Tagged: Love Life and Travel

Foto Friday – Where, When, Why #22

Happy Friday! Welcome back to our weekly feature – Foto Friday – Where, When, Why (“FFWWW”)!

FFWWW is a forum for all of us to share our favorite travel photos and the stories behind them. As many of you may know, TravelWhimsy and I recently spent 3 fun winter days in Paris. Today, I am excited to share my favorite photo from this trip – a picture taken by TravelWhimsy of the Garden at the Palace of Versailles. The reason why this photo means a lot to me might surprise you…

Palace of Versailles, France
TravelByPoints Foto Friday – Where, When, Why #22 (Beautiful Garden at the Palace of Versailles in the Winter)

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A 5-Minute Practical Guide for First-time Travelers to Paris, France

TravelWhimsy and I took advantage of the Presidents’ Day long weekend and spent 3 delightful winter days in the City of Light.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Three Winter Days in the City of Light (February 2013)

This post, listing things not present or emphasized in Rick Steves’ Paris Guide, is meant to help those of you planning your first trip to Paris save some time and money (and maybe points). For our readers who are Paris veterans, feel free to add your tips and suggestions in the comment section.

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Winners of the Wiki Offline App Download Codes + Your Second Chance

Five lucky winners of the Wiki Offline app download codes giveaway have just been randomly selected. TravelWhimsy and I have enjoyed reading about where your next trips will be taking you.

Without further ado, here are the winners and where they will be going. If you didn’t win one of the codes, keep reading to find out about a second chance.

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National Parks Primer – What Airports to Fly to and Where Chain Hotels Might Be Located

Quite a few readers expressed interest in visiting more national parks after reading my recent post but wanted to know which airports to fly to and what hotel to stay at, so I thought it might be useful to compile an easy-to-use reference table for all of us planning future trips to national parks. I will start with the parks TravelWhimsy and I have visited (be sure to check out our “Trip Reports” section for some of our experiences), and plan to update/add to the table as we visit more parks.

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Can I Still Get on the Plane without a Picture ID?

Even though both TravelWhimsy and I have mentioned our weekend trip to Seattle, neither of us told you about a hiccup that occurred the night before our scheduled return flight.

After almost a week, I am still in shock that I let the unimaginable happen because I am usually a very careful traveler. Yes, I am ashamed to admit that for the first time I lost my driver license, the only form of government-issued picture ID I had with me during the trip! But I am not embarrassed to share the experience with you, because it could help you be better prepared and less stressed should this ever happen to you.

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The Newest Addition to My Wallet

I currently don’t have my own affiliate links for any credit cards worthy of your attention or credit inquiry hits. However, please allow me to share a bit more information on a new card I just added to my wallet over the past weekend.

Unfortunately, the annual fee cannot be waived in most cases, but I believe that many of you will benefit greatly from having the card.

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You Won’t Believe What Happened on Our Way Home!

This is part 15 of a series of posts devoted to our whirlwind tour of Peru & Chile.

  1. Less than $1,000 per person all-in for our 11-day tour in Peru & Chile
  2. How you can use <75,000 points to replicate our itinerary to visit Machu Picchu, Easter Island, and more
  3. How to prepare for altitude sickness in Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca
  4. What to bring for your trip to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and/or Easter Island
  5. How many different sets of tickets do you have to buy for that one-day visit to Machu Picchu?
  6. How to Create Your Own Machu Picchu “Inka Trail” Experience in One Day
  7. Using the Tambo del Inka, a Starwood Luxury Collection Resort, as Your Base for Your Visit to Machu Picchu
  8. Tour Guide #1 – Sabino for Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Peru
  9. Tour Guide #2 – Silvia for Puno, Lake Titicaca, Sillustani, Peru
  10. How We Did Lima, Peru in One Day
  11. Tour Guide #3 – Sergio for Easter Island, Chile
  12. Taking Advantage of an Airport Hotel for Our Walking Tour of Santiago, Chile
  13. Airport Lounge Access + LAN International Business vs. Economy
  14. Budgeting for Your Next Big Dream Vacation
  15. You Won’t Believe What Happened on Our Way Home!

Maybe we did too much walking during our adventures throughout Peru and Chile, so fate wanted us to continue running until the last minute.

A 2-hour minimum connection time is typically required even for same-airline international-domestic transfers, given the uncertainty of immigration and security re-check. In our case, we would have to factor in 15 extra minutes for the walk between the international terminal and Southwest Airlines’ Terminal 1 at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

How much time did we really end up having for our LAN-Southwest connection?  A mere 33 minutes!

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Budgeting for Your Next Big Dream Vacation

This is part 14 of a series of posts devoted to our whirlwind tour of Peru & Chile.

  1. Less than $1,000 per person all-in for our 11-day tour in Peru & Chile
  2. How you can use <75,000 points to replicate our itinerary to visit Machu Picchu, Easter Island, and more
  3. How to prepare for altitude sickness in Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca
  4. What to bring for your trip to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and/or Easter Island
  5. How many different sets of tickets do you have to buy for that one-day visit to Machu Picchu?
  6. How to Create Your Own Machu Picchu “Inka Trail” Experience in One Day
  7. Using the Tambo del Inka, a Starwood Luxury Collection Resort, as Your Base for Your Visit to Machu Picchu
  8. Tour Guide #1 – Sabino for Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Peru
  9. Tour Guide #2 – Silvia for Puno, Lake Titicaca, Sillustani, Peru
  10. How We Did Lima, Peru in One Day
  11. Tour Guide #3 – Sergio for Easter Island, Chile
  12. Taking Advantage of an Airport Hotel for Our Walking Tour of Santiago, Chile
  13. Airport Lounge Access + LAN International Business vs. Economy
  14. Budgeting for Your Next Big Dream Vacation
  15. You Won’t Believe What Happened on Our Way Home!

Travel can be very expensive, even with the help of miles and points. Many of us play the miles and points game for the thrill of getting the best possible deals, but the reality of it is that most families don’t have the luxury of an unlimited amount of time and/or money to devote to travel.

TravelWhimsy and I always share the true out-of-pocket all-in cost (including food, sightseeing, and incidentals) for all our trips, because we want to show everyone that a weekend cross-country getaway or an annual vacation abroad does not have to exceed your travel budget.

Let me use the actual expenses from this South America trip to explain.

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Use Your Miles and Points to Book a Ski Weekend in Park City, Utah, for Less Than $80 per Person!

Would you like to ski for free at a Park City ski resort of your choice this winter?

Photo Credit: deervalley.com

If you are not a resident of Utah and can get on a flight that takes you into Salt Lake City (SLC) at reasonable morning hours, you can turn your same-day boarding pass into a free ski lift ticket at one of the three Park City ski resorts, including the world-famous Deer Valley Resort.

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Asheville and Its Blue Ridge Parkway Might Have Converted Me…

Have you been to Asheville? You must go!

Growing up in Shanghai, I had always been a city person, fascinated by the prospect of visiting all the skyscrapers throughout the world. Unfortunately, I am married to someone who has no interest in visiting cities, and thus have been “forced” to often forgo the cities and drive to the places that offer the most “nature.”

Our quick cross-country Labor Day weekend trip was no exception. Even though neither of us had been to Charlotte before, we drove our Budget rental car straight away from the city upon landing around 11pm on a Saturday night.

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