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

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IHG Rewards Promotion

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Have you ever dreamt about staying in an extremely pricey 5 star hotel?  We certainly did, and our once-in-lifetime-dream hotel is an over-water bungalow in Bora Bora.  However, the fact that the room comes with a hefty price tag of $950 per night has kept that dream from becoming a reality…until now.  We recently found out about the Priceless Surprises promotion run by the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) where you can be eligible to win anything from 500 IHG points to 2016 Paris Tennis Tournament, valued at $23,000. The great part is, you can enter up to 94 times for free!  Here is the breakdown of the promotion: Continue reading

Trip Report: Eastern Europe

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This was a special trip because it was the first one I’ve taken with my baby sister.  Even with our age difference, we always seem to be on the same page about everything, including our favorite show – Gilmore Girls.  One of the things I remembered from watching the show was the backpacking trip they took through Europe and how much fun they had.  That’s what I wanted to do with Kim, and this summer we finally got our chance. Since we were only going to be there for nine  days, we had to narrow it down and pick a few cities that we both wanted to visit.  Being on the same wavelength, we quickly decided on Prague and Berlin.  The artsy, vibrant energy of Berlin, and the beautiful architecture of Prague really appealed to both of us.  Below is the breakdown of our trip to Eastern Europe: Continue reading

Planning Myanmar

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[photo credit: Wikipedia]

“Why are you going to Myanmar?…  Wait, where is Myanmar?”  I think those might be the two most common questions I’ve gotten each time I’ve told someone we’re going to Myanmar.  Our response is always some combination of: “It’s near Thailand, and well, why not?”  If you’ve ever searched for pictures of Bagan on Google, you’d know right away why we were drawn to Myanmar.  The country looks beautiful, it is in Southeast Asia, there is a rich cultural history to explore, and until a few years ago, it wasn’t even possible to enter the country. All the reasons that would make for a great trip. We’ve been pretty excited for this trip, so much so that I’ve even managed to pull myself away from work for a whole two weeks! Continue reading

Planning Brazil

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[Photo credit: Len Theivendra via Flyseestay]

In a few days time, we’ll be on our way to Rio DeJaneiro! We booked our tickets way back in January, when we saw an error fare, and decided to snag a few seats. Fast forward 9 months, and its finally time to start packing.  We are lucky that Caitlin’s sister also booked the same fare and visited Rio back in March.  She shared all of her itinerary with us so we didn’t have to plan too much. Continue reading

Stuck in Africa…Almost

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[photo credit: www.skyscanner.com]

When you travel there is always the possibility of delays and flight cancellations.  That’s part of the “experience”.  Somehow, it seems to happen to us quite a bit. On our last night in Stone Town as we were weaving our way through the markets, Fausto got an alert that our 5:45 am flight on Kenya Airways was cancelled. We had 2 tight connections to get home, so a cancelled flight would mean that we’d miss all of our other flights; and that was no good since we both had to be back at work Tuesday morning.  What was a great vacation turned into a bit of a nightmare as we scrambled to find a way home. Continue reading

Planning Tanzania

When we thought about going to Africa, we reached out to a few friends who had already been there to ask for their recommendations and advice. That’s the great thing about having a network of friends who also love to travel, they did not disappoint with their wealth of information. They recommended Across Tanzania Expeditions, a tour company with a great track record.  We reached out to Hezron, the owner of the company and he was very responsive in answering our questions as we planned our trip, helping us figure out the best vacation that maximize our time and budget. We decided on a 6 day safari that includes few nights accommodation in a luxury tent right in the middle of the Serengeti.  I was told this would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you can hear the wild animals wandering around your tent at night – if you’re into that kind of thing. Continue reading

Banking Abroad

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Cash is king – and nowhere is that statement truer than it is outside of the US. Anyone who has ever been to a foreign country knows that credit cards are rarely accepted, and if they are accepted, they usually come with some hefty fees. Lets face it, we Americans are used to swiping credit cards for anything here in the US – from a cup of coffee, to a large screen TV. When we travel abroad, however, pulling out a credit card for every little thing is frowned upon and usually met with a weird stare. Continue reading

Tips for Aspiring Travelers

After a long hiatus, I am finally back on the road, but what makes this trip special is that I am going with my baby sister. Even though we are 12 years apart, we are always on the same wavelength about everything…except when she is trying to convince me to go to a rave and I am convincing her to go to a lecture at the Reichstag.  LifeAfter9-5 will be featuring Kim as a guest blogger, describing her travel experience from a student’s perspective.


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Unlike my cultured sister, I am unfortunately not as worldly when it comes to travelling. I’ve been to Asia a few times but my parents tend to do all the planning, and I just have to show up at the airport. Being 22, I don’t have a lot of experience organizing big trips (yet), but I’m hoping to change that this summer. Without too many daunting obligations and a year’s attempt of saving money, I’m planning on visiting a few countries. The first stop? Germany and Czech Republic with Caitlin! While preparing for my first major trip, I’ve learnt a few tips and lessons for other aspiring travelers. Continue reading

Packing for Australia

I am so excited that Australia is finally here! This will be our first long vacation in two years, so instead of running around like crazy for a weekend, this will actually feel like a vacation.  But before the fun vacation part, we’ll have to do the not so fun packing part. I’ve gotten so used to packing for weekend trips, that I don’t know what to do when I have to plan out what to pack for 2 weeks in advance.  You’d think after all traveling we do that I’ve got this packing thing down, but no, Fausto is the packer in our relationship.  He just has a way with fitting everything nice and perfectly into the suitcase (must be all the Tetris he played as a kid).  My problem is I can never decide what to wear and it varies depending on the weather, where I am going, and my mood; so planning ahead of time is impossible.

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