New Fukushima Radiation Output – Alaska Airlines cancelling flights as a result? Track radiation in your area…

New Fukushima Radiation Output – Alaska Airlines cancelling flights as a result? Track radiation in your area…

The Fukushima story isn’t going to quit rearing its ugly head anytime soon I’m afraid. Though I’m generally quick to brush off such fear-mongering, this one really sets my hypochondria/paranoia side on alert. Although the ongoing Fukushima meltdown is an even bigger and more complex event than the infamous Chernobyl, the coverage is anything but thorough, and I can’t help but take the secrecy and coverups as an indication of just how bad it really is. Playing catchup, here’s what has been making headlines lately, to provide some background on the discussion below: Possible meltdown taking place with reactor #3 […]

How to get Amazon Prime for ~$3/month (50% off), 20% off groceries, and 5x points all year long

How to get Amazon Prime for ~$3/month (50% off), 20% off groceries, and 5x points all year long

All of the Amazon links contained in this post are <quote unquote> affiliate links, meaning I’ll get a few pennies off of any purchases you make through my links [at no additional cost to you; Amazon just has to fork up a little bit of their profits ;)]. Thanks for showing your support in this way and helping me “legitimize” this “hobby”. There has been a lot of talk on Amazon of late— 5x UR points this quarter from Chase Freedom American Express sign-up bonuses with one year of free Prime membership Delivery drones The increase in free shipping from […]

Cancún vs. the Mayan Riviera

Cancún vs. the Mayan Riviera

The Yucatán Peninsula on the Mexican Caribbean is a great beach destination. I don’t think anyone has mastered the all-inclusive sector quite like these guys. What’s more, cheap (and short) flights to Cancún make it such a quick and easy getaway. Though only an hour drive apart, Cancún and the Mayan Riviera could not be more different in some ways. I have twice made the mistake of choosing the Riviera Maya over Cancún. I had visions of Cancún being this loud, glow stick laden destination filled with liquored-up minors and creepy middle-agers hoping to take advantage of them. This might […]

November Bookmarks

November Bookmarks

I consider myself a reader more than a blogger. Monthly Bookmarks is where I share the content I found most useful from the previous month after sifting through all things travel-related in the cyber world; filtering out the lackluster, highlighting the truly noteworthy. → → →Changing up the name from “favorites” to “bookmarks”, which I think is more the direction I want to go with this particular series. My intent with it is to share that which I either took something away from or plan on making use out of at some point in the future. Making a list like […]

Happy Black Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgivukkah—the holiday that happens once every 76,000 years And Black Friday now starts on Thanksgiving Thursday, so I guess that makes it Black Thursday ;) [Image Credit: American Greetings]

Minor Housekeeping Item: Travelthusiast Email Subscription Is Changing

Minor Housekeeping Item: Email Subscription Is Changing

I fight the email-battle (and lose) just as much as the next person. As a result, I subscribe to very few bloggers’ emails/newsletters myself. Personally I’d prefer more of a monthly(ish) newsletter of sorts. So that’s exactly what I’ll be doing, with a recap of what I’ve written linking you to posts from the past month or so. Though my postings are sporadic as it is, I don’t feel it’s necessary to send out an email for everything I post. That said, rest assured that any time-sensitive or limited-time deal posts will be promptly sent out at the time of […]

Partial First Class at Coach Award Rates: Mixed-Award Savings Possibilities

Partial First Class at Coach Award Rates

In my experience, this trick is all about luck. There’s really no strategy involved. When booking airline reservations over the phone, sometimes different agents give you different pricing for a variety of reasons, most of which have to do with the airlines’ antiquated res system that can often be incongruous. Here is one of those instances that sometimes gives cause for the res system to get a little confused, which can end up boding in your favor… While not the easiest thing in the world to get this trick to work, if you have the patience to play the call […]

20% Military Discount this Weekend at Bed Bath & Beyond for Veterans Day

20% Military Discount this Weekend at Bed Bath & Beyond for Veterans Day

The big thing every Veterans Day is how a lot of restaurants give away free meals. Being in the military, every year you inevitably hear some people planning out where they’re going to go for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to make the most out of the day (or their calorie intake). Personally, I don’t eat at any of these chain restaurants normally, so I’m not going to go on Veterans Day just because it’s free. Plus it feels…kinda cheap. But I’m not above military discounts. And this weekend Bed Bath & Beyond is giving out 20% off your entire purchase. […]

October Favorites—OTR made me laugh, the Queen and TS made me cry

October Favorites—OTR made me laugh, the Queen & TS made me cry

I consider myself a reader more than a blogger. Monthly Favorites is where I share the content I found most useful for the month after sifting through all things travel-related in the cyber world, filtering out the lackluster, highlighting the truly noteworthy. #1 Total inside humor perfectly encapsulated in this satirical “trip report” from Online Travel Review I don’t know how much the casual miles and points person would appreciate this, though I read it to my husband and even he got a kick out of it by proxy of having a pointoholic wife (though he very well could have […]

Never mind Your Ps & Qs in Brazil—cultural contemplations and linguistics geeking

Never mind Your Ps & Qs in Brazil—cultural contemplations and linguistics geeking

We’re all friends here…Not minding your Ps and Qs amongst close friends and relatives connotes a higher degree of kinship There was a great writeup recently by Rachel’s Rantings—an expat Mom living in Brazil—over conflicting feelings on whether to teach her kids to mind their Ps and Qs in the traditional American way or to let them off without it, more in line with Brazilian customs. Though Ps and Qs are ingrained in all American children, in Brazil they are reserved for more formal situations—interactions with people you don’t know on a personal level, e.g., the postal worker, the waitress, […]

The Age-Old Myth that a Winning Personality Can Score You an Upgrade

The Age-Old Myth that a Winning Personality Can Score You an Upgrade

There’s an obnoxious video circling the net about using charm and personality to manipulate yourself an upgrade. This is not the first and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I’ll read something that misleads people to believe ticket agents and gate agents can just willy-nilly hand out comp upgrades. When this was my job, it was not uncommon to get a customer who you could tell had read an article or watched a video like this: Video on How to Get “Free” Upgrades I swear the people who go around espousing this nonsense NEVER fly. Or they haven’t […]

News Makers—Airlines REMOVING Fees!? | MiFi/Hotspot days are over! | Mr. JP Morgan makes us look like saints!

News Makers—Airline changes IN OUR FAVOR!? | MiFi/Hotspot days are over! | Mr. JP Morgan makes us look like saints!

JetBlue is gonna start letting families pool their miles That means instead of having to book separate reservations due to not having enough miles (which is not only a hassle but can be very problematic in irreg. ops situations), families will be able to book award tickets in the one reservation! About damn time! Never understood why airlines charge for mileage transfers in the first place. This is fantastic news on the airlines front! Let’s hope others follow suit! Pssst—Alaska Airlines: You know that airline you try to emulate from time to time, ahem, JetBlue ::cough cough::—they’ve started doing something […]

For a Limited Time!: Make $4.05 off Bluebird-Compatible Gift Cards—EXPIRED

For a Limited Time!: Make $4.05 off Bluebird-Compatible Gift Cards

A few weeks ago, Ariana from PointChaser talked about getting $10 off coupons at Carrs/Safeways with gift card purchases. At the time, I was already maxed out for the month. Plus, as she pointed out the promotion implies it’s for the fixed $100 gift cards, which are not very practical for loading to Bluebird. The ladies at Walmart already give me a hard enough time loading four $500 cards to my Bluebirds as it is, so there’s no way I’d put them through loading twenty $100 cards! But much to my surprise the other day, a $10 coupon printed out […]

Cheap tickets to Palm Springs—Mileage run to the desert anyone?

Cheap tickets to Palm Springs—Mileage run to the desert anyone?

Have you gotten in on any of the killer fares to Palm Springs lately? The Flight Deal has been tweeting out more PSP deals than usual it seems like, which inspired me to write about Reasons You Should Go to Palm Springs. Take a look at these deals (all below the recommended benchmark of 5¢ per mile for a mileage run): $242 Philadelphia to Palm Springs on United – 4.1¢ per mile $276 Miami to Palm Springs on American – 4.6¢ per mile $290 New York to Palm Springs on American – 4.8¢ per mile Also, Palm Springs is basically […]

Holding Airlines Accountable to Mistake Fares a Mark on Integrity? Airline Mistakes Are Often NOT in Your Favor

Holding Airlines Accountable to Mistake Fares a Mark on Integrity? Airline Mistakes Are Often NOT in Your Favor

We’re still talking about the United mistake fare!? Well, it was pretty noteworthy. A friendly debate was sparked up by Saverocity recently on the topic of whether it’s right for consumers to hold an airline accountable to honoring mistake fares that the consumer knew full and well had to have been a mistake at the time they booked. Luckily for United, this is not something they’ll have to worry about as they chose to honor the recent $0-fare fiasco. But had they not, you can bet a lot of people would have tried holding them accountable based on DOT regs. […]

September Favorites—Two “Secrets” for Asia-Australia-South Pacific Mega Trip—Perfect Way to Use up US Airways Miles, Being Responsible with Your Credit, and More…

September Favorites—Two "Secrets" for Asia-Australia-South Pacific Mega Trip—Perfect Way to Use up US Airways Miles, Being Responsible with Your Credit, and More…

Monthly Favorites is a new series in which I’ll share what I found most useful for the month after sifting through all things travel-related in the cyber world, filtering out the lackluster and highlighting the truly noteworthy. #1 Shhh Trip Report: August 2013 – Booking the Travel—Canadian Kilometers As I’ve talked about before, I’m newly interested in thinking of ways I can plan to use my US Airways miles now that the AA merge is in limbo and I should be thinking about taking a different tack than what I had originally intended (bonus AA miles post-merge). I didn’t really […]

Picnic in the “Park”

Picnic in the "Park"

One of the travel fantasies that has played out in my head for years has been to shop like a local at an outdoor Parisian market. Gather up some fresh fruits and cheeses. Of course a baguette. Maybe a demi bottle of champagne too. And have a picnic in a park. Well for our whirlwind 60-hour trip to Paris last spring, researching where the best organic open-air market for just such an occasion was at the top of my to-do list. And once I decided on Marché Biologique Raspail, I planned our trip around making sure to be there on […]

The Ultimate Rocky Mountain Drive with a Pit Stop at the Colorado Cherry Company (with video)

Colorado Rocky Mountain Scenic Drive Daytrip or Road Trip with a Stop at the Colorado Cherry Company (with Video)

Mother Nature appears to have embarked on waging an all-out war against Colorado this summer. First she set the whole state on fire and nearly burned it to the ground. Now she’s bringing summer to a close with an attempt at drowning it. The timing of this post may seem a little strange, what with all the flooding devastation right now. While it’s easy to become a little numb to natural disasters (or disasters of any kind) that aren’t affecting to your part of the world, this one is particularly unsettling to me, probably due to my familiarity and love […]