How To Get An Upgraded Hotel Room 100% Of The Time

Over the years I’ve developed a way to get an upgraded room at a hotel every time that I’ve used it. It’s so easy that I’m hesitant to share it with you but as our readers, you deserve it.

To get an upgraded room every time all you have to do is……….. pay for it. 😉

What, were you expecting some magic system? Maybe a code word or secret handshake that only internet bloggers know about? Well yeah, that would be pretty cool. And don’t get me wrong, according to the internet there are a million different ways for you to score an upgraded room. Here’s a list of some of the most commonly shared “secrets”: Continue reading “How To Get An Upgraded Hotel Room 100% Of The Time”

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This Vacation Is A Control Freak’s Nightmare (And I’m Still Interested)

When I was in Seattle, I did a tour of the Pike Place Market with Savor Seattle Tours. Before we went off on our food adventure, our guide did the typical group activity ice breaker…we all introduced ourselves, said where we were from and why we booked the tour. As we went around the room, one couple said they had no idea they were visiting Seattle until the day before and they found out when they were on the way to the plane. This tour and other activities were all a part of the mystery package they received just a few days before the trip. We were all very interested to hear from them how this worked.

Sharon has written about a program from Lufthansa where you book a flight to a surprise destination, so this isn’t an a brand new idea but I’d never heard of it in the U.S. Upon getting home, I did some looking into the website the couple on our tour used. The premise is intriguing and at the same time it terrifies me.

Continue reading “This Vacation Is A Control Freak’s Nightmare (And I’m Still Interested)”

Where Can We Go With United Miles When We Won’t Fly On United?

We’ve made a choice to avoid flying on United Airlines. For our normal travels it doesn’t cause much of a hardship as we don’t live at a United hub airport. We’ve been able to find flights to where we want without using them and they’ve never been the cheapest or best option anyway. The problem is that we still have a stash of United miles that we earned from the United MileagePlus Explorer card sign up bonus. I don’t plan on renewing the card this year but those miles are still ours and I need to figure out a use for them.

Thank goodness for airline alliances. United Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, which means we should be able to use those miles for flights on Star Alliance member airlines. You may also hear this being called “using miles on partner airlines.” So where can we fly from our home airport, or nearby, using our United miles?

Continue reading “Where Can We Go With United Miles When We Won’t Fly On United?”

This Place Is Like Taking A Time Machine Back To Key West In The 1920’s

Sharon and I have visited Key West many times and we actually started planning this trip shortly after Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys last year. We wanted to visit more sooner than later to help support tourism since people will often avoid places after natural disasters. Even though we’ve found that when visiting Key West we’d rather spend time at an independent hotel than at at a chain property, I just couldn’t pass us a chance to stay at this hotel. This all worked out because before Citi discontinued their Hilton credit cards last year, we signed up for the Hilton Honors Reserve card. Instead of points, like most cards offer as a sign up bonus, this card was offering two weekend nights at any of the Hilton brand hotels. That’s including the Waldorf Astoria properties (well, except for several hotels that were excluded from the offer).

Since this would probably be my only chance to stay at this hotel, I went ahead and booked a Friday to Sunday stay at the Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. Continue reading “This Place Is Like Taking A Time Machine Back To Key West In The 1920’s”

Credit Card Benefits To The Rescue, WDW Chosen To Host Event, & More!

Happy Sunday, y’all and we hope you’re having a great weekend! Sharon and I have come across a lot of interesting travel-related articles this week – here are some of our favorites.

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* Feature photo By Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2067974

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel  articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

 

 

 

I Played Mini Golf Here 30 Years Ago AND JUST PLAYED IT AGAIN!!! (It’s That Good!)

I’ve reached the age where I can revisit places that I remember from my childhood. Those places where you have a memory about something you saw, somewhere you ate, someone you met that just sticks in your brain for the rest of your life. I know we visited Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, TN when I was about 14. I remember going to Dollywood (since I hit myself on the head when I stood up into a sign and almost knocked myself out) and I know we stayed at some nice hotel in Gatlinburg with a discount from the Entertainment Book. The only other part of the trip that I remembered was this mini-golf course. It was not a normal course but instead was built into the side of a hill. You got to ride up the incline and every hole went downhill.

It wasn’t until I sent a bunch of old pictures to be digitized that I found the photographic evidence of the place, from our trip in 1987.

You can imagine my surprise when we were driving on US-441 (the main road in Gatlinburg) last year and passed the same mini golf course. I think my reaction was, “That’s IT! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! IT’S STILL THERE!” It was as if something from a dream suddenly became real. Unfortunately, we were driving past the place around 10PM and didn’t have the time or energy to stop. That was something we were sure to rectify when we made plans to return to the Knoxville area this year. While Sharon’s not a big mini golf fan, she is a fan of kitschy roadside attractions and I think this place also piqued her interest.

Continue reading “I Played Mini Golf Here 30 Years Ago AND JUST PLAYED IT AGAIN!!! (It’s That Good!)”

What Airport Lounges Can You Get Into With The American Express (AMEX) Platinum Card?

The American Express (AMEX) Platinum card is designed for the jet setter crowd. While the personal Platinum card carries a steep $550 annual fee, I consider the benefits the card provides to be worth the cost. If you want to learn more about the benefits of the Platinum card, you can check out our full review HEREWhile the card is marketed to those who can afford the luxury items advertised in the Departures magazine that’s included with your card membership, many benefits of the Platinum card can help travelers who aren’t in the top 0.01 percent. One of those benefits is access to several different types of airport club lounges. It can be hard to keep track of which lounges the card will get you into and the requirements for each, thus the need for this post. To clarify, access to lounges is a perk of the Personal Platinum, Business Platinum and variants of these cards.

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Heads up that other American Express Cards with platinum in the name, like the Delta Airlines Platinum or Optima Platinum, don’t get the same lounge access.

American Express does have a very handy lounge locator on their website. If you type in the airport, they’ll tell you all the places you can get into and which type of lounge that location is. If you have several lounges at an airport to choose from, here’s a link to our article about a website that provides reviews of over 2,500 lounges in 850+ airports worldwide.

Continue reading “What Airport Lounges Can You Get Into With The American Express (AMEX) Platinum Card?”