Having A Great Hotel Concierge Spoiled Me Forever

Concierge services. I just don’t get the appeal. Maybe it’s because I’m someone who enjoys obsessively planning my trips and doesn’t need someone to tell me where to go or what to see. I also think it’s because there have been times I’ve asked them for help and the advice I received was mediocre at best. I’m not saying they’re not useful, just that the service is so inconsistent that having a “concierge desk” at your hotel really doesn’t mean anything anymore. Oftentimes what’s called a concierge is just a customer service agent standing at a different desk. I stayed at a hotel in London where the concierge just sold overpriced theater tickets to the tour groups who were staying there (Note from Sharon: Joe won’t give the hotel’s name but I have no shame. It’s the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum. DO NOT STAY THERE. It’s awful. How it gets 3.5 and 4 stars is BEYOND ME unless they’re paying people to give them good reviews. The WiFi was slow as molasses, the rooms were last updated in 1972, the TV was about 12″ big, and the staff was no help for anything. It is an AWFUL hotel!). And don’t get me started about Las Vegas, where the “concierge” desk was the place you signed up for a tour of a timeshare to get free show tickets, and that was not the service I was looking for.

However, over the years,  I’ve found that if a hotel has a Concierge, and I mean a true Concierge, that can add value to a stay more than any suite upgrade or free breakfast ever will. Continue reading “Having A Great Hotel Concierge Spoiled Me Forever”

Why I’m Not Good At Spontaneous Travel

On our last trip to London, we planned the trip with only two months notice. I had requested time off of work for a cruise we were planning, but that ended up not happening. Having vacation time approved and no plans is just something that doesn’t happen to us. After seeing Hamilton in Orlando at the Dr. Phillips Center, we started to think about the next time we could see what has become our newest favorite show (but we’re not superfans, even if we did a podcast with our local newspaper about how much we like the show).

We’ve already seen Hamilton in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. While going to Chicago again would be the easiest trip, I just blurted out, “We’ve never seen Hamilton in London”. That’s all the inspiration Sharon needed and within hours she found us tickets for the London production coinciding with the time I had already requested off from work. Once I confirmed that I could find award space for flights, the trip was all but planned.

Once I booked the flights and hotel and Sharon booked the Hamilton tickets, the planning stopped. We were going to be in London for three full days. What were we going to do?

Besides going to see Hamilton, visiting the London Dungeon attraction and hitting some tiki bars, we had no idea.

Continue reading “Why I’m Not Good At Spontaneous Travel”

Hey, Look! We’re On A Podcast!

In the middle of February, Your Mileage May Vary joined the BoardingArea network of travel websites. The whole team has been great to us over the last two months and we’re glad to see all the new people who are getting to see what Sharon and I have been working on for these last few years.

However, that’s a lot of reading just to catch up and get to know us. It’s not like we’re Game of Thrones or anything. So when Ed Pizza from Pizza in Motion asked if we’d like to be guests on NowBoarding, The Official BoardingArea Podcast, we said yes in a heartbeat.

We don’t generally love talking about ourselves but we do like to talk about travel. Ed is a great host and you’ll get to hear him guide Sharon and me through a series of questions about what got us started in traveling, how we started using points and miles, our favorite things (places, hotels, airlines, credit cards). and what’s left on our travel bucket list, I think it’s an enjoyable 30+ minute listen.

We might have snuck in a little information about this place as well:


I got to hear about Sharon’s current bucket list, which we don’t talk about often and I’m glad to hear it’s going to be easy to fulfill. (insert sarcasm here). At least she doesn’t want me to find her one of these.


Here is the link to the podcast on the NowBoarding website:


You can also listen and subscribe to the NowBoarding podcast using Apple Podcasts (which I didn’t even know was already on my phone), Google Podcasts or whichever listening software you choose. If you like what you hear you can subscribe to get the weekly updates and uploaded every week.

Enjoy the show!!!!

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary




How To Decide Between Hotels When You Have Two Good Choices

There are times when no matter how hard you try to find a perfect hotel to fit your trip, you never actually find it. You book the best thing you can find and, honestly, what you booked is probably going to be fine. What actually might be worse is when you have two equally appealing perfect choices. How do you pick between the two? You researched both places and you like different things about each one. There are worse problems to have and I know there are more important things for me to be worrying about. I just need to make a decision and stick with it.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to write about the handwringing that went into making the decision.

Continue reading “How To Decide Between Hotels When You Have Two Good Choices”

All About The JFK Jitney: The Post-Security Link Between Terminals 2 & 4

For our most recent trip to London, I booked us on Virgin Atlantic Premium from New York JFK with 55,000 Delta SkyMiles. As we were getting closer to the trip, the missing link of our transportation plans was getting to JFK airport for our flight. Living in Orlando, there’s no shortage of airlines non-stop to JFK, since I can choose from American, Delta and JetBlue to get us there.

In the end, I decided to book us on a Delta flight, even though it was slightly more expensive, since I would be able to check our bags all the way to London when we checked in because of Delta and Virgin Atlantic’s interline agreement. Since we’d be able to check our bags all the way to London from Orlando, there was a chance we’d not have to re-clear security at JFK. That is, if we could get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 4 past security.

Continue reading “All About The JFK Jitney: The Post-Security Link Between Terminals 2 & 4”