What’s In My Bag with Brian Kelly
You can learn a lot about travelers -- and people -- from the contents of their weekend travel bag. Brian Kelly is better known as The Points Guy
, which is also the name of his popular website that teaches passionate travelers like him how to get the most adventure out of their rewards points. Take a peek inside his bag to see how a true travel pro packs for amazing weekend getaways.
It’s no surprise that Brian Kelly — better known as “The Points Guy” for his expertise in wracking up travel points — is an inveterate world traveler. “I try to do one trip a month,” he says, “usually 10 days or less.”
With so much travel experience, Brian has tallied up a concise list of travel essentials:
- Noise-canceling headphones (“because it’s your responsibility to control your noise environment”)
- Eye mask
- Passport (“even on domestic trips—you never know when you’ll need to leave the US!”)
- iPhone 6+
- MacBook Air
- Sony RX100 (“small and packs a punch”)
Brian’s love of travel (and travel deals) started in his freshman year of college when he scooped up a $300 plane ticket to Dublin. “I fell in love with Ireland (no surprise since I’m of Irish descent) and then studied abroad a year later in Madrid and got to explore more of Europe. The day I quit my job to do The Points Guy full-time, I hopped on a plane and flew to Tokyo for my first solo trip.”
That trip, like all great getaways, was a learning experience. “It showed that I could travel to a place where I didn’t know the language by myself and still enjoy it and learn so much about myself.” His Tokyo adventure taught Brian a lesson that influences him to this day: “While I love traveling with loved ones and friends, I still need alone time to really soak in and explore a destination.”
As the guy behind The Points Guy, Brian runs a 24/7 website that every month attracts more than a million unique visitors. Still, he makes sure to enjoy his weekends. “The weekend is a time for me to reconnect with my friends who work traditional hours,” he says. “While I travel a lot, I always plan weekend trips with friends, and I love to use the weekends to spend time in the U.S. since so much of my ‘work’ travel is flying on international carriers and exploring international destinations.” One such recent trip was to Nashville, where Brian saw Dolly Parton live at the historic Ryman Auditorium and got to meet her before the show. “On the flight home,” Brian recalls, “I sat behind Hayden Panettiere of the show ‘Nashville’ — a memorable weekend indeed, and all done in 48 hours.”
While he’s gotten the logistics of travel down to a near science, that doesn’t take the joy out of exploring the world. “I love to travel because I am naturally curious, and I firmly believe travel makes us better people.”
Brian Kelly is The Points Guy, a leader and influencer in the industry of points, miles and travel in general. Take a peek into more influencers' bags here.