Kyleonthe trip sherpa

When Spending $1200 Seems To Save You $700


Speaking to the Sherpstress, and justifying a future trip, I made a statement that only a travel nut could make with a straight face, but before I get to that statement, here is how the conversation came up.

Our next trip is to Bali, and coming back we are using some RGN one-ways that deposit us into Montreal (YUL) which is close to PIT, but not nearly close enough.  Here are our options:

1) YUL-YYZ $135 (x2 pax) + 4 hour drive from Toronto to PIT - Estimated total costs ...

Best AAgent Ever!


Finally I got an AAgent that understood exactly what I wanted to accomplish and helped me get it done.  

A few notes to help you understand where I am coming from and why I needed an AAgent in the first place.

The Sherpa and Sherpstress are headed to Southeast Asia to take part in our one-way mistake fare, Yangon, Myanmar (RGN) to Montreal, Canada (YUL).  The mistake has been extensively covered, but for those that want just a quick synopsis, here is what ...

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Park Plaza Hotel Soi 18 - Bangkok, Thailand



Fellow UPGRD Blogger Brad from RegionalFirst, also posted on this hotel as part of the same promotion, his review differs, as does his room choice.  Make sure you check out his review of the Park Plaza Bangkok as well!


As part of the best promotion in the hotel industry this summer, the Sherpa and Sherpstress made a mattress run to Bangkok (already living in coastal Thailand).  With two separate accounts, we wanted to try both of the Park ...

Flying Kenya Airways Bangkok to Hong Kong


For new readers I should fill in some quick details.  My wife and I recently took a sabbattical and put our careers on hold to spend six months in Thailand on holiday.  Thus we were departing from BKK-HKG and thought we would try a Skyteam airline on the route which was only slightly more expensive than Air Asia.  

Prior to our flight, I contacted the country manager ahead of my visit to request the ability to take some pictures on the aircraft, at ...

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Hello UPGRD readers - Intro to the Trip Sherpa


I am really, REALLY happy to be here. 

I have been reading UPGRD over the last couple of years, listening to the podcasts, and I am really excited to now be a contributor.  My blog will be somewhat unique to the other bloggers here, and really to anything else I have found readily available on the internet. 

I have a passion for helping the uninitiated but interested casual travelers to travel like a pro.  Unlike many of the bloggers in the community and ...

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Guest Post - TravellingMcDs visits Turkey

Friends, Family, Fans of The Trip Sherpa, today we have a guest post. A fellow blogger in Singapore travels like we do and has been writing about it. For those of you who have traveled abroad, you will have noticed the crazy menu items on the virtual US embassy which is... McDonald's. Sir J Man has offered the following prose, but be sure to check out his blog:

I was introduced to The Trip Sherpa through a mutual friend. Though I am only 24, and only ...

A Great Price on Myanmar-Canada Fares and Why You Should Consider It

Here's the deal for those who want to race over and book right away.  Hat tip to Hack My Trip.

$369-410USD one-way (some roundtrips have been reported successfully) from RGN (Yangon, Myanmar) to YVR (Vancouver) in business class!

Here is a screen shot showing you the disparity in pricing to show you how good this deal really is.



That's usually $6500USD worth of airfare that you could slide away with for only $815 (depending on who's ...

Free Top Tier Status is back!

Get this while it's still available!  I covered this a couple of weeks ago and it went away so fast that even the Sherpstress didn't get in on it (she did wait almost 18 hours!).  She didn't make that mistake again and her Platinum status posted within moments.  Once you have signed up make sure you add it to Award Wallet - you can sign up for that free here.

Here is my original post that states what benefits you will receive from Platinum Status with ...

Dear Mr. Smisek... an open letter






Sherpa Note:  I wrote this post almost a week ago but wanted to give United a chance to respond first.  Their auto-responder email I received back said they would come back within a shocking... SEVEN days!  I'm going to say that again, they pledged to respond within 7 days.  As of this post they have not responded at all.  To be fair to United, it's only been six days and I will be happy to include their ...

Would you spend $69 to save yourself $338? - Mattress Running

I mentioned before in this post that my stay at Radisson Sukhumvit was to take advantage of what I deem to be the best hotel promotion of the year.  It's already paid off in spades.

I have widely published my itinerary repatriating to the United States in the coming months.  It drops us at LAX and the Sherpa and Sherpstress would like to spend a couple of "free" days on the best coast (East-coasters feel free to roll eyes... now).  We booked onward air travel three days later, but ...

Sometimes it's NOT too good to be true

There have been quite a few mistake fares the past few months.  Some have gotten more press than others and I think it's important for my readers to have an idea of what has happened.

A few Sherpa readers who have taken action on these great deals have been disappointed with those that were not honored. It seems to help perpetuate the theory that, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is." This is counter to something I've always said (no I haven't) "Those who think ...

See the Sherpa Here: How Driving to Your Assignments May Earn You a Free Trip to Tokyo

The Sherpa was kindly asked to guest blog for Medical Solutions last week and wanted to link the article here.  Medical Solutions is a travel nursing organization that offers travel nurses support in placement, facilities, benefits and continuing education as well as hospitals and clinics that need nurses to fill vacancies.

These travel nurses are a different kind of road warrior and hopefully my article will help some realize the immense potential they have to travel like a pro and ...

Top Tier Hotel Status Offer - Intro to Status Matching


The offer is gone, and it was gone fast.  Congrats to those who got in on it! The offer is back, but it will likely go away again soon, see it here.  Part Two (Intro to Status Matching) is maybe one of the most useful things a new frequent flyer can master.  If you haven't already take a close look at the latter half of this post.


This post is going to be broken into two parts.

Part One

Accor Hotels is offering free top tier ...

Dear Sherpa: What's the deal with credit card churning?

A great question came in via TheTripSherpa's facbook page, which you should both "like" (as in hit the button and let's be friends) and "like" (as in enjoy and find a way to directly connect with the Sherpa at all times if you wish).

Cue Casey Kasem voice:

JQ writes -

Dear Sherpa:

What's the deal with churning credit cards?  I'm new in collecting miles and whatnot but was thinking about doing a couple of more cards (if there are good sign-up ...

I just booked Denver flights, with three nights hotel for $43!


Uh oh.  At the time of posting I was not aware (though I should have been) that the offer code was provided for the National Foundation for Blindness - that has the Sherpa feeling a little guilty.  Then Travelocity decided to cancel the reservations because the Sherpa (and others didn't qualify).  But that has more than just myself a little irritated.

If you were Travelocity and sent out an email stating that this was an intended promo code for NFB members and that ...

Dear Sherpa - [Yet Another] Deal Site has $128 RT tickets, Scam or Legit? - UPDATED Now even Scammier than before


Tried to contact Groupalicious -

Just to be clear, that "Los Angeles Office" appears to be in Seattle?  Weird.  You can see I tried by Twitter as well:

And then this auto-reply with possibly the best answer to a very straight forward question:

And winner for epic quote of the year, One Stop Travel:

Q:  Is there a catch?

A:  That depends on what you call a catch.

I keep looking around for those Candid Camera ...

Forget 4 Miles to Hong Kong - I'm Taking You There Free!

Boy did we have an exciting week last week trying to secure those HK tickets for 4 miles and $35?  Some are still holding out hope, some have given up.  For those that have kissed this one goodbye, this week is for you.  By coincidence, the Sherpa and Sherpstress were in Hong Kong last week while the whole mess was taking place. Though you may be a little disappointed United is not currently planning to honor those tickets you can still get a great trip report the next few days - ...

Radisson Suites Sukhumvit Bangkok - Should you complain about an upgrade?


I read blogs all the time, whining about small details which mars otherwise great service, and roll my eyes.  Then I became one of them...

This is only my second ever stay in a Club Carlson property, and after a status match I had received I was quite excited about the visit.  It was the last possible day to post a stay for the Radisson Big Night Giveaway campaign and the rates were still really affordable.

Once I completed the purchase of $65 ...

First Class to Hong Kong for 4 Miles and Why I Didnt Alert My Readers

This is going to read a little bit like a confession.  Firstly, I have never flown in a 747.  Secondly, I have flown business class on a two class international service, and first class domestic which is little more than a wider leather seat - but never international first.  For most of my readers, they wouldn't really mind business or first, both are lie flat beds, but for me there is a big difference between the two.  See the image above, those are two seats, the Sherpa and the ...

Mileage Checking Accounts - Bonus Miles vs. Cost and Hassle

It's common knowledge that airline/hotel credit cards have huge bonuses and that's where you get the best head start for your mileage account.  Look at the British Airways Chase 100,000 Avios bonus for a great example.  If you use your BA Avios account for short US domestic redemptions (stop doing that) then this card might as well stop listing a 100,000 mile bonus and just round it to a bajillion, see this post about how 9,000 Avios = one free roundtrip US ticket (less than 650 ...