FTU Tampa – I’m pre-ordering my drink now.

Well, it’s that time again: the FTU is touching down in Tampa on September 27-29 for a weekend packed with mile-collecting madness. If you are a points and miles collector yourself, you have likely heard about this fantastic insanity. If you have no idea of what I am talking about, the short answer is that the FTU (Frequent Traveler University) is like summer camp for point hounds. Yes, I did just write that.

This will be my third FTU. You can read about my first one in my post I Told Frequent Miler That I Loved Him, and my second one in my post Who’s Afraid of the FTU? I considered titling this post Scandalized by Cilantro; Seduced by Citrus or Help! The Grand Hyatt Tampa Wants to Poison Me! but I think I struck the right note with the title I chose in the end.

The reason is that it really does pay to have a plan. If you are going to be at the FTU, here is my unsolicited advice (or wait, I guess it is actually solicited because if you are reading this blog, then you want to hear what I have to say. Amazing! Thank you!):

1. It’s Okay to Wade in Slowly

If you don’t know anyone, my advice is to skip the cocktail reception and head for the bar instead. The reason is that the cocktail reception can be very intimidating and overwhelming. The bar is always so much more relaxing. Plus, Hottie and I will be there, and you can come and talk to us.

2. Come Out Tweeting

Do you have a Twitter account? If you don’t, consider getting one before the FTU. Most everyone there is on Twitter and uses tweets to communicate with each other. This is a great way to find out where people are meeting up for dinner, if there have been any Vanilla Reload sightings in the area, etc.

If you want to follow me, my handle is @pixie_points.

3. Just Do It

People at the FTU are a kind bunch. They can seem intimidating because they are loud and filled with opinions, but I’ve only met one person who was (totally, completely, and unforgettably) rude. I don’t think he is going to be at this FTU, so I don’t think you have to worry about him. And hey – I survived our cringe-worthy conversation, and I even got a great story out of it. So just do it – talk to everyone.

4. If Things Get Too Stressful, You Can Always Decompress In Your Room

Room service and Reality TV. Enough said.

5. Plan Your Outfits Wisely

Seriously. My style is Seventies Glam, which involves a lot of flowing sleeves. At the last FTU, I was trying to take notes for hours and my sleeve kept getting wrapped around my pen. Distracting. And a rookie move. I’m saving you from yourself here!

Also, bring a sweater. Because you never know.

6. Check Out The Drinks Menu

So yes, I am going to order a Citrus Thyme from the specialty cocktails menu. I think it’s fun to be able to sit down at the bar and know what you want, even though you’ve never been there before. Just a little extra shot of confidence.

Hold the cilantro.


  1. Thanks so much for writing this! I’m coming and this will be my first time. I’m super nervous! This definitely helped calm my nerves a little though!

  2. I will!!! Thanks!

  3. Have a wonderful time!

  4. have fun!!

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