Going on an international trip is very exciting but it can also be very expensive. Using a credit card to pay for purchases when traveling internationally is often the best way to get a good exchange rate and the rate your bank gets will be better than the one you’ll get on your own if you exchange cash. Using a card also means that you don’t have to carry around a bunch of cash with you. However, many cards will add on a “foreign transaction fee” to any transactions made with anything except your home currency. Here’s an easy way to keep from paying that extra 2-3 percent on all of your purchases while away.
You should always sign up for an airline’s frequent flyer program. First of all, it’s free. In addition, having your information on file with the airline saves you some time when making a reservation. You can also put your Known Traveler Number (KTN) into your profile if you have enrolled for TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry, which you should do if you travel even somewhat regularly.
Here are the links to the programs from the major US Airlines along with how long the miles you earn are good for. Note that while many plans will claim your miles will “never expire,” they will deactivate your account, thereby cause you to lose any miles earned, if you don’t have a qualifying activity within a certain time frame.
After writing about the family who was split up in middle seats throughout the plane on our United flight to Chicago, I wasn’t expecting the response we got from our readers. We received a number of comments from readers with differing viewpoints. One one hand, we received two comments that I’m sure United would be just thrilled to read:
- I won’t be flying with United. My kids won’t handle being separated from me.
- Yup. Not flying United.
Hello, friends! In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap of our posts this week:
Joe wrote about:
- His thoughts on which credit cards to keep, which ones to downgrade and which ones to toss.
- The pros and cons of staying at a chain hotel vs. an independently owned hotel on Key West.
- Some tips on how to get a better boarding group if you’re flying on Delta.
- How he FINALLY got his long-awaited Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.
- The process of how to get internet access in Cuba.
Sharon wrote about:
- Her very first visit to The Mai-Kai, a 61-year-old Polynesian Tiki bar, restaurant and dinner show in Fort Lauderdale.
- The 6/6/17 to 6/8/17 $49 air fare sale on SouthWest Airlines.
- The changing of a beloved & historic Walt Disney World attraction and pondering why A.D.A. compliance and maintaining art & history can’t happen at the same time.
- TBT! Their visit to the World Expo in Aichi Japan in April 2005.
- A really weird thing that has been happening since 1989, whenever she goes on vacation.
Like this post? We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). 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!
Knowledge is power, or so Schoolhouse Rock taught me during my youth.
While flying home from Charlotte on Delta, I knew that we’d be on an MD-88 aircraft. I generally don’t mind this type of aircraft for shorter flights because it has a 3-2 seating arrangement. With that, I can choose to sit on the side with two seats and then Sharon can have the window (her favorite) and I can have the aisle (my favorite). Plus we have the bonus of not needing to worry about who will sit in the middle seat. One of the downsides of that plane is the overhead bin on the two seat side is smaller and doesn’t fit many carry-on bags. Everyone has to put their larger bags on the side with three seats, since those are larger bins and those who board later usually have to gate check their bags because all the space has been taken.
I didn’t want to have to gate check a carry-on bag if I didn’t absolutely have to, so I found a way to board the plane with one of the first boarding groups. Here’s how I did it:
It’s everyone’s travel nightmare. After making sure to get to the airport extra early because of the delays at check-in and security, you finally get to your gate and find a seat, preferably near a power plug. You hope there are no yelling children around, or adults talking with their phone on speaker mode. You start reading your book on your Kindle or watch some cute video of cats on your phone to pass the time. When it’s almost boarding time for your flight, there is one
small HUGE problem – there is no plane at the gate. You think, “There’s no way we are leaving on time but if we were delayed, wouldn’t the airline tell us?” The dread of knowing you only have 90 minutes to make your connecting flight and who knows how long you’re going to be delayed sets in. You’d stand at the counter to ask one of the employees but you notice the line is already 15 people deep with fellow travelers who already had the same thoughts as you. If you’re waiting for the airline to let you know about a delay, you’re already WAY BEHIND THE CURVE.
Being prepared for a travel delay or cancellation is just like getting ready for a snowstorm or a hurricane. You don’t want to be the person rushing to the store the last minute to stock up on milk, bread, toilet paper (and possibly alcohol) and all you find are empty shelves. You need to have your emergency kit prepared ahead of time. This means you need to have several important travel apps ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Here are things you can do when your flight is delayed or cancelled that will, hopefully, help you get to your destination.
I’m at the point where I am ready to sign up for a new credit card. It’s always an exciting time when we’re almost finished with the spending requirements for our most recent cards. I’ve read many articles listing the “Best sign up bonuses” so I have an idea of what is available. Instead of making yet another list, I’ll give you some insight into the things I take into consideration when making a decision like this.