So you think you can dance? Or would like to dance? I have just the tour operation for you. Led by a professional dancer, these tours take you around the world so you can learn to clog dance in Ireland or tango in Brazil.
The company is called Travel Bare Feet. Its run by Mikela Mallozi, a classically trained dancer whose travels around the world developed her interest in folk dance. Which is how she came to lead small groups of similar-mined people on trips to learn local dances.
This March, she’ll lead a tour to Puerto Rico where participants will learn salsa and bomba dance. Bali, Indonesia, is April’s trip, and Ireland is in September.
It’s not all dance. Travelers enjoy sightseeing, as well. Mikela curates a rich blog that includes videos of sightseeing trips she’s taken in Italy, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. Of course, dance is part of the videos—I like the one of her this past July in Uzbekistan at the Annual Asrlar Sadosi Festival in the town of Navoi.
Her videos are of professional quality, and if you’re a dancer, you’ll want to hit the dance floor with her.
If you have a lot of United miles and have been saving them for a big trip, this is the time to go shopping. That’s because in some cases, your miles will lose a lot of their value beginning February first of the new year.
There’s no change in the 30,000 miles you need to get a coach ticket in the 40 states—that excludes Hawaii, of course. But if you want a round-trip, business class ticket for travel in the US, it’ll take you 57,500 miles; today it’s 50 thousand.
The big jump is the cost of a first class ticket. That’s 67,500 miles now; on February first, you’ll have to spend 80,000. And if you’re shopping for first class space on one of United’s alliance partners, what costs you 80,000 miles through the end of January will cost you 42% more—110,000 miles after that.
It’s simple: If you know you’ll want a United ticket or a first class ticket on one of its partners sometime in 2014, book now.
I haven’t talked personally to the Big Guy, but I’ve heard from some elves I happen to know that Santa wishes the Federal Aviation Administration would move a little faster to upgrade the nation’s navigation system. Right now, your average American car’s GPS system is more sophisticated than a commercial jetliner that in some cases relies on World War II technology.
The federal government, airlines, pilots, and airports have been working for years on what’s called the NextGen Air Transportation System that promises more direct and precise flight paths. That will mean savings on fuel, less pollution, and more on-time flights since planes will be able to fly closer together safely.
But while this year saw some improvements, especially in the North Atlantic region, the entire system now has a target completion date of 2020. The FAA expects between now and full implementation, improvements will mean $38 billion in estimated benefits.
A lot of people, including Santa, will appreciate that. Holiday best to you from the gang at Rudy Maxa’s World.
We’re nearing the end of the month of mileage runs by frequent flyers hoping to qualify for elite status on an airline. If you’re working Delta’s frequent flyer program and need 10,000 miles or less to qualify, you can buy you way to an elite level.
If you’re not sure what a mileage run is, it’s a flight some of us are crazy enough to take to anywhere to gain higher status in an airline’s frequent flyer program. Whether it’s silver, gold, platinum or any other name, the higher your status—generally based on the number of miles you fly—the more perks you get. Like free upgrades, bonus miles when you fly, expedited check in and luggage, and other perks.
At the end of every year, you’ll find mileage hounds getting on planes just to gain miles and achieve a higher status in their airline’s mileage program.
But sometimes, toward the end of the year, airlines will let passengers purchase some of those, and this month, Delta will sell you those MQMs. A minimum of 2500 miles costs $595 . . . a maximum of 10,000 MQMs goes for $1,495, which is cheaper that taking a couple of round trips to Europe to get those miles.
Call Delta for details—you’ve only got a week.