What If I Don’t Want To Live Like A Local When I Travel?

I’ve heard the refrain “It’s so touristy there” many times when talking about visiting a location. It’s usually said by someone who insists that the only way to travel is to “Live like a local.” The more I think about it, I just don’t understand what people have against those who act like a tourist when they travel.

If someone’s never been to New York City before and is only going to be there for three days, what’s wrong about going to look at Times Square or Rockefeller Center? Do we expect people not to visit the sights that brought them to a city in the first place? That would be like going to the Grand Canyon and never looking at it, or not seeing the Eiffel Tower when going to Paris.

Natchez

When we went to New Orleans, we went to Jackson Square, stood in line for beignets at Cafe du Monde, went on a riverboat ride and visited Preservation Hall to listen to some Jazz. All of those things would be considered “touristy” but it didn’t make them any less fun.

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Why I’m Obsessing Over My UBER Rating

I’ve taken over 75+ trips on UBER since I joined over 5 years ago. I know I’m not a power user of the service. For us, it has changed the way we travel when on vacation. It’s an additional option to get from point A to point B. We find it extremely helpful to get around cities we don’t know and to get to places not easily accessible by public transportation. If we want to check out that Tiki Bar we heard about, we’ll take an UBER.

I’m pretty lenient when it comes to driver ratings. I understand a driver’s income is directly connected to their rating as they could lose their job if that rating goes too low. Because of this, most of my reviews are 5 stars. I reserve less than a 5-star review for those drivers who really deserve it. The one driver who didn’t know how to get to the airport and I eventually needed to point to each turn only got 3 stars from me. The one who came to pick me up with stuff all over the back seat which he needed to move before we could leave, 4-stars. The only 1-star ride I’ve ever taken was when the driver in Vegas took a deliberately longer route without asking resulting in a charge almost double from what I was expecting. When you do sneaky stuff like that, you deserve to lose your job.

While I’ve always looked at my user rating, I never really thought about it that much.

Until now

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You Don’t Know What You’re Missing Out On If You Don’t Use Contactless Payments

The use of contactless payments (or NFC Technology) in the United States is still in its infancy. Most people are familiar with this form of payment from using Apple Pay or Android Pay. We’re still at the point where people pull out their phone or use a watch to pay at the checkout and still have a look of amazement about this magical ability to pay with just a device.

What if I told you that it’s not necessary to fumble around with your phone or supinate your wrist to tap a watch to a reader in order to use contactless payments?

2y9yed

Banks are adding contactless technology to cards and many stores have contactless enabled card readers. So what are you waiting for? Continue reading “You Don’t Know What You’re Missing Out On If You Don’t Use Contactless Payments”

What’s The Best & Cheapest Way To Go From Point A To Point B In Orlando? It’s Complicated

I see it ALL the time on Facebook groups:

  • “What’s the best and cheapest way to get from WDW to Universal?”
  • “We want to go from the Rosen Inn to Clearwater Beach – what’s the cheapest and best way to do that?”
  • “Best/cheapest way to get from the 192 in Kissimmee to the Vineland Outlet Mall? TIA! x” (the TIA is “Thanks In Advance.” The x at the end is a U.K. thing that I still don’t really understand LOLOL)
  • “We’re going shopping at Disney Springs but have reservations for the 5:15pm Spirit of Aloha Diner Show at the Polynesian Resort Hotel. What’s the best/fastest/cheapest way to get there?”
  • “We’re staying at the Avanti on I-Drive and want to go to Dave & Buster’s. What’s the cheapest and best way to get there?”

Of course, I totally understand what and why people are asking. But the thing is, the proper reply for each of those all depends on where you are and where you’re going. On top of that, cheapest is not always best. And “best,” to be honest, is subjective and will be different for every person – does “best” mean cheapest? Most luxurious? Fastest? Most private?

So let’s go over the different options…

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Uber, Lyft & Minnie Vans at WDW: Comparing NEW PRICING STRUCTURE & Value (Updated Oct., 2018)

Uber and Lyft have been servicing the Central Florida region for a while now, much to the chagrin of the local taxi companies such as Mears, Taxi Orlando and Yellow Cab Orlando. Their integration into the area became complete in the summer of 2017, when the two ride sharing services were finally allowed to pick up at Orlando International Airport.

Walt Disney World (WDW) joined the ride sharing game a few months later with the introduction of what they call “Minnie Vans.” Minnie Vans provide guests with point-to-point rides within the WDW complex, or directly to Orlando International Airport (MCO). When introduced, each Minnie Van ride was $20. In February 2018, they increased the price to $25 and not long afterwards, they introduced Minnie van rides from MCO to WDW for the (sarcasm) low, low (/sarcasm) price of “just” $150. Gratuity not included. Because of course it isn’t.

Although the ride from MCO hasn’t changed in price (yet), WDW has now changed the price of on-property Minnie Van rides to a $15 flat fee with a “per mile” rate on top of it. The “per mile” rate is not documented, which means Disney can play with the amount as much as they want, include their own form of surge pricing, etc. However several Disney blogs are suggesting the flat rate is currently based on roughly $2.75 to $3 per mile and the real-life examples that Summer from The Points Guy recently gave would support those rates.

So for potential ride-sharing customers who want to travel within the WDW property or to MCO, there are three options. Which one is best? Well, it depends. Read on…

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