It’s been a hectic week in the Furlong household. Between now and the end of the month, between the two of us we have trips to Tijuana, San Francisco, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Rome, Budapest, and Tokyo. Needless to say, fun times await!

But this week is the calming before the storm, and boy have we found some good reading material to cozy up with. What’s going on in travel you ask? Well, for starters:

  • Delta has been changing their Skymiles frequent flyer program probably more frequently than you’ve been changing your baby’s diaper. And so we don’t blame you if you don’t know what to expect from Skymiles in 2015 and fortunately for you, The Points Guy has a great post about the winners and losers of the changes. Here is a simple summary: If you pay a lot for your tickets, you’re about to win a lot. If you’re a casual traveler and cost conscious, I’d fly far far away from Delta, and United too! 

    By James Willamor from Raleigh, NC, USA (CLT 12-13-08 N907DE) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • We’re big fans of Skift. It’s a travel nerds dream come true with articles about anything and everything related to the travel industry. We’re also millennials, and so we’ve been engrossed in their report about the digital habits of millennial business travelers. Some of the results:
    1. 90% of millennials use social media to talk about their travel experiences, good or bad.
    2. Supposedly 32% of business travelers under the age of 30 book their trips through their smartphone. REALLY?!?!
    3. Our internet addiction doesn’t die when we hit 30,000 feet, as we’re four times more likely to pay for onboard wifi.
  • I’m on the hunt for a new all purpose travel shoe.  I like to travel light- carry on only, regardless of how long the trip may be. And one way to do that is to simplify your shoes: An all purpose walking shoe, and some TOMS and/or sandals. I’ve found a shoe that seems high quality, and to my naked eye, doesn’t look half bad either. Thoughts?

    Photo of the Salewa Ramble courtesy of www.salewa.us

  • Via MommyPoints, earn 4,000 United Miles… if you have a United Airlines credit card. Hashtag something for almost nothing. And yes, we just spelled out #.
  • Our friend Brendan Busse is a damn good writer. Damn good. His latest post Wedding Gifts and Travel Mercies has some real gems of wisdom in them: “Death is difficult — work for the dying and worry for the rest of us. But life is fair, even generous. And love? Love is a foolish thing. And yet, like a wedding, it’s full of gifts.”
  • Lately I’ve been dipping my toes in the speaking circuit. I mostly talk about the importance of service and social justice, but also talk about experiential learning and travel. It heated up when I was able to join Greg Boyle as a keynote for the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference. Then I got to talk to incoming LMU students about the power of relationships and connectivity in our lives. And recently I got to return to a group I haven’t spoken to for a few years, high school students, as Marymount High School in West LA invited me to talk to their entire student body about the power of service in our lives. If you work with young people and need a speaker to fire people up about service, social justice, or the power of immersion and experiential learning, let me know!
  • And finally, have you heard? ISIS, ebola, and anyone and everyone who lives south of the border is coming to attack you! Yep, that’s right. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, trust us: You’re in imminent danger. At least if you’re to believe the media, politicians, and your next door neighbor Betsy who of course knows someone who knows someone who can speak on authority. The Reverend Gene Robinson writes a compelling article relevant to travelers and just decent human beings alike: Have we become a nation that allows fear and paranoia to rule our lives? I’m afraid it sure seems like it. Anyone care to disagree?

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