Month: November 2019

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United Revolutionizes the World of Airline Elite Status

United made a dramatic change to the way MileagePlus members qualify for elite status. The changes go into effect on January 1 and are applied to earning for status in 2021. This may turn out to be one of the most important stories of the year, depending on how it works out and whether other airlines adopt it—or it could become an embarrassing boondoggle. Here are the essentials: Miles Earned No Longer Count Toward Elite Status on United  You heard that correctly: miles are no longer in the picture. Beginning in January, status will be determined by the number of flight segments plus the amount of money spent, or merely on spending alone. Each segment will become a PQS (Premier Qualifying Segment), and each dollar spent on a United ticket will become a PQP (Premier Qualifying Point). The Cost of Elite Status Is Going Up Starting next year, these are the requirements to become a United elite: Silver: 12 PQF and 4,000 PQP, or 5,000 PQP. Gold: 24 PQF and 8,000 PQP, or 10,000 PQP. Platinum: 36 PQF and 12,000 PQP, or 15,000 PQP. Premier 1K: 54 PQF and 18,000 PQP, or 24,000 PQP. By contrast, the requirements for the…

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London: Free and cheap things to do for Christmas

The Christmas lights are sparkling, the temperature has dropped and London town is starting to feel oh so very festive. While there are tons of “official” Christmas activities to partake in over the next few weeks, you’ll find that many (like the plethora of ice rinks that have popped up in all corners of the capital) don’t really fit within a Cheapo’s budget. From raising a pint at a cheery pub to taking in the view of the famous Christmas lights on Oxford Street, London is a good place to be for Cheapos. So here are some foolproof ways to embrace the festive spirit without frittering away your Christmas present budget! Read more about visiting London: • Here are the 5 best cheap hotels in Central London • 10 Free things that will make you fall in love with London • Follow these 25 tips for a much better trip to London Christmas in London: Fun activities for less A cozy pub is always a good idea during the holiday season! Photo: chas. 1. The London pub A favorite retreat at all times of the year, London’s traditional pubs come into their own at Christmas time. Serving up warming mugs…

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Paris: 6 ways to celebrate the holidays (without blowing your budget)

There’s a nip in the air, but with Christmas right around the corner, Paris always seems to shine a bit brighter during the holiday season. But all those extra bobbles and balls do not mean you can’t still find some affordable cheer around town. It’s not too late to book one of the best cheap hotels in Paris and head to the City of Light for a holiday getaway as 2019 turns into 2020. More Paris budget tips • Paris on the Cheap: The top 25 free things to do • A guide to finding the best time of year to visit Paris • 10 ways to prepare for your Paris vacation How to celebrate the holiday season in Paris Have you ever dreamed of visiting Paris in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve? Here are six easy ways to celebrate in Paris à la Cheapo. 1. Bask in the glow Through early January, the city’s iconic streets are aglow with holiday lights, Christmas window displays and the sounds of the holidays. Of special note are the trees and lights at Place Vendome (through January 2020) the festive decorations hanging across rue Montorgueil, and of course, the…

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Two Citi Expedia Credit Card Offers

I’d never heard nor seen these two cards before but the terms and conditions on getting approved caught my eye right away. Note the language only talks about other Expedia Voyager Cards: Expedia+ Points Bonus Offer is not available if you have had any Expedia+ or Expedia+ Voyager card opened or closed in the past 24 months. Citi has fairly strict rules on repeating a bonus on a card. If the card is so little well known, many of you may qualify for a new and different card with these. The better offer is now increased on the Expedia + Voyager card to 50,000 points after $2000 of spend in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $95. You also receive an annual credit of $100 for airline incidentals. The points work out to a value of about .7 cents each or $350 of credit on an Expedia booking, less the annual fee. The value is more if you have elite status with Expedia or are booking a VIP Hotel where the points are worth 1.4 cents each. They also offer a no annual fee version where the sign-up bonus is only 20,000 points. The two unique things that…

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Germany: Our 7 favorite Christmas markets in Bavaria

Germany lights up the holiday season every year with 140 different Christmas markets across the country. And Bavaria gets into the spirit with dozens of markets from Munich to Nuremberg. These community celebrations, known as Christkindlmärkte in German, transform center cities into holiday wonderlands. Locals and visitors come out to shop for gifts at open-air booths, enjoy traditional treats, and soak up the festive atmosphere. And these markets are more than just shopping affairs. You can also admire the Christmas trees and decorations, or check out live entertainment (usually including traditional carols and dancing). If you get cold, the tastiest and most practical solution is to order a glass of Glühwein, a delicious mulled wine that will warm you up after a few sips. Related: • 10-day itinerary of Germany • Berlin’s best Christmas markets 7 Best Christmas markets in Bavaria Ready to hit the holiday markets? Here are seven of our favorite Christmas markets in Bavaria. Ornaments and holiday gifts at the Nuremberg Christmas Market. Photo: Tania & Artur Nuremberg Christmas Market November 29 to December 24 Hours: 10 am – 9 pm (Christmas Eve until 2 pm) With a history that goes all the way back to 1628, the Nuremberg Christmas…

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Traveler Gifts That Will Actually Get Used – From $10 to $130

Want to buy traveler gifts that are actually useful? This is the time of year when seemingly every magazine and travel blog has some kind “ultimate travel gift guide” or “100 great ideas for the traveler on your list.” Many of the magazine ones are written by desk jockey editors who don’t travel very much […] 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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The Best Credit Cards to Have in Your Pocket When Traveling Overseas

Are you looking for a new travel companion that will pay you back with robust rewards, open the doors to exclusive perks and answer the phone if you hit a snag during a visit to a foreign country? It may be time to track down a new credit card that’s built for travel lovers. There’s no reason why the card you use for everyday spending shouldn’t also provide the perks, adaptability and customer service that can give you confidence when you travel. Here are some big things to know when choosing a travel-friendly credit card: Foreign transaction fees can cancel out your awards if you’re not vigilant. Poor customer service can cause a real nightmare if something goes wrong while you’re traveling. Not every card is accepted everywhere! You can actually use more than one card for travel to make sure you’re always covered. You can often make the most out of travel rewards if you’re willing to remain brand loyal by booking your trips using a card’s official travel-booking portal. Has it been a while since you checked around for good travel credit cards? Get ready to upgrade the way you pay while traveling. Check out the five cards…

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What to Get Your Favorite Traveler for the Holidays

It’s that time of the year. Time for you to look at someone special and ask yourself what the heck do I get someone who travels often and probably has everything they need? Well slap them right in the holiday with these fun, functional, and useful travel items. The post What to Get Your Favorite Traveler for the Holidays appeared first on Andy's Travel Blog. Source: Andys travel blog

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Jetblue Rolls out New Basic Economy

Last week, JetBlue revised its fare structure by adding two new categories. Blue Basic is a close equivalent of Basic Economy on other airlines, and Blue Extra (formerly Blue Flex) is a refundable fare with a number of additional perks. Blue and Mint remain unchanged; the old Blue Plus fare, which includes one free checked bag, will still be offered on some international routes. If that’s not complicated enough, not all fares will be available on all routes. JetBlue loyalists are crying over Blue Basic, complaining that the fare brings JetBlue one step closer to the business model of American, Delta and United. However, there are significant differences. On the legacy carriers, Basic Economy seats are the most cramped and least comfortable on the plane. When you book Basic Blue, you’re allowed a personal item and a full-sized carry-on, space permitting. You’ll still get a seat as roomy as any other (excluding Even More Space, of course), as well as complimentary snacks and drinks, high-speed internet access, and movies and DIRECTV on demand. Until the planes are reconfigured, Basic Blue is a change in fare and benefits but not comfort. Here’s how the two new fares break down: Blue Basic: If…

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4 surprisingly affordable New York hotels for Christmas

The holiday season is a wonderful time to visit New York City. The city shines even brighter, and despite chilly temperatures, a festive atmosphere takes hold across Manhattan. Go ice skating in Central Park, pick up unique gifts at the many holiday markets, and view the dazzling window displays along Fifth Avenue. You can feel the excitement in the days leading up to Christmas. There’s just one catch — it’s also one of the most expensive times when it comes to booking hotels. And although there are ways to save on your New York hotel, with so many sparkling attractions, millions of other travelers want to experience this special holiday joy as well. Rates soar and rooms fill up fast. 2019 might bring a little relief because the holiday falls on a Wednesday making it harder for travelers to plan a long weekend getaway. However, there are a handful of hotels that keep prices down, even during one of the busiest times of the year. Here are four hotels that put you in the heart of the holiday action for less. All of our picks offer double rooms for under $160 on Christmas Eve. New York is full of surprises, even holiday hotel…

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