Tag Archives: News

Friday Link Love

8 Apr

In honor of the week coming to an end, I’ve pulled together some of this week’s stories from other great websites I think you should give a read.

Check them out and let me know if I’ve missed anything!

Friday Link Love:

MSN: World’s Most Underrated Cities

 

Lonely Planet: Should you see or skip Europe’s top attractions?

 

WWD: Bottega Veneta’s short film about travel

 

Reuters: Washington D.C. freebies for a government shutdown

 

Gadling: Budget Copenhagen

 

Frommers: 7 ways to avoid germs on an airplane

 

Vagabonding: Tips for those looking to move abroad

 

New York Times: U.S. Clears Google Acquisition of Travel Software

 

Good: Win a chance to report on the latest development work in Kenya

 

Landlopers: How to deal with uncomfortable travel moments

 

Happy Friday!

Deal Alert: Sign Up for British Airways Visa and Get 100,000 Bonus Miles

7 Apr

I can’t tell you how many times I hear about someone using their airline miles to pay for their vacation, or a new televion or iPad. Me? Not so much. I recently sat down and took a look at why I’m so behind on miles and realized my longtime Capital One and TD Bank Visas were pretty cheap on the mileage offering. Very rarely do they offer bonus miles and I was only receiving one mile per dollar spent. Well, considering I’ve been with both companies for at least three years, I was not too thrilled to hear this. After a morning spent on the phone with both banks, I was able to bump up to 1.5 miles per every dollar for my Capital One card and 1.25 for my TD. Cue the unenthusiastic “yay…”

I wanted, no, needed, more miles. I had to catch up! After chatting with the rep at Capital One, I realized there was one card that could bump me up to where I need to be: the highly-coveted (and uber exclusive) Venture Card. With this card, which I quickly received within 5 business days, I receive double points for ever purchase plus 10K miles after spending a grand within my first 3 months. Now THAT’s what I’m talking about.

Or is it? Enter: British Airways’ Visa.

Ah, the British… Gotta love them. Now, they GET it!

Just announced this week, British Airways has brought back their most popular promotion: a visa credit card that gives you ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND bonus miles after spending $2.5K within your first three months. 100K miles can earn you TWO ROUND TRIP TRANS-ATLANTIC flights to various London or other cities through British Airways’ Oneworld airline partners. How crazy is that?! Make this card your primary credit card for three months and I’m sure you can easily hit the $2,500 mark to get those 100,000 bonus miles. It is soooo worth the $95 annual fee.

 
Here are some examples of the type of flights you can get using those bonus points:

  • JFK-LAX in American Business Class for 50,000 Miles and $5 in fees
  • Miami to Easter Island for 40,000 miles and $75 in coach
  • Los Angeles to Auckland One Way Qantas Business Class for 80,000 Miles and $213
  • JFK to Lima in Lan Business Class for 80,000 Miles and $65

For more information on this promotion, check out this post from The Points Guy.

Or apply here.

I can’t apply fast enough. Will you?

New Planning Tool: The Bidding Traveler

4 Apr

Happy Monday! Recently, I was discussing Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” service with a co-worker. We were interested in testing it out but wasn’t too sure what the success ratio was, especially with flights. I assume, in order to get a good price on a flight, you have to be open to taking red eyes, flying into a smaller airport, etc. All things that are totally doable if you have flexible travel plans (which most of us do not). One thing that did make us hesitant, when trying to decide whether or not to try, was how you could only bid once every 24 hours, making the booking, err guessing, process quite time consuming.

 

This morning, however, I came across an interesting read on USAToday.com about a new website called TheBiddingTraveler.com which takes the pain out of the “Name Your Own Price” process by automating the whole thing. Essentially, it continuously places a bid for you until you are able to get the lowest available price, without having to wait 24 hours between each bid.

 

Below is an overview about how it works, thanks to USA Today. Read the full article here.

 

Overview: Provides free strategies and an automated tool, AutoBid, for streamlining hotel bidding through Priceline’s Name Your Own Price hotel service.

Pros: Makes bidding for hotels on Priceline more intelligent, faster, easier. Facilitates submission of your low bid and automatically increases the bid incrementally until a bid is accepted or your highest bid is rejected. Enters “free rebids,” enabling you to enter the highest number of bids within Priceline’s 24-hour rules. (If a $125 four-star bid downtown was rejected, AutoBid can immediately facilitate a $130 bid for a downtown hotel when you add uptown, too, because no four-star hotels are offered uptown.) Very transparent, showing total price for lowest and highest bids; displays recently accepted bids made by others with the hotel name.

Cons: Displays of recently accepted bids sometimes irrelevant since they may be more than four months old. Some zones don’t show any recently accepted bids. No FAQs. Live Help is often offline, although site provides quick answers via e-mail to inquiries. AutoBid available only for Internet Explorer.

Takeaway: Awesome service, although no guarantee your hotel bid will be accepted. New beta version rolling out this week with side by side displays of hotels’ star ratings, retail rates and average winning bids.

 

 

Happy planning!

 

Heading to Europe? Stop over in Iceland!

31 Mar

Did you know, if you are traveling to Europe on Iceland Air, you can stop over in Iceland, for up to a week, at no additional charge?! Outside of the cost of your hotel in Iceland, this is a great way to turn your vacation into a double whammy without adding on the cost of another flight. How amazing!

I’ve heard of this before, but wasn’t quite sure if it was a temporary promotion (similar to how you can stop over in Tahiti en route to Australia or New Zealand)… turns out it isn’t!

Check it out by clicking on the stopover tab of the Advanced Booking Engine on www.IcelandAir.com!

Contest Alert: Expedia’s FriendTrips Facebook Contest

31 Mar

Just received word about a pretty cool contest Expedia is hosting on Facebook. It’s an innovative idea that really takes social media contests to a new level.

 

How it works:

  • Go to Expedia’s Facebook page and “like” them
  • Click the “Play the FriendTrips Game” button in the menu on the left side of the screen
  • Pick a FriendTrip you’d like to enter to win (5 are worth more than $100K!) and select 5 friends you’d like to vacation with, should you win (no imaginary friends and all friends must have active Facebook accounts)
  • Return to the homepage and start all over again! Note: you may only enter one FriendTrip per destination but feel free to enter planes for every destination on the list, or ask your friends to invite you to any of the other twelve destinations

With this sweepstakes, Expedia is offering more than $1 million in prizes, including four $250 travel credits each day to contest participants who share pictures and stories of why they want to visit a particular featured destination.

Hurry on over, and make sure your friends are fans of Expedia’s Facebook page. You may end up on a flight with 5 friends, heading to your dream destination, before you know it!

 

Good luck!

 

Read more:

New York Times: http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/expedia-launches-sweepstakes-on-facebook/?src=twrhp

Conde Nast Traveler: http://wom.truth.travel/2011/03/expedia-launches-facebook-friendtrips-game.html

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