Lessons from the First2Board Seattle Sessions

Last weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with Point Princess, Frugal Travel Lawyer, and many others at the First2Board Seattle sessions. The reasons I love going to sessions like this are two-fold: I get to see many friends that I only see once every few years and I learn something new every time. Here are some of the highlights from the Seattle Sessions:

Frugal Travel Lawyer is truly an expert when it comes to hotel programs. In her presentation, she told the story of her numerous affairs with her lovers of the past (read: hotel chains she’s frequented). More than anything, her presentation made me realize that some other programs might have more to offer than my current preferred hotel chain, Starwood. Probably the most interesting thing I learned from her presentation was that Marriott’s Hotel + Air packages can offer an incredible value if you are looking to stay in a place for a week. While there is a special place in my heart for the Four Points Kalamazoo, many of the other Starwood hotels I’ve stayed at lately have let me down and the magic just isn’t there anymore. Next week, I’ll start an affair with Marriott… and I’ll let you readers know how it goes.

Another presentation that I particularly enjoyed was The Deal Mommy’s presentation on timeshares as an alternative to hotels for longer stays. She searches four sites, including Endless Vacation Rentals, Resort Certs, Sky Auction, and Armed Forces Vacation Club to find incredible deals on distressed timeshares. (Distressed in this case meaning that the timeshare is likely to be unoccupied for the week these companies are offering.) She did cover a number of techniques. Finally, she recommended that you always check Trip Advisor, because the quality of timeshares can vary widely.

Probably the most exciting part of the weekend was the Boeing factory tour. I love flying, I love airplanes, and I love hanging out with people who are just as nutty about travel as I am. As soon as we entered Boeing’s factory, I was like a kid in a candy store…so much so that the tour guide started referring to me as one of her “junior pilots”. Seeing the production lines of most of Boeing’s aircraft, with a bunch of travel enthusiasts, was both exciting and fascinating. If you are in Seattle, a Boeing factory tour is a must-do.

Thanks to all who attended and presented! It was a fantastic weekend. I hope to see you all again soon!

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