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.

adventure / General travel / Trip Planning

Redux–Free Travel For Teachers

While we’re traveling, I’ve scheduled a few of my more popular posts to reappear.  This posts was one of my first, when blog readership was pretty low.  I’m posting this one again because it is a subject that was near and dear to my heart during the years that I was in the classroom.  The opportunities for teachers to travel for free or reduced cost are astounding.  If you’re a teacher that has the freedom to travel the world during the summers, I hope you’ll take advantage of some of these opportunities! This slide began my PowerPoint presentation documenting

General travel / United Airlines

United 3-day Sale to Europe–Some Fairly Decent Round-Trip Prices

As I was checking my mileage balance on, I noticed an ad for flight deals for Europe.  I rarely buy tickets because I usually fly with miles, but I like to see what is on offer–if for no other reason than to see what kind of value I’m getting from my miles. I noticed that some of these prices are pretty good, and if I was actually going to BUY an airline ticket, then I might take United up on one of these offers.  You can go to and click on deals and offers, and then special

Credit and Debit Cards / General travel

Reasons to Like Capital One–Part 1–Car Rentals

I just got a rate of $50.75 on a three-day car rental through Capital One’s travel portal.  I’ve used this portal numerous times over the past few years to get good deals on car rentals.  For me, it has beat Hotwire, Priceline, and even Costco in almost every case. I learned about the portal several years ago from Stefan’s blog and have used it many time since then.  It’s worth reading Stefan’s comprehensive posts to get an overview. I’ve just reread these posts, which were written in 2012,  and it seems like everything still holds true,

General travel

Four Generations at the Beach

Last week we rented a big house on the beach in St. Augustine Florida.  There were 8 adults, 3 kids under the age of 4, and a 100-lb. Yellow Lab.  We had four generations of folks from my family–my mom, two of my kids and all of my grandkids, and some spouses and family friends.  It’s no wonder that I haven’t had time to do a blog post in awhile! We found our house on  We were lucky to find this big house directly on the beach, not far from the St. Augustine Beach pier.  We could walk

Cruising / General travel / Royal Caribbean

Is the Royal Caribbean Holidays in July Promo Worth It?

RCCL Holidays in July Sale Pro Kids Sail Free–50% off–Free Gratuities–Buy One-Get One!!!!!! We see these promos all the time, but are they do they really offer any value?  We see offers like this almost daily.  I tend to ignore them because it seems like there is one every other day, but this time I decided to see if this was a good deal. I picked a cruise for comparison purposes –the New Years Cruise out of Port Canaveral on December 31, 2015.  For simplicity I investigated the price of 2 seniors in the cheapest inside cabin.  I clicked

Cruising / General travel / Greece / etc.

Port Day in Athens Itineraries

Athens makes a wonderful port day, because the main sites are easily accessible from the port of Piraeus, and all the main sites are clustered within walking distance in the city center.  I will propose a couple of one-day itineraries that you can use if you are here on a cruise-ship stop.  If you are staying here pre- or post- cruise and have some extra days, you can do the two itineraries back-to-back. I will offer you two itineraries–the jam-packed high energy, outdoor, see-it all day, or a more reflective, indoor, lazy day itinerary. 1.  See-It-All Itinerary The Acropolis

Cruising / General travel / Greece

The Great Greek Port of Piraeus

Whether you are meeting your cruise ship for a Greek island cruise, or you are vacationing anywhere in the Greek islands, you will most like find yourself in the port city of Piraeus. Piraeus also makes a wonderful cruise ship port day.  All the main historical sites are in the central part of the city, which you can reach by bus or metro, and you can walk from site to site. Piraeus is located about 7 miles southwest of Athens, and was settled in the early 5th century BC. It has served as the main port of Athens since