I like to save money as much as the next reader on this blog. That’s why I’m obsessed with points and miles to the extreme, as in a friend has lovingly taken to refer to me as “Flyer Talk Furlong” kind of extreme. But maximizing your travel potential, as we’ve said again and again, isn’t just about playing the points and miles game. It’s also about practical ways to save money, and one of the best ways to do that is through researching “best rate guarantees” when booking hotels. Why? Let me give you a case study.
The other day I was looking for a hotel in Washington D.C.
I found a Starwood property at a rate of $165 a night on the Starwood website, not bad at all. I booked it but as is my custom, I went to check how the rate compares to other sites, and what I found, was the jackpot of best rate guarantees. I searched Trip Advisor and Kayak, and found a rate through a website called Get a Room (wish I was joking but I’m not) for $65. What I did next saved me hundreds of dollars, but also got me a bonus that is very valuable for any savvy traveler. Continue reading
We love our Starwood Preferred Guest American Express. It’s second only behind the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for me. But you can count on this: Unless it’s dining out or travel (which I use my Sapphire for to earn bonus points), I almost always use my Starwood Amex. There aren’t many cards I would consider keeping in my wallet every single year, but the Starwood Amex makes the cut.
And so this is my favorite time of year: The Starwood signup bonus for this great card increases temporarily. Usually you get 25,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months with the card. But Starwood has introduced a limited time offer of earning 30,000 Starpoints for spending $3,000 in 3 months. But here’s the thing, it’s a limited time offer, so if you want the card, you’ve got to act quick. Why get the SPG Amex? I am glad you asked!
It’s the email or Facebook message I get the most: What’s the best way to travel to (insert city of your dreams) for free?
And the answer is inevitably disappointing: In your dreams.
Because here is the deal, the real cold, hard truth: Travel isn’t free. No matter what Rolling Stone might have recently said. No matter what you hope. It just isn’t free.
But as one of my favorite bloggers Ben (coincidentally the subject of the Rolling Stone profile that inspired this post) says, getting into the travel game is about how to make this:
Business Class on a Qatar Airways 787 Dreamliner
Cheaper than this:
Economy is nice in the LAN 787 Dreamliner but let’s not fool ourselves: It’ not business or first class!
And that’s where simple strategies like these come into play! Continue reading
First, a huge congrats to the winners of our contest from last week: Anthony G, Sayda S, Michael B, John T, and Hillary R! We’ll get in touch with you to get the best address to send your item to!
I love my passport. I am sure many a traveler would agree. Passports serve a very practical purpose, but of course we know they’re more than that. For many of us, it might be the only book that documents our experience. Sitting with an old passport and flipping through the faded stamps bring back memories that refuse to fade.
Creative Commons: hjl
Fascinating Passport Website
And so I was engrossed in a very cool website a reader sent me the other day. Ever wondered what every single passport cover looks like? Curious how your passport “ranks” in terms of how many countries it gets you into without the need for a visa? There’s one webpage that has the passports of the world organized by geography and rank, and it’s by far the coolest website I have visited in the past week! Continue reading
Father’s Day around the corner, and this one is a bit interesting for me: Laura’s pregnant, and due in about a month. We announced this back in February when we wrote a “Letter to My Unborn Child” sharing what we hope he might gleam from his own travels, 9 countries he’s joined us in, all before he’s ever born.
But days like Father’s Day are always fun, because we’ve all got someone we can recognize and honor. Could be our own dads, a person who served as an unofficial father figure, or a brother, cousin, or dear friend who is a new dad. And so what better way to honor the important dad in your life than with a cool travel related gift. If you haven’t figured something out, fear not, we’ve got 5 unique gifts for the traveling dad we can’t wait to share with you! Continue reading
Who doesn’t like getting something for almost nothing? Laura and I are a bit infamous in our social circles for being hard behind the pop culture times. Movies are no different. We usually see a big hit months after everyone else has. Well this summer, much like last summer, we have no excuse. Because we each have multiple ways to get in on a buy one get one free movie ticket deal that lasts through August 21, 2015. Want a free movie ticket every Friday this summer? It’s easy! Continue reading
Our flight was delayed. As we watched the time tick away in the Lima airport, our thoughts shifted to the inevitable: We’re not going to make our connecting flight in Miami. And we both spent time bonding about how much we hate Miami airport and weren’t looking forward to any more time than needed there.
As the plane finally took off almost 2 hours late, the captain came on with the updated landing time: We’d only have 55 minutes from the time we pulled up to the gate to the time our next flight would take off. We had to clear Customs and Border Protection, get through security, and catch an air train to another part of the airport and do it all in more or less 35 minutes? Impossible. Until it’s not. And the only reason it was possible? One app that has now vaulted to the top of our must have list if you have ANY international travel planned.
I have a tendency to wistfully pack some workout clothes each time that I start packing for a trip…hoping that maybe this time I’ll have the willpower to force myself into those tiny hotel gyms a few times while on vacation or while away for work. And then, when I return home, I shamefully pull out those unused workout clothes and put them back into the drawer, promising myself that I’ll do better next time. But the reality is that, more often than not, I get in more of a workout while on vacation than I do on a weekly basis when I’m just sitting at my desk all day. Before you start kicking yourself for avoiding that crappy hotel gym, take a look at some of the other ways that you can stay in shape while on the road. Continue reading