Travel Advice

Category Archives for Travel Advice.

What’s in Greg’s #40KFarAway Backpack? Version 2 (Guest starring a dog and a cat)

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my 40K to Far Away practice run.  I was going to Denali National Park with Rapid Travel Chai and I used it to test out my packing plans.  Can I take everything I need in a small backpack? That experiment was extremely helpful.  For one, I decided that I didn’t like the giant fanny pack that I had brought with me.  It was fine when walking around,…

Continue Reading »

Ultra-Premium Credit Card Travel Insurance

This page compares the travel insurance benefits provided automatically by various ultra-premium travel cards such as Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, Amex Platinum, and US Bank Altitude Reserve. For full details about each card’s coverage, please consult each card’s benefit’s guide: Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefit Guide (see also: Sapphire Reserve Travel Insurance) Chase Ritz-Carlton Citi Prestige Benefits Guide Amex Platinum Benefit Directory (see also: American Express Adding & Removing Benefits From Select Cards Jan 1…

Continue Reading »

Centurion Lounge 3 hour policy doesn’t apply to layovers

In March 2019, Amex added new restrictions for Platinum cardholders accessing Centurion Lounges: You can no longer access the lounge upon arrival at the airport.  Lounge access is only for departing passengers. You can’t access the lounge more than 3 hours before your flight. The restriction against arriving passengers is unquestionably a bummer.  I’ve been known to time my flights into LaGuardia airport so that I can arrive and have lunch at the Centurion Lounge. …

Continue Reading »

Domes of Elounda: Amazing upgrade, No Regrets

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. At least, I always believed that long-standing maxim…before my stay at Domes of Elounda last week. The truth is, on arrival, I thought it seemed really nice…but not amazing. In fact, knowing that Greg had been disappointed about needing to cancel his reservation here, I said to him that my first impression was that he shouldn’t regret it too much. By the…

Continue Reading »

Lessons from a trip to Europe

On my recent trip to Europe, I had a number of small “ah-ha” moments. These didn’t all warrant separate posts, but I thought that some readers traveling to Europe may benefit from one or another of my mistakes and/or observations, so I’m collectively putting them together here as a list of lessons from my recent trip to Europe that can hopefully make your next trip there a little smoother/easier or give you a tidbit you…

Continue Reading »

Google Maps AR walking directions: a useful tool, only available for some so far

Google Maps has been slowing rolling out the ability to use AR (Augmented Reality) for walking directions. I recently received a notification on my phone that I had been selected to test it out and I think this may be limited to Pixel phones at the moment. Many readers might have a Pixel from the Google Fi promotion last year, or the more recent promotion, so it seemed like it might be worthwhile to show…

Continue Reading »

Stay in a castle with Hyatt points (SLH is a nice win after all)

When the Hyatt / Small Luxury Hotels of the World partnership formed last year, I said I wasn’t excited. That was mostly because I think it set up Hyatt to introduce a new category since some SLH properties currently cost 40K Hyatt points per night (more than anything on the Hyatt award chart, with top properties like the Park Hyatt New York or Tokyo costing only 30K per night) — but also because I said…

Continue Reading »

What it’s like to fly Southwest to Hawaii: Impressions & thoughts

A couple of months ago, Southwest Airlines began flying to Hawaii, starting with routes to Honolulu and connecting onward to Maui and Kona. I spent a week in Honolulu earlier this month, flying there and back on Southwest Airlines. Here are seven thoughts & impressions. 1) It’s just like flying Southwest anywhere else The most obvious conclusion is of course that flying Southwest to Hawaii is just like flying Southwest anywhere else: either you like…

Continue Reading »

Caesars Diamond Celebration dinner: easy to use and worth the match

This morning, I published a post about some Las Vegas Easy Wins. In that post and in my recent post about status matching to Wyndham and then Caesars Diamond, I noted that you can enjoy a $100 “Diamond Celebration Dinner”. I know some readers were curious about how it worked (as was I) and it turned out to be a simple and smooth process. If you’re going to visit any location with a Caesars property…

Continue Reading »