Archive | How To RSS feed for this archive

To Go Gently Into That Good Night?

Cigarette smoke by Thomas Herbrich

Cigarette smoke by Thomas Herbrich

I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately. It all started after reading a handful of unrelated, but interconnected, essays on the topic over the past week.

I’ll confess, death has always been a problem for me. Not in the traditional sense, though. I don’t fear it. I fear pain and discomfort, but not death. Death is an end to all of that. My problem with death is that it creates practical problems for the living.

Read More…

How to Save 20% or More on Hotels

Hotels and Chase Perfect Together

I’m writing this partly as a Public Service Announcement for our readers and partly as a reminder to myself to stop being so stupid. Hopefully putting this down in pixels will help me get my head out of me bum, although that might be asking a lot.

So what’s got me so ticked? Before I get to that, I need to fill in some background first.

If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, and you probably should if you do a fair amount of traveling (to see why check out our Best Reward Card for Travelers article) and if you book lodging with Hotels.com (which you should at least consider for reasons we’ll explain momentarily), it’s possible to use the two together to get discounts and benefits totaling more than 20% of the cost of your hotel. It’s also possible to book the same hotel and not get those benefits, which is partly what I’ve done a couple of times now. And I’d really like to stop doing that.

So here’s how you can learn from my mistake and save 20% or more on lodging.

Read More…

The Strange Math of Traveling Without a Plan

Vancouver Chinatown

I meant to go here

Is it possible to get nothing for something and still think you’ve gotten a good deal? Apparently, the answer to that question is yes. Or at least that’s my conclusion after reading an unintentionally hilarious report about how one last minute traveler “scored a good-value award on Cathay Pacific” Airlines.

The short version of this story is that a traveler hadn’t researched or booked parts of his itinerary and, as a result, was having difficulty piecing together some needed flights. Unfortunately, the only flight that fit his needs “was pricing out at a whopping $678, even for economy! That was way too much money for me to shell out,” he writes.

After working some travel hacking magic, the hero of this story manages to book that same flight for $111 plus 2,500 Avios points. Triumphantly he exclaims that the $567 he saved in airfare got him a redemption value on his frequent flyer miles of “a whopping 22.7 cents per point!”

And it’s true. After putting himself in a bind by not booking his flight ahead, he was able to partially avoid a steep penalty by using frequent flyer points.

But here’s the thing: he could have booked an identical flight in advance for $113. So instead of saving $567 he really spent 2,500 Avios points to purchase a ticket for $111 that he otherwise could have bought for $113. That $2 in savings works out to an abysmal .08 cents per point!

Read More…

TV Travel Tips (How to Stream the Latest Game of Thrones)

How to Stream Game of Thrones BlinkBox

In an earlier episode we taught you how to stream your favorite television shows while traveling abroad. Sadly, not all shows are always available for streaming. If you’re hooked on Game of Thrones and want to watch the latest season, for example, you’re mostly out of luck.

It took more than eight months for Season 3 to be released on DVD or made available for download. Considering that Season 4 just wrapped up last week, you won’t be able to see the fallout from the Red Wedding until sometime in 2015 (long after your blabbermouth friends will have likely spoiled any surprises.) The same is true for Homeland, the third season of which ended in December 2013 but still isn’t available to stream more than six months later.

Only, none of that is entirely true.  

Read More…

Proof of Onward Travel Required

Passport Stamp, Paris

We knew we were taking a small risk by showing up at a border crossing without proof of onward travel. We never really thought it would be a big deal, though. It’s not like we were trying to enter Soviet-era Russia on our U.S. passports. We were just trying to board a train to London from Paris.

“Can I see your tickets home, please?” It was among the first of many questions we were asked by the British border agent standing between us and our train.

We didn’t have tickets “home” (wherever that is) or anywhere else for that matter. We were planning on spending the next five months in the U.K. We only just started thinking about where we’ll go afterward. We’re nowhere even close to booking tickets to wherever that might be.

Read More…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,251 other followers

%d bloggers like this: