I’m a bit late on this, but I wanted to let you know that we started a round-the-world trip earlier this week and will be sharing some updates along the way.
After spending the weekend with some friends in Austin, we took off for Madrid in business class on an American 787-9 – booked with Citi Thank You Points and upgraded with AA System Wide Upgrades. (Four other friends were on our same flight, but we left them behind in Premium Economy…and then they left us behind at the Madrid airport!)
AA business class on the 787 Dreamliner. Image from aa.com
If you or someone you know has a Mexican passport or resident card, they might be leaving money on the table when they purchase airline tickets to/from/through Mexico.
When you purchase a plane ticket to Mexico, the fare has a tourism tax built in – similar to US customs and immigration fees. This fee goes toward the cost of immigration processing and the arrival / departure card required for foreign visitors. The fee is 390 Mexican Pesos, which is roughly $20 USD.
Screenshot from ITA Matrix showing the Mexico tourism tax – exchange rate as of December 18, 2016.
Lobby of the Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow T5. Photo from ihg.com
Location: This hotel is located in Slough, a town just west of Heathrow Airport. It was a bit of a trek from our hotel in London – we had to take the Underground to Paddington Station, then paid £9.20 each to go one stop to Slough on a Great Western Railway train, then took a double decker bus about 20 minutes from the Slough railway station to this hotel. It’s located just off the M5 highway next to a water reservoir (not exactly an exciting location), and about 5 miles from the western edge of Heathrow airport.
London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale. Photo from marriott.com
Location: The hotel is located in Northwest London, a short walk from the Kilburn Park Underground and Kilburn High Road Overground stations and about a 20-30 minute trip to central London via bus or train. It’s not far from Regents Park, the London Zoo, and Paddington Station. Continue reading →
Location: The Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile is a 950-room hotel located in the Palais des Congrès shopping and convention center in Paris’ 17th arrondissement, right on top of the Porte MaillotMetro/RER station – within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe and about a 15 minute train ride from central Paris. The hotel is currently undergoing a major renovation, which means a bit of extra walking to access the hotel through elevators and corridors that would normally be used for emergency exits or convention access, but the hotel has done a decent job of ensuring clear signage to help people navigate the spaces. We did get lost a few times when walking through the shopping center though – there are signs and floor markings to guide you from the hotel’s (currently closed) main entrance to the elevators that take you to the temporary lobby, but if you come in from a different entrance or are on the wrong level of the shopping center it can be tricky to find the right elevator.
Directional signs and arrows on the floor direct guests from the hotel’s main entrance to the back elevators. Photo by the author.