ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway
Popular travel hacker and blogger, Matt Kepnes of NomadicMatt.com, joined us for a video chat to talk about his newly revised book, “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day.”
According to Matt, the “dream” of traveling to a far off land remains just that for many of us. Excuses prevail from work schedules to money and responsibilities at home, but the reality is, most people don’t take flight because they’re afraid.
“Dropping everything to travel takes a lot of courage, and while many people claim “real-world responsibilities” are the reason for not traveling, I think fear of the unknown is really what holds them back. But guess what? You are NOT the first person to travel abroad!”
“While long-term travel is not popular in the US, it is a rite of passage for many people around the world… There’s nothing I can’t do that someone else can do. And the same goes for you.”
Here are some tips from Matt’s book to get you started traveling cheaper, longer and smarter:
- Avoid ATM Fees Internationally — Set up a checking account with a major global bank linked to the Global ATM alliance, like Bank of America
- Get the Right Travel Credit Card — Reap lots of rewards and benefits, including cheap flights and free stuff
- Scoring Cheap Airline Tickets — There is no secret, you have to do your research; be flexible; fly with budget carriers; leverage the rewards you earn on your travel credit card; and check multiple search sites, like skyscanner.com, momondo.com, google.com/flights, hipmunk.com, et al
- For Low-cost Digs, Think Outside the Obvious — Alternatives to traditional hotels abound today. Checkout house-sitting options, hostels and apartment rentals via services, like airbnb.com or homeaway.com.
Read more about Matt’s book here and Happy Travels!
And that’s not all…here’s a nifty recap of Vegas by the numbers it generates — off the tables:
Read the summary here: http://ht.ly/HklAT
Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) released a joint comprehensive review of air travel data, and a look at what it might mean for travelers, airlines, and more in 2015.
USA Today recently summarized much of the more pointed highlights of the report – answering questions that are top of mind among frequent flyers, such as: Will airfares go up – or down – in 2015? Is there a “best” day to find low fares? And when should you take that trip to Europe?
Read the full article here: http://ht.ly/GIexr.
American Airlines recently announced a new year-long promotion in which premium travelers will earn bonus rewards as part of the company’s AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles programs.
According to a report from BusinessTraveller.com, in 2015, American Airlines will reconfigure its frequent flyer program to reward members travelling in first and business class.
The promotion will see AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles members earn miles based on a combination of distance flown, the fare purchased and elite status level. This is the first time that American has taken ticket price into consideration and hasn’t awarded miles based solely on distance flown.
Read the full article here:
ExpertFlyer Hot Topics Where the Rubber Meets the Runway
Hawaii is one of those idyllic travel destinations that has something to offer everyone at any time of year. No wonder 8 million people visit the Aloha state every year. Because there is so much to see and do, we asked the good folks at the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau to help us create a quickie all-travelers guide.
To keep things interesting, we’ve broken down the top picks for things to do and the islands to do them on by traveler type.
- Swim with dolphins or manta rays – Get up close and personal with these amazing marine creatures in their own natural environment. Embark on a morning sail off Oahu’s quiet Waianae Coast for a water encounter with Hawaiian spinner dolphins; or suit up for a nighttime dive off the Kona Coast on Hawaii Island to swim with the manta rays.
- Conquer your fears – Take your vacation to new heights on an adrenaline pumping skydive or zipline in the Hawaiian Islands. Whether you’re taking the plunge out of a plane above Oahu’s picturesque North Shore or soaring over Kauai’s lush rainforest or the 250-foot Akaka Falls (Hawaii Island) by zipline, don’t forget to enjoy the incredible views along the way.
- Vacation on Hawaii’s lesser-known islands – Away from crowds and the hustle and bustle of everyday life are the islands of Lanai and Molokai. Lanai is known for its peaceful seclusion, high-caliber golf courses, and enthralling sights for explorers. On Molokai, you can seemingly travel back in time, feeling the mana (power) of the Hawaiian culture and enjoying outdoor adventures ranging from sports fishing to mule rides.
- Get out of your comfort zone – Trying something new together will spark romance and create memories that will last a lifetime.
- Splurge a little – Upgrade to an ocean view room or tack on a few extra days and visit multiple islands for a very rich and diverse experience. Many hotels put together specialized offerings such as private beach dinners and ocean-side couples massages that would make for a memorable experience.
- Savor Hawaii’s cuisine – From shave ice to sashimi, everything tastes better in Hawaii. The culinary scene in the islands has evolved to be incredibly fresh, local, ethnic, inspiring, and ono (delicious). Given the variety of food trucks, new and tried and true restaurants, and culinary festivals in Hawaii, avid foodies will find plenty to do and taste.
Family Spring Breakers
- Regions that offer a range of accommodation options and are within close proximity to a variety of activities, shopping and dining outlets tend to be the most popular for family/multigenerational travelers, including:
- Poipu, Kauai – Family-friendly beaches, conveniently located near shopping, dining and golf
- Waikiki, Oahu – Nightlife, shopping, variety of dining and entertainment options, history, arts and culture, family-friendly attractions
- Kaanapali, Maui – Great beaches, outdoor ocean and land activities, golf, shopping and dining
- Kona, Hawaii Island – Culture, national parks, museums, shopping and dining
- Hawaii’s outdoor activities, historical attractions, agritousim experiences, evolving culinary scene, and cultural festivals continue to be extremely popular with family travelers. Travelers enjoy the variety and diversity of experiences found on each island. On Hawaii Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains at the top destination for hiking, exploring the Thurston Lava Tube, and the awe-inspring experience of visiting Halemaumau Crater.
- Take the road less traveled – After witnessing a magnificent sunrise on Haleakala, Maui’s highest peak, take the road less traveled and bike down the crater. Cycling down world’s largest dormant volcano may seem daunting, but the ride is surprisingly relaxing and one that the whole family will always remember.
Naturalist & Wildlife Explorers
- Hiking – Waterfalls, lush rainforests, native plants and breathtaking ocean views are just a few of the sights to look forward to on one of Hawaii’s many trails. A variety of hikes with various length and difficulty are available for every skill level. Just remember – the harder the climb, the more rewarding the view.
- Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) – Experience the sport that is taking Hawaii by storm. While SUP looks deceptively easy, the popular activity delivers a full body workout and has become a popular cross-training activity. The best part about SUP? The spectacular view unlike any boring gym—a clear blue horizon teeming with ocean life.
- Restore a taro patch – Spend the morning at one of Oahu’s most beautiful off-the-beaten-path locations and join a community workday at Kakoo Oiwi. Clearing invasive vegetation, weeding and maintaining existing taro, or building auwai (irrigation ditch) for new taro will give you a new appreciation for Hawaiian culture, farming, and ecology.
The (mature) Fun & Mellow Wanderer
- Attend one of the many cultural festivals and events as it enables you to mingle with locals, sample local fare, and participate in historic traditions. One example is the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, co-founded by chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong. Through the support of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaiian Airlines and other tourism industry partnerships, this event has gotten bigger and better each year. It started out on Oahu and in four years is now represented on three islands: Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. More than 80 renowned chefs, culinary personalities and winemakers come to Hawaii for this week-long event, and it sells out every year.
- Check out some of Hawaii’s farmers’ markets to sample local food products and buy made-in-Hawaii gifts. For a more intimate experience, book a farm or agricultural tour.
- Pamper yourself with treatments incorporating the locally grown, sourced, or harvested ingredients like Spa Grande’s Alii Honey Facial using honey from the Grand Wailea’s rooftop apiary (Maui) or a body treatment utilizing Hawaiian noni, coconut, kukui, volcanic clay, and ti leaves at Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (pictured). Give yourself the ultimate treat, and book an oceanfront massage for an unforgettable experience.