Travel Deals 2013 Advisors
Meet the seasoned, expert panel of advisors behind Travel's Best Travel Deals 2013. Our advisors know what it takes to snag the best travel deals, with precision knowledge of hotel loyalty programs, credit card rewards and much more.
Get to know The Points Guy Brian Kelly, Frugal Travel Guy Rick Ingersoll, Nomadic Matt Matthew Kepnes and our other esteemed panelists, who’ll get you on your way to saving big, and traveling well, toward your next dream getaway.
1. John E. DiScala
John E. DiScala (Johnny Jet) travels about 175,000 miles and visits over 20 countries each year. Johnny’s journey to becoming one of America’s leading US-based travel experts began in 1999. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Johnny started posting travel and safety tips on a website he called JohnnyJet.com. The rest is history.
Today, Johnny and his website, JohnnyJet.com, have been featured over 3,000 times in major publications, including USA Today, Time, Fortune and The New York Times, and he has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC and PBS. He recently hosted Hot Spots 2012 on Travel Channel.
Johnny now appears every Saturday on Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy Show, talking about travel and technology. JohnnyJet.com has been named "one of the top best money-saving websites for travel" by Budget Travel magazine, while the L.A. Times calls it "one of the top 10 essential travel resources on the internet."
2. Arthur Hsu
Arthur Hsu -- we like to call him “Mileage Runner” here at Travel Channel -- has a love for a few select things, such as bouldering and exploring cultures through their sights, food and drink. But the only way he can do all these things is to to jet-set affordably.
In between his day job as video project manager at TravelChannel.com, Arthur is on the constant lookout for the best bang for every buck, whether it’s for a climbing trip to the Sierra Nevada or enjoying an evening in Stockholm for dinner. One of Arthur’s best recent deals was a round-trip ticket from DC to Moscow for about $350 and a weekend trip to Johannesburg for under $800 -- which netted him a total of nearly 30K elite qualifying and 60K redeemable miles with Delta.
Although he’s very flexible in his choice of destinations, Arthur’s still keeping his eye out for another cheap trip -- this time to Tokyo.
3. Summer Hull
Summer Hull (Mommy Points) is your personal guide to the world of travel deals and rewards. This self-proclaimed travel addict -- and point-aholic -- is here to let travelers in on a little secret: You can snag the best travel bargains, you just have to know where to look.
Summer first got a taste for accruing miles and points during her college days at the University of Texas. Her interest kicked into high gear several years later when she became a parent. Summer wanted a way to keep her young daughter connected to out-of-state family -- without breaking the bank. That personal mission led Summer to launch the travel deals blog Mommy Points in May 2011.
Now Summer is bringing her best tips on accruing miles and points to an even larger audience. With her new TravelChannel.com web series Family Travel Deals, Summer provides expert travel-bargain tips while shattering a few misconceptions.
4. Rick Ingersoll
Rick Ingersoll (Frugal Travel Guy) is one of America’s top experts on frugal travel and flying free. A retired mortgage banker, Rick splits his time between Traverse City, MI, and Hilton Head Island, SC. To enjoy his retirement, he and his wife, Katy, travel the globe, rarely paying full price -- if anything at all -- for their travel and lodging expenses.
Rick has become the expert in rooting out deals others miss or simply don’t know about, and in accumulating airline frequent flyer miles and hotel points. Rick and Katy have been on 2 "Around the World" itineraries in either business or first class, using free frequent flyer miles, points or vouchers. In all, they have been to 70 countries. And they went for a 5-year period without paying for any of these airline tickets.
Rick shares his expertise in The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook and on his daily-updated blog, FrugalTravelGuy.com.
5. Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly is The Points Guy. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, Brian took a job on Wall Street and became a road warrior, traveling up to 6 months of the year, all the while learning how to earn and maximize miles and points.
In 2010, Brian brought his insights and passion to the masses and became “The Points Guy,” sharing his travel points knowledge with eager consumers across the globe via his website, ThePointsGuy.com. Due to the massive amount of interest in his tips and advice, Brian left his job on Wall Street in June 2011 to grow his site and travel the world. His site now has over 550,000 unique monthly visitors.
Brian dishes out his signature tips and advice via Twitter, where he can be followed @ThePointsGuy.
6. Matthew Kepnes
Matthew Kepnes runs the award-winning budget travel site, Nomadic Matt. Growing up in Boston, Matt was never a big traveler; he didn’t take his first trip overseas until he was 23. That trip, to Costa Rica, changed his life.
Soon Matt was hooked on travel, and took a trip to Thailand. There he met 5 backpackers who showed him he could travel the world without being tied down to a cubicle job. Afterward, Matt finished his MBA, quit his cubicle job, and, in July 2006, set out on an adventure around the world.
Today, Nomadic Matt's advice has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, Budget Travel, BBC and Yahoo! Finance. Matt’s book, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, contains tons of tips and tricks to cut your trip expenses in half, whether you’re going away for 2 weeks or 2 months.