Category : Posted by Amy

prague map
Food, Planning, Posted by Amy, Transportation, Travel Activities
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Planning a Trip to Prague

I am super excited that I was able to sneak a short trip to Prague in in-between two other work trips to Barcelona and San Francisco. I only have 2.5 days, and need to do some aweseomsauce planning to really take advantage of my time in the Czech Republic. This method of planning trip activities can be used for any place you visit.

Check back in a few weeks to see what my actual trip was like compared to the plan!

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St. Regis Punta Mita
Planning, Posted by Amy, Types of Travel
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The Difference Between Travel and a Vacation

Recently at a wedding in Madison, my friend Val asked if I had any upcoming travel. I told her I was going to spend a week at a resort in Mexico in December. I added “I’m going to lay on a beach all week, so it’s not real travel.” Immediately, I started wondering what “real travel” meant, what I event meant by it, and if you could define such a thing.

Luckily before I could get too deep into a rat hole of my own thoughts, Val said something that was both simple and profound: There’s a difference between travel and a vacation.

“There’s a difference between Travel and a Vacation”

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zurich
Food, Planning, Posted by Amy, Travel Activities
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Exploring Food & Drinks While Traveling – Part 1: Food Tours

Food is such an important part of culture and experiencing food and drinks the way locals do can be one of the most memorable parts of travel. This is the first in a 4-part series on how to really experience food culture during your travels. Stay tuned for Parts 2 through 4, coming soon!

Part 1: Food Tours
Part 2: Cooking Classes
Part 3: Wine, Beer, Liquor, and other Drinks
Part 4: Other ways to Experience Food

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delta plane
Miles and Points, Posted by Amy
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Getting Elite Status and How Loyalty Pays Off

I was looking at my upcoming itineraries the other day and realized I had booked a flight from SFO -> SEA on the wrong day. Oops! But no biggie… I just called the special Delta Diamond Medallion Line and an understanding agent changed my flight for free.

Usually when you make a flight change, there’s a steep $200 change fee. However, the customer service representative changed my flight and waived the fee. Why? Well, I can’t say for certain but as a Delta Diamond Medallion, I get some really great customer service.

I’ve had a lot of good experiences recently due to having elite status in various programs, and I wanted to post about a few of them so you can see the real, tangible benefits of sticking with one hotel, airline, or car rental program.

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switzerland_serenity
packing, Planning, Posted by Amy
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5 Ways to Travel More Efficiently

After oversleeping, handling a small crisis, and making sure my house was in pristine condition for weekend renters, I had exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes to pack and make it to the airport in time for my flight this evening. I was so busy all day I didn’t even have time to brush my teeth.

This was a stressful situation, but because I’ve optimized every part of packing and getting to the airport, I actually made the flight with about 15 minutes to spare before the boarding door closed. WHEW!!

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india_birds
Miles and Points, Planning, Posted by Amy
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Booking Free Business Class Flights with Credit Card Points

The miles and points world can be a confusing one – I spent months researching how and when I could get my family to Europe an Africa on business class award flights. However, there are actually some very simple ways to go from using your credit card to booking an amazing free flight. In this post, I go step-by-step and show you exactly what I did to book a free business class flight within Europe.

There are many different points programs and airlines, and the process for redeeming points and miles is highly dependent on the rules of each program. Sometimes it’s very complicated, but it can also be very quick and easy. In this example, I use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book a Business class flight on United, and it took less than 10 minutes.

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copenhagen_header
Planning, Posted by Amy, Transportation
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How to Use Public Transportation in any City

Copenhagen was the first place I visited outside of New York and San Francisco that had a train system, and I was determined to figure out how to use it. I poured over the maps every day to learn all the stations and directions and how to get to every place my coworkers and I wanted to go. We took a lot of trains in Copenhagen because it’s an efficient way to get around.

Udgang Exit Sign in Copenhagen
A sign pointing to a wondrous, magical place. Or the Exit.
It seemed like every train station we were at had a sign pointing to “Udgang,” and I spent the entire week thinking about Udgang and what a cool and special place it must be for there to be so many signs pointing travelers towards it. I made a mental note to look up what Udgang was so I could make sure to see it before I left. Imagine my disappointment when I found out on my last day in Denmark that Udgang means… Exit.

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Mauritius Seven Colored Earths
Destinations, Family Travel, Miles and Points, Planning, Posted by Amy, Travel Activities
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How I Convinced My Family to Take a Crazy $60,000 Trip with Me

Three years ago, my parents and sister had never been outside of the U.S., except to go to Canada a few times. And Canada is basically the United States with people who say “eh” and apologize a lot. It doesn’t count. (Love you Canadians!) So I got this idea that I wanted them to take a trip with me. And not just any trip… a crazy, mind-blowing, once-in-a-lifetime trip.

I’d floated the idea of an African safari before, which is my ultimate dream trip, and my parents were not interested at all. They’re like “How about we just go to Florida?” Which is fair, but, a lot less exciting and without the lions.

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Zurich River and Buildings
Planning, Posted by Amy, Travel Activities
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How to See a City in 3 Hours

When you’re traveling it can feel overwhelming to see and do everything there is, especially if you don’t have a lot of time. Fortunately, there are two great ways to see a city quickly: walking tours and Segway tours.

I first discovered walking tours when I was in Sofia, Bulgaria for work and had only one morning I could slip away to sightsee. The Free Sofia Walking Tour was the #1 rated thing to do on TripAdvisor, it was only a few hours long, and it was FREE! I had to check this out.

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header_mauritius
Planning, Posted by Amy
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5 Helpful Things to Know Before You Travel

Even though you only really need 3 things to travel (a passport, a flight, and a place to stay) there is some additional information you will need once you arrive and it’s helpful to have done the research ahead of time.

It can be very stressful if you are at a restaurant or in a taxi and realize you have no idea if you are supposed to tip your server or driver. I have been in this situation and wound up frantically searching for tipping etiquette online before my taxi reached our destination. Thankfully I was able to access the internet from my phone, despite being in a foreign country!

Here are 5 things to know before you travel. All of them can easily be found online using a search engine.

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