The fastest way to get miles is to take a trans-Atlantic flight in business or first class on American or one of its partners: British Airways, Finnair or Iberia. Take one round-trip between the US, Canada, or Mexico to Europe and you’ll earn 10,000 extra miles. Take two and pick up 40,000 more miles. Three gives you 65,000 more. Offer ends January 10th.
American is also offering bonus miles on some flights between North America and Hong Kong and Shanghai. Even a discounted, coach-class ticket gets you a 5,000-mile bonus.
But you MUST pre-register for these promotions. The good news is, airlines have been sharply reducing business class fares. Like: Austin to Paris in biz class for $1,229 round trip!
Another move: Stay at a Radisson hotel twice before December 15th and pick up 7,500 American miles. But listen carefully: You must register by tomorrow, October 15th, to get in on this one.
You can keep up on many of these offers by subscribing to my free, weekly newsletter. Just send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and type “Subscribe” in the subject line. I write the newsletter myself, and I think you’ll enjoy it.
Not only does this guidebook over exact details on hiking trails from Malibu—just north of Los Angeles—to the border of Mexico, but if you want to make a few days of it, it offers suggestions of inns so you can end you day in a nice bed after a nice meal and glass of wine.
The guidebook is titled Walkabout Malibu to Mexico: Hiking Inn to Inn on the Southern California’s Coast. It’s written by Clifford Garstang who has spent years walking that coastline to get all the details right.
We’re talking 200 miles of coastline here, so you be the judge: A one-day hike or a few days with nights in inns? Garstang will even tell you how to get back to your starting point once you’ve reached the end of your walk.
He tells you when tides might be high so you’ll have to divert. And he’ll tell you how to get inland if you really need a Big Mac.
I spend most of my working days reading and writing about and following the travel world. And every once in a while, I say, “It’s about time.” Sometimes it’s because something that seems so natural just happened, but it’s often because something that gets me peeved.
Here’s a short list.
It’s about time that London got 24-hour Tube service. Granted, it’s only going to be on weekends, and it doesn’t start until this time next year, but better next September than never.
It’s about time that airlines do for passengers what they make passengers do for them. I speak of change fees. If you want to switch flights, you may wind up paying as much as $200. If an airline cancels a flight and puts you on a different one, you get nothing but heartburn.
It’s about time airlines stop charging to issue award tickets if you don’t book at least three weeks ahead of your travel.
It’s about time—and you knew this one was coming—that hotels stopped charging guests for Wi-fi.
And it’s about time that rental car companies go back to giving customers a one-grace period for returning cars.
There, got those off my chest. I feel a lot better.
If you’re like I am when I travel, I’m always happy to meet a well-connected local who can tell me where to stay, shop, or eat. There’s a line of guidebooks that aren’t traditional guidebooks that usually list hundreds of hotels and thousands of restaurant. Instead, these books tell you where you really want to go.
The books are about the size of one a big smartphones, and they’re called The Hunt. Each one opens with a fold-out cover that gives you 12 perfect things to do in 12 hours in the city in question. The Hunt folks have guides for cities ranging from Austin to New York, from Hong Kong to London.
Inside, the guides are divided by neighborhoods. And there you’ll find a curated list of suggested restaurants you might not find otherwise along with shops selling cool things—no chain stores included. You might not get any more than five hotel recommendations, but they’re all good. Like the Inn at the Presidio in San Francisco or the Lafayette house in a Nolita brownstone in Manhattan.
You won’t go hungry and you won’t go home empty handed if you let these books be your guide. Details here.
Choose a country, any country. Say, India, in honor of the fact that India’s leader recently visited the White House.
So here’s what you do. You talk to your kids briefly about the country, point it out on the map. Then you prepare Indian food for a couple of dinners—you can find frozen options in most any grocery store. Or go to an Indian restaurant. Find some Indian music on YouTube. You rent a great Indian movie–which one depends on the age of your kids. You could choose “The Jungle Book” for young kids, or for older kids, consider “Gandhi,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Darjeeling Limited,” or David Lean’s “A Passage to India.”
For mom and dad, choose “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
The point is, by semi-immersing your family in a few things Indian, your kids’ eyes will be opened to a different, exotic world.
Hey, now that I think about it, I made two public television episodes on India. You may order a DVD with both shows here.