Airline Shopping Portals – What They Are and Why You Should Be Using Them

Why?

I have certainly made no secret of my love to travel. From small weekend getaways, to multi-country adventures, my thirst for travel really got a fire lit in 2009 when I spent ten weeks in Oxford. In the five years since that trip, I have traveled sparingly and when I have, the trips have been small, and domestic. Although I love living in Southern California, my domestic travel list is much smaller than that of its international counterpart. Meeting Julie in 2012 only intensified my desire to travel outside of the United States. I can’t wait until she has the chance to soak in the history and excitement that I experience some six years ago.

Oxford Castle: A View from the Hill in ’09

To help get us there, I started to delve into the world of points and miles. It really is a fantastic hobby and I recommend everyone who has some level of interest in travel get involved in some capacity. While there are many levels of this hobby (I classify myself somewhere within the category of intermediate) some of the most basic components are things that require minimal effort and can help get you to a new destination.

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Mini Vacation Part Two – Monterey

I absolutely love Monterey and was excited to visit the city again two years after our first trip. In 2012, we stopped in Monterey as part of a longer trip up the coast and we spent very little time getting to know the city. Other than our day trip to Big Sur, we had no concrete plans for the duration of our visit. While I love to plan and make trips detailed and organized, it’s also good from time to time to just wing it and go with the flow.

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Europe 2015 – So I Booked the Wrong Month For Our Hotel

Our big trip to Europe is scheduled for June & July of this year. While we booked our flights in September on points, the trip is still evolving. So far, we have nine of a possible sixteen room nights booked either on points or cash (with the help of some good rates…we’re trying to keep this pretty cost effective after all). That’s good news! On Monday night however, I realized I booked our five London nights at the right hotel, but the wrong month!

doh

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Mini Vacation Part One – Big Sur

I love vacations. The longer the vacation, the more I forget about my regular work life and the cubicle walls I sit behind. But smaller trips have their perks as well. Sometimes, we just don’t have the time or flexibility in our schedules to really get away for an extended period of time. I like to say that the short trips, the weekend getaways, or the long (holiday-three day specials) are the trips that keep you sane. And while longer getaways involve far more planning, the beauty of a quick trip is that it can be more of an improvisation.

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Europe 2015 – Requesting Time Off

This is the first post I am putting together in a series on planning for our trip to Europe this upcoming June/July.

Every trip or vacation, has a number of important components that hopefully will make it a success. From booking flights and hotels to planning excursions each day, the steps we take in advance of our trips make all the difference.

To say that I’m excited for my first trip out of the country since 2009 (and Julie’s first time abroad – we don’t count Mexico!) would be a major understatement. Julie and I have been talking about taking this trip for the past couple of years. We have a list of places to go and a LOT of must sees. But before we can take in sights like the stunning Highclere Castle (of Downton Abbey fame – one of Julie’s musts)…I needed to ask for the time off!

Highclere-Castle-1024x682

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A Brief Introduction to “Travel Hacking”

“Travel Hacking…that sounds sketchy, what is it?”

While the word “hack” certainly gets a bad rap, especially in light of the recent issues at Sony, “travel hacking” is best viewed simply as a way to save money on travel.

A brief internet search will net you a litany of different websites that delve into the world of travel hacking. This is particularly great, because there is never a shortage of opinions and information out there to help you reach your goals. No matter where you look, the hobby, as it is often referred to, centers around collecting (and using) points and miles.

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Four Walls and No View

My cube has four walls. Five if you count the slightly shorter wall that holds my name plaque. For a cubicle, the space is actually not so bad. The tops of the walls have windows on them, so I can stand up and look at my neighbors to see if they are up to anything exciting. Generally though, they are doing the same thing as me, working. Fifty hours a week to be exact. I was always an eight hour a day guy, until I became a manager, and the requirement got bumped up to ten. For the most part, I don’t notice a major difference in my work day. I come in earlier and leave at the same time as before. Things there remain relatively constant. My view though? Now that’s a different story.

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