Month: May 2019

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My Italy Trip Recap (and My Favorite Rewards Redemptions)

I recently got back from a ten-day trip in Italy with my husband, my best friend, and her husband. It was my bestie’s 40th birthday and they have never been to Italy before. We wanted to see the popular sights, but we also wanted to drink limoncello, do a lot of people watching, and have a ton of fun. We definitely accomplished our goals, starting our trip in Rome and ending in Venice. While we mostly paid in cash (especially for food and entertainment), I did use points and miles to stretch our travel budget further. Here are some of my favorite redemptions we made to get to Italy and enjoy the scenery while we were there. We cashed in 57,500 American AAdvantage miles to fly Business class from Indianapolis-Rome. We forked over some extra miles to fly Business class for the overnight flight to Italy, hoping we could get some sleep. I don’t think I slept more than a few hours, but I know I was infinitely more comfortable flight 8+ hours in a lie-flat seat versus roughing it in economy. The food was good (I had bourbon salmon and a side salad along with dessert) and I watched a few…

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Are You Avoiding Mexico City for Outdated Reasons?

There’s a fantastic Metropolis a few hours’ flight away on a plane, for often not much more than a domestic flight. Have you visited Mexico City or is there something holding you back?   Most U.S. and Canadian travelers—even experienced ones—know less about the largest city in our hemisphere than they know about half the […] Want to live a better life for half the price? Sign up for the Cheap Living Abroad Newsletter.               Source: Cheapest Destinations

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10 ways I saved on my trip to Nice, France

Blue sky, blue sea, and palm trees — it’s easy to see why Nice is such a favorite with visitors. But its popularity can make it expensive, especially when you consider its proximity to notoriously pricey places such as Monaco and Cannes. However, with a bit of planning, it is possible to keep your trip on a tight budget. Follow these simple tips to enjoy a taste of the French Riviera without the big price tag. Related: Stay cheap at our favorite budget hotels in Nice 10 Budget tips for visiting Nice, France Looking to save a few euros on your French Riviera getaway? Here are 10 ways I saved on my trip. 1. Avoid peak season May through August is peak season in the south of France, especially August when most of Europe is on vacation. By visiting in September, I took advantage of big savings on my airfare and accommodations but still enjoyed the gorgeous weather. It was also a lot less busy than it would have been had I visited the previous month. Can’t make it in September? Mid-March to April is also a good time to consider a trip. Related: When should you book hotels for…

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Beating the heat in Rome: 4 beaches accessible by train for €10 or less

Rome gets hot and crowded in the summer, and after a few days of walking around the city and seeing the sights, you’re likely to need some rest. Why not cool down and relax at one of the nearby beaches? There are several beaches within an hour of Rome by public transport, and they all cost less than €10 to reach. Related: • Our favorite budget hotels • Search all Rome hotels • Our favorite free parks in Rome The best beaches near Rome Sun, sand and the sparkling Mediterranean offer the perfect break from Vatican lines and Colosseum tours. Here are four favorites beaches close to Rome: Anzio The turquoise water and golden sand beaches of Anzio are some of the prettiest near Rome, and also the cleanest, as you can tell from their Blue Flag designation. The colorful port is packed with great seafood restaurants, and the entire place holds an old fishing-town atmosphere. You can’t go anywhere in Italy without running into something of historical significance, and Anzio is no different. It was first used as the base for Coriolanus’s rebellion against Rome, and later as a vacation spot for emperors, who built theaters and luxurious villas. More recently,…

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Here’s Why You Should Use Airline Miles for One-Way Flights

Recently, a reader reached out to me for some advice on an upcoming trip to Europe with his wife. They had amassed a massive stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points — 425,000 to be exact — but they couldn’t decide exactly how to book their trip. They knew they wanted to start their journey in Prague, but they weren’t sure where they wanted to end up. They also weren’t exactly sure when they wanted to leave, but they worried about the prospect of booking a one-way flight without a plan for the ride home. First off, I told them that they had it made. They had plenty of miles to do what they wanted, and it was no big deal to wait to book the flight home. With so much flexibility in their travel plans, they could easily search for award space for the flight home once they arrive in Prague and make plans from there. I quickly learned this couple wasn’t too sure about transferring their points to airline partners. From my understanding, they planned to book each of their one-way flights through the Chase travel portal. This was a mistake, I said, because using airline partners would leave…

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All the Ways I Used Points for Our Italy Trip in April

As I write this blog post, I should really be packing for the next family trip — a much-anticipated journey to Italy for nine days. I haven’t been to Italy since last summer when we spent a week in Padua, Bologna, Venice, and the Amalfi Coast. It’s also been almost two years since I’ve spent time in my favorite Italian cities of Rome and Florence. We’re mostly hitting the “highlights” of Italy on this trip even though we’ve visited many times. The friends we’re traveling with have never been to Europe much less Italy, so we’re taking them to some of our favorite spots. Fortunately, we paid for a ton of our trip with rewards. Here are all the different ways I cashed in points for this trip: We paid for our flights with airline miles. We paid for our round-trip flights to Italy with frequent flyer miles from two different programs. We opted to fly Business class for our overnight flights to Rome, which meant cashing in 57,500 American AAdvantage miles each to fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, then from Charlotte to the eternal city. For our flights home, we cashed in 25,000 Air France/Flying Blue miles per person…

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6 Unexpected Expenses to Expect for Your Round-the-World Travel Budget

  So you’ve read your copy of The World’s Cheapest Destinations, read the books from Rolf Potts and Nomadic Matt, you’ve priced your tickets out on the Indie RTW Flight Planner, and you’ve been following a dozen bloggers doling out advice on traveling the world for cheap. You’ve been saving like mad and you’re ready […] Want to live a better life for half the price? Sign up for the Cheap Living Abroad Newsletter.               Source: Cheapest Destinations

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Pictures of the Week: Gloomy Business Trip to Hong Kong AND SOME NOODLES

I didn’t do a picture of the week last week because I hadn’t taken any pictures of note in the past week. This week I have. Click through because you love pictures of note! The post Pictures of the Week: Gloomy Business Trip to Hong Kong AND SOME NOODLES appeared first on Andy's Travel Blog. Source: Andys travel blog

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Traveling While Broke: A Good Idea or Financially Irresponsible?

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a post on a Facebook group dedicated to travel. A young woman explained that she was recently laid off from her job and was considering canceling a trip she had booked well in advance. She didn’t have trip insurance, so she would forego the $500 she’d spent on airfare. She also explained that she had gone on another trip post-layoff and did not enjoy it precisely because of her financial situation. This got me thinking, is it a good idea to travel while broke, like some bloggers encourage, or is it financially irresponsible? The pros of traveling while broke I got into points and miles in order to cover travel expenses while broke and fresh out of college. Even though I worked full time, I still only ended up with $200 at the end of every month. Most of that went towards student loans, so as you can imagine, I had very little disposable income. So how did it feel to travel with very little in my pocket? It actually wasn’t so bad. On a month-long trip, I took $200 along. I didn’t waste money on things I didn’t need, pointless tchotchkes…

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Best budget hotels in Lyon, France

Often called the gastronomical capital of France and the birthplace of cinema, Lyon is a dream destination for those who love food, wine, medieval- and Renaissance-era architecture, art and, of course, cinema. Luckily for our fellow Cheapos, all of this excitement can be enjoyed affordably, because there are plenty of cheap hotels in Lyon to choose from. But not all budget hotels are made equal, which is why we have narrowed down the overwhelming list to options that are charming and either centrally located in the heart of the action or conveniently placed near public transit to get you around the city in no time. Want more options? Click to search for all budget hotel options in Lyon. Planning a trip around France? Check out our favorite budget hotels in Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice, Paris, and Strasbourg. More travel advice for France: Lyon budget tips How to find cheap hotels in France 50 ways to save on your trip to France Which Lyon neighborhood should I stay in? Before we dive into some of the top budget hotels across the city, it is important to know which of the most popular neighborhoods sound the most appealing to you. Presqu’île This area…

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