As you may already know, the main purpose of The Gate is to highlight content posted on FlyerTalk. This could include the latest news, deals, trip reports, personal experiences of FlyerTalk members — and it could also include forums.
FlyerTalk has grown over the past 16 years from a small internet bulletin board community to what is arguably the most popular travel community in the world — perhaps that should be trademarked as a slogan? — and over that period of time, dozens of new forums have been added to help with the massive and daunting task of organizing what is currently almost 23 million postings of content by greater than 556,000 members.
Unfortunately, one of the conundrums of being one of the largest travel communities in the world is that there are so many forums and sub-forums on FlyerTalk that a new member can be overwhelmed — and I have found that there are forums which some FlyerTalk members admit they did not even know existed.
In a recent discussion via e-mail messages with FlyerTalk member SanDiego1K — who is also the community director for FlyerTalk — I asked her which forums she believes should be highlighted here at The Gate. Thinking that “smaller, less traveled forums” should be highlighted, here are her initial recommendations:
European Rail Travel Participants who know rail travel forwards and backwards assist FlyerTalk members in what is certainly a viable — and, at times, less expensive and more convenient — transportation alternative to traveling by airplane, car, bus or boat. If you plan on spending time in Europe and traveling to different places — whether that travel is to different countries or just within one country — consider visiting this forum to find out what are your best options.
Amtrak | Guest Rewards Travel by rail in the United States may seem blasphemous to what at first glance appears to be a culture where the automobile is king; but train travel is an excellent way to experience all that the United States has to offer — and guess what? You get to earn frequent travel loyalty program points as well — and sometimes those earnings are doubled through promotions. Find out which rail lines are the most scenic; what kind of meals and beverages are served aboard in the dining cars; how fast is the Internet access; and how much you can expect to spend on your trip. The Gate has featured links to trip reports by FlyerTalk members here, here, here, here and here to help you decide if you should consider traveling by train in the United States in your future.
U.K. and Ireland FlyerTalk member stut is the lone moderator of this forum whom SanDiego1K calls “an amazing resource” who “could likely give you some intriguing threads” from which you can benefit if the United Kingdom and Ireland are in your travel plans. Come to think of it, I plan on traveling to Dublin for the first time in a few months — I need to review this forum further!
Japan If you have a yen for experiencing the sights, sounds and visuals to this gateway to Asia, you will find FlyerTalk members who are “great” and “helpful.” I personally have enjoyed Japan — especially the cuisine, which is not as expensive as you might think if you enjoy food such as sushi and tempura. I found a great Tanuki Soba in a food court located at the train station near the Hilton Tokyo Bay hotel property, of which you can find trip reports and reviews here.
China There are no fewer than four active FlyerTalk members who have been designated as ambassadors to this forum, waiting and willing to assist you in any way possible in terms of answering your questions, as there is a lot to see and do in this intriguing country.
Thailand Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Hua Hin, Koh Samui and Phuket — those are only some of the destinations discussed in this forum. Is Thailand a country you should visit if you have never been there before? You baht!
Argentina FlyerTalk member Gaucho100K is the sole moderator of this forum — he is based in Argentina — and is helpful in answering your questions. I can vouch that some of the best beef I have ever eaten was in Buenos Aires. When people ask me with incredulous looks on their faces to confirm that the main reason I actually traveled to Argentina was to eat steak, I smile and instantaneously reply “Yup!” — although traveling to Iguazu Falls and experiencing other aspects of Buenos Aires certainly became valid reasons as well.
I have added another forum to this list: you may notice that I do not post too many contests and sweepstakes here — and the main reason is because I automatically assume that you already know about the contests and sweepstakes being offered in the Free Travel Contests and Sweepstakes forum, where you have a chance to win trips to destinations around the world. New contests and sweepstakes are added daily by FlyerTalk members…
…and if you think that you have no chance of winning, think again: here is a discussion of FlyerTalk members who have won prizes as a result of FlyerTalk. Perhaps you will be next?…
…and speaking of you being next, what forums on FlyerTalk do you find helpful which may be underrated or underused?