Connect with us

Travel

Should I Join a Frequent Flyer Program

Back in 2008, I joined my first frequent flier program. Despite having traveled around the world for close to two years, I never saw the value in signing up for one – I’d always been more concerned with price than brand loyalty, so I switched…

Published

on

Joining a frequent flyer program is important and very valuable if you fly often.  Saving you money, making booking easier and enjoying in all the perks related to frequent flyer programs, you will be a happier traveler for sure.

Back in 2010, I joined my first frequent flyer program. Despite having traveled around the world for close to two years, I never saw the value in signing up for one – I’d always been more concerned with price than brand loyalty, so I switched networks and carriers all the time. The lowest price always won.

Another reason I had never signed up before? All my favorite carriers are spread out over different alliances. Japan Airlines (JAL) is on the Oneworld network, while Singapore is on Star Alliance. Emirates Airline, the carrier that makes me salivate the most, isn’t on any of these networks.

Yet back in 2010 I realized that as I was going to fly around the world more, blogging as I went, it was probably a good idea to join an airline alliance – racking up miles, earning upgrades, and getting lounge access was probably a good idea for someone who was going to be in an airport every few weeks.

Over the years, I’ve been a member of all the alliances and my opinion about these programs has changed since I first wrote about them in 2008. Last year, I wrote about why people should not be members of frequent flier programs. Sure, you should always sign up for the program to get the points, but if you aren’t flying enough to hit elite flier status, then you should base your decisions on price. Go with the lowest price and when you do get miles, exchange them for a free flight.

But if you do think you are going to fly enough to make it worth it, you should totally join a frequent flyer program. The lowest tiers in the program, while not great, usually start at 20,000 flown miles.

You can read a lot of opinions on which program to join. Some people will say to join them all, others will tell you to join the ones with your favorite carriers, and others believe you should join the one with the major airline in your home town. I’m of the last opinion. The right alliance to join is the one on which you will most likely earn elite status.

This year I switched from Oneworld to Star Alliance. I did so because I was supposed to move to Europe and the major airline out of Stockholm is SAS, a Star Alliance member. But now that I’ve moved back to the States? I’ve switched back to American, a Oneworld carrier, because they have a hub at JFK and I like them better than United, who is part of Star Alliance.

I strongly recommend that if you are going to be traveling a lot, you stick to one alliance and earn elite flier status. Your status will last 14 months, so even if you don’t fly a lot the following year, you can still reap the benefits for a little while longer.

Because there is nothing like seeing the line for security check-in and realizing you can whiz right on past it or sit in a comfortable lounge with free drinks to make the flying experience infinitely times better.

 

 

 

Check out the full article over at NomadicMatt

Photos Courtesy of Baltia, dailyMail

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Travel

How to Take Care of Your Laundry When Traveling

Published

on

By

It is possible to do your laundry when traveling, and if you plan to do this, it is best to bring a lightweight travel bag for your laundry items. You can place all your dirty clothes in a separate bag. However, if you plan to go backpacking, then you must be planning to bring only a few clothes and do laundry during your vacation.

Well, this is possible, too. There are options where you can take care of your laundry when traveling. You either do the laundry yourself, look for a laundry service from your hotel, or check nearby laundromats.

Ask for hotel services.

Full-service hotels have several offered amenities, and this includes laundry service. Most hotels offer laundry services, generally washing, drying, ironing, and folding clothes. Some even have dry cleaning services.

You can ask or call the front desk for these services. Usually hotels do laundry pickup in every room, and you just have to place your clothes in their laundry bag. Expect that the laundry service offered by hotels will be expensive. It might be the most expensive choice.

Handwash clothes in the sink or bathtub.

Some hotels do not have an in-house laundry service. Meanwhile, others may have, but with hefty rates. If you have already booked the hotel, you can handwash your clothes in the sink or bathtub.  However, the downside of this option is your clothes may not be completely dry.

If you plan to do this before travelling, it is best to pack clothes made of quick-dry fabrics. These types of materials dry faster, which is suited for travel. But, if you have yet to book the hotel and found out that their laundry service is expensive, you can look for another accommodation.

Book accommodation with laundry option.

You can book lodging where you can stay comfortably. Browse booking.com or Airbnb for apartments or houses that offer a laundry option. You can ask the host if laundry detergent and cleaning products are left at the place or if you have to bring these things with you. However, you have to expect this accommodation to be costlier than rooms without additional amenities.

If you are tight on budget and your Airbnb accommodation does not have a laundry option, you can look for a laundry service nearby.

Look for a laundry service nearby.

Laundry services nearby or laundromats are a big help to travellers who only packs lightly. Some laundry services offer self-service washing and drying machines. However, this is not ideal for travelers, as their time is precious. Fortunately, some laundry services have additional services, such as laundry pickup and delivery.

Final Takeaway

If you plan to take care of your laundry when traveling, you must be ready to ensure that your vacation is smooth sailing.  Consider your travel location to determine if it is best to do laundry during your trip. What might worked during your previous trip may not work well in the next.

Continue Reading

Destinations

Thai Government Wants Tourists to Wear Digital Wristbands

Published

on

Tourists will be required to wear digital wristbands in Thailand. This will enable the Thai government to easily track their health status while touring the said Southeast Asian country.

To sever possible COVID-19 transmission, Thailand plans to require would-be tourists to wear digital wristbands while staying in the country. This mandate will allow the government to track their whereabouts including their health as they visit Thailand’s different traveler destinations.

Last month, the said Southeast Asian nation opened its borders to a group of Chinese visitors—the first ever arrival since April when Thailand halted inbound travels to control COVID-19 transmission. The country has been doing quite well in the battle against the novel coronavirus. Hence, it has been reluctant to reopen its doors to visitors wanting to explore its various tourist spots.

The recent October group of Shanghai tourists were automatically required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, especially since they planned to stay within the country for a month. They were also relegated to a government-accredited hotel.

Nevertheless, aside from the automatic quarantine period, recent Thailand updates assert that the nation now plans to mandate all approved, incoming tourists to wear digital wristbands, “Smart Bands” as they are called. These devices will help the government track the tourists, particularly their health, as they visit the different places within the country.

The said digital device measures the body temperature of the wearer which will, then, notify nearby health centers. Tourists who wear digital wristbands will also be able to ask for help should they ever get lost while touring the country.

Not all would-be visitors will be able to enter Thailand, however. At present, only visitors from low-risk areas will be given a Special Tourist Visa. This visa can be obtained by paying 2,000 Baht ($64.25).

Additionally, a would-be tourist needs to have a “fit-to-fly certificate” from a certified doctor, a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, and a health insurance policy of at least $100,000 that will cover COVID-19 treatment within the country.

If you plan to travel to Thailand, you must be able to secure these requirements before buying your ticket. See to it that you will be coming from a country that is enlisted as a low-risk area by the Thailand government. You should also obtain the necessary “fit-to-fly certificate” from your doctor, have a negative PCR COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before your flight, and an insurance policy of the above-stated amount before you can apply for the said Special Tourist Visa.

As of writing, Thailand has only less than 4,000 total COVID-19 cases, a far cry from the overall COVID-19 cases worldwide that has already reached more than 46 million. Hence, the Thai government strictly monitors tourists who are allowed to enter their borders. The planned mandate to require tourists to wear digital wristbands while staying in the country will greatly help control possible COVID-19 transmission which may be brought on by the gradual reopening of its borders.

Continue Reading

Destinations

Visit the World’s Happiest Countries

I have no idea what makes a country happy but I know they must make nice places to visit. Let’s explore the happiest countries in the world and see why we should check them out.

Published

on

According to some smart people Norway is the world’s happiest country followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. SO apparently being freezing cold 9 months out of the year equals happiness. I have no idea what makes a country happy but I know they must make nice places to visit. Let’s explore the happiest countries in the world and see why we should check them out.

How do you judge a country’s’ happiness? Well the smart people at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have figured some way out. Working for the United Nations the SDSN used tons of data and statistics to come to their findings. The main factors used were Happiness, Caring, Freedom, Honesty, Health, Income, Generosity and Good Governance.

Sweden

Scandinavian countries were well represented on this list with all their countries placing in the top 10. Sweden ties for 9th place and is such a wonderful place to visit. Stockholm has some amazing attractions and interesting architecture. Come for the Scenery and stay for their happiness.

 

Australia

Tied for 9th place is the happy people down under. Throw another shrimp on the barbie and drink a Fosters with some real happy folk. Check out the amazing Great Barrier Reef and scuba dive with thousands of animal varieties. Australia is a wonderful place to visit and see why everyone is so happy.

 

New Zealand

Australia’s neighbor and rival is number 8 on the happiness list. The kiwis are a boisterous and happy people known for being welcoming and helpful. The landscape in New Zealand is second to none and offers epic views at every turn. Incredible sailing and waters ports dominate the beaches and hikes and white water rafting are inland favorites.

 

Canada

We all knew Canadians were a happy people and they rank 7th on this list. Celebrating their 150th anniversary as a nation this year, there should be plenty of celebrations going on.   Check out Prince Edward Island where the independence from Great Britain was first discussed.

 

Netherlands

The Dutch are a happy people and their country is one of the best to visit. Celebrating their rich history, The Danish people have plenty to be happy about. Check out the Van Gogh museum or take a tour in the Heineken Brewery. Check out their famed marijuana coffee shops or stroll down the beautiful canals.

 

Finland

Scandinavia represents again with Finland and the 5th spot. A favorite winter sports destination, Finland is as beautiful during the summer. Check out their wonderful lakes and take in some beautiful landscapes.

 

Switzerland

The Swiss are always neutral but you shouldn’t be neutral about visiting the fourth happiest country on Earth. Enjoy the amazing mountains and outdoor activities in this natural playground. The Swiss have been at the top of this list since it’s inception.

 

Iceland

The island nation off on its own in the Atlantic Ocean is the third happiest country. Outdoor activities, the Northern Lights and some incredible thermal pools make Iceland an awesome destination. Reykjavik is an international city with huge attractions and natural beauty, outside the city offers the most intense experiences.

 

Denmark

Number two on the list is the happy people of Denmark. Copenhagen is my favorite European city and it is a must visit. Check out the tall ships and the cute coastal architecture all around Copenhagen.

 

Norway

The happiest country on the planet is Norway. The Scandinavian country has the happiest people and some of the most breathtaking views on the planet. All you have to do is see one fjord in person and you’ll understand natural beauty. The people of Norway are healthier and happier than anywhere on Earth. See why everyone is so happy and experience it for yourself.

 

Continue Reading

Trending