Well, that was an anti-climatic debut to a project I’ve been ideating for what feels like ages.
Jokes aside, welcome to LAX to Luxury, the blog! I’m Michelle Gonzalez, and you may already know me via my TikTok or Instagram accounts. However, long before those accounts were even in the picture, I had always considered starting a blog.
I’m that friend that everyone turns to for travel advice – properties, flights and experiences alike. Despite not growing up with a lot, being a first generation US citizen meant travel outside of the US to visit family in Argentina (and occasionally Spain) was a memorable part of my childhood. Aviation itself also had a presence in our house – years prior, my mother had been the first female pilot in her province in Argentina (for sport; she was a lawyer by trade before coming to the US), and she frequently pointed out to me the intricacies of the commercial airliners we’d fly.
When I was around 16, I realized I could game these annual (and sometimes biannual) trips to South America to my advantage and spent the months ahead of that year’s holiday trip pouring over pages and pages of FlyerTalk threads.
Rather than just earning miles for those flights, I could translate one trip into Platinum status using an American Airlines status challenge. Rather than rush to get home, I could take their almost-guaranteed oversold situations to get an airline voucher to parlay into future travels. If I did get bumped, I could negotiate for a business class upgrade on my rebooked flight. I successfully executed all three of these plans on our next trip to Argentina later that year, and just like that, a miles and points avgeek was born!
I spent the many years since then making travel a priority. I’ve flown millions of miles and traveled to all inhabited continents and nearly 60 countries (with solo travel making up almost half of that count). And this has all been while I was in university or employed full time, meaning I really have to budget the time for all my adventures!
The journey is just as important to me as the destination, and I’ve planned several entire (typically crazily routed) itineraries just to try specific business or first class flights, or fly on planes I haven’t yet flown. I’ve flown home to California from a Thanksgiving in New York via Hong Kong; I’ve flown to Hawaii from New York for just a sunset before turning back around; I’ve flown to Japan from California for the night before heading back; I once spent just ten hours in Los Angeles on a flight from Australia before returning to Sydney.
With all this experience and those millions of miles of travel, a large repertoire of information on all things travel was built. Whether it’s optimal miles and points usage, the best properties to book at a given destination or ideas on where to go in general, I tend to have a lot to contribute to conversations on travel. As I’ve grown older and my tastes get more bougie, my specialty has pivoted to luxury travel.
Given this knowledge base, I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve heard “you should start a blog!” over the last 16 years.
My socials under the name @LAXtoLuxury came first – I fully credit my motivation to pursue this to TikTok and the amazing opportunity it presented me to establish a large following around my travel content – but here I finally am, starting LAX to Luxury, the blog. (If you’re wondering, it’s pronounced LAX like the airport – an homage to the airport where all of my journeys begin these days!)
I’m really excited for the opportunity to get more in-depth on my various travels – both new and old – here. I hope to build a robust library of resources, tips and trip reports. And that starts today!
Welcome – I’m so glad to have you here on this journey, from LAX to Luxury.