Friday, November 5, 2010

2 FREE nights at Grand Sierra Resort Hotel at Reno

Here's an offer from Grand Sierra Resort that you won't want to pass up! For a limited time, we’re giving you TWO FREE ROOM NIGHTS!*

It's a fantastic way to experience all our great amenities, including new restaurants, bars and lounges, a casino with the latest slots and video poker, a fifty-lane bowling center, and Fun Quest family arcade! Tell a friend about this offer and we'll give them TWO FREE ROOM NIGHTS, too!

BOOK ONLINE at by typing in offer code: 2FREE-2 to reserve your two free room nights or call (800) 648-5080 to make your reservation. The fun starts here at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino!

*Management reserves all rights. Must be at least 21 and present valid state identification to redeem. Not valid 11/5, 11/6, 11/19 or 11/26/10. Offer code 2FREE-2 expires 12/23/10, is subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offer. Minimum 72 hours between trips and trip dates must match Comp A Friend trip dates. Credit card information required to guarantee room availability. $50 charge applied for cancellations received less than 48 hours prior to arrival.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hertz Two Rentals for One Free Day

Now through January 31, 2011, get 600 Hertz #1 Awards® Points after you make two rentals of a Mid-Size or larger vehicle for two days or more. That's enough points to redeem for a Free Rental Day! There's no limit to the number of times you can rent or points you can earn, so it pays to start right away!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Back! Southwest 72-hr Halloween Sale

For travel Dec 1-15, 2010, & Jan 4-Feb 16, 2011

$30: 0-450 miles
$60: 451-1000 miles
$90: 1001-1500 miles
$120: 1501+

Travel valid everyday except Sunday.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Nights Count Double at Aloft, Element and Four Points

Earn elite status twice as fast with the new Nights Count Double promotion:

* Every eligible night stayed at AloftSM, ElementSM and Four Points® by Sheraton hotels through December 31, 2010, counts double toward elite status.
* Earn your double nights across more than 200 Aloft, Element and Four Points hotels globally.
* To be eligible, register by December 31, 2010.

Register now, then book your stays to start earning double nights at Aloft, Element and Four Points hotels.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) Every Night Counts

Make your travel plans now and start earning endless rewards across all eligible stays from September 8 through December 15, 2010, with the Every Night Counts promotion:

Earn double Starpoints beginning on your 1st night when you stay up to 9 nights.
Earn triple Starpoints on all your nights when you stay 10 nights or more.

You earn Starpoints on every eligible night at more than 850 participating hotels, whether your stays are long or short, and there's no limit on the number of Starpoints you can earn. Redeem your Starpoints for Free Night Awards at some of the best luxury hotels and resorts worldwide, Award Flights and more.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Earn Free Nights at Aloft and Element Hotels

Earn unlimited Free Nights at Aloft and Element Hotels with every three stays at these hotels between August 9, 2010 thru September 30, 2010. Free Night Award can be redeemed at more than 50 Aloft and Element hotels and are good any day of the week through December 19, 2010. Register now at


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

JetBlue All You Can Jet

JetBlue has all you can fly starting from $499 - $699 for travel dates from September 7, 2010 to October 6, 2010. Buy now and start booking on August 23, 2010.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Continental 250 Free OnePass Miles


Register for this offer by September 30, 2010, and you’ll earn 250 bonus miles.


Friday, July 30, 2010

American Airlines 10% Off Through Sept 7 2010

Go to and vote for the top 5 "Special Moments" and receive a 10% off code for your next American Airlines flight.

Tickets must be purchased on no later than 11:59 p.m. CT, September 7, 2010. Travel period: Travel must be completed on/before September 7, 2010.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tour-ING China


In 2008, Doug Ma decided to leave Wall Street and prepared to move to China. He traveled to China and Southeast Asia for six months before settling in Beijing, host of the 2008 Olympics. With a country full of possibilities and passion for traveling, Doug made a career change and partnered with Joanne Huang to co-found Tour-ING.

“This country is changing. If you have an entrepreneurial idea, this is the place to be.”

Both finance majors from the University of Texas at Austin, Doug and Joanne focused on budget, eco-driven vacation that involves hostels and tents, energetic 18-35 year olds, and an experience unlike other Chinese tours. The goal is the help visitors experience a country in the midst of historic change.

“We’re American, but we live in China, so we know what people want to eat, where people want to go.”

Doug and Joanne both speak Mandarin fluently and are comfortable bridging the two cultures. Two different itineraries are offered to appeal to travelers who want to shop and others who want to get out of the cities.

The 10-day tour covers major sites in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Xian. The 12-day Explorer tour takes an outdoor approach, visiting Shanghai, Guilin, Xian, Flower Mountain and Beijing, with opportunities for bike-riding, rock-climbing and hiking.

All tours include native English-speaking tour operators, knowledgeable local guides, comfortable transportation, comprehensive activities, admission tickets, and Western-style accommodations.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Priceline $10 Discount Per Night


Secret Code: IMISSU

Expires July 27, 2010. Get up to $50 towards your purchase. Valid on 3, 3.5, and 4-star hotels. Valid for Name Your Own Price hotels. Save $10/room per night up to $50. You must stay at least two nights.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) Rewarding Returns


Simply select your favorite option and complete five stays before December 31, 2010, to receive your reward. Earn at any of our nine unique brands, including Sheraton®, Westin® and W® Hotels, across more than 940 SPG® properties worldwide.

4,000 bonus Starpoints
With Free Night Awards starting at 2,000 Starpoints® at Category 1 properties, you'll already have enough for a night away.

$50 Award Certificate
Redeem for on-property indulgences during your next stay, including spa treatments, room service and more. An earned Award Certificate will be mailed 4–6 weeks after fifth eligible stay to the shipping address we have on file in your SPG profile.

25% off redemption
Get away sooner using fewer Starpoints. Take 25% off a Free Night Award redemption of up to five nights at any Category 1–5 property. Redemption must be used by 7/31/11.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Passport Fees Going Up Next Tuesday

Passport Fees Current Fee New Fee
Passport Book - Adult $100.00 $135.00
Renewal $75.00 $110.00
Passport Card - Adult $45.00 $55.00
Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship $0.00 $450.00
Additional passport visa pages $0.00 $82.00

Full list of fee increases


Monday, July 5, 2010

Hilton Double Your HHonors

Get double points or double miles with every stay between July 7 and September 30, 2010 at over 3,600 hotels in 81 countries


Friday, July 2, 2010

Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) AMEX 30,000 Points


For a limited time only, get 30,000 Starpoints® after making just $1,000 in eligible purchases during the first 3 months of Cardmembership. This is our richest offer yet for the Card. The offer will only be available June 30 - July 6, 2010.


Continental 250 Free OnePass Miles


Register for this offer by August 31, 2010, and you’ll earn 250 bonus miles.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Luxury Travel Deals

Imagine paying $390 a night for a 3,000 sq ft vacation home with a hot tub and fireplace at the Resort at Paws Up outside of Missoula, Montana in May. This is a perfect high-class getaway at prices that make it easier to travel in style without designer costs. is a private online community that provides members with insider access, expert knowledge, and exclusive deals on the world's greatest vacations. Sales last five to seven days and offered on a first come, first served basis.

The weak economy has played into creating more savings opportunities for customers since occupancy is not what they used to be. One of the reasons they are able to offer such low rates is because the rates aren’t public for anyone to see on the internet.

To become a member on Jetsetter, you must either be invited by another member or submit your name to be placed on a waiting list. Sign up here.

Consider Gansevoort Miami, one of the beautiful-people hotels that Miami is famous for and features a celebrated rooftop bar and pool. On Jetsetter, the Deluxe City View room, which houses four, costs $135 a night. A recent search for the same property and dates on Expedia and yielded a rate of $215.

Perhaps it is time to take that vacation of your dreams.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lufthansa Free $80 Voucher


Please keep in mind the following conditions when downloading and then using this voucher:

1. You need to book your trip on by midnight August 11, 2010 (Eastern time).
2. All travel must be completed by December 31, 2010.
3. Only one voucher number may be applied per reservation, regardless if there are several persons traveling together.
4. You must download your voucher prior to making your booking and enter the number during the final step of the booking process. On the payment page, enter the voucher number into the field "Enter your Voucher:". Be sure to click the "Apply Voucher and reduce Fare" link. (Vouchers cannot retroactively be applied to existing bookings.)
5. Tickets must be purchased with a U.S. credit card and originate from one of the Lufthansa U.S. gateways.

Once you click submit, your voucher will be displayed on the screen. It will also be forwarded to the e-mail address you provide below.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Southwest Airlines $39 Birthday Bash Sale

For 72 Hours Only, We're Gonna Party Like It's Our Birthday! For the next three days, you can score some of our most amazingly awesome deals of the year for travel September 8 – November 17, 2010. Our gift to you!

$39 0-450 miles

$79 451-1000 miles

$119 1001+ miles

View all flight deals >


Monday, June 21, 2010

Spirit Air 5000 Free Bonus Miles


Miles will be posted to your FREE SPIRIT account within 45 days of registration. Each FREE SPIRIT account can only register and receive one 5,000 mile bonus and all registrations must be completed prior to 11:59PM ET on 6/30/2010.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Priceline $50 bonus cash, $10/night


Secret Code: IMISSU

Expires June 30, 2010. Get up to $50 towards your purchase. Valid on 3, 3.5, and 4-star hotels. Valid for Name Your Own Price hotels. Save $10/room per night up to $50. You must stay at least two nights.


Friday, June 18, 2010

US Airways Free 90-day Silver Preferred Trial Status

Want a fast way to get Preferred? We have just the thing – and it means no bag fees for your first and second checked bags, priority check-in and boarding, First Class upgrades and your choice of Preferred seats.

Just buy a non-refundable ticket on US Airways or US Airways Express online to get your 90-day Silver Preferred trial status. And you can even qualify to keep it for the entire year. All of these perks just for buying a ticket. Normally this trial costs $215 if you were to buy it directly from US Airways.

Offer expires August 15, 2010. Registration required. In order to qualify, member must first register and then purchase a non-refundable ticket at Allow 1 to 7 days for Silver Preferred trial status to take effect following ticket purchase date. Silver Preferred trial status will only take effect with a ticket purchased for travel within the United States.

Register Now!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hotel Coupon Codes

Hotel Promotion Code Expiration
Red Roof Inn 20% Off 602006
Motel 6 25% Off CP545856 Free Flip Ultra with 4+ nt stay FLIP4 6/30/2010
Best Western 25% Off 01418260
ORBITZ 10% Off 2 nts+ 10FABSAVE 6/30/2010


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Southwest Airlines Accepting Air Reservations Thru 1/7

You are now free to book travel through January 7, 2011.


Monday, June 14, 2010


More photos

Boston is the twenty-first largest city in the country and tenth-largest metropolitan area. One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston is a center for medicine and higher education with schools such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Boston University. Boston is also home to four major sports teams (Celtics, Patriots, Bruins, and Red Sox).

I visited Boston because I wanted to watch a baseball game at the historic Fenway Park and be a part of Red Sox Nation. Tickets are hard to come by but I registered in February for the random drawing for ticket purchase opportunities for the Green Monster, Budweiser Right Field Roof Deck, and the New York Yankees. I got lucky and was able to purchase Green Monster Standing Room tickets to a Friday night interleague game against the Atlanta Braves.

I arrived on late Thursday evening at Logan International Airport and took a taxi to the Marriott Courtyard at Copley Square. The cab fare was $25. Copley Square in located in the Back Bay neighborhood near Fenway and a stop on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line subway.

Nearly a third of Bostonians use public transit for their commute to work. The MBTA operates what was the first underground rapid transit (T) system in the United States and is now the fourth busiest rapid transit system in the country.

Friday, I walked to Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe for pancakes and eggs. The wait was about 5 minutes and the portions were huge. Next, I took the T and visited Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, and walked along the Freedom Trail. For lunch, I stopped at Union Oyster House for oysters and Neptune for a lobster roll. Then, I ordered a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry. That was all delicious. Never think about calories on vacation.

I met up a fellow colleague after work and walked to Fenway Park. The atmosphere is unlike any other ballpark especially Yawkee Way. Although they did not win, the experience on top of the Green Monster was incredible.

The next day I toured the Sam Adams Brewery, another Boston favorite. I got to sample five different beers and take home a souvenir glass. After the tour, I took the T to Harvard Square and walk around the campus. To say the least, I was not too impressed by the campus. There is no famous landmark or building to be found. I hopped back on the T and headed to Boston Common.

Boston Common is a 50 acre park and next to the Public Garden where there are many beautiful flowers. This is a popular place for families and kids. I walked down Newbury Street, which has lots of department stores and shops, back towards the hotel.

Before flying home, I had brunch at Aquitaine French Bistro. This place is reservation only but I got lucky because they had a few cancellations and no shows. I ordered an omelette off the Prix Fixe Brunch menu. They had a $9.95 special from 10-11a on Sundays.

I will be coming back to Beantown.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rental Car Coupon Codes

Rental Promotion Code Expiration
Enterprise Buy 1 Night Get 1 FREE at Holiday Inn Link 8/30/2010
Thrifty Minivan, $279.00/week 2COM6 6/19/2010
Thrifty Compact car, $139.99/week 2COM7 6/30/2010
Hertz Save $15-25/day, if you’re 21-24 years old 144314 8/30/2010
Avis Get 3rd day of your weekend rental free TUWA016 6/30/2010


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

American Airlines 10% Discount

Play the new AmericanAirlines penalty challenge game and receive an email with a 10% discount promotional code valid for travel from the 48 contiguous United States to any American Airlines destination worldwide. This exclusive discount may be used only once, and is valid for ticket purchases made between June 1, 2010 and June 30, 2010. This offer is applicable for up to six people on a single purchase for travel between June 1, 2010, and August 31, 2010.

1. Go to and enter your itinerary.

2. Enter your Promotion Code in the Promotion Code box and click on the Go button.


The Bay Area

More photos

San Francisco is a popular international tourist destination known for its steep hills, the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, and Chinatown. One third of commuters use public transportation in the form of cable cars, trolleys, commuter rail, light rail, and buses.

On day 1, I arrived at San Francisco International Airport and took BART ($8.10) to Union Square. Department stores, hotels, and the theater district surround the plaza for several blocks. I stayed at Parc 55 Hotel which I booked via Hotwire for $90 per night.

The next day I took the trolley to Castro for sandwiches at Ike’s Place featured on the Man v. Food TV show. You can purchase a 1-day, 3-day, or 7-day passport for unlimited rides on all public transit besides BART. After lunch, I made my way to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.

Pier 39 is home to many Sea Lions. Instead of touring Alcatraz, I made a reservation with Adventure Cat and sailed the bay on a Catamaran. This was a great opportunity to see Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the San Francisco Skyline. Mention the discount on and receive $5 off.

Later in the afternoon, I stopped by the famous Golden Gate Bakery in Chinatown and then traveled to Oakland for an Athletics/Twins baseball game. Everywhere I go, I try to attend at least one sporting event and take in the venue.

On the last day, I had Dim Sum at Yank Sing. It was the most I ever paid for Dim Sum but the food was good. Then, I took the cable car north to walk Lombard and the renowned crooked street, always popular with the tourists. I spent the majority of the day in Union Square doing some shopping and enjoying a few drinks with friends from the area.

You do not need to rent a car in San Francisco unless you are going to Napa. Public transportation is efficient and safe. I would advise people to be careful walking around in some areas especially at night. There are a fair amount of homeless folks.

Next stop Seattle and Vancouver.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Aria Las Vegas Special Rates

Enjoy a $75 resort credit and special room rates of $99 (Sunday – Thursday) and $129 (Friday & Saturday) from May 31 – September 9, 2010.

Upgrade to a Corner Suite for an additional $50. For a truly exceptional experience, upgrade to the ARIA Sky Suites for an additional $150.

Celebrate your Summer with Cirque du Soleil with an exclusive offer to experience Viva ELVIS with tickets starting at $50. Call 877.253.5847 and mention “Summer.”

Book Online or call 866.359.7757 and mention promo code ARSOPG.


Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn…Family and Friends Rate

Enjoy special rates at nearly 4400 Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) hotels worldwide such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Intercontinental. Reserve a hotel rooms up to one year in advance of stay.

Rates are subject to availability and non-refundable. Most Friends and Family rates must be booked approximately 7 days in advance, although individual hotels and regions may vary.

Please visit and book your hotel through this website to automatically receive the Friends and Family discount. Print the Rate Voucher and include the employee name listed.

Book Reservation

Related Posts

Book Hotels with Price and Hotwire using BetterBidding


Monday, May 31, 2010

San Francisco Photos

Related Posts

The Bay Area


Saturday, May 29, 2010

College Graduates Earn 10000 United Mileage Plus Miles

United College Plus is the student's version of Mileage Plus, United's frequent flyer program. Celebrate your college graduation with 10000 Mileage Plus bonus miles. Send the following to the address below, and your bonus will be posted to your account within 4-6 weeks of receipt:

  • A copy of your final transcript showing that you did indeed graduate as a full-time student from a U.S. college or university
  • Your United College Plus/Mileage Plus account number
  • Your e-mail address

Mileage Plus, Inc.

P.O. Box 40

Rapid City, SD 57709

Attn: College Plus Graduation


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Austin Restaurants

The city offers and supports many local restaurants. I am listing a few of them along with the highlights.

Rudy’s BBQ. Brisket, jalapeƱo sausage, cream corn, and Rudy’s BBQ sauce.

Torchy’s Tacos. Brushfire taco.

Home Slice. Friday and Saturday late night pizza.

Kerbey Lane. Kerbey queso, blueberry pancakes.

Pluckers. Wings, fried pickles, fried Twinkies.

Juan in a Million. Don Juan, breakfast tacos.

Whole Foods. Headquarters in Downtown Austin. Good for lunch, dinner.

Amy’s Ice Cream. Mexican vanilla.

Thundercloud Subs. Sandwiches.

Austin Java. Good for lunch.

Flip Happy Crepes. Good for lunch, dessert.

Trudy’s. Known for Mexican martinis.

Hula Hut. Great place to eat, drink, and enjoy Lake Austin.

Oasis. Great place to watch the sunset over Lake Travis. Don't go there hungry.

Related Posts

Keep Austin Weird!

Things to Do in Austin


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Things to Do in Austin

University of Texas campus and sports. Tour the beautiful 40-acre campus and see the UT Tower, Main Mall and DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. The athletics program and facilities is one of the best in the nation. Buy tickets and come early to a football, basketball, baseball, or volleyball game.

South Congress. Check out the local shops and food trailers. First Thursdays (of each month) tents line the street with showcasing local vendors and many business stay open late.

Greenbelt. Go hiking or mountain biking and explore the Greenbelt.

Townlake. Also known as Ladybird Lake. Located downtown, this is the perfect place for running, kayaking, rowing, paddle boarding, and taking your pets.

Tubing. During the summer, drive south to New Braunfels to float the river.

Lake Travis. Spend the day at the lake and go Devil’s cove to hang out with other boats.

Mt. Bonnell. Hike up the steps at Mt. Bonnell and enjoy the view

Bats. Watch bats fly out from under the Congress bridge during sunset.

Zilker Park. Home of Austin City Limits Music Festival, the Kite Festival, Trail of lights, and Botanical Gardens.

Sixth Street. Looking to go out for a night on the town? Go bar hopping on Sixth Street. All the bars are right next to each other and within walking distance. Other nearby areas includes the Warehouse district which is fancier and more upscale and West Sixth which is popular among young alums.

Barton Springs. Go swimming or lay out at Barton Springs.

Alamo Drafthouse. On a rainy day, watch a movie, order a beer, and have dinner all at Alamo Drafthouse. Mulitlple locations in the Austin area.

Related Posts

Keep Austin Weird!

Austin Restaurants


Earn 500 AAdvantage Bonus Miles

Download the AAdvantage eShopping Toolbar, and perform at least 1 toolbar search before June 30, 2010 to earn the 500 miles bonus. Bonus miles will post to your AAdvantage account within 8 to 10 weeks after the promotion end date. You will only earn the 500 mile toolbar download bonus the first time.

You can also received .3 miles per toolbar search up to 100 miles per month. This is great for extending your expiration date.

Download Now!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Keep Austin Weird!

No. 3 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" by Money magazine in 2009, No. 5 in safest city, No. 5 in leanest city by Men’s Health, the "Greenest City in America" by MSN, the “Best People” by Travel & Leisure Magazine, the least stressful large metro area by Forbes magazine, and No. 1 College Town by the Travel Channel.

“The Live Music Capital of the World", Austin is home to many musicians and live music venues such as Stubbs, Antone’s, Emo’s, and the Backyard. Residents campaign to preserve smaller local businesses and resist excessive corporatization. Take and drive down South Congress to visit local shops and restaurants.

Beyond the Austin city limits and Border States, you will not find a better place to visit except maybe New Orleans. The two biggest annual attractions are Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival and South by Southwest (SXSW).

ACL is a 3-day event held in early October in Zilker Park. The festival brings together more than 130 bands on eight stages, including rock, country, folk, indie, Americana, hip-hop, reggae, and bluegrass, and attracts a crowd of more than 65,000 visitors each day.

SXSW is a set of interactive, film, and music festivals and conferences that take place during every spring during college Spring Break. Centered on the downtown Austin Convention Center, each of the three parts runs relatively independently, with different start and end dates.

If you are visiting during the fall, I suggest checking the University of Texas Football schedule for home games at Darrell K. Royal Stadium. Single-game tickets go on sale in August. Also, participate in tailgate festivities all day on gameday in campus and state lots around the stadium.

Check back later for updates on Austin restaurants and things to do.

Related Posts

Things to Do in Austin

Austin Restaurants


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Airport Travel Tips

“Never get behind old people. Their bodies are littered with hidden metal and they never seem to appreciate how little time they have left. Bingo, Asians. They pack light, travel efficiently, and they have a thing for slip on shoes. Gotta love 'em.” - Ryan Bingham from Up In The Air on getting through airport security

The more you travel, the more time you want to save from door to gate. Getting through security is only one of the factors. Most travelers today avoid baggage fees and bring rolling luggage onboard. Ideally you want to arrive at the gate 30 minutes prior to departure for priority boarding.

Before getting to the airport, check-in online and print your boarding passes. If you are parking at the airport, always park in the same area or note the parking spot in your phone. I can’t tell you how many times I have taken the shuttle back to my car and someone does not remember where they parked.

Getting through airport security, I recommend selecting a line that does not share a scanner with another line. Also if you place your items through the conveyor belt in specific order, then you can pick up your belongings faster on the other side and move away from the chaos. I put my roller bag first, laptop bag second, laptop third, and everything else last. Try it.

For business travelers working multiple weeks or months in the same city, avoid the hassle of traveling with liquids by leaving it at the hotel bag check. Most hotels are willing to accommodate your needs.

Early bird travelers, follow these tips and spend more time sleeping.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Best Frequent Flier Airline Program

During February and March this year, the consulting firm IdeaWorks made 6160 queries across 22 frequent flier programs to assess reward seat availability for travel in June through October. Southwest ranked highest with 99.3% availability. US Airways and Delta were in the bottom two at 10.7% and 12.9%.

Most frequent flier programs award you a free domestic roundtrip ticket when you receive 25000 miles. They expire where there is no account activity over a period of time usually 1 year. Travelers can go many years without redeeming awards if they fly the same airline once a year.

Southwest operates differently. Refer to Why Fly Southwest Airlines. Instead of miles, they award 1 credit for each one-way flight. You are awarded 2 one-way flights when you reach 16 credits within 24 consecutive months. If you are unable to use your award within 12 months, your award expires unless you pay $50 to reissue the award.

You may consider the Southwest expiration policies as negatives but you can always rely on them for last minute flights with many connection options. It is also easy to give away the award to another person.

When frequent flyers redeem awards at a constant rate, availability is more manageable. When awards do not expire, you may go through periods of high supply or high demand.

Other notable airlines

  • American - 57.9%
  • Continental - 71.4%
  • United - 68.6%
Survey Results


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Top 5 Free Travel Mobile Apps and Sites

1. Google Maps. The best mobile app features GPS navigation and directions by car, public transit, or walking. Google maps tells you the nearest locations of what you are searching for and how to get there. I got around Boston just fine with my phone and no map. Available on any smartphone and

2. Yelp. Looking for places to eat? Yelp offers user reviews and recommendations of top restaurants, shopping, nightlight, and entertainment in all major cities. Available on iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm Pre, and

3. TripCase. Travel management apps are becoming popular to frequent flyers tracking air, hotel, and car confirmations. TripCase gives you updated flight status, gate changes, and alternate flights if delayed or you miss your flight. Available on iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Android

4. WeatherBug. Knowing the weather is important wherever you are, day and night. WeatherBug provides a solid mobile app featuring 7-day and hourly forecasts. Available on any smartphone and

5. Airport Maps Mobile. Before you get on the plane or while you are still in the air, you can find your connecting gate. Airport Maps gives you what you need to quickly find how far your gate is, a place to eat, and your favority airline lounge. Available on iPhone and Android.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Boston Photos

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) Free Weekends

Earn free weekend nights with Starwood Hotels through July 31, 2010. For every 3 stays at SPG properties between May 1 and July 31, 2010, you'll earn a Free Weekend Night Award redeemable through December 19, 2010.

  • No Limit to number of free weekend nights you can earn
  • Redeem any Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights with no blackouts
  • Redeem awards at 920 Category 1-6 properties worldwide
  • Combine awards and use them on the same weekend

Register for the promotion now through June 30, 2010.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO)

Tens of thousands of vacation home owners rent their properties each year to family, friends, and vacation travelers. This is ideal for groups looking to stay in cabins or condos during ski season and beach houses during summer. Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) is the largest vacation rental website specializing in private homes and by owner vacation rentals.

Vacation rentals can accommodate guests from 2 to 30 plus and save you up to 40% compared to hotel rooms. Most come with a fully equipped kitchen to help save money on dining. Some amenities may include free Wi-Fi, private hot tub, outdoor grill, and washer and dryer. The calendar of available dates is fairly up to date and you are able to contact and work directly with the owner.

I booked a condo in Whistler, B.C. using VRBO for $225 per night. The 3 bedroom/2 bath ski-in and ski-out condo is located in Creekside and accommodates 8-10 people. For 4 nights, the average is $110 per person.

VRBO is recommended for large groups or extended-stays. Book in the fall before ski season starts.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Useful Contacts

Air Reservations Rewards Mobile Site
American 800-433-7300 800-882-8880
Continental 800-523-3273 713-952-1630
Delta 800-221-1212 800-323-2323
Southwest 800-I-FLY-SWA 800-445-5764
United 800-United-1 800-421-4655
Hotel Reservations Rewards
Hilton 800-HILTONS 800-548-8690
Marriott 888-236-2427 801-468-4033
Starwood 914-640-8100 888-625-4988
Car Reservations Rewards
Avis 800-331-1212 800-352-7900
Hertz 800-654-3131 800-CAR-GOLD


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Best Seats in the Air

How do you select your seat? The casual flyer likely will not care as long as they get an aisle or window seat. For the frequent flyer, seat selection means everything. From the front of the airplane to the back, Seatguru helps identify the superior and substandard seats besides in first class.

A good seat is a recliner and bulkhead type with extra legroom and power outlets. A poor seat is one with limited recline and reduced width, usually the first row in front of the exit row and the last row of the airplane.

When I travel with elite status, I prefer the first window seat behind first class because I have extra legroom and I am away from aisle traffic. If unavailable, I search for an aisle seat near the front. The closer your seat is to the front, the faster you get off the plane and the farther you are away from engine noise.

If I do not have status and traveling with carry-on luggage, I favor seats near the middle so I am able to board earlier and guarantee myself space in the overhead compartments. Otherwise, you take the risk of the crew checking in your bag.

Short flights are probably not as important as long flights. If traveling coast to coast or international, I highly recommend finding your airplane on Seatguru before you making your seat selection.


Monday, May 3, 2010

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Continental and United Merging

Continental and United airlines have agreed to merge that will create the world's largest airline.

What this means? The new carrier will be based in Chicago and take on the United brand. Continental shareholders get 1.05 United shares for each Continental share they own. Jobs will be cut by attrition (probably in administration and reservations), retirement, and voluntary programs. Experts believe the deal will lead to higher price fares for travelers. Frequent flyers could benefit from combining mileage rewards from both carriers.

The merger is expected to close by year's end, pending shareholder and regulatory approval.


Why Fly Southwest Airlines

The 3 things I love about Southwest: Bags Fly Free, low fares, and cancellation policy. You probably have seen many commercials about Bags Fly Free. SWA is the only carrier that does not charge fees for checking bags. Passengers can save up to $100.

Looking for a summer or winter vacation? SWA offers direct flights to Las Vegas, Denver, and Chicago. They offer lower fares because of access to mid-major airports and having many connecting flight options. Also, you can install and configure a SWA tool on your pc which prompts you about Ding fare notifications, more deals.

When flights are booked in advance, plans change and unexpected events may occur. In January, I tore my MCL a week before my snowboard trip. Southwest allows passengers to cancel flights anytime and receive credit towards a future reservation within the year.

Two tips I would pass on. You should always book one-way fares. Roundtrip fares are the same price but one-way fares allow you to rebook the same flight(s) easier if a better deal comes up later. Also, you should always check-in 24 hours in advance to receive priority seating and not get stuck with middle seats.


Friday, April 30, 2010

Book Hotels with Priceline and Hotwire using BetterBidding

For travelers that value price, quality, and location over hotel names, Priceline and Hotwire will save you up to 50% or more on hotels. In Downtown-New Orleans during Memorial weekend, I bid $55 per night on Priceline and received a 4* JW Marriott valued at $159. Most recently, I selected a 4* hotel in Union Square-San Francisco on Hotwire for $86 per night and received Parc 55 Hotel valued at $169.

BetterBidding is a discussion forum where users post winning bids from Priceline and Hotwire. Browse by state and you will have a general idea of winning prices, hotels, and locations. The Calendar of Wins feature allows you to search by date and location for winning bids. Normally if you see a winning bid and bid the same star level, price, and location, you will receive the same hotel. The price may fluctuate up or down due to the time of year or number of nights.

Priceline lets you select a star level and location and place a bid. If your bid is accepted, the hotel name is revealed. If you are rejected, you are required to wait 24 hours to place the same exact bid OR you can change zone or minimum star rating.

EXAMPLE: New York City has a Time Square and Coney Island zone. You bid 4* Time Square at $100. You are rejected told you can bid again if you change something. IF Coney Island ONLY offers 2* hotels and BELOW, you can add the Coney Island zone (so you are now bidding on Time Square AND Coney Island) and rebid for 4*. Basically, you are only bidding on Time Square since Coney Island doesn't have any hotels that fit your star level selection.

Hotwire is similar to Priceline but the price is listed. You select the city and date, and Hotwire will show you a variety of hotels (without disclosing names) and list price, area, and star level. When you agree to purchase, the hotel name is revealed.

I recommend starting with Priceline and switching to Hotwire if your bid exceeds Hotwire’s listed price for the same location and star level.

Step 1: BetterBidding Calendar of wins Step 2: BetterBidding Discussion forum Step 3: Priceline - Select zones one at a time and note highest star level. Select star level and zone then bid Step 4: Rebid zones (if necessary) - If rejected, add zone with highest star level BELOW level you requested then raise bid. Repeat. Step 5: Hotwire (if necessary)



From years of traveling for business and pleasure, I have created Trip Management to provide readers the latest tips, current promotions, and industry news. My goal is to help you save on travel expenses and better your experience.