Greetings from the British Airways Gallery Lounge in London Heathrow. We’re France (and South Africa bound) and feeling a bit celebratory. Here’s why: We’ve got a fun give away to celebrate one year of blogging. We thought about what we could give away: As much as I wanted to sneak back some of the best ramen from Tokyo, Laura pointed out the logistical struggles of bringing something like that back and we pondered how fatty an already fatty food might become. OK, bad idea.
Maybe a scone from Heathrow but the pound being what it is, that would be one expensive scone and I hate scones, why would I wish that on anyone else? Then it hit us: Why not give our readers a taste of life in business class on one of the top airlines in the world? We are constantly trying to convince friends of the benefits of using their miles for redemptions in business or first, and now we’ve got supporting evidence of our enthusiasm: We smuggled some goods off the plane (no, it’s not the used blanket pictured below), and did it all to hook up some of our loyal readers over the next few months! Want to win? Kick back, put your feet up, and read on to find what goodies we’ve got to give away this week!
Big news in the travel world. First, if you’re like Laura and I, you have a mild obsession with House of Cards. Season three drops on Friday, the same day we’re boarding a flight to Paris. So naturally we had to know, which countries will you be able to stream House of Cards through the Netflix app?
And though we have mixed feelings about Uber, a few things are obvious:
1. They’re convenient. We’ve hailed an Uber everywhere from LA to Joburg to Doha, and everytime have found it easier and more enjoyable than relying on taxis.
2. The app is easy to use. Simple enough.
3. As far as transportation options go, they’re a mile and points junkie’s dream come true. While traditional taxis still try to make me feel guilty about using a credit card, Uber created a cashless system that makes so much sense. I love the hassle free experience of Uber.
So when the news alert hit my desk early this morning, I was intrigued. Earn Starwood Points (my favorite hotel currency) for doing what I already do? You’ve got me intrigued, so I guess the two things we’ve got for you today are this: What countries can you watch House of Cards in come Friday, and how can you earn extra Starwood Points for doing something you probably already do anyway?
It was Thursday night at 9pm. We were standing in the middle of our living room, staring at the pregnancy test stick. A quick reference to the instructions on the box confirmed our suspicions–we were having a baby. We spent about 5 minutes jumping around the apartment, laughing and hugging it out, and then we got back to business…packing. After all, we had a 6am flight to Rome the next day.
Who needs hot baths, Italian wine, and sushi when you have gelato and crepes?
Looking back on the epic “travel in first trimester” experience now, from the comforts of the second trimester, I have to say, we did a lot of stupid things. We only had 9 hours between when we found out we were pregnant and when our 10-day, around-the-world trip commenced, so we were blissfully ignorant of the dos and don’ts of travel in the first trimester. We googled the basics, and I was quickly disappointed to learn that my dreams of Italian wine at every meal, daily sushi in Tokyo and hot baths in Budapest were not highly recommended for expecting moms. But there was also a lot that we had to find out the hard way during that quick, 10-day trip around the world.
Here’s the thing: you can travel all you want up through 36 weeks of pregnancy (talk to your doctor, though, if you have any medical conditions). But there are some things that you can and should do in order to make sure that you’re taking care of both yourself and that little alien growing inside of you. Here are some quick tips for traveling in the first trimester. Continue reading
A question I get with surprising frequency goes something along the lines of “Hey Pat, help! I’ve got 23,000 United miles but they’re about to expire. I don’t want to lose them, but I am not flying before they expire. What do I do?”
And the answer, depending on which frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program you are a part of is surprisingly simple: Do you have $0.99 to spare? If so, I can keep your miles from expiring for that and 5 minutes of your time. Continue reading
If you follow our blog, you know I had the fortune to visit the Emergency Room in El Salvador recently. Fortune I say, because the life lesson learned ended up more profoundly impactful than any anxiety to visit an ER abroad. Vulernability, our willingness to collapse into our shared humanity with anyone willing to shoulder our troubles with us, is what got me through the experience.
Format Emergency Room by Thierry Geoffroy, February/March 2007.
But poetic life lessons aside, there are very practical things to consider if you’re abroad and in need of a visit to the doctor. What do you do? Where do you begin? How does insurance work? This guide is by no means exhaustive, but it is built on first hand experience having been to the ER myself or with others in multiple countries now. Lucky me, I know. So what should you consider when visiting the ER abroad? Continue reading
This is our 100th post on this blog, and a most special one for us: We’re having a baby. I think there’s a playbook on how to do the reveal a bit more cute or creatively, but the excitement that has run laps around my head and heart these last few months leads me straight to the point: We’re having a baby.
In fashion fitting to a travel obsessed family, we found out hours before hopping on a flight to Italy. We had planned an epic trip. We jumped on a $285 fare that found us jetting over Thanksgiving to Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, and then onto… Japan. Say what? You read it right. It was epic. Cheap. And probably a bit stupid to do in the best of conditions, considering we were doing all this in the span of 10 days. Continue reading
I absolutely love my job. It’s a weird thing to write, if only because the line that follows it: I’ve recently quit my job. In reality, I quit a couple months ago, but it was only recently, while leading a group of students on an immersion trip to Tijuana that it really hit: The sun is setting on the number of days I have left to do something that I absolutely love. See what I did there? Cheesy, you bet! But in all seriousness, I’m a mix of emotions right now. Reflective and perhaps even a bit sad when I think about leaving my gig. Excited, curious, and if I’m to be real, a bit nervous about the future.
The sun setting over Tijuana
So what did I do? What am I doing next? And if you’re reading this, perhaps the better question is this: Why the heck should any of this matter to you? Continue reading
Note: Laura and I do receive a commission for some of the links in our blog. You don’t have to do your business through our links, but we’re always grateful when you do!
It’s time to do a new round of credit card applications, and there’s no doubt which card I am most excited to get. I’ll give you a few hints:
- It has no annual fee.
- It comes with a free year of Amazon Prime.
- It earns valuable points that can transfer to a number of airline and hotel loyalty programs, in addition to being used in other ways.
I’m pretty excited about the card, and you’re looking for a valuable no annual fee card, you should be too. What is it? Continue reading