My Top 8 Tips for the Globe-Trotting Working Professional

May 5, 2015 in Simplifying Life, Travel

Travel Tips to Ensure a Better Journey

Often I get asked how I manage stay productive and travel for most of the year, or at least the discussion comes up, and the answer to that question is a variety of things that contribute to it. I’ve become a lot better at travel over the years, with better preparation, more efficiency and more productivity in my days. It’s hard to stay on top of things when you run an online business and are packing, unpacking, moving, checking in, checking out, hunting for food, sightseeing, sleeping, researching, booking hotels, renting cars, booking flights and the list goes on and on.

Over time you learn some crucial lessons. You learn to ask the right questions and scope your accommodation out before you blindly book something – a mistake I’ve made before.

You learn how to pack better, what to pack, when to pack, how much time you need to get to and from the airport, travel options, being prepared for a long haul flight (ESPECIALLY regarding your business), how to get yourself into a local gym for free or cheap and to never let certain things monopolize your time.

Right now I am on the butt-end of my most recent journey which began back in January on the western side of America. I started off in LA and San Diego for about a week then hit up Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit West before heading up north to Whistler Canada for the STM Meetup. Afterwards I took a quick trip over to Calgary before heading back down to San Diego to catch the A4D Meetup (during Traffic & Conversion Summit), then drove over to Orange County & Los Angles for a few meetings.

This is how you travel

This is how you travel

After soaking up much of California’s beautiful weather, I flew over to  Miami for a few days to meet a new Nutra Advertiser then over to New York for a week where I had some meetings with a couple traffic sources, an affiliate network and some industry friends.

Then I ventured over to London for the incredible STM meetup before heading to Spain to catch Las Fallas in Valencia, and explore much of Barcelona. My trip didn’t end there. I then flew over to  France, stopping in Annecy for a few days to see a close friend, then over to Paris to learn more about the city, culture and the local Parisian market.

STM Meetup (Bowling)

Stack That Money: London. Games night, bowling, foosball and networking

I ended up venturing to Amsterdam to spend time with a bunch of the STM guys, talk shop and celebrate mine and friend’s birthday before heading back to London for a week, after which, I flew to over to Thailand where a huge affiliate population resides. I spent a bit of time in Bangkok and wound down the trip for a couple days in Krabi (Ao-Nang & Railay), which was a lot of fun!

As I write this, I am on my last leg back to Melbourne via Sydney. Phew! Exhausted.

Read my other article on how I managed to do all of this flying in business/first class saving myself a tonne of money and acquiring a nice chunk of frequent flyer points and status credits here.

Freeing up my time to do the things I like, or must do to stay sane whilst on the road so much is a big priority for me, such as eating good quality food, staying on top of my fitness, finding time to explore the area I am in whilst managing to accomplish any business-related objectives at hand, researching local markets (human behavior, level of local advertising, spying on mobile advertising in said cities etc..) and of course, staying on top of my affiliate campaigns.

A really great takeaway from travel as a media buyer, and which may help you understand why certain geographical regions respond better to certain online advertising, is the amount of exposure there is to advertising in day to day life. For instance, in Asia, specifically, Japan, you cannot look in any one direction without witnessing some sort of intense, colorful, seemingly ‘busy’ advertisement(s) full of weird creativity and humor. On the contrary, somewhere like France didn’t seem to overwhelm me and felt quite the opposite in that regard. If anyone has ever bought media in both countries, there’s a chance you’ll see some sort of correlation there and how performance and user engagement can differ significantly.

As you can see, this is just ONE of my most recent trips. Experience the is best teacher, so here we go, on to the tips!

Tip 1: Packing – My Approach

Use Packing Cells

I absolutely love these things. The ones I use are from Kathmandu. I know there are many other companies out there that make these, so don’t hesitate to shop around for some, otherwise, go to your local Kathmandu store (if there is one in your city) or if you’re ever traveling and can get to one, get yourself a bunch of packing cells. I have a small one for underwear, a tube-style one for socks, a large one for pants/shorts, another large one for t-shirts, a medium sized one which fits 2 pairs of shoes and a small one to put all my cables in. These things make it so much easier to find what you need in your bag, keeping everything neatly segregated and allowing you to pack and unpack faster.

Packing Cells

Packing Cells

Folding your t-shirts

My approach to this is to layer each t-shirt I am taking with me on top of each other, stack them on top and once done, fold it up into one big pile of folded shirts. This may seem to take longer when you pack / unpack / need a shirt, but it takes about 5 minutes to do and you’ll thank me later when most of your shirts are crease-free and you don’t need to fold each one independently. Besides, who has time to iron t-shirts?

Folding T-shirts the smarter way

Folding T-shirts the smarter way

 

Tip 2: Gadgets You Should Travel With

For me, given I am a traveling professional, working online and in front of a screen, I try to bring the luxuries of my home office with me wherever I go. Of course, much of this is at the cost of more weight in your backpack which can get to become burdensome at times.

The things I ensure to bring with me are:

  • Keyboard, mouse and mouse-pad
  • USB monitor (ASUS MB168+)
  • Wi-Fi Extender from TP-Link (USB) for hotels/airbnb’s with bad WiFi Signals (We all know how frustrating that can be and how that can impede on productivity).
  • Emergency USB charger for when your phone runs out of juice (never fun getting lost in a foreign country)
  • 4-Port Belkin USB hub
  • Cables for charging all your devices

If you’re like me and like to stay put for a week/month in one spot, it makes sense to bring the above things, as you’ll be more comfortable and more likely to power through more work, freeing up time to explore/workout/eat/network etc…

Traveling set up

Traveling set up

 

Tip 3: Ask The Right Questions

I’ve now made it a habit to ask the top 4 questions that are important to me when I travel when seeking out an AirBNB (I always go with AirBnB first before Hotels, more on that in a minute). The general message I send to hosts is this:

“Hey there, I’m interested in booking your place for the above dates and was wondering if it was still available? If so, I have a couple questions regarding the place that I hope you can answer!

  • I run an online business so solid wireless internet (WiFi) and a comfortable table/chair are both really important. Does your place have a good wireless connection and a suitable working space?
  • Are there many places to eat, drink coffee or get groceries nearby?
  • How far away are you from public transport should I need to use it?
  • And lastly, are there any gym’s nearby that you know of which would allow me to do a “drop-in” / “day-pass”?

Look forward to hearing back from you!”

The reason I prefer AirBnB over a hotel if there are good ones available is because you tend to get more space, better and more reliable internet which isn’t shared/less secure, a washer/dryer (hotels are expensive, and finding a laundromat is a time-suck!), a kitchen (cooking your own breakfast saves loads of time if nothing convenient is nearby), and lastly, you tend to be able to get one in a better location if you hunt for them. The only downside is that you don’t always have a lot of reviews to base your decisions off, which has led me to end up in some shitty AirBnB’s over the past few years. I had a few bad experiences in New York, and the place I recently stayed I n wasn’t the best in Paris (terrible shower, small apartment, bad Wi-Fi, lots of street noise and noisy renovations at 7am in the morning!).

 

Tip 4: Travel with Backup’s!

What exactly do I mean by traveling with backups? Well, for starters, being in transit, staying in hotels, in locations foreign to your understanding (of safety) , you inherently become susceptible to petty theft. You also become heavily susceptible to losing things, especially if you enjoy a wild night out in exotic, foreign locations (who doesn’t once in a while?).

My top tips here would be:

  • Travel with emergency credit-cards which you leave in a safe place locked away in your room. There’s nothing worse than losing your only Credit Card/Debit Card in a foreign country and having no other way of accessing your funds. Recent experiences with me were that one of my Credit-Cards became victim to fraud (swiped) leading to that card being cancelled and was unable to have a new one shipped out to me in time, another card expiring literally the next day, and an ATM at the airport in Madrid eating my card for no apparent reason.
  • Take a spare mobile phone if you have one in case yours gets stolen or lost. I travel with a spare iPhone, which is always on, and has my Australian SIM card in it in case of emergencies. I was incredibly lucky during this trip as I lost my brand new iPhone 6 on the mountain in Whistler but was able to recover it as an honest individual handed it in (thank you, I owe you a case of beer!). Guess it was good Karma for handing in a phone I found on the mountain in Niseko, Japan, earlier last year.
  • Use a backup service to backup all your data, Skype conversations, photos, work documents etc.. There are many cloud storage services out there you can use such as Copy, Dropbox and more which can help sync up multiple devices and allow you access said files online, however, I would highly recommend using a good backup service such as CrashPlan to ensure peace of mind. A friend of mine, Genji, recently had his laptop stolen in Honolulu in the blink of an eye, but thankfully for him he had the majority of his files backed up.

 

Tip 5: Research Places to Eat

In most destinations, you can get away with using TripAdvisor for most things, including finding well-reviews, great places to eat and drink which is a total time saver if you’re the type to wander around endlessly looking for an appealing place to eat and one which won’t leave you with nasty food poisoning. Preferentially, if Yelp is available in the city you are visiting, it tends to be my first choice for finding great places to eat. We found some serious winners in Barcelona and ate some of the best food we’ve ever had.

 

Tip 7: Save Money Where You Can

Services I love to use for finding flights, accommodation or car rentals are:

Flights:

 

Accommodation:

 

Car Rentals:

In America: HotWire (great for getting LDW insurance for $9 USD a day). Better for North America.

Rest of the world: Kayak

 

Tip 8: Check the Visa Requirements!

One thing I’ve learnt the hard way is that not all countries have visa on arrival system, a visa-waiver program etc.. and it is all very dependent on which passport you hold. For example, whilst I was traveling around Cambodia, I was supposed to fly over to Hanoi, Vietnam from Siem Reap, but once I had gotten to the airport, I was told I needed a visa before I could even board my flight.

What eventuated out of that situation was I had to pay a fee to reschedule my flight to the following day, forfeit a night’s accommodation in Vietnam (Make sure you call the hotel in situations like this), find a last minute place to shack up for the night, apply for a Vietnamese tourist visa, wait patiently til the next day for it to be approved, have the hotel print it out and finally fly to Hanoi. The whole process could have cost around $20 USD, but because I neglected to do the research, I got set back around $200 and lost a day of travel.

 

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope it helps you on your next trip, where ever that may be!

 

Best, Andrew.

STM Whistler, and STM London

March 16, 2015 in Conferences, Fitness, Gym, Travel

Soaring thousands of miles above the ground as I write this on a business class flight from London to Madrid, I once again find myself thinking of the best way to summarize my recent travel experiences into a short, fun to read blog post. After ASW in Vegas, I joined a group of guys and gals for a meetup organized in whistler by STM for some snowboarding and networking. It was a blasty blast.

STM

STM Whistler

It’s a pity the snow gods were cruel, as it rained pretty heavily for 2 out of the 3 days creating a mash-potato mountain to board down, but we all made the most of it – especially Jason Akatiff. That man can out-party me any day. I love these events, they’re a great opportunity to network in a fun environment as well as find some leisure time too.

Post whistler, I flew over to Calgary for a week to see some close friends, meet up with a friend who I helped get into affiliate marketing and managed to sneak in a day of snowboarding before flying back over to San Diego. I made it out to the A4D/Charles Ngo meetup which was a short, but cool little networking event, and I also stopped off in Irvine for a short business meeting.

Dodge Charger in San Diego

Dodge Charger in San Diego

I had to play a lot of catch-up with work whilst in SD, so the downtime I was given was a godsend. For those who travel a lot like me, get yourself a portable USB monitor! Best thing since Quest Bars. I recommend the ASUS MB168B+ HD if you can get your hands on one. They were pretty hard to find when I was on the hunt for one.  Here’s a link to the one I’m referring to.

I stopped off in Miami for 4 days and hung out with an advertiser who’s in the process of doing a soft-launch of his diet offer and then I flew over to New York for a week prior to getting over to London. I got downgraded from First Class to Coach on this flight due to an equipment change, to which American Airlines compensated me with a $500 voucher. Needless to say I was pretty cranky as I didn’t get the frequent flyer miles or status points for a First Class flight, nor was I provided lunch… but I guess the $500 voucher softens the blow? #firstworldproblems

Once in NYC, I caught up with my buddy Andrew from Melbourne who happened to be in town. We went to Williamsburg and ate at Café Mogador which was a really sweet spot to grab brunch. Recommended!

988944_10152985189753673_19686240370876159_n_result

I also caught up with one of my Affiliate Managers who works for Leadonomics over in Northport and discussed what was doing well on the network. Solar and Mortgage Refinancing are solid niche’s to focus on from what I am told. I’m yet to verify said claims, but hey, give it a go on Display traffic, you might get rich.

Moving on to STM London… oh my – what an awesome meetup. Over 600 people attended this year, the capacity was a total blowout. On the first night myself and a few friends couldn’t even get in to the first set of speeches as the conference room had completely filled up. I enjoyed a handful of the speeches, but some others could use improvement.

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There were 2 nights of speeches/talks and 3 nights of partying/networking. A large group of us decided to go for dinner instead of heading out for drinks the first night, but attended the 2nd night’s shenanigans, which was hosted a bowling alley with foosball tables and a full-service bar. The party was sponsored by Adsimilis (thanks Sean!) and was a shitload of fun.

Bowling / Foosball Party

Bowling / Foosball Party

The next night there was a party at Core Bar which was hosted by Advidi – great fun, but a little too loud and inappropriate for networking. I did derive a lot of value from this meetup, namely the push to hire virtual assistants / employees and build a team as opposed to flying solo. I am truly at a stage where the only way I can scale up to new heights is to get the help.

10403407_10153006017333673_526669160651634642_n_result

11053236_10153004015348673_5739944952675353458_n_result

 

Staying Fit Whilst Traveling:

  • In Miami, I went to Crunch Fitness. I had a friend hook-up 3 free days for me luckily, but normally it’s incredibly expensive. Average sized gym, not a tonne of equipment.
  • In Northport I went to Gold’s Gym. I paid $40 USD for a week pass, which only used 3-4 times, as one of the days the gym was closed due to snow outside. Decent enough if for some strange reason you’re out in Northport for a week. No idea why you would be (good friend of mine lives there and I wanted to avoid Manhattan).
  • In London, I went to YMCA Central a few times (3-day trial pass available online), Soho Gyms in Soho (free day pass on the website, they ask for 5 pounds, but I didn’t have to pay) and easyGym (10 pound day pass, pain in the ass to get in and register). YMCA gym is a large complex with a small weights room and mediocre machines room. I didn’t like the layout of this place but I guess it was good enough to get something done. Soho gyms was a small gym too, it wasn’t too crowded when I went and I had a good session there. Their regular drop in rates is ridiculous though. easyGym, was a decent sized complex, but you can tell they cut corners where they could (I mean, it’s the same company that owns easyJet). If you’re going to be in town for a week or more, you can sign up for a month I believe for 24-25 pounds which is reasonable, but for a drop in day pass, it’s 10 pounds (at the time, $20 AUD) which isn’t the cheapest. Gotta do what you gotta do.

 

I’m now on a flight over to Madrid / Valencia to spend time hanging out with some affiliate friends for about a week and check out the Las Fella’s Festival where they burn a bunch of trippy statues!

 

Til next time!

 

-Andy

 

Affiliate Summit West 2015 – Quick Recap

January 27, 2015 in Conferences, Gym, Travel

Early January saw to one of the largest conferences in the word for Affiliate Marketing, based in Las Vegas Nevada, the city of sin — the city of shame and regret. My liver has survived yet another Affiliate Summit! Woohoo! Every year that I attend these summits, they’re more and more productive, I network with more intention and confidence – I now know what I want. Experience is the biggest advantage as an affiliate marketer in all aspects. Having the ability to filter out the BS from the good (there’s plenty of both), knocking down the ditzy “affiliate managers” that are hired to look pretty and approach affiliates to recruit them for their network, yet they have no idea about the industry. Spare me.

Bellagio Fountains / Paris Hotel

Bellagio Fountains / Paris Hotel

I dropped by the floor all 3 days of the conference which was a new record. I was actually quite tame with my drinking this time around thankfully… minus perhaps the Saturday night where myself and some compadre’s got a table a Marquee, drank a little too much, and eventually got escorted out by security for ‘misconduct’.. #vegas ..

Table at Marquee

Table at Marquee w Adam/Jake/Mike/Joey

The summit this year was actually ridiculously busy. The line up to grab your pass on the first day was insanely large, leading me to leave twice and come back later to pick it up. If there were any piece of advice I could give to you for these summits, would be, get a really good set of business cards created – something memorable – and network like a beast. I made a simple, yet memorable set of cards with VistaPrint for ASE last year and had some people remember who I was from when they had asked for my card a second time. I saw some other affiliate cards, a handful of which were really well done but the majority were vanilla, black text on a white card style.

Busy line up for pass collection

Busy line up for pass collection

The first night prior to heading out, I had dinner with an advertiser who I’ve worked with for around 7 months at the Eiffel Tower restaurant. The food there was so damn good, I still have wet dreams about it. Much delicious.

The next night after the first Saturday night Marquee slosh-fest, a group of us attended the STM party at Ghost Bar. I caught up with a tonne of good industry friends whilst trying my very hardest to stay awake. Caffeine was consumed in copious amounts that day.

View from Ghost Bar

View from Ghost Bar

Myself and some others decided that if we were going to attend Convert2Media’s Tropic Beauty party at Hakkasan that night, that we’d need a pre-party nap. Yeah…. we all know that never works well. We all ended up ‘napping’ from 10pm-3am and decided to just skip partying that night and save our energy for Monday night. Unfortunately this meant we missed out on Dan Bilzerian making an appearance with his crew of 700 women.

Moving on to Monday night, a few of us attended the Adsimilis meetup at the Cosmo and mingled, then had dinner with F5Media and a bunch of their affiliates at Olives (Bellagio). Delicious… but very small portions…

A group of us then we ended up partying in a Bungalow in the Cosmopolitan which was hired out by some friends who are some of the bigger affiliates. in the industry. The bungalow opened up directly to Club Marquee which was pretty convenient, so the party went on into the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t make it back to my hotel until 5am and I somehow powered through the last day of the conference, meeting with several people on the floor and having about 10 impromptu meetings along the way back to my hotel with people I bumped into.

Exhibition Hall

Exhibition Hall

Afterwards  I went and chilled out with Sonny Palta and Todd Hebert from Affiliati and saw the legendary Josh Ogle for about an hour at the Chandalier bar at Cosmo talking shop, Facebook, offers and whatnot.  That night, I went over to gamble with Jordan  & Lorenzo from STM and Jaimmie & Georgia from F5 Media at the Cosmo.. A few of us won some money, which we exchanged for copious amounts of Sushi at Sushi Roku! Recommended!

Sushi Roku

Sushi Roku, Open your eyes Jordan

For my gym activities, I must admit, I only made it 3 times this trip for some relatively rushed workouts at the Aria Gym. A decently equipped gym — but nothing to write home about. No bench press/squat rack here.

Post workout mandatory elevator selfie

Post workout mandatory elevator selfie.. 

I forgot to mention, on my previous two stop overs in LA/SD, the gym’s I trained at Easton Gym (LA) and EOS Fitness (Previously Gold’s Gym) in San Diego. Easton is a small gym on Beverly Boulevard near the farmers market and is half-decent. They charge $20 drop in, or $10 if you know a member.

EOS Fitness let you train free if you train with a friend (which I did). The gym is very well equipped and has an indoor/outdoor training area where guests are allowed to workout shirtless. I did not participate in such shirtless-ness.

Post Vegas, saw me head to Whistler, Canada for the STM meetup, which has since concluded. I will write a short summary of that soon as I find a moment to recap. Lots of fun and a great opportunity to network.

Til next time.

-Andy

 


If you’re looking for further Affiliate Marketing Guidance, check out StackThatMoney. Best community of experienced marketers from around the globe, exclusive meetups, follow along’s, tutorials and the knowledge of a thousand sun-gods.

 

Can’t Decide on Tracking Software?

I’ve recently switched over to a new tracking platform called Thrive by the guys over at iPyxel which I love. It’s still in development, but is constantly improving and making strides, and the best part about it can be self-hosted. The offer a 30-day trial and it’s $99 a month thereafter which is well worth the investment.

Those on a smaller budget can still opt to go the CPVLab route, another favorite of mine but a little more outdated. It is, however, more suitable for PPV traffic if that’s your traffic of choice.

How I saved $18,000 traveling the world in Style and Comfort

January 22, 2015 in Simplifying Life, Travel

One World

Today I thought I’d dawn in on something I discovered whilst booking my latest excursion overseas, as well as many other tips on how I managed to obtain ~$30,000 worth of flights for $14,200.

The flights I am talking about included Business class long-hauls and First-Class on shorter flights where Business in not available.

How did I do this you may ask?

By utilising a Round the World Ticket offered by Oneworld Alliance.

Since my hometown is Australia, I’ve been chipping away for the past few months at boosting my point-balance with the one airline/alliance as opposed to have scattered points all over, and so I choose Qantas as my Frequent Flyer scheme. More on this in a bit.

There are two other alliances out there that I am aware of, Star-Alliance being the other major player, who offer RTW tickets, but for my travel needs, Oneworld was the best choice.

The reason I went with a RTW ticket is because I planned on attending Affiliate Summit West in January (Vegas), the STM Meetup in Whistler, the Conversion Summit in February in San Diego and the STM meetup in London. I’m also going to utilize my time in the US to meet with traffic sources and networks that I work with to see if there is any way we can make more money together.

Enough History, Give me the Goods

Business class tickets, especially for long-hauls, are notoriously expensive to purchase on a single ticket, however, from what I observed, you get immense value using a round-the-world ticket if you decide to go business-class. With OneWorld you get 16 segments. Date changes and flight changes in general are allowed once you take off from your original destination, so long as you return to you original port of entry within 12 months. Date changes are around $40 each time and anything such as flight cancellation or port change will cost most (I was quoted $125).

How does the math stack up here? Well, let’s take a look at the typical cost of the flights I am taking on my trip and compare it to the overall cost of my RTW ticket.

  • Melbourne to LAX (Qantas, Business): ~$7,000
  • LAX – Vegas (AA, First): ~$220
  • SD – NYC (AA, First): ~$700
  • NYC – Miami (Return) (AA, First): ~$765
  • NYC – London (British Air, Business): ~$9,500
  • London – Geneva (British Air, Business): $721
  • Paris – Amsterdam, via London (British Air, Business): $1,112
  • London – Bangkok, via Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific, Business): ~$11,000
  • Bangkok – Melbourne, via Sydney (Qantas, Business): $2000

 

Total Estimated Cost: $33,018
Difference: $18, 818

Now, as you can see, if you can afford to do this sort of trip, the value is obvious. Business / First class is a great way to fly. You get access to airport lounges, much more comfortable seating, better flight rewards, express transit through security and customs (some airports), and better food on-board, more liberal luggage allowances and overall better service.

Yes, it’s a bit of a tough thing to book your trip in an optimal fashion, but its well worth it once you figure out your route.

How I maximized my points

Simple, I found a credit card that was giving an introductory offer for free points and I took advantage. In this case, it was Citibank’s Signature card, who were offering a 30,000 sign up bonus as well as another 20,000 bonus points if you were to spend $10,000 within the first 3 months. Given the ticket was $14,200, I got all the bonus points, as well as 1 point per dollar spent on the card, totalling ~64,200 points just from the purchase of the ticket. Not to mention, I will acquire status points for all my travel and points along the way. I estimate I will obtain another 45,000 points. In essence, I managed to get around 100,000 points booking and participating in the trip which, if you take a look, is about 20,000 points shy of a one-way business flight from Melbourne to LA ($6,5000 AUD value). Not bad hey?

Getting back to Australia from my previous trip, I was told to take advantage and become a points whore given I travel so damn much. So I did. I’ve since discovered several ways you can maximise your points as an Affiliate Marketer operating out of Australia, and in day-to-day living.

The first challenge was to find a credit-card that has no foreign transaction fees and also obtains Frequent Flyer miles. The only one that fit the bill was Bankwest’s Platinum Mastercard.

I maxed out their point system, cashed in 400k points (only got $1,700 cash back) and then switched products over the phone to their Qantas FF scheme. The downside is you only get 0.75 points per dollar and you’re limited to 200,000 points per year. I’m not sure if this per calendar year, or relative to when you opened your account, either way, it’s a sucky restriction as 200,000 points is quite easy to obtain as a high-volume affiliate given ad-spend alone.

Other things you can do to get more points in your day to day life.

Apply for a Woolworths Everyday rewards cards, go onto their site and change your settings to include your Qantas FF mile number as well as ensure that filling up at a Safeway/Woolworths Petrol pump will shift points directly to you Qantas account. Make sure you use your rewards card for all your purchases, do your grocery shopping at a Woolworths/Safeway and try your best to put everything on a credit-card that gets FF points.

Another thing I just discovered is within the Qantas portal, if you log in to your Frequent Flyer dashboard, you are able to do some online shopping getting points for purchases, sometimes as high as 5 points per dollar spent.

I stumbled on this a little too late and to be honest, I’m still quite forgetful about it, but if you remember, you may as well take advantage.

For example, you can buy from the Apple Store and earn 2 points per $1. The same can be done with eBay purchases. Check it out – there’s a decent amount of online stores you can get some bonus points from. Unfortunately for me, I bought a MacBook Pro, iPhone 6 and some stuff off eBay without utilising this and missed the boat.

If you have any more tips for getting Qantas Points as an Australian Resident, or even overseas, drop them in the comments section below!

Safe Travels,

Andy D

 

 

 

Gym Review – Beach Fit Bondi Beach, Australia

January 8, 2015 in Fitness, Gym, Travel

Given one of my biggest passions in life currently (and has been for almost 13 years) is bodybuilding, I’ve decided it would make sense as part of my blog to incorporate reviews of Gym’s I use during my travels. In the past 3, going on 4 years, I’ve traveled quite a lot and always try to make an effort to get to a gym.

If this sort of information was available to me in places such as Japan, life would have been a helluva lot easier. My goal here is to help those who like to get in a few workouts on their trips, find a decent gym and know what to expect.

About Beach-Fit Bondi

This gym is quite compact yet close to the ocean making it a convenient spot for tourists to get a workout in before a swim in one of Australia’s most popular beaches. During my stay in Bondi, I hit this gym about 5 times, at different times of the day, with the gym having some odd hours due to the holiday season (right after Christmas and just before the new year). The staff are extremely friendly here, kudo’s to that – must be the location – I know I wouldn’t complain much! I noticed that this gym may or may not have a 7-day free trial but I can’t confirm that as I didn’t attempt to take advantage of it. I have a feeling they wouldn’t allow non-Bondi residents to take advantage of such an offer, otherwise there would be a flock of freeloading tourists inside.
There isn’t a lot of equipment here, it’s advised to try and hit the non-peak times that are typical with other places in the world if you don’t want to stand around waiting too much (it happened a couple times to me, but I managed to get most of my routines in).

Photo 27-12-2014 6 16 38 pm_result

The short:

  • Drop in rate: $20 or $50 for a week. Given the holiday season, I was able to scoop up a ‘week’ pass for $35 (it was closed on the 1st, and closed earlier on certain days).
  • Heaviest dumbbell here is 57.5kg from what I saw – they have about two dumbbell racks – one with less weights however
  • Squat Rack — Yes
  • Bench Press — Yes
  • Leg Press — Yes
  • Kettle Bells —  Yes
  • Cable Machine —  Yes
  • Lockers? Yes – 4 Digit Pin, no padlock required
  • Food & shake bar? No, just a vending machine. However, lots of food around, as well as convenience stores. Nothing that really caters to getting a quick protein shake however.
  • For cardio, they have treadmills and Elliptical/Cross-Trainer machines as well as a row-machine from what I saw.

All in all,  a decent choice in Bondi, although I didn’t compare it to others in the area as this was the most convenient for me to visit from my AirBnb on Glenayr Avenue.

– Andy


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Can’t Decide on Tracking Software?

I’ve recently switched over to a new tracking platform called Thrive by the guys over at iPyxel which I love. It’s still in development, but is constantly improving and making strides, and the best part about it can be self-hosted. The offer a 30-day trial and it’s $99 a month thereafter which is well worth the investment.

Those on a smaller budget can still opt to go the CPVLab route, another favorite of mine but a little more outdated. It is, however, more suitable for PPV traffic if that’s your traffic of choice.