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.
I cast a bit of shade at Ryanair when they were the only airline who didn’t respond to my Tweet about How I Could Make Sure I Would Sit With My Kids if I flew with them. I did find it quite funny that while the airline didn’t respond, one of their parody accounts tweeted back to me with this response.
It turns out the CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, was saving his response for a larger audience. While on RTE Radio 1 this Tuesday, he responded to claims about his airline splitting up couples who purchased random seating assignments.
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.
If you’ve ever flown on a plane, you know the drill. First the people with super duper airline status are allowed on, then just super statuses people, followed by the plain ol’ status folks. They’re all followed by active service people, then those who need extra time, then families with small children and then the regular people are finally allowed onto the plane. But from 15 minutes before they even make an announcement that they’re going to start boarding soon, 3/4 of the people who will be on that flight are surrounding the boarding area, and those whose tickets say they will be the absolute last group to board the plane are usually the ones closer to the gate than anyone else. I don’t know about you, but I personally think the system is totally disorganized and sets people up to worry about who’s in the way, who just cut the line, etc. It’s the epitome of the “cattle” atmosphere that modern-day flying has become and is simply annoying. I guess the executives and planners at United must have thought so too because this past Friday, while preparing to go to Chicago, we encountered a whole new way of boarding the plane.
Hi everyone and hooray for the weekend! Here’s a quick recap of our posts this week:
Joe wrote about:
- Part 1 and part 2 of our recent trip to Chicago
- How he keeps all of our travel plans organized
- A conversation he had with an unfortunate passenger who unknowingly had a Basic Economy ticket on United (this post seemed to be very popular with our readers – might not want to miss it)
Sharon wrote about:
- How Uber & Lyft are finally allowed to pick up at Orlando International Airport
- Our recent visit to TILT, Chicago’s newest thrill ride, which is on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building
- Visiting a Japanese bath theme park and arriving at Tokyo Disneyland Resort in 2005 as a #ThrowbackThursday
- Our final visit to DisneyQuest a few days before it closed permanently
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!
We just returned from our trip to Chicago where our outbound flight was on United. I wrote not long ago about how when purchasing the ticket I paid
the ransom the extra $15 for the right to choose our seats and bring on a roll-aboard carry on bag. I booked us an aisle seat and a window seat, leaving an open middle seat. I often do this, hoping that we’ll end up on a flight that will be partially empty and no one would willingly pick a middle seat. At worst, we offer the person with the middle seat the aisle or window (they are usually thrilled to be out of the middle seat anyway and we’ve never had anyone refuse).
As a reminder, this is how United describes a Basic Economy ticket (bold for emphasis):