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Quick Tip: Access Bank of America Museums on Us by Logging into your BofA App (YMMV)

Good morning everyone.  This past Sunday, my brother and I went for a long walk around San Francisco (~11 miles from my apartment through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and up the coast).  Along the way, we stopped at the de Young Museum.  Luckily for us, it was one of Bank of America’s Museum on Us weekend (the first full weekend of every month).  Unfortunately, you need to show them a Bank of America credit or debit card and I never carry Bank of America credit cards with me (they are not top of wallet, but more like back of drawer cards), but I did find a work around to get free access to the museum.

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Trip Report: Holiday Inn Express Heathrow T5

After spending a few days at the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale (trip report), we spent our last night in the UK at the Holiday Inn Express London – Heathrow T5, mostly to avoid an additional night of central London hotel prices.

Lobby of the Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow T5. Photo from ihg.com

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.

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Trip Report: London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale

After leaving Paris (read Trip Report: Holiday Inn Gare de l’Est, Paris and Trip Report: Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile), we headed to London as our next stop on our big winter trip.  We spent 3 nights at the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale, a Category 7 hotel which I booked using 105,000 Marriott Rewards points (I transferred 35,000 points from my Starwood Preferred Guest account).

London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale. Photo from marriott.com

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

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I Booked SFO-JFK Virgin America First Class for 25,000 AS Miles not 62,708 VX Miles

Good evening everyone.  I’m really excited that Virgin America flights are now booking with Alaska Airlines miles.  I have had my eye on a SFO-JFK flight around Labor Day Weekend, but I was waiting for an airfare sale before booking.  I was leaning toward JetBlue or Virgin America since I have lots of miles with those airlines, but I was just waiting for the price to drop.  Here are the current prices for a one way flight in economy, business, and first.  I’m not sure why some flights fall into business class and not first class, but whatever.

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Using American Airlines Gift Cards for a Last Minute Trip to Attend a Memorial Service

For most of us, most of the time, we have the luxury of thinking through our travel plans maybe months or even a year in advance. Especially if we’re using miles and points to book air and hotel reservations, booking way ahead is a good idea.

But what happens when we have an emergency trip that needs to be booked NOW?

That’s the situation I found myself in just last month. As I mentioned here, there was a death in my family and I wanted to get to Florida for the memorial service.

Here were my parameters:

  • My flight was from San Diego to Florida on specific dates, both on the outbound and inbound.
  • I had to fly into Fort Lauderdale (FLL).
  • I had to land at FLL in the evening so my cousin could pick me up after work.
  • I had to leave late in the day after the Miami Dolphins game. Don’t ask, my cousins are nuts for those Dolphins and luckily they won their game so everyone was in good spirits.

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