Travel Shoes

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

Trip Report: Portugal

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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:

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  • 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

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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.

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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:

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  • Read about all our rookie mistakes that we made on this trip
  • Alternative accommodation option with AirBnB

Porto

Lisbon

Sintra

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Check back next to read about our trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

AirBnB Review

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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

Rookie Mistakes


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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.

Continue reading

15 Things to Know Before Traveling to Myanmar

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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

6 Things NOT to do in Rio

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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

Cheap Flights

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It’s almost February and we still have no travel plans for 2016! *gasp*  The year started pretty slow for us – we have a few ideas of where we want to go, but haven’t booked anything. This is a little bit shocking to our friends and family who keep asking where we’re off to this year.  By this time last year we had already snatched a great deal to Rio. With gas prices continuing to plummet, I expected that there would be a lot of cheap flights, especially to Asia.  So, this morning when I found out that American Airlines was having a great sale on flights from major cities in the US to Asia with flexible dates, I tried to jump on it. Continue reading