The Business of Fun is quite the Funny Business.

A trip to Disney World is an all out assault on your eyes and ears. The place is mindbogglingly busy and none of your senses are spared. It’s loud everywhere, all the time. Your eyes are quickly overwhelmed by the spinning, twirling and flashing of everything that can be spun, twirled or flashed. Even in the restroom, its chaos.

About 3 hours in, a headache ensued and I needed ibuprofen. Now, if I wanted glass slippers or a hat with ears, no problem, but something for a headache; not a pill to be found. I’d have better luck finding Bigfoot hiding in the bushes. I finally found a Disney employee who knew “the secret.”

She said that “certain” stores had ibuprofen secured in a drawer behind the counter, but you had to ask for it. “Is there a special password?” I asked. “No, just start asking different store clerks.” As I staggered into the third store, the clerk immediately “knew” what I wanted. “They come in a 2-pack,” she said, “and they’re expensive,” she warned.

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Desperate times, desperate measures. I coughed up the dough; $2.49 for two pills. She then opened a small cabinet behind the counter and handed them to me. “Yesterday was a big day for this stuff!” she said, smiling.  I scowled at her.  She looked at the door; another sensory-overload victim had just wandered in.

After gobbling up the pills, I started doing the math. I wanted to translate the weight of the two pills into a form that I could use to see how it would compare with other products. OCD and I then went for a long walk crunching numbers. By my calculations: It takes ~101 tablets to equal 31 grams, which, by the way, is also a Troy ounce. ~90 tablets equals a regular ounce (28 grams). Which means that to buy a regular ounce of Advil at Disney World would cost me $112.05 or for a Troy ounce (precious metals are weighed using the Troy ounce) it would be $126.99. (Yes, I was bored and Yes, I had too much time on my hands!)

Anyways, buying two Ibuprofen pills at Disney World works out to ~$112.05 an ounce and ~$126.99 for a Troy ounce or ~$4.01 a gram and ~$4.09 a gram (Troy), respectively.  Who cares, Right? Well, I do and here’s why.

  1.  Wal-Mart: 100 Advil Tabs $7.97. That’s ~.28 cents a gram.
  2.  Excellent Russian Beluga Caviar, $90.00 per ounce or ~$3.21 a gram.
  3.  .999 Pure Silver bars, $15-ish a Troy ounce or ~$.49 cents a gram.
  4. Marijuana, $112.00 an ounce in many large cities, globally or ~$4.00 a gram.
  5. Fresh Burgundy Black Truffles, $44.00 an ounce or ~$1.58 a gram.

For around the same price of Disney’s Ibuprofen, I could buy either: ~1400 Advil pills at Wal-Mart, one ounce of a Fancy Russian Beluga Caviar and still have enough money left to buy a barf bag, 8 bars of  shiny .999 Silver or an ounce of an incredible Burgundy Black fresh-picked Truffle.

Who’s the thinker now! I’ve peeked behind the curtain and I’ve seen Disney’s “real” profit center. Now I’m quite certain that they’re secretly in the Ibuprofen business and that the Mouse-thing, well, is just a rouse to lure you into the park to buy their Advil.

 

 

 

 

 

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If you’re not using Points and Miles, you really should be!

Ritz-Carlton, Marana Az. (Tucson)

Booked a room for 3 nights using 70,000 Marriott Points and a free night certificate. This place is a bargain at 35k points per night! The value of the Points and free night certificate is ~$945.

I checked the non-Points value to make sure that using points gives the better value…

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Looks Good. ~$945 in Points to get $1249.74 in value. If you have the Amex Spg Luxury Card, you’re automatically Gold with Marriott. If you travel or spend enough, you can become Platinum. Either way, when you check in, you’re eligible for an Upgrade. I checked in and was upgraded.

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~$945 in Points/free night certificate and now $3833.99 in value! Wow!

How did I earn the points? Spg Luxury card with 75,000 point sign up bonus. $450 year fee. WAIT! You get $300 of that back as a credit to pay a Marriott Hotel charge(s) and $250 of it back for airline incidentals (fly Delta and use it for gift cards to help pay for your flight). You also get a free night certificate and Marriott Gold status. Do the Math!

Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved! http://refer.amex.us/MICHAmOzEI?xl=cp33

 

 

Do you have what it takes to pursue the Points and Miles challenge? I’m not so sure…

Three years ago, I decided to take the “Hobby” of earning Travel Points and Miles seriously. I immersed myself in learning the “in’s & out’s” and after formulating a mediocre plan, I leapt from the proverbial edge and went all in. Three years, 14+ credit cards and 3,500,000 various points/miles later, I’m exhausted.

There is NO rest in this pursuit. Deals, opportunities, angles and tactics changes hourly. You must read, research and learn the nuances of every credit card, hotel chain, airline and car rental perk, challenge, coupon, offer and status opportunity available for the program that meets your goals. You must also learn about programs outside your sphere as they are often a “back door” to a program that is within your focus ie. booking with Alaska Air for an American Airlines flight when Alaska, who will take American Airlines Miles, requires less to do the same thing, yet you still board an American Airlines plane. It is literally like drinking from a fire hose.

The resources are easily available, but if you want to be at the “top of your game,” you must put in the time and effort. This, plus maintaining websites, blogs and writing books about what you’ve learned and experienced, make for a full day.

The reward? I have the ability to travel anywhere, in any way, for free; like I need more demands on my time. Ironically, the pursuit can become more interesting that the actual reason you started; to see the world in ways that most are unable; the most exotic cities, the best hotels and flights etc.

Having said all that, I do love it so. There is no greater thrill than to obtain top-tier hotel status, fly first class and see the world “simply” by accumulating points and miles. It becomes a type of currency that you earn through hard work, effort and being a step ahead. It can be glorious, but be warned, it is all-consuming and definitely not for the faint of heart. You’ll go to bed thinking about it and you’ll get up thinking about it. If your fortunate though, the bed you’re in will be in a place that is absolutely incredible.

 

Could you imagine? The most expensive nap ever taken🌻

I love this question: Should I wait to have children until I can afford them? Academically, sure; but most likely, nobody would ever have kids.

Waiting until you can “afford” to travel follows the same path. It’s the land of “I wish I had but now I can’t.”

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Somehow, if we’re careful, we manage to have children and thrive anyway. Following your travel dreams is no different, You just “make it work” or alternatively, you roll the dice and wait until you retire. Good luck with that…

  • No, this isn’t a crime scene, they’re asleep!🙄

 

And Three’s a Charm…

The third book is done and printed! The Diary of Francis Kelley. Amazon has been “struggling” with paperbacks lately, so the books are on my site: Travelinggump.Com under “menu” and the eBook versions are on Amazon. Just search “Travelinggump”

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Order here Thru Paypal and get Free Shipping!

Traveling Zen:::The Paperback Version is now Available!

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