This “don’t leave home without two of these” story began when I received an email from a friend. It was titled, “Big Request.” Let me start by saying my friend is an experienced traveler and spends six months a year in Mexico, yet still she made a big mistake. Here’s what she wrote:
“I have a big request for you: My Capital One Visa credit card was hacked, so I had to cancel that account. However, that is an important card for me to have in Mexico, because they do not charge a foreign currency exchange fee on purchases. So, they are sending me a new card in the mail, and say it should arrive in 4-6 days. Capital One does everything online and it was difficult to tell them to send it here to Mexico. Please check all mail from Capital One, find the card, and FedEx it to me here in Mexico. I am sorry to burden you with this, but there are levels of bureaucracy involved here that are daunting.”
Image source: http://sundowntraveler.com/travel/gear/top-3-travel-items-to-keep-in-your-pocket/
Whether or not you buy hotel points when promotions are running, it’s good to know about your options. We all like to travel more, for less! Topping up accounts for an upcoming stay can serve us well when we can get more value from the cost of the stays than we spend on buying those points. I use up my SPG points and Hyatt points way faster than I drink my flat whites, so I keep a list of hotel point promos handy to see if they’ll work for me. Currently, two of the four major hotel chains are running their buy points promotions. Depending on your travel plans, these might be worth checking out.
Starwood Offer: Expires March 16, 2018
I find I can never have enough SPG points. They are extra valuable because when you transfer them to airlines rather than use them for hotel stays, for every 20,000 points transferred, you get an extra 5,000 points. That’s an inexpensive way to buy airline miles. Many people, given their allegiance to Marriott, use these points for Marriott stays as well. They transfer to Marriott in a 1:3 ratio. That’s another good value for these points. Starwood is currently running a 35% off promotion so you can buy the maximum amount of points for $682. And don’t forget, you can gift Starwood points as well. The 35% offer seems to be their standard offer. Starwood has a yearly purchase limit of 30,000 points per account. The offer runs through March 16, 2018.
There are many reasons why I use AutoSlash. And if you love free money, here’s another good reason. AutoSlash is running a giveaway, so get in on this now. Don’t wait, the contest ends tomorrow, March 15!
It’s natural when you live in Hawaii to have people visit you. After all, who doesn’t want a family member or friend to live in Hawaii so you can go visit them, right? So yes, I speak from experience when I say you do get lots of visitors :) Recently, three of my visitors asked me why I never wrote about their favorite things we did when I showed them around. Good question! Here are some of the sites and activities that were most memorable for them.
My aunt and uncle came to visit for my aunt’s 70th birthday. My uncle had served in the military, so for him, a highlight was our time at Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona Memorial is free, though reservations are required. We also saw the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, and the Pacific Aviation Museum. We also went to Punchbowl, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It’s free to visit, and I’ve always liked Punchbowl not just for the view it offers, but for the maps and history about the World War ll battles in the Pacific.
Pearl Harbor Memorial. Image source: http://www.pearlharborhistoricsites.org/pearl-harbor/arizona-memorial
On Saturday, I shared a post about Thierry Millet, the Last Artisanal Umbrella Repairman in Paris, so let the Paris love continue. I have friends who go to Paris and never seem to spend much money! I’ve always wondered how that’s possible because for many, including myself, a Parisian trip means beaucoup bucks! So I put my frugal pride aside and finally asked them about the free things they do in Paris that seem to save them from spending so much money.
1. Take a tour. They told me about Sandemans New Europe. Expats guide you around Paris for free. Tours last about 3 hours.
Sandemans New Europe Paris Free Walking Tour. Image source: http://www.neweuropetours.eu/paris/en/home