During the next few weeks, we’ll look at different aspects of travel—everything from where to find the best Cuban airport food to packing for a week in China without having to check a bag. All along the way we’ll get advice from Grant Martin, Trunk Club member and traveler extraordinaire. Today we’re kicking things off with a new addition to our “I’d Rather Be” series.
Grant Martin racks up 150,000 airline miles a year. The former editor-in-chief of the travel blog Gadling, Grant now contributes to the BBC, The Economist, Forbes, and other publications—in addition to handling media for Avegant. (Since launching its retinal-display headsets on Kickstarter last week, Avegant has raised $740,000, with no signs of slowing down.) Grant recently stopped by Trunk Club HQ, where we talked about his globetrotting lifestyle and how Trunk Club fits in. He even shared some photos from his travels.
When did you become interested in traveling?
Everyone in my family appreciates value, and for me that comes through specifically for travel. Back in 2003, I finished my degree in engineering and got a job in Ann Arbor. I started getting into the underground community of people who discuss airfares and figure out how they work.
I figured out how elite status worked with Northwest Airlines, a defunct airline that was purchased by Delta. I read that if you fly 25,000 miles a year you’ll get silver status and they will upgrade you free. For me at 24-years old, being treated like a business traveler was very, very attractive. I flew about 25,000 miles and I made the silver status, which to me at the time was a big deal. My first trip with status was to Los Angeles. They called my name at the podium and I was smiling from ear to ear and they were like, “Here’s your upgrade, Mr. Martin.” I never looked back.