My 5 Travel Essentials: The Points Guy

Dec 27, 2016

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The Points Guy (a/k/a Brian Kelly) has been an avid traveler all his life, becoming a points and miles expert in the travel industry over many years. In 2015, he took 112 flights on 28 different airlines, flying a total of 203,058 miles. In 2016, he traveled even more, logging 151 flights and a total of 258,224 miles flown on 24 different airlines.

TPG says some of his favorite trips this year were connected to the charity work his does with PeaceJam, an incredible organization that educates kids based on the teachings of Nobel Peace Prize winners. “Traveling with my family is always really special,” said Kelly. “We were able to participate in a PeaceJam conference in Accra and then take an African safari together, which was really amazing.”

So, what’s next? “I’m really excited to go back to Bali in early 2017. The Cook Islands and Tahiti are high on my list, too,” Kelly said. “I’m dying get to Antarctica, but it’s difficult to do that with only points and miles, so I’m still working on a strategy. There are also so many places right here in the US I have yet to explore but would really like to visit.”

Over the years, TPG’s perfected the art of traveling in comfort and style, whether he’s flying in the super-luxe Etihad Residence or squeezing himself into a seat on low-cost carrier Ryanair. These are the five things he never leaves home without.

1. Rimowa Salsa Cabin Black Matte Suitcase

“Rimowa’s not cheap, but after my recent trips to AccraRwanda and Vietnam, I’ve seen how this suitcase can roll over pretty much any type of terrain. I really need a suitcase that can keep up with my hectic travel lifestyle, and although the suitcase is lightweight, it’s extremely durable. I also like the mesh divider it comes with for easy organization and how it has TSA-approved locks.”

Brian has always been a fan of the Rimowa brand.
Brian has always been a fan of the Rimowa brand.

2. A Lululemon Vent Tech Traveler Outfit

“You never know whether it will be hot or cold inside a plane and you really have no control over the temperature. Comfortable lounge wear from the Lululemon Vent Tech collection is made with just the right amount of Merino wool to ensure I’m not sweating or freezing. I’ll usually wear something nicer at the airport when boarding, and once it’s time to sleep, I’ll change into these on long-haul flights.”

3. Bose QuietComfort 35 Headphones

“I’ve been a big fan of Bose noise-cancelling headphones for years, especially on planes and in airports whenever I’m trying to sleep. Each time Bose comes out with new headphones, like the QC35 model, I’ll treat myself. I particularly love the Bluetooth feature, which is ideal if you’re traveling with a phone that doesn’t have a headphone jack.”

4. My TPG Eye Mask

“Maybe it sounds cheesy, but I really do love my TPG eye mask. We’ve been giving out a lot of swag at reader events and parties lately, and that’s one of my favorite items! The eye mask blocks out any light and when combined with my Bose headphones (and maybe a glass of Champagne or two), I sleep like a baby.”

Full Disclosure: "I don't only use the TPG eye mask when I'm on a plane. I sometimes use it for a quick nap in my office," Brian tells us.
TPG loves his eye mask so much, he uses it off the plane, too, sometimes for a quick nap in the office.

5. Downloadable Video and TV Content

“I like to download my favorite shows and movies on my computer so I’m never stuck without some in-flight entertainment. This also works if I’m jet lagged and can’t sleep, or if my flight is delayed and I’m spending more time than planned at an airport. Right now I’m hooked on ‘House of Cards,’ so I’ve purchased all the episodes and binge-watch whenever I can — it’s so good! In the past, I’ve bought content on iTunes, but now that you can download straight from Netflix, that gives me even more options.”

What are five things you never travel without? Let us know in the comments below.

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