Welcome to Frequent Miler’s week in review around the web, where we recap some of the interesting and useful stories we stumbled on around the Internet this week.
When hanging around casually in the summertime, I’m almost always in a Hawaiian shirt. I attribute it to my Puerto Rican heritage: my blood is tropical. And the Caribbean is tropical paradise within a stone’s throw of much of the US. While we often see airfare deals to certain parts of the Caribbean from places like New York, Boston, and Miami, many island destinations can be pricey from other parts of the US. This post summarizes which transfer partners present the best options for getting to where you would like to go so you can get there with as few of your miles as possible. Maybe you want to try your luck with the Park Hyatt St. Kitts when they are finally scheduled to open later this year?
If you don’t have the miles to make it on vacation, you might be considering cash for your next booking. I have to admit – the title on this one caught my eye and drew my deep skepticism from the get-go. But then I realized that I frequently recommend Costco Travel to friends looking for a good price on a rental car — why not vacation packages? This article prompted me to do a few searches, and I wasn’t impressed with what I found. I wasn’t really surprised — there’s very limited flexibility on the price of flights through any agency (which is why I think vacation packages make the most sense when booked through the airlines despite the authors’s opinion), meaning that the main place for savings would be in the hotel prices. But I thought the interface wasn’t all that user-friendly and both flight and hotel selection was very limited (searching New York to Rome in business class only returned three airline options: Air France, Delta, and one option on United). Using Google Flights, I can see that the dates I chose had cheaper flights on Aer Lingus, Turkish, and TAP Portugal. Contrary to this article’s conclusion, my first glances certainly won’t completely change how I book travel — but the article made me wonder, have you ever found a package deal through Costco Travel that was worthwhile?
Drop App: Earn Rebates at Top Merchants by Linking your Credit Card (2% Amazon, 1.5% Uber, 1% Walmart/Target & Many More)
Want to earn 2% back at Amazon? DoC has the scoop on how you can do that — while also earning cash back at a number of other popular places without jumping through any hoops. This one is easy money waiting to be scooped up. Get it while you can.
The beauty of transferable currencies is the wide array of partners. There is a lot of value to be found in foreign airline loyalty programs. But with so many transfer partners out there, it is nearly impossible to learn them all. This week, Drew at Travel is Free brings us an excellent overview of a lesser-known Citi Thank You partner: Jet Airways. While some of the redemptions aren’t terrific values, there are a couple of sweet spots worth considering. Read on to find out what they are.
I don’t know whether or not this spot has filled, but Gary at View from the Wing writes about an a last-minute opportunity to join what I imagine is a heck of an adventure in Europe this summer. He’s written about this event in the past and my wife and I briefly entertained the possibility of a past event. Even if you can’t make it in to this year’s tour, it’s a good one to bookmark for the future if you’re interested in what looks like a fun mystery whirlwind tour around Europe.
Family secret: my better half loves to travel, but absolutely hates to fly. If only we could teleport to our final destination. While we do fly Southwest domestically (and typically pay for at least one Early Bird check in), seat selection on international flights is an absolute necessity. Until now, getting your partner confirmation number from Aeroplan required a phone call if you booked your ticket online. Thankfully, Don’t Call the Airline brings us news that we no longer have to — and shows you where you can find that partner PNR.
That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for our month-end Last Chance Deals for a list of deals ending this week – including a couple of valuable sign up bonuses!