Finding the perfect hotel is a priority whenever I travel since it is important to find a comfortable home-base when exploring a new city. In the past, we had always opted to stay at the bigger hotel chains like Hilton or Starwood because of our status. Since that status has now mostly expired, we want to try other options like AirBnB and boutique hotels. While in Edinburgh, we decided to stay at the Tigerlily Edinburgh, an award-winning luxury boutique hotel. One of the things that drew me to Tigerlily in the first place was their eclectic design. The lounge and bar areas are decorated like the set of a Tim Burton movie – full of pink hues, mirrored walls, extravagant chandeliers, and flowers everywhere. Continue reading
Like most people who live in NYC, I don’t have a car; so it’s no secret that I love to walk. I walk everywhere at home and while I travel. One time I even walked the length of Manhattan, if you can believe it. It took me about 8 hours with a few breaks in between – but I did it! I find that walking is the best way to explore a city. Continue reading
Portugal is a small country nestled between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean at the westernmost point of continental Europe. It was once a powerful seafaring kingdom that controlled many of the routes to Africa, South America, and Asia. The home of world famous football player, Cristiano Ronaldo, is filled with lush landscapes and striking scenery. Though not as well known as some of its neighbors, it is a country rich with culture, interesting architecture, and fairytale castles. The laid-back vibe combined with great food and cheap wine makes this a must-visit destination. Here is the cost breakdown of our trip to Portugal to help you plan yours:
- Time Cost
- Total Days In Portugal: 8 days + 1 layover day in London
- Total Days Off From Work: 5 days
- Monetary Cost
- Hotel: $1100 + 8,000 Hilton Points + 7,000 SPG points
- Flights: $815 pp +13,000 Avios
- Transportation: $90 pp ($110 for car, $35 pp for train)
- Admission fees: $80 pp
- Food: $45 pp per day
- Total Per Person: $1,800+ 4,000 Hilton Points + 3,500 SPG points + 6,500 Avios
If you’ve been following along with our blog you’ll know that we usually try to maximize our travel days and minimize our costs. This usually happens when we find a good flight deal with availability around the holidays. This system has allowed us to travel more frequently to many amazing places around the world. Admittedly, this did not happen on this trip. A series of mistakes cost us time, energy, and money in the form of unused hotel rooms and additional flights – read about our mishaps here. Even with all the disasters, our trip was very memorable for all the right reasons.
There are a variety of things to do and see in Portugal, whatever your interests and tastes may be. Visit the northern city of Porto and sample the famous port wine. Zip over to Belem and indulge in the egg tarts. Wander through picturesque castles hidden in the rolling hills of Sintra and feel like you’ve stepped into a Disney movie. See the busy city from the rickety tram, and fall in love with the architecture of Lisbon. Eat and drink until you are completely sated without breaking the bank. To read more about our trip to Portugal, click on the links below:
- Read about all our rookie mistakes that we made on this trip
- Alternative accommodation option with AirBnB
Check back next to read about our trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
AirBnB is not new, in fact it’s been around since 2008. We know people who have used the service and had glowing reviews; and others who did not fare as well (there are some horror stories). In the past, we’ve always opted to stay at a Starwood hotel because our status gave us upgrades and other perks. This year, however, that status has expired which was the perfect opportunity for us to venture out of our bubble and try something new. Continue reading
I use this blog as a way to share my travel experiences – both good and bad, and this one is a doozy. It started with a lost passport and ended with our dead-in-the-night scramble to get out of Portugal. As you read through this article, you’ll think to yourself, these are all rookie mistakes that I would never make. Trust me, I thought so too – until we made them all. Given that we have been traveling extensively for the last 8 years, it’s downright embarrassing, but what can you do? Sometime shit happens.
Myanmar (pronounced me-ann-mar) has become a traveler’s hot spot in recent years, and will get even more popular now that they’ve held democratic elections. Their new found political freedom shined the spotlight, and brought a surge of people into the once isolated country. Hotel and infrastructure are being built to support the rapid growth as the country moves towards becoming the next must-visit Asian destination. Things are changing fast and information on the web gets quickly outdated. Here are a list of things we learned from our trip (taken at the end of Nov, 2015) that will hopefully make your planning easier: Continue reading
Every once in a while you just have to treat your self! And what’s a better way to do that then fly first class to Asia on Cathay Pacific. This article will go through the step-by-step process of how we redeemed our miles for first class tickets. It’ll also provide in depth review of our experience flying in the premium cabin.
Rio de Janeiro is a huge seaside city in Brazil, famed for its golden beaches, lush mountains, iconic landmarks and sprawling favelas. There is really no other place quite like the fun loving city of Rio. With the recent World Cup and upcoming Olympics, the city is drawing more people to its shores than ever before. Here is the breakdown of our trip to Rio:
Travel involves a lot of uncertainty, where things like cancelled flights or theft can really put a damper on your vacation. Some things are out of your control – like weather, while others just require some common sense. Don’t let Rio’s reputation for being unsafe deter you from visiting this beautiful city. However, be aware of your surroundings, and don’t draw unwanted attention to yourself. Based on our experience, we put together a short list of things NOT to do: Continue reading
When traveling to a foreign country, there are a lot of unknowns that can cause anxiety. This was especially true when we planned our African safari trip. We didn’t know what to expect from clothing consideration to the money we’ll need. After doing some research and having had gone through the experience, we put together a short list of tips for traveling to Tanzania. Continue reading