I’ve always been fascinated with travel, and as my high school choral teacher once said, “Traveling is the best classroom.” It really is. You learn so much from traveling, and I think there are many people out there that either don’t understand the benefit, or don’t understand how to do it on the cheap, because there are always budgetary concerns.
I’ve always loved to travel, and fortunately my parents fueled that passion. As a kid we used to take trips all around the US, taking advantage of my mom’s sabbatical time from work, and my dad’s flexible work schedule. We went to many cities, national parks, and explored the best the US had to offer. In high school, I went to Germany and the Czech Republic on a mileage ticket my dad got me…in first class. That’s when it began. That’s when I realized that traveling up front is the only way to go. 3 years later, I went to China, and I loved it. I loved the culture shock. I loved not knowing what the menu said, or what the “mystery meat” was. In college, I pre-scheduled my classes to allow for 4 day weekends where I would go home, or explore places I hadn’t seen before. The mileage game was addictive, and I learned quick that in order to make the most of this unique hobby, I’d either have to rob a bank, or accumulate enough miles and points to do it on the cheap. That’s why I love to do what I do, and share my knowledge and experience. While I do cover general information on miles and points and am happy to answer any questions, I have specific interests and research in Amtrak, and Kimpton Hotels, which are largely uncovered programs.
Jamie Larounis is a travel industry analyst and loyalty programs educator. His blog and social media accounts, The Forward Cabin, shares his experiences, musings, reviews, tips, tricks, resources and industry news with you, the fellow traveler. He’s spoken at Frequent Traveler University as a member of their organizing staff where he’s educated in-depth on the loyalty programs and operations of Amtrak, American Airlines and Kimpton Hotels. Highlighting on his knowledge of airline customer experience, James was featured in American Airlines’ “Elevate” training program presented to all employees in 2016. Among several media spotlights, he’s spoken at Princeton University, and the New York Times Travel Show, been quoted in The New York Times, Travel and Leisure Magazine, The New York Post, The Fiscal Times, Skift, the BBC, the Washington Post, Forbes, New York Magazine, and Condé Nast Traveler, been featured on CNN and FOX News, written for InsideFlyer, Road Warrior Voices/USA Today, and 1000TravelTips.com, the official content platform for the Travel and Adventure Shows. In 2018, he was awarded the highest honor for exceptional customer service for Washington Dulles International Airport. Today, Jamie is the resident expert on American Airlines at UpgradedPoints.com, and provides travel industry consulting support to MeetSelect.com, a lifestyle membership service for influential individuals.
“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float; To gain all while you give; To roam the roads of lands remote; To travel is to live.”
― Hans Christian Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography
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