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Thursday Flakes: Travel Rewards Programs, Sports Betting and the Silk Road

The first Travel Flakes in August brings you rewards.

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Photo by Zhang Xiaoliang/VCG via Getty Images

I made it back to Guadalajara this week after spending a week in Puerto Vallarta and a few weeks in Canada before that. July was a travel month for me but August and most of September will be pretty chill as I kick back in Guadalajara.

Since it’s August it means we have Husker football, volleyball and soccer matches this month, which is exciting to think about. I plan to be in town for the Michigan game at the end of September so I’m looking forward to returning to Lincoln for the first time in a while and catching up with friends. However, I’m not excited about Red Way canceling the Lincoln-Atlanta flights (I planned to take it the Monday after the Michigan game), which put a little hiccup into my October travel plans.

While I was back in Canada, I watched the Oppenheimer movie with my friends. It was the first time I had been to a movie theater in a while (since Dunkirk) but I knew this movie would be watching in a theater. It definitely lived up to the hype and I will go as far to say that this is Christopher Nolan’s best movie.

On that note...let’s jump into some questions. Are you a part of any travel rewards programs? What is the best city you ever lived in your life? What are your thoughts on the Barbie and/or Oppenheimer movies? Do you go to the bathroom in an airport to avoid going to the bathroom on an airplane? Have you traveled to Australia or New Zealand? Should a college or professional athlete still be punished if they were not betting on their own team? Which teams do you think are joining the Big 12?

Feel free to answer all or none of these questions (and just rant about the USWNT coach who needs to be fired) in the comments section below.

Anyways onto Flakes...


2023 Nebraska Football: The Most Interesting Question No One Is Talking About | Football | Corn Nation

In 2023, Nebraska football faces an intriguing question about which side of the ball will have a more significant impact on the team’s success: offense or defense. Looking back at the history of Nebraska football coaches, some were known for their offensive expertise, while others were touted as defensive masters. However, the changing landscape of college football has favored offenses due to rule changes, making it difficult for defenses to dominate as they did in the past.

Nebraska Defensive Back Myles Farmer Enters the Transfer Portal | Football | Corn Nation

First, the media pointed out that Nebraska defensive back Myles Farmer was not at Fan Day. Then, Head Coach Matt Rhule announced that Farmer has been suspended and that the ball was in Farmer’s court as far as returning to the team. Now, Sean Callahan announced that Myles Farmer has entered the transfer portal.

Huskers Improve to 2-0 in Spain Behind Eli Rice’s Double-Double | Men’s Basketball | Hail Varsity

While the Ahron Ulis situation garnered headlines off the court, on the court Nebraska improved to 2-0 during its Spanish tour on Wednesday as the Huskers held on to beat the Valencia All-Stars 86-83. Nebraska led 44-38 at halftime and 75-69 after three quarters before Valencia made a fourth-quarter push. However, the Huskers made enough plays to pull out another close game after doing the same on Monday in game one.

Ty Robinson’s No-Nonsense Attitude Brings Stability to Nebraska Defensive Linemen | Football | Lincoln Journal Star

Entering his fifth season at Nebraska, Ty Robinson is one of the few members of the Huskers’ defensive line who saw extensive playing time before this season. The vocal responsibilities his status within the position room carries have come naturally. Robinson doesn’t have to force himself to be a leader; his perfectionist, occasionally abrasive personality takes care of it.

Years Ago, Nebraska Volleyball Chased Down Penn State. Next Up: Wisconsin | Volleyball | Lincoln Journal Star

Cook said Monday at Big Ten media days that the Huskers are “absolutely” chasing Wisconsin, and are making decisions they hope will help them accomplish that. “Wisconsin has been the top team for the last four years,” Cook said. “We’re trying to catch them in every way. We recruit a lot of the same players. They’ve set the bar. We got to find a way to be successful against them.”

Volleyball TV Coverage, Start Times Announced | Volleyball |

The Huskers will play on Big Ten Network 14 times, on Nebraska Public Media five times and on ESPNU once. All matches televised on Big Ten Network can be streamed on The five matches televised on Nebraska Public Media can be streamed on B1G+.

Buschini Named to Ray Guy Award Watch List | Football |

Brian Buschini was one of 50 punters nationally named to the preseason watch list for the 2023 Ray Guy Award, announced on Wednesday. The Ray Guy Award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate punter in the FBS, and Buschini made the watch list for the second year in a row.


How to Score Cheap Flights to Europe | Travel | Travel Pulse

If you’re tied to travel dates, then the airlines have you right where they want you. This fact cannot be stressed enough: besides traveling in offseason, the number one thing you can do to save money on your next flight to Europe is to be open to a variety of arrival and departure dates.

The States Being Hit By Passport Delays | Travel | Travel Pulse

After California, travelers in North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Pennsylvania are having the hardest time procuring a valid travel document. New York, Tennessee, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia round out the top 10 states conducting the most passport-related searches right now.

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2023 | Travel | Travel Pulse

The rankings celebrate the top 10 airline reward programs and top 15 hotel reward programs. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and Wyndham Rewards were the respective winners, with Alaska’s program holding the top airline spot for the ninth year in a row.

Best Travel Credit Cards for 2023 | Travel | Lonely Planet

Whether you’re headed to a meditation retreat in Sedona or lakeside castle in the Dolomites, everyone loves to feel pampered when they travel. Travel credit cards can help you easily upgrade your trip with perks that feel luxurious. Whether it’s access to a bougie lounge, seat upgrades to business class or free Global Entry, travel credit cards are a straightforward way to reduce travel costs and journey in style.

Where Do Irish People Vacation in Ireland? | Travel | Lonely Planet

With its dramatic landscapes, vibrant cities and rich heritage, Ireland inspires all sorts of adventures. But away from the world-renowned Cliffs of Moher, the beaches of Donegal and the literary trails in Dublin, where do locals go when they want to steer clear of the crowds? Here, three of Lonely Planet’s Dublin editors, share their favorite destinations for laid-back holidays in Ireland.

5 of the best road trips through Uzbekistan’s Silk Roads | Travel | Lonely Planet

Getting around Uzbekistan is easy. Trains and shared taxis will get you to every corner of the country, but to roam off the beaten track and explore lesser-visited historical sites, nothing beats the freedom of hiring a taxi or a car with a driver for a day. For a road trip to remember, it’s even possible to rent your own car and drive yourself along the Silk Road. Here are the top routes to consider.

Are ‘Green’ Airfares Really Better for the Planet? | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

Some sustainability experts, like Sola Zheng, say that the newer SAF programs make a more positive impact by encouraging the adoption of cleaner jet fuel, which creates less carbon at the outset and are “definitely getting closer to real sustainability efforts.” But she notes that in order for the SAF products to be truly eco-friendly, the fuel must be responsibly developed and its use must translate to substantial and verifiable emissions reductions.

How Sierra Leone Is Changing Its Narrative Through Tourism | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

Despite its myriad uphill battles, 2023 marks Sierra Leone’s first real attempt to reopen itself to tourism in decades. A new airport—the first since British colonizers built Lungi International after World War II and the only one in West Africa powered by a 1.5 megawatt solar farm—was unveiled in Freetown in early March, and officials have eased visa restrictions, permitting visa-free and visa-on-arrival landings for U.S. citizens.

U.S. Finalizes Rule to Make Single-aisle Airplane Bathrooms Wheelchair Accessible | Travel | Travel + Leisure

The ruling will require bathrooms on any new single-aisle aircraft with 125 seats or more to be larger and wheelchair-accessible and include features like grab bars, accessible faucets and controls, and accessible call buttons and door locks, according to the DOT. Airlines won’t be required to retrofit existing aircraft, but will have to add accessibility features if a lavatory is replaced.

This Travel Site Is Giving Away Free Flights Every Weekday in August | Travel | Travel + Leisure is giving away free flights every weekday in August to celebrate its eighth year anniversary. To score a free flight, travelers must log in to their account and find a deal they want to book. They must then head to’s Instagram page, “like” that day’s post, and leave a comment with which deal they want to book. New giveaways are posted each weekday at 6 a.m. ET.

The World’s Most Livable Cities for 2023 | Travel | BBC

After a pandemic slump, quality of life is again on the rise in many of the world’s cities. In fact, overall livability has reached a 15-year high, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Global Livability Index, which rates 173 cities on factors including stability, healthcare, culture & environment, education and infrastructure.

Kohutapu Lodge: A Model for Regenerative Tourism in New Zealand | Travel | BBC

New Zealand is emerging as a global leader in regenerative tourism, thanks in part to Māori tour operators such as the Bay of Plenty’s Kohutapu Lodge.

The Hike Making Australia a Better Place | Travel | BBC

Tasmania’s wukalina Walk is much more than a tourism product. It’s a vehicle for Aboriginal empowerment, cultural strength and reconnection – and a chance for visitors to learn.

Last But Not Least

Caught red-handed


An ode to baseball fans