Many of you know that I offer an award booking service. It grew too big to handle on my own, and I was fortunate enough to be able to partner with one of the real veterans and gurus in the frequent flyer game, Steve Belkin (known in online forums as ‘beaubo’).
Steve is most famous for exploiting loopholes in frequent flyer programs like Aeroplan and United’s MileagePlus in a truly big way, scaling opportunities to earn millions instead of thousands of miles. And in that pursuit he has hired disable Thai rice farmers to fly in and out of the Golden Triangle area of Thailand, and New Zealand college students to fly to Europe for the summer.
One of the really fun projects he’s had is called Competitours. For 12 days every summer, Steve disappears from work to run what the Chicago Tribune calls “The Amazing Race for Regular People.”
COMPETITOURS is a 10 day team travel competition, with 12 pairs of teams traversing a mystery itinerary of Western Europe and earning points by accomplishing a daily dose of surprise challenges in pursuit of a $7200 cash prize divvied up by the top three teams.
Challenges are structured to test teams creativity, resourcefulness and spontaneity (NOT speed or fitness – hah!). Here’s some of the challenges. Each day’s destination and challenges are revealed with a mere 24-36 hours notice. Unlike the ‘Amazing Race’ TV show, Competitours steers clear of weird food, exhausting tasks and manufactured conflict and drama.
It’s a great project, reports are that the trips are great fun. I just need extra help for those 12 days…
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