adventure / Boating / Great Loop / etc.

What It’s Like to Buy a Big Boat

Our New Boat

We have just completed the process of buying a live aboard boat, and in many ways the process is more complicated and expensive than buying a house.

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 / banking / Credit and Debit Cards

PreTrip Planning–Part 4–Credit and Debit Cards

This is my least favorite part of trip planning–deciding what credit and debit cards to take on the trip, and notifying the banks that I will be traveling.  We like to take a several debit and credit cards from different banks.  The main criterion for the cards is that the underlying bank doesn’t charge a Foreign Transaction Fee.  Some banks will tack on a 3% fee, and we’ll use their cards only in emergencies.  The following cards charge no foreign transaction fees and will be the cards we will be taking. Credit Cards Priceline Rewards Visa It seems like

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

Pretravel checklist–Part 3–Airport Lounge Access

I’m checking our flights and cruise itinerary every couple of days to make sure that there are no major changes.  Airline schedules are fluid, and even cruise ship itineraries can change–Celebrity has cancelled all stops in Istanbul.  This is (in my view, a VERY conservative) response to the possible involvement by the Islamic State in the Russian plane crash in Sharm-El-Shiekh on Oct. 31.  We have layovers in Amsterdam and CDG in Paris, so I’m checking what I need to bring for lounge access at these airports. Lounge Access Having lounge access is really nice at any time, but