I was supposed to fly up to see my son Aaron in New York yesterday AM and come home tonight. I’ve been carrying around this free flight cert from US Airways since last September and it seemed like the perfect one day gate away. I was surprised there were seats available from Hilton Head airport, but then again with the addition of Delta flights in here starting March 1st, I’m sure it spread the traffic around some.
The ticket came from a volunteer in PHL to CLT and is now paying off. It was one of those, “well I might as well ask” bumps. I remember being third on the list of 4 volunteers and them taking three. At most it was a 2 hour delay.
But alas, fog and low ceilings delayed the early morning flight and the second flight was cancelled. By the time I had made it to New York, the day would have been over. I declared my trip a “Trip in Vain” and was handed back my ticket.
I’ll try to get up there for a day before our trip.
Radio Show Today in Atlanta
I’ll be on the air with Ann Lombardi today for a phone interview from 3:300 PM to 4 PM Eastern time. Ann has done radio as one of the TripChicks for years and I’m looking forward to discussing frugal travel with her.
Around the World in Less than 3 Weeks
Katy picked up all the odd ball prescriptions for altitude sickness, malaria, diarrhea and fever yesterday. I booked some more airport to hotel transportation. We have both started the job of packing to leave South Carolina and at the same time separating the things we need to take with us. The temperature range should be between the high 30′s and low 80′s so we need some of everything. The challenge is further complicated by our personal travel rule of “carryon only”
We will each start out with hiking shoes and flip flops for footwear, a couple pair of zipoff pant leg cargo pants, long and short sleeve t-shirts and one piece of outerwear to be determined. Undies and socks will fill out the wardrobe.
We always start out with clothes that are at the end of their useful life. If we see something we want in a new shirt, it replaces an old one that is then left behind. If nothing catches our eye, the old stuff makes it to the laundromat somewhere in the world where it gains another day’s reprieve. But it will soon to find a new home, in a hotel trash can along the way.
The electronics are ipod, camera, acer netbook and Iphone without internet capability. I had the international feature turned off as the rates are huge for data and every email incoming counts. No thanks. I can live with internet cafes for two months and I have Skype on my netbook.
We did purchase travel insurance for this trip. I have used Travelex in the past when Katy worked on the cruise ships and I was required to carry medical evacuation insurance as a “husband on board”
We were not interested in the trip cancellation or loss of baggage features but they were included. My main concern is sickness or accident in some far off land and the need to get medical attention or possibly evacuation.
The policy costs was minimal, about $170 each for $500,000 in medical and $10,000 in evacuation plus the other goodies, like fight delays or flight cancellations. (I may pick up a few $$ here if things get delayed for any reason.) There are lots of flight segments, but nothing that really presses us and we must catch that particular flight.
The cost was partially based on the actual out of pocket costs of the trip as that is what they will reimburse ( actual out of pocket costs) for trip cancellation. Our estimate of costs to date are approximately $1500 for flights which includes the taxes on the round the world business class tickets, an inter island segment in Hawaii and our overpriced flights from Bangkok to Siem Reap to Phuket and back to Bangkok. (I know as we get closer I can improve on the SE Asia tickets even after cancellation fees.) Hotel costs totaled between $1100 and $1200 with the Starwood cash and points option for the hotels we chose to use that option on. Of course they could have all been done with points only, but I value my Starwood points at way more than 1 cent each which is the actual difference if you use all points vs cash and points. I would much rather spend $1200 on this trip and keep my 120,000 Starwood points available for later use. If I can get a cat 2 hotel for 3,000 points that would cost me $150, that looks to me like $5000-$6000 worth of future value.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49