Month: January 2020

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How to Buy A Cheap Round the World Ticket

Phileas Fogg did it in 80 days, but YOU could accomplish it anywhere from 10 days to nearly a full year. The around-the-world ticket, or RTW, is one of the most exotic products in air travel. Many people dream about it, but daily life can get in the way. The truth is that RTW tickets can be cheaper to buy and easier to use than you might think. The Rundown on RTW Tickets Most RTWs are sold by the three major airline alliances (Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam) and follow the same rules: You’re buying 16 segments (15 stopovers) good for up to 12 months. Your trip must begin and end in the same country, and you must travel in either an easterly or westerly direction; up to five surface sectors can be included. You may backtrack within a continent but only cross the Atlantic and Pacific once. You’ll be charged for route changes, while date changes are usually free. You’ll also be liable for taxes and fees (such as the notorious “fuel surcharge”). If you buy your ticket from a major alliance, you can earn frequent flyer miles in the program of your choice. How Much Do They Cost? It varies greatly…

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Whole30: The Insane Way I Lost 23 Pounds in January 2020

This is an Andy post more than a Travel Blog post. But it was a business class trip to London in it and talks about how to eat healthy on the road, so maybe it’s a travel post. Click through either way because you love posts. The post Whole30: The Insane Way I Lost 23 Pounds in January 2020 appeared first on Andy's Travel Blog. Source: Andys travel blog

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5 Tips for Renting a Car in Europe

Seeing Europe by road is an experience like nothing else. Imagine winding through the Alps as you cross from Italy into Switzerland, gliding through the emerald-hued, sheep-speckled highlands of Scotland or seeing the skyline of Paris pop up after covering miles of countryside terrain. Of course, it is important to know what you’re getting into before you get the keys to a car in your hand. Take a look at five tips to know if you’re planning to rent a car in Europe. 1. Where You Rent Your Car Can Impact Price Do you want to get a really good deal on a rental car? You might want to skip picking up your car in what many people would consider being the most convenient spot. That’s because rental cars in Europe that are picked up at airports and train stations are often more expensive. Rental companies tack on fees that can range from €25 to €100 for popular pickup spots. You are more likely to get a good deal on a car rental if you pick your car up from a rental spot in town. Of course, paying a fee may be worth the loss to you if you simply want…

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13 Things I Learned at the New York Times Travel Show

I just spent some time back in New York City, a place I lived and worked before I started traveling around the world and became a travel writer. It’s always fun to be back there and also when I’m there for the New York Times Travel Show, I learn a lot about what’s going on […] 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 Budget Cruises to Book in Europe

We’ve all heard of Carnival Cruise Lines, but how many Americans are familiar with P&O, Cruise & Maritime Voyages or Pullmantur? There are European-based cruise lines that offer a quality experience for a price that sometimes amounts to a fraction of their U.S. counterparts. While they may sail mostly from European or U.K. ports, some of them are expanding their operations to this country. Here are some names to remember when planning your next cruise trip: P&O Cruises Middle-income, value-oriented Brits are the primary demographic for P&O Cruises. Some of their ships are adults only, while others are family-friendly. Even on ships that include a kid’s club, though, you won’t get the rock-climbing wall or simulated surfing you’d find on the big U.S. lines. P&O sails all over the world from their home base of Southampton, although a few Asia and Australia cruises depart from San Francisco; their Caribbean voyages mostly leave from either Barbados or St. Lucia. Prices are reasonable across the board, regardless of which region you choose. A 12-day cruise out of Southampton to the Canary Islands starts at $1,023 per person, and a balcony cabin on a 55-night world cruise costs only $11, 742—or less than…

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Changes to the Chase Sapphire Reserve

The long-circulating rumors are finally confirmed: The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve is increasing from $450 to $550, and Chase is adding some new benefits to the card to compensate for the fee hike. The increase was effective for new cardholders on January 12. Existing cardholders will renew at the old $450 rate until April 1; after that, the new annual fee applies. What’s New? There are two new perks. First, there will be a DoorDash credit of $60 in both 2020 and 2021. This will be stacked on top of the DashPass membership, which normally costs $9.99 per month and includes lower service fees and free delivery on all orders over $12. The other new benefit is a one-year membership in Lyft Pink, which costs $19.99 per month. It includes a 15% discount on all rides, scooter and bike rentals, as well as priority airport pickups. In addition, cardholders will earn 10 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on rides paid for with the card. These changes come as no surprise to industry observers. When the Sapphire Reserve was introduced in the fall of 2016, it quickly became the hot card to have—so much so that Chase ran…

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Picture of the Week: The story of my American Airlines Aurora shot

You’ve probably seen it on Twitter by now. I captured an epic aurora shot from the window of my American Airlines flight two nights ago. Here’s how I did it. Click through because you like doing things. The post Picture of the Week: The story of my American Airlines Aurora shot appeared first on Andy's Travel Blog. Source: Andys travel blog

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My Most Active Credit Card The Amex Gold Card

The Amex Gold card is the card I pull out of my wallet the most often. We love eating out and the 4X benefit is our choice for dining. Combined with my Schwab Platinum card it’s like getting 5% cashback or 4 points to transfer into a huge list of partners. There are several competitors to this card for dining, but none have caught my fancy. I’ve got the Hilton Aspire card with 7X on dining but at a value of .5 cents per point this falls way short of the Gold card I used to carry the Chase Sapphire Reserve card for dining and travel at 3X with a value in my mind of 1.5 cents per point. I recently product changed back down to the Sapphire Preferred card at 2X dining as I have enough cards with travel credits and at a net cost of $150 when you take away the $300 travel credit, I think I’m getting more out the Gold card. I’ve got the Citi Premier card which is the cheaper cousin to the Citi Prestige card that pays a full 5X dining and travel.  Again, I don’t need any more big annual fee cards and with the…

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Luggage Size, Bag Restrictions, and Overpacking

Every time I take a flight that’s not on Southwest, I’m still amazed at the cluster%#@k we’re putting up with every time with carry-on luggage in the cabin. But the airlines make most of their profits from add-on fees in this current race to the bottom, so we’re probably permanently stuck with this inefficient luggage […] 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 New and Improved Hyatt Visa From Chase

Co-branded credit cards succeed for consumers if they accomplish their primary objective: the ability to earn points or miles in a specific hotel or airline program. Every so often, though, a card comes along that offers much more. The World of Hyatt credit card from Chase is one of those. It’s the successor to the original Hyatt card, and a distinct improvement in many different areas (Chase is no longer accepting applications for the legacy card; if you have it, you can either keep it or upgrade to the new one). Let’s look at the benefits of the new World of Hyatt card, along with any possible drawbacks: Signup Bonus You receive 25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening, and an additional 25,000 points after spending a total of $6,000 in the first six months. Hyatt points are generally valued at 1.7 cents each, giving you a value of $850. To put things in perspective, Hyatt free nights begin at 5,000 points, and many big-city Regency properties are available in the 12,000-15,000 range (the chain is implementing peak and off-peak pricing, so your redemption rate could be slightly lower or higher depending…

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