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What Happened To AwardWallet?

If there is one essential tool for frequent flyers, it is AwardWallet.

If you are new to frequent flying, you can sign up for AwardWallet here for free.

Basically AwardWallet allows you to connect all your frequent flyer accounts and check the balances all in one place. Sort of like a Mint.com for your miles & points.

I have been using AwardWallet since 2009 and it is hands down the easiest way to track my entire family’s miles and points accounts across all programs.

All in total, my family and I have 73 accounts being tracked by AwardWallet.

Recent Award Wallet Updates

I recently logged in and noticed AwardWallet made some “customer enhancements”.

Some of them are definitely good like the security code check if you log in from a computer that you don’t normally use.

 

However I don’t know if it is just me but I am not a fan of the new interface.

New Award Wallet

I get that AwardWallet is trying to showcase that the service is now more secure like a vault but the new interface is so difficult to read because all the individual accounts blur together

FYI if you don’t remember what the old interface looked like, it looked like this.

While it wasn’t cutting edge, there was at least some color contrast between accounts and it was easy to use so I had no complaints.

 

AccountList

I am such a fan of AwardWallet that I did actually send them a detailed email telling them how I felt about the new interface and how it could be improved.

Anyway, I sincerely hope AwardWallet redesigns the interface or at a minimum, reverts back to the old look because overall the app is amazing and a lifesaver, it just is very difficult to read at this current moment.

I am curious if other people feel the same way about the “new” AwardWallet?

-Parag

 

What I Have Been Doing For The Last 3 Months

What I Have Been Doing For The Last 3 Months

If you are a regular reader of FFU, you have probably been visiting the site and noticed that I have been missing in action for the last few months.

People who follow me on Instagram and Facebook know that I have been backpacking around Asia doing the “Banana Pancake Trail” for the last few months.

As some would say, it was my “Eat, Pray, Love” trip where I basically put everything else on hold and went and had the time of my life.

I flew JAL Business there and did 1 entire month (top to bottom) of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, & Indonesia. Coming home I burned 100,000 Alaska miles and flew Emirates A380 First home!

If you have never done any of those countries or have thought about doing a similar trip, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

In a couple more days, I will be sharing what came of all this “introspection” but for now here is a quick recap in photos of the trip.

Vietnam

-19F Leaving ORD

-19F Leaving ORD

Japan Air Business Class

Japan Air Business Class

Japan Air Amenity Kit Of Course Had A Face Mask

Japan Air Amenity Kit Of Course Had A Face Mask

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

Halong Bay. Absolutely Incredible.

Halong Bay. Absolutely Incredible.

Biking Around Hanoi

Biking Around Hanoi

Night Bus Through Vietnam

Night Bus Through Vietnam

Banh Mi

Banh Mi

Cheapest Flight I Have Taken...$18 All In

Cheapest Flight I Have Taken…$18 All In

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

Only In Asia

Only In Asia

The Best Angled Lie Flat Ever

The Best Angled Lie Flat Ever

Cu Chi Tunnels Outside of Saigon

Cu Chi Tunnels Outside of Saigon

Motor Biking

Motor Biking

Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon "Uber"

Yangon “Uber”

Inle Lake

Inle Lake

Bagan

Bagan

Laos

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Tubing In Vang Vieng

Tubing In Vang Vieng

Bangkok

Khaosan Road

Khaosan Road

Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Towers

Petronas Towers

Indonesia

Bali

Bali

Gili T Island

Gili T Island

Emirates A380

Emirates First

Emirates First

The Famous Shower

The Famous Shower

Business Class Bar

Business Class Bar

How To Backup ALL Your Smartphone Photos FOR FREE

How To Backup Your Smartphone Photos & Video FOR FREE

While I love my DSLR camera,  traveling over the past few years I have realized that the majority of the photos I take are now on my iPhone…

My guess is that I am not the only one who does this, so if you are anything like me then your smartphone’s storage probably fills up pretty quickly.

While there are a ton of different cloud storage options like iCloud, Dropbox, etc to backup your smartphone, most of them cost money once you fill up the free space.

I’ve also thought about just saving all my photos to an external hard drive but if something ever happened to the hard drive, all my photos would be lost!

After a little research, I came across quite an awesome workaround to this problem.

Enter Google+

If you aren’t familiar with Google+, don’t worry you aren’t the only one ; )

Basically it was Google’s failed attempt to create a Facebook clone that no one really uses anymore.

That being said, there is one AMAZING benefit of Google+ and that is FREE PHOTO & VIDEO STORAGE!

Normally Google accounts like Gmail, Google Drive, etc only come with 15gb free storage but in an attempt to seed Google+ with content and push people to use it on mobile , Google+ automatically uploads your smartphone photos to Google+ whenever the app is open and it DOES NOT COUNT against the free 15gb they give you.

Google+ also has Android, mobile browser, and desktop applications. On any of the platforms (including desktop), as long as your photos aren’t larger than 2048px and videos are less than 15 minutes long, you can back them up for free!!

I didn’t know they had a desktop app but now I am definitely going to backup all my DSLR photos to Google, just as a precaution.

"Google+ Web"

“Google+ Web”

One thing to remember before backing up your photos is to set your Google+ privacy setting to private. Once you do that, you basically have a free unlimited private photo repository.

As long as you open the Google+ app every few weeks and let it automatically upload your photos (like when you are about to sleep), your entire smartphone photo and video collection will be backed up for free.

It doesn’t get much better than that!

If you are interested in more information about Google+ and this awesome feature, check out the full LifeHacker article or the Google+ official post about it here.

Update

If you are having trouble with Google+, another option is Flickr.

They offer 1 terabyte (1000gb) of storage for free and also have a mobile app that auto syncs. I use both Google+ and Flickr currently.

-Parag

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