Author Archives: Caroline Lupini

About Caroline Lupini

Caroline absolutely loves to travel. She's been to 70 countries so far and is on a quest to visit them all! Frequent flyer miles help her get there. Find her at carolinelupini.com, on Twitter @carolinelupini, and on Instagram @caroline.lupini.

New Tool to Snag Earliest Available Global Entry Appointment

Global Entry is an incredibly valuable tool for those of us that travel outside of the US relatively frequently. And better yet, many credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, American Express Platinum card, and others, offer to reimburse your $100 Global Entry application fee every 4 to 5 years.  The downside has become actually getting a Global Entry interview appointment. With more and more people having access to free Global Entry, sometimes the next available appointment at a given airport is MONTHS away. That’s not very helpful if you have trips coming up in the meantime.

Of course, you can check nearby airports or login a couple of times per day to see if anyone has cancelled an appointment, but there’s a better way. Get Me Global Entry is a new service that will send alerts to your phone, via text, when an appointment opens up so you can login and book it right away. It costs $9.99 for 14 days worth of notifications, which I think is a great value!

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Flights to Cuba & El Salvador: Thinking Outside the Box

I’m well versed in flight options from the US, but when it comes time to plan trips between different regions, I have to think about my options a little more.  My boyfriend and I decided to plan a trip to El Salvador for the end of May, but I was going to Cuba right before as part of the last class for my MBA.  He was able to snag great flights on Delta for only 14,500 miles roundtrip during one of their sales. Unfortunately, I was locked in to flying to Cuba with my class – which, thankfully was a cheap $90 flight that I wouldn’t have used miles for anyway.  I decided it would make way more sense to fly directly from Cuba to El Salvador than to come back to the US first. As usual, I checked cash prices first. I was looking at around $300 for the one-way flight… ouch.

That’s when I turned to using miles. Flyermiler, one of my favorite tools, showed that I could book with Avianca LifeMiles for only 10,000 miles! It also showed that United would cost only 10,000 miles, but that’s not actually correct. United charges 12,500 or 17,500 miles for an economy class flight, depending on routing.  Luckily for me, I had some LifeMiles, so I was able to get a killer deal on my flight to El Salvador!

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Giveaway: 4 of my Favorite New Travel Products

I’m always on the lookout for new travel products, and I’ve found some really cool ones during the beginning of 2018 in preparation for my first BIG trip of the year – I’m going to Russia on March 20 to take the Trans Siberian train! In celebration of getting ready to go, I’m giving away four of my new favorite travel products. Actually, one of them isn’t ‘new’ exactly, but it’s a time-old classic that I can’t travel without! The giveaway runs until the clock strikes midnight on March 17 (Eastern Time). One winner will be chosen for all of these awesome goodies. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s what you can win!

1. Tile Style

I try not to lose things while I’m traveling, and Tile really helps! Plus the new ‘Style’ version of the tile just looks so much better than the older version! I have a tile hooked onto my keys because I sometimes can’t remember which bag I put them in, and instead of digging through everything when I get home, I can just ring the tile and know exactly where they are. This also comes in handy when I’m at home and put my keys somewhere weird!
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Case Study: My Trip to Australia with Miles

My boyfriend and I wanted to book a trip to Australia this year because we have a friend who is living there for work. We are somewhat flexible in our travel dates, but knew that we needed to visit in November and/or December due to other commitments, but also that we wanted to be home with our families for Christmas. Here’s how I went about planning our trip to Australia and what it is costing us for our flights.

As I already mentioned, we are pretty flexible with our dates (we both work online, so that helps). Our main two constraints are a friend’s wedding in New York at the end of October and Christmas. Since we have flexibility from working online, we wanted to travel as much of November and December as possible and spend a good chunk of that time in Australia.

Image source: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-illustration-sleeping-face-koala-continent-australia-cute-snout-peek-up-australian-image78520349

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Review: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa in Vietnam

Let me cut straight to the chase: to date, the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa is my favorite resort I’ve ever stayed in. Nearly everything about the resort is perfect, and the few things that aren’t, are really not a big deal (and also could be very easily fixed).

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