Coco Luxe: Coconut oil on-the-go for $12. Worth it?

CocoLuxe package

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I’ve written about how awesome it is to travel with coconut oil. So when Coco Luxe asked me if I wanted to review their product, I thought, why not. I travel with coconut oil anyway, so I took it to Barcelona.

The big draw with Coco Luxe is that it comes in a 3.4 ounce tube. It clears TSA and all you have to do is throw it in your bag. So, the convenience factor.

Their cute logo :)

Their cute logo :)

Full disclosure: They sent me a free tube in exchange for an honest opinion. And if you purchase a tube, I get a percentage of the sale. Now, putting all bias aside…

About Coco Luxe

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10 Fun Things to Do in Barcelona

During my wanderings

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I had a great time in Barcelona and wanted to share some adventures that rounded out the trip.

Barcelona reminded me of Paris in lots of ways: the buildings, the twisty-turny side streets, the grand thoroughfares, and the dozens of cafes lining every street.

Lemme go ahead and set the tone here

Lemme go ahead and set the tone here

But it was decidedly very different. The Mediterranean replaces the River Seine as the city’s main waterway, the food had a much different focus, and the city itself has wayyyy different attractions. Including a few things you can’t do, get, or see anywhere else in the world.

Here are a few things I loved about Barcelona.

10 Fun Things to Do in Barcelona

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Just Booked: Tokyo and Osaka, Japan in April for Cherry Blossoms

Literally so excited

Thanks to Frequent Miler for posting this “Quick Deal!”

It certainly did go quick.

I saw Business Class award availability shrink away from me with the Wicked Witch of the East’s shoes when the house fell on top of her.

But First Class seats were still there – at least 2 of them – and I thought, you know, whatever. And just did it. DFW-NRT First Class on American Airlines. And ITM-NRT-DFW coming back.

At least I got in on this one during its prime time unlike the ~$747 AA Business Class ticket to Barcelona (which still ended up being a very good deal).

This trip cost 62,500 American Airlines miles each way, but I got back 10,000 miles for having the Citi AA credit card.

In total, I paid 120,000 American Airlines miles round-trip.

I wish it were on JAL, or Cathay Pacific, instead of AA, but oh well. It’s in the middle of cherry blossom season. I hope these dates are lucky so I’ll be able to see cherry blossoms during Japan’s spring.

By the numbers

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Is the Citi AT&T Access More Card + RadPad a Viable MS Option?

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I wrote earlier about my wishes for the Citi ThankYou program and increasing fascination with Citi.

Today, I had some sort of psychic break and picked up the Citi AT&T Access More card.

Oops, I did it again

Oops, I did it again

I applied for it instead of the Citi ThankYou Premier card. Based on my current spending habits, and the fact that I already have Citi Prestige, the Citi ThankYou Premier seemed redundant.

Except for its broad 3X category for all travel including gas. But then I thought, you know, no.

Before I go all-in with Citi ThankYou, I wanna see what’s next. I can pick up that card up any time. And use my Chase Sapphire Preferred (or some other card) for gas/other travel.

And then, thinking more on the Citi AT&T Access More card, I thought about why it could be better. Including for paying rent at RadPad, a topic I’ve mined frequently.

About the Citi AT&T Access More card

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Hotel Review: Alexandra Doubletree Barcelona, Dream Suite

2016-01-13 01.35.46

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I wrote about my experience arriving and checking-in to the Alexandra Barcelona, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

Lobby of the Alexandra Doubletree Barcelona

Lobby of the Alexandra Doubletree Barcelona

It couldn’t have been better. I was upgraded to a Dream Suite worth ~$1,660 as a Hilton Diamond member.

Now, I want to show you the Dream Suite and review the hotel more in-depth.

The Dream Suite at the Alexandra Doubletree Barcelona

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4 Things Holding Back Citi ThankYou From Being the Best Points Program

K cool, get even more flexible again

For too long, Chase Ultimate Rewards has been considered the best all-around points program for peeps who like collecting them (myself included).

You welcome

You welcome

AMEX is failing miserably at just about everything right now, except for AMEX Offers.

They lost Costco and jetBlue, might lose Starwood, Membership Rewards doesn’t have (m)any great transfer partners (maybe Delta, Aeroplan, and ANA for niche award flight redemptions), and they’ve absolutely failed to make timely and industry-leading adjustments to their credit card and points line-up for a long time (thanks for dropping forex fees after like, a decade…).

That left the door wide open for Citi to swoop in (Barclays and Bank of America were never a concern). And man, they really took their chance.

I went from having 1 Citi AAdvantage card to wanting multiple Citi cards in a short while. I’m in love with Citi Prestige because of all the money it’s saved me in the few months I’ve had it.

Current Citi cards I have and want

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My Hilton Diamond Experience in Barcelona (With Suite Upgrade Worth Over $1,600!)

View upon walking in to the gorgeous Dream Suite

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I was super looking forward to visiting Barcelona.

From the initial disappointment of not getting the best deal (but still a very good deal) on the flights, to wondering which hotel to stay at, to finally getting a Citi Prestige card and choosing the Alexandra Doubletree, it was a bit of a ride.

In the end, I was able to book 6 nights via Citi Travel Concierge with Hilton’s Winter Sale rate and 4th night free.

Here’s how it all shook out.

Booking by the numbers

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Get Honey, Save Money! (Browser Extension for Chrome)

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You guys know I’m all about saving money when shopping online.

In fact, I’m borderline obsessed with Paribus, which is an incredible way to save money when there’s a price change on items you bought.

Enter Honey

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10,000 Citi ThankYou points for catching a site error

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Citi’s been hit-or-miss with peeps calling in about various website errors recently.

Doctor of Credit shared an experience about getting a 5,000 bonus Citi ThankYou points because the Citi Prestige application site showed an error on earning 3X ThankYou points on all travel purchases including gas.

Error alert!

Error alert!

It actually earns 3X points on airfare and hotel purchases, not travel broadly defined – probably my only complaint on this otherwise incredible card. (Here’s how much I’ve saved I picked up the card in November 2015. And it’s available via my links if you decide to apply.)

How I got 10K points

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Out and Out Is in Barcelona! Any Must-Dos? (And Updates!)

A Gothic Quarter street scene

Dear Out and Out readers, I miss you so.

I got to Barcelona (Barcy) Wednesday morning and have spent the past 3 days wandering, sleeping, working, eating (tapas), and drinking (sangria and Spanish wines and local craft beers).

Wandering in the Gothic Quarter

Wandering in the Gothic Quarter

I still have 3 more full days in Barcy and am totally open to ideas about how to fill the time. I’m meeting with friends, and have a few things on my to-do list (on Todoist):

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Restaurants, sites, and things to see. Anything I should add?

I’ll get up tomorrow and see La Sangrada Familia, then maybe head to the Picasso Museum and see the Arc de Triomphe along the way.

Feel free to share any tips about where to go, what to do, or great restaurants you love. I’ll try to work in as many things as possible!

A few updates

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Forget AAdvantage! I’m Switching to Alaska MileagePlan This Year

You're interesting

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The beginning of the year is an excellent time to set new travel goals.

Especially when you’re looking at this:

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Ruh roh!

I already broke down the numbers of qualifying for top-tier status on American and Alaska, and found that Alaska MVP Gold 75K status is easier to earn with less flying. And you end up with more miles than AAdvantage Executive Platinum status when you start from zero and hit the top tier – 36,250 miles to be exact.

And now it’s even more attractive in light of American’s upcoming devalued award chart.

But… what about Dallas?

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How I Made an Extra $60K from Airbnb in 2015

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Side hustle of the millennium

Side hustle extraordinaire

I’ve written a lot about my side hustle with Airbnb a lot in the past. So I thought I’d follow up, because side hustles are a big part of my FIRE, and a great way to dig yourself out of debt – or earn more income.

In my Q2 update, I estimated I’d make an extra ~$31K off the endeavor in 2015.

I took some knocks here and there, but doubled my original projection. All told, I earned an extra ~$60K from Airbnb in 2015. And most of it went toward debts. In 2016, I’ll earn less but hopefully knock out my student loans once and for all.

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Good vibes

Here’s how I did it.

The numbers

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