Cheap Airfare: $473 Flights To China On American Airlines!!!

This plane is not American’s 787 or 777-200, it’s a much smaller E-170. [Deals like this tend to expire quickly so this article may be out of date after February 19, 2016] Kudos to theflightdeal.com for finding this deal! American Airlines is offering an excellent deal where you can fly for under $500 from the US to China.  American Airlines offers one of my favorite elite programs with perks that include complimentary first class upgrades and reasonable award flight redemption rates.  You can credit the flights below to American Airlines’s frequent flier program.  In addition, you’ll want to use a credit card–such as the Chase…


Winning the Lottery: One National Park at a Time (Half Dome and Mount Whitney)

Half Dome Cables, Yosemite With 2016 upon us, you may have started making a list of the national parks that you want to visit in this upcoming year.  You may not know this yet, but the coolest trails and cabins need to be reserved months in advance.  In addition, you have to win a lottery to visit our nations most prized treasures.  Hopefully I can shed some light on this process. The most useful information about each individual permit—such as lottery win % by date—are located on the National Park Service website.  Links to those pages are included below.  While there…


Visiting the Statue of Liberty: Part 2 (Ellis Island)

View from the second story balcony of the main hall at Ellis Island. Over New Year’s weekend I traveled to New York and had an excellent weekend.  I watched the Times Square fireworks and toured both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  You pay a fairly small fee, about $21, to take a ferry to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  In a previous post, I discussed arriving at and touring the Statue of Liberty. One of the first things you notice when you arrive at Ellis Island is the view.  You can see the entire New York skyline that…


Visiting the Statue of Liberty: Part 1

  Statue of Liberty from a starboard seat on the ferry. Now that I’ve celebrated the Fourth of July in Washington DC and New Year’s Eve in New York, I can call myself a true American.  Accordingly, I felt it was time to visit the Statue of Liberty. Booking the tickets I was pleasantly surprised at the price of the ticket: ~$19.  Unlike my ~$30 ticket to tour the Palace of Westminster in London, my Statue of Liberty ticket included a boat ride.  Plus, the boat ride to Ellis Island comes with the ticket. You’ll want to book your tickets…


Cheap Airfare: $476 Flights to Brazil on American Airlines!!!

[Deals like this tend to expire quickly so this article may be out of date after February 6, 2016] Kudos to theflightdeal.com for finding this deal! American Airlines is offering an excellent deal where you can fly for under $500 from the US to Brazil.  American Airlines offers one of my favorite elite programs with perks that include complimentary first class upgrades and reasonable award flight redemption rates.  You can credit the flights below to American Airlines’s frequent flier program.  In addition, you’ll want to use a credit card–such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Citi Prestige, or the Citi Advantage Preferred–that offers additional…


American Airlines Miles Sale – Should You Buy Miles?

If you have a frequent flier account with American Airlines (AAdvantage) you likely received an identical copy of the above promotion: you can buy American Airlines’s miles at a discount.  You may wonder whether this is a good deal.  No worries, so did I. In order for this deal to potentially be worthwhile, you should calculate the cost of the miles.  American normally charges 2.95 cents per miles, but the discount and bonus miles completely changes the equation.  I provided calculations below based on the base number of miles purchased (taxes included in the cost): 20,000 miles: you receive 27,000…


Redwood National and State Parks — Road Trip!!

My friend and I drove through the redwood forest after forest fires canceled our Yosemite Trip.  We rented this car. This summer, my Yosemite backpacking trip turned into a California road trip after a forest fire ended the backpacking trip before it even started.  Thankfully my good friend and I had a smart phone and a car so we could continue our week-long expedition.  Our first stop after Yosemite National Park was the Redwood National and State Parks. A converted DC-10 drops a red chemical onto the forest fire in Yosemite. This was my first trip to California and also…


Cheap airfare: ~$150 Between Major US Cities on American Airlines!!!

You can fly to Arizona and explore “Hole in the Rock.”  That’s of course its scientific name. [Deals like this tend to expire quickly so this article may be out of date after February 2, 2016] Kudos to theflightdeal.com for finding this deal! American Airlines is offering an excellent deal where you can fly for approximately $150 between major US cities.  American Airlines offers one of my favorite elite programs with perks that include complimentary first class upgrades and reasonable award flight redemption rates.  You can credit the flights below to either American Airlines’s or Alaska Airlines’s frequent flier programs.  In addition, you’ll want…


Chicago (ORD) Admirals Lounge (Christmas Eve.)

I did not expect to get intimately familiar with the ORD lounge but I ended up here two weekends in a row and closed it out on Christmas Eve.  It’s important to note that there are two Admirals Club lounges in ORD.  This review is for the larger of the two lounges, located between the H and K terminals.  I also walked through the smaller lounge but only hung out there for about five minutes.  It was smaller and the view wasn’t nearly as nice.  You need to ride in an elevator to reach the larger Admirals Club. Food: the…


New Hilton Brand Targets Millennials–Will it Work?

It’s no secret that millennials are traveling more and companies are starting to cater to the needs of our generation.  In this spirit, Hilton recently announced Tru by Hilton, a cost conscience hotel brand that targets millennials.  Hilton offers the following description of Tru by Hilton: Tru by Hilton is a category disrupter. It’s built from a belief that being cost conscious and having a great stay don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Tru focuses on what matters most to guests, with a hotel that is more than just a place to sleep, it’s a true travel experience. With lower…