Airport Lounges / Credit and Debit Cards / Cruising

American Express Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve–Why I Have Both

I am currently using and paying a $450 annual fee on each of these cards.  I think that the benefits of these cards are valuable enough that I may keep them indefinitely.

adventure / Airport Lounges / American Airlines / etc.

Mexican Ghost Towns and World Heritage Sites

Guanajuato Mexico

We have returned from our two-week trip visiting some ghost towns and World Heritage sites in the San Luis Potosi region of Mexico.  Because time was short, we did a whirlwind tour that included many bus rides, a car rental, and a lot of hotel one-night stands.  We’ve come back with an appreciation for Mexico’s smaller towns, and have both made New Year’s resolutions to improve our Spanish.

adventure / Airport Lounges / American Airlines / etc.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!–Short Blog Vacation Coming Up

I’m taking a couple of weeks off as B. and I travel down to Mexico for awhile.  We will be visiting ghost towns in the Mexican Sierra.  I’ll see all y’all the second week in January!  Hope all of you have a wonderful holiday with friends and family.

Airport Lounges / Credit and Debit Cards / Delta

Why I’m Paying a $450 Credit Card Annual Fee

The American Express Platinum Card

When the annual fee became due on my American Express Platinum card, I called the retention department and told them I was thinking of cancelling my card.  They offered me 25,000 Membership Reward points if I would keep the card.  I took the deal.

Airport Lounges / American Airlines / Award travel / etc.

Use Airline Miles or Pay Cash? How We Decide

George Clooney Should I Use Miles or Pay Cash

Our family took numerous flights this spring.  In each case we had to decide whether we would redeem airline miles or pay cash for tickets.  In most cases, we used miles if we could get a valuation of at least 1.5¢ per mile for our airline miles.

Airport Lounges / Credit and Debit Cards / Luxury

American Express Centurion Lounge–Is It Worth the Hype?

This is a review of the American Express Centurion lounge at the Dallas (DFW) airport.  I’ve posted the bar and massage menus, and give you my take on whether or not it’s worth holding the AMEX Platinum card with its $450 fee just so you can get Centurion Lounge access.

adventure / Airport Lounges / United Airlines

Copper Canyon, Mexico, Our Way–Part 1–Chihuahua

We have wanted to take the train through Mexico’s Copper Canyon for many years now.  Despite the State Department’s warning on violence in the area, we finally decided to go!  Instead of just riding the train through the canyons, we designed a trip that would take us deep within them.  My next few reports will chronicle how we did this! Our original flight had us flying from Atlanta to Chihuahua on United, with a connection in Houston.  Our first segment was cancelled due to tornadoes in Houston, and we were rebooked on a flight 9 hours later to Mexico

Airport Lounges / Award travel / General travel / etc.

Seven Hour Layover in Amsterdam

On our recent Med cruise, we flew from Atlanta to Venice via Amsterdam. We arrived at 8:00 am, but our flight to Venice didn’t leave until 3:00.  We had never been to Amsterdam so we decided to go into the city for a few hours.  Upon arrival in AMS, we stored our bags in one of the self-service luggage lockers, using the Barclays Arrival chip and pin card for access. The train station is right in the AMS airport.  We queued at a kiosk to buy tickets into the city, and again used the Arrival chip and pin card.

Airport Lounges / Award travel / Credit and Debit Cards / etc.

Lounge Access Options with AMEX Platinum, Priority Pass and United Club Cards–Field Testing

Before our recent Med Cruise, I investigated all our options for lounge access, and picked out an arsenal of cards to carry with us. The cards we brought along for lounge access were my American Express Platinum card, my Star Alliance Club Card, and both Bruce’s and my Priority Pass Cards. Here is our experience using these cards. Atlanta Airport The first leg of our trip was Atlanta to Amsterdam.  We were leaving out of the international terminal, but I wanted to check out the new United lounge in the T-gates. When you exit the North Terminal security you are in

Airport Lounges / Cruising / Ports / etc.

Pretravel Planning–Part 5–Touring Plans & Logistics

Here’s the packet of papers that I’ve organized in chronological order for our next trip, which is a 7-day Mediterranean cruise.  I just need to add our boarding passes.  I’ll print off the off-site airport parking information but that won’t go with us–it’ll stay in the car. What I bring depends on the resources I’ve used to plan the trip.  On this trip I used the following: Internet searches We have a long layover in Amsterdam on the outbound.  If we’re not too jet-lagged, we’ll store our carry-on bags at AMS and take the train into Amsterdam and perhaps