Travel

Category Archives for Travel.

CityPass: Save up to 50% on Popular Attractions in 13 Cities

citypass savings

CityPass is a service I personally recommend to peeps when they stay at my Airbnbs and ask for fun stuff to do around Dallas.

Within Dallas, a $49 adult CityPass includes 4 attractions. Two of them are set. And you get to pick the other two. In this way, you build a little package for yourself. It’s fun, and saves you money when you travel. The Dallas package (for example) saves 40% on the 4 places you visit.

citypass savings

I loved spending time at the Dallas Botanical Garden as part of my CityPass ticket

The CityPass tickets filled up a weekend with places I’d been meaning to visit for a while.

CityPass has deals for 12 US cities and Toronto. If you visit a place on the list and want some fun touristy things to do, check what’s included for that city. They also have discounted tickets for kids and some cities have theme parks, aquariums, and much more to choose from!

CityPass savings

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8 Easy Tricks to Earn & Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

This one’s for my friends who say, “I never earn enough points to get a travel reward,” or, “Points are useless once you have them.”

The truth is you don’t have to invest a ton of time into learning how to use your points. You can do well by using 1 or 2 tricks to earn and redeem for travel.

And if you do that, you will still come out way ahead of most people.

I used Chase Ultimate Rewards points to stay in San Francisco this April

These “tricks” require very little finesse – just that you pay attention. Perhaps now is a good time to form a habit loop?

Even if these methods are ALL you ever learn, they’re an incredible place to begin. And once you’re comfortable, you can build from there – baby steps.

4 ways to EARN Chase points

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Last Summer, Bumped off Delta Flight. This Fall, Free Business Class Flights to Mexico City

This time last year, I was hiking through the mountains of Glacier National Park in Montana. I wrote about how I booked the trip and the one and only time I’ve ever had to use rental car insurance to file a claim.

I also got to stay at Granite Park Chalet with my dear friend Angie for 3 nights of mountain views, good company, and sneaky shots of whiskey before bed. 😵

delta bump

Glacier National Park is one of my favorite places on earth

On the way home, I got bumped off my original departing flight. And ended up leaving 30 minutes later, getting home an hour earlier, and now – scoring a free flight to Mexico City with my $500 Delta voucher for taking the bump.

All in all, I came out ahead on this one!

Turning a Delta bump into more free flights

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3 Days in Iceland: What You Should Know About Your Stopover Trip

It’s easier than ever to spend three days in Iceland:

  • WOW! Air frequently has $99 one-way sales to Iceland (and around $200 coming home)
  • Icelandair lets you add a free stopover – up to 7 days – on your way to mainland Europe
  • American, Delta, and United all fly there seasonally from their hubs

Of course, with all this competition, fares are rock bottom. I’ve seen them as low as $287 round-trip to visit the Land of Fire & Ice.

three days in iceland

Planning a visit to Iceland? You should – it’s easier than ever

I say Iceland deserves a full week to appreciate. The weather is unpredictable and if you hit a rainy patch, that’ll be unfortch. That said, if you’ve never been it’s beyond worthwhile to add a bonus side trip to Iceland. A friend asked what to do with 3 days in Iceland, to which I said…

Even three days in Iceland is expensive

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Koks Restaurant Review: Dining Experience of a Lifetime in the Faroe Islands

My first day in the Faroe Islands was packed:

  • Got to airport in Vagar at 11am
  • Checkin at Havgrim Hotel shortly after 12pm
  • New Norse-inspired tattoo at 4pm
  • And by 6pm, off to Koks for dinner at 6:30pm!

This was also the Summer Solstice in the Land of the Midnight Sun. I didn’t know what to expect from Koks. That I’d be there 4+ hours. And that it wouldn’t just be a (very decadent) meal – but truly the experience of a lifetime.

koks restaurant review

Koks is in an old turf house on an isolated bay in the Faroe Islands

Here’s my experience (the only word to describe it!) at Koks, complete with #foodporn pics of the 20+ courses served that night.

My Koks restaurant review

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Visit to the Faroe Islands: Rugged Cliffs, Endless Waterfalls, & Modern Refinement

I crossed off a huge bucket list item. Last week, I spent 4 days in the wild and rugged Faroe Islands.

The country is made of 18 islands. Of those, I got to visit 3. What I saw reminded me of the ruggedness of Iceland and the brilliant green cliffs of Ireland.

But the Faroe Islands are a unique place in the world. And, it’s challenging to get there.

Based on my short time, I can already say it’s one of my favorite places on earth. And can’t wait to go back.

visit faroe islands

The Faroe Islands were unlike any place I’ve been, and crazy gorgeous

Here’s more about my visit to the Faroe Islands. And photos of the stunning landscapes that make this place so deeply special.

Visit Faroe Islands – My experience

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Review: Icelandair Saga Lounge, Keflavik (KEF)

Hello from Iceland! Specifically, the Icelandair Saga Lounge in the center of Keflavik Airport.

One reason I wanted to fly in Business Class home (instead of inbound) was access to this lounge. It’s Icelandair’s single lounge – and the only lounge in Keflavik airport.

Icelandair Saga Lounge Review

Entrance to the Icelandair Saga Lounge in Keflavik

Sitting here now, it’s one of the most spacious and calm airport lounges I’ve ever been to.

You can’t buy day passes to this lounge. But I’ll share how you can get in!

My Icelandair Saga Lounge Review

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Why I’m Switching Spend to SPG Cards the Next 2 Months (And a Useful Tip!)

Welp, the Marriott-Starwood merger looms nigh. On August 1st, 2018, we’ll all wake up and have a new program – with excellent deals through the end of 2018.

Also on that day is an event I’ve dubbed in my mind as “The Triplin’” – because everyone’s Starwood balance will increase by 3X!

So now’s the time to earn as much as possible to take advantage of redemption opportunities later this year.

spg card spending

Marriott’s award chart as of August 1st

In 2019, the new program will be dead to me. I’ve never liked Marriott hotels, and occasionally stay with Starwood. At that point, I’ll go back into my Hilton/Hyatt hole for as long as the water’s nice.

Ah, to be a fairweather traveler free agent.

5 months of great deals – under 2 months to earn with SPG card spending!

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A $2,100 Trip to San Francisco and Portland for 30 Cents Out-of-Pocket!

This month’s marked with lots of travel. I just got back from a week in Japan. And tomorrow, I’m off to San Francisco and Portland!

I was tallying up my points totals and comparing what the retail costs would’ve been. This trip would’ve cost over $2,000 had I paid cash.

san francisco with points

I got 30 cents… will this be enough for 5 days in San Fran and Portland? :p

I should disclose ended up paying a little cash, in addition to my points. 30 whole cents. 😹

Here’s how I did it!

5 days on the West Coast for under a buck

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Review: American Airlines Business Class 777-200 Dallas to Tokyo-NRT

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The day finally came to travel to Japan. I love travel days. And this one was silky smooth.

We arrived to the airport in 20 minutes flat, cleared PreCheck in I swear to gods 90 seconds, and headed to the Centurion Lounge. There was time for breakfast, a cocktail, and a free manicure. And, our departure gate was right across from the lounge.

(Perfect!)

I was relaxed and happy when boarding began. And used 54,000 American miles for this flight.

The actual cost is 60,000 American miles. But I got a 10% mileage rebate upon booking – so 6,000 miles were instantly redeposited into my account. This perk comes with most American co-branded cards (with both Citi and Barclays). It’s worth the annual fee for this alone.

american-airlines-business-class-777-200-review

Ready to fly over the Pacific (and nearly halfway around the world!) in Business Class for 54,000 American miles

Last time I flew this route in this plane was in First Class.  So I was curious to see how the new retro-fitted Business Class seats would look and feel. And off we go!

American Airlines Business Class 777-200 review

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Review: JAL Business Class Sky Suite 787-8 NRT-DFW

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Last week, before my flight from Tokyo to Dallas, I checked if seats were open on JAL. I originally booked my way home with 50,000 Alaska miles for an American Airlines Business Class ticket. But I was totally willing to pay 10,000 more miles to fly back on JAL. Especially when the cash rate was $7,300+!

JAL Business Class Sky Suite

JAL Business Class cabin

Seats were available! I called Alaska Airlines to make the switch. A few minutes and 10,000 miles later, I was booked into a JAL Sky Suite seat back home to Dallas.

I’d always wanted to fly a Japanese airline. Both times I’ve flown were with American. So I did a happy dance I was able to score this seat.

Even better, the new flight time was within 5 minutes of my old one. So I didn’t have to change any plans, other than fly home in a better seat on a new (to me) airline!

JAL Business Class Sky Suite review

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Hotel Review: Hyatt Place Colorado Springs – Garden of the Gods

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If you’ve never been to Colorado Springs, a little over an hour south of Denver, you’re missing craft breweries and the city’s centerpiece – the gorgeous Garden of the Gods.

hyatt garden of the gods

Garden of the Gods took my breath away

I stopped here during my road trip to Denver. And chose the Hyatt Place Garden of the Gods as our stopover hotel. Here’s how it went!

Hyatt Garden of the Gods Review

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