Happy Sunday to all our travel friends, both near and far. Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, so we’re passing them along.
- While the idea of requiring a negative COVID-19 test for mainland US travel seems to be off the table, for now, there’s no denying that it will be a requirement of international travel for quite a while. Testing locations are popping up at airports around the country, with this unexpected company becoming the early leader in the airport testing market. Another company is doing tests at the San Diego Airport but there are several potential hazards about getting a test there; if you can even find the testing location.
- I’m trying not to get overly optimistic about when travel will start to get back to normal. However, it’s hard not to look towards the end of 2021 and even the beginning of 2022 and start to dream. That might mean looking at plans for the dream trip that you finally have the points and vacation time to take. It was hard enough to keep up on all of the award point rules before the pandemic but there have been plenty of changes and it might make sense to use an award booking service to help you find that dream flight. But how to pick the best one? A recent post from Forbes Advisor evaluated 12 of the services and listed their top five. If you’d like to take a crack at finding your own award space, one of the top-rated services also has a do-it-yourself option with a 5-day-pass for $10.
- United Airlines is the dominant carrier at Newark Airport and became even stronger when Southwest totally pulled out of the airport a few years ago. JetBlue, who has always kept a presence in Newark, is trying to grab some of United’s market share with the announcement of several new routes. Just another example of airlines taking advantage of the slowdown in air travel to shuffle their route maps.
- I’ve written before about how I tend to collect discontinued credit cards. That’s because these cards can offer better benefits than their replacement or possibly give the same perks with a lower annual fee. However, I never gave much thought to how you might be able to get a card that’s no longer open to new applicants. It turns out it may be as simple as signing up for a different card in the same family. For example, you can no longer apply for the American Express Bonvoy card; but if you apply for the Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX, after a year you can call to downgrade to the less expensive Bonvoy card. That’s a Brilliant idea (see what I did there :-))
- People use several techniques to save money on travel that we just don’t take part in. For example, we’ve never booked a skiplagged ticket because it doesn’t fit our travel style or acceptable risk level. As it turns out, Skiplagging has become even riskier during COVID-19, particularly if you’re thinking about using the technique for an international ticket.
- Finally, here’s the most confusing story of the week. The Lawrence Welk Resort time-share properties are being sold to Marriott Vacations and will eventually become part of the Hyatt Residence Club. Where to start. The fact that there is actually a thing as Lawernce Welk timeshare resorts. Maybe it’s that Hyatt Residence Club is owned by a subsidiary of Marriott Vacations Worldwide, which is an independent company from Marriott Hotels. No matter who owns them, the Hyatt Residence Club we visited in Sedona was wonderful and I’m no longer afraid to book a room at a timeshare resort as long as I don’t have to sit through the sales pitch.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary