Frequent Traveler University Review
Last weekend I headed to Dallas, Texas to attend a Frequent Traveler University (FTU) conference. They were only offering the advanced class this particular weekend. Last year I attended the Chicago Seminars that had all of the basic information I needed, and more. So I thought I was ready for the Advanced FTU. It’s important to note that if you have not been to some sort of basic conference for points and miles, you would be very lost at the Advanced FTU. Many of the sessions moved very quickly and assumed a basic knowledge of most categories.
The conference was held at the Hyatt Regency DFW Friday night through Sunday evening and included a 3 course lunch both days. A pre-negotiated rate of $99/night included breakfast at the hotel. I barely noticed my hotel room because I was so tired after taking notes, talking and learning all day. However, having a King size bed, and five pillows all to myself made it pretty great. The food during the conference was surprisingly good. I was impressed that lunch wasn’t just sandwiches.
The organizers pull together bloggers, award bookers, and industry experts to run each session. Here are some of the sessions I attended: Advanced Credit Cards, Advanced Award Booking, International Award Partners, Maximizing Car Rentals, Hotel bookings (other than Hilton, Hyatt, and SPG), Central and Eastern Europe, Manufactured Spend, Exotic Travel, Ask Anything, East Asia. There were many that were going on at the same time, so I didn’t get to attend all of the sessions that were offered.
I enjoyed the smaller group size of the event. My first points and miles event was so large and I learned so much, that I would have a headache at the end of each day. That wasn’t the case this time. Maybe because I had a firm grasp on the basics and could easily figure out which sessions would be of more interest to me? Maybe because a lot of it was review or deeper knowledge, just not such large volumes of information that I was trying to process? Maybe I was less nervous to strike up a conversation with other attendees?
Once again it was fun to be around people that were as crazy about travel and travel hacking as I am. I got a lot of great ideas and questions answered from other attendees too. So if you are ever thinking about attending a basic or advanced (as long as you are advanced) travel hacking event, just go for it. You’ll be glad you did, and I know that I am. In fact, I’m headed to the Chicago Seminars again next month. I’ll report back after that one too! Happy travel hacking!!