every parent needs spoiling, so they even flew home first class.

Family in Miyajima

Trip #4:  My Sister Moves to Spain…but First Goes Around the World!

June 2012/July 2012: America-New Zealand-Japan-Spain

My twin sister also joined them in Japan, but going straight there and back was much too easy (she is my twin, after all).

Instead, she spent two weeks prior to Japan in New Zealand visiting friends and taking in beautiful vistas,

gale new zealand

then came to Japan and spent 2 immersing herself in the local culture,

gale japan 2

before finally heading to Spain, where she currently lives.

gale spain 2

Moving from Philadelphia to Spain by going the long route and first visiting New Zealand and Japan…who does that?

Someone with frequent flyer miles!

Trip #5: One Last Asian Escapade (3 vacations in 1)

August 2012: Japan-Singapore-Bali-India-Japan

In August 2012, Heather and I decided to take one last adventure in Asia before going back Stateside.  So what’d we do?

Three vacations in one!

We spent a wonderful two days in Singapore visiting friends and sipping on Singapore Slings.

singapore slings

We explored the beautiful beaches and amazing rice terraces of Bali for a week.

Bali Terraced Rice Fields - TandH

And then, we headed off to India for three weeks, riding camels, seeing amazing palaces, and having our senses completely overloaded with sights, smells and tastes that we’d never imagined.


Three destinations for less than $100?

Only possible with frequent flyer miles!

Trip #6: Homeward Bound for Good

Sept 2012: Japan-America

While my company then paid for my one-way ticket back to the US from Japan, Heather’s didn’t.  No biggie.

We simply used our miles to get her on the same flight home, an awesome direct flight from Tokyo to New York.

But before leaving, we snuck in one last photo op!

sad to leave japan

After a few months of getting reacclimated to life back in Philadelphia, seeing friends and family, and eating as many cheesesteaks as possible, we got antsy again.

And after so much international travel, it was time to start seeing our home country.

Enter Southwest and their amazing Companion Pass!

Trip #7: Greetings, San Fran!

January 2013: Philadelphia-San Francisco-Philadelphia

In January, we were able to fly for free to San Francisco for the first time and spend a week enjoying the city and driving the Pacific Coast Highway, almost a year to the day that we had driven on the Australia’s equivalent, the Great Ocean Road.


Trip #8: Rocky Mountain High

May 2013: Philadelphia-Denver-Philadelphia

Just as the spring began and we were getting restless again, we were able to head out to Denver for 5 days, seeing Colorado Springs, enjoying unseasonably hot temperatures in Denver, and checking out Rocky Mountain National Park.

Upcoming Trips

Trip #9:  Back out West

July 2013: Philadelphia-Portland-Philadelphia

In three weeks, we’ll be heading back to the west coast to see Portland for the first time, enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and drinking as much craft beer as we can.


Trip #10: Canadian Rockies, Here We Come

August 2013: Philadelphia-Edmonton, Seattle-Philadelphia

Shortly after that, we’ll be welcoming our British friends to Philadelphia and flying out to Edmonton.

Then, we’ll all pile in a van to drive across the Canadian Rockies, stopping in Vancouver for a week before heading down to Seattle and flying back to Philadelphia.

lake louise

Of course, all our flights will be free.

Trip #11:  Did Someone Say New Orleans?

September 2013: Philadelphia-New Orleans-Philadelphia

Then, I’ll be switching over my Southwest Companion Pass to my best friend since 2nd grade, so I can fly him down to New Orleans for free with me for his bachelor party in September.

I’m looking forward to gaining 10 pounds in 4 days.

new orleans gumbo

Trip #12:  The Emerald Isle

October 2013: America-Ireland-???-America

And finally, in October, Heather and I will be heading to Ireland for a bit, courtesy of our British Airway Avios points.

Lots of green pastures, old castles, funny accents, and sheep will fill our days.


Family Matters

But the main reason I’m reminded about how amazing frequent flyer miles are today is because I just booked my twin sister a flight home for this coming Christmas and New Year’s.

Since I was in Japan for two years and she’s been in Spain now for a year, we haven’t had a Christmas together for four years, which feels pretty strange considering we grew up doing everything together.

For some reason, having Christmas over Skype just doesn’t really cut it.

skype christmas

The Total Costs

The total cost for all those trips, taking in to account my parents’ first class tickets, my business class ticket, and my sister’s around the world business class ticket, would have been well over $70,000.

The amount that we paid out of pocket for all the above trips?

Less than $1,000.


So thank you, frequent flyer miles, for allowing me the wonderful opportunities to travel that I’ve had in the last 2 years, and for the many wonderful opportunities I’ll have in the future.

None of this would have been possible without you!

Chime In!

What have frequent flyer miles allowed you to do in your life?  What great trips have you booked that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise?

If you’re new to frequent flyer miles and would like to learn how to earn and use them to travel around the world for free, make sure to sign up for my newsletter and check out the Ultimate Guide to Frequent Flyer Miles.

(photos courtesy of fbpa.wayne-Lake Louise, Jeff Gunn-Portland, HarshLight– New Orleans gumbo, Kellinahandbasket-Ireland)



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