Author Archives: Tonei Glavinic

About Tonei Glavinic

Tonei Glavinic is an Alaskan travel expert, educator, social justice advocate, and digital nomad currently based in Mexico City. Find them on Twitter @tonei.

close-up of a currency note

The Era of Visa-Free Living in Mexico is Over

Buenos días everyone,

If you’re thinking about spending a significant amount of time in Mexico or even making multiple trips over the course of a year, you should be aware of a change in practice by Mexican immigration authorities.

For many years, it’s been very easy for U.S. citizens (and certain other nationalities) to spend a virtually unlimited amount of time in Mexico. Visa-free entry with a tourist permit (the cost of which is automatically included in your plane ticket) is granted for up to 180 days (six months) and for years the standard practice has been to grant virtually everyone a 180 day entry permit regardless of their trip plans and travel history. (Land border crossings have different rules if you’re staying in the border area.) As a result, it was common for foreigners living in Mexico to just travel to the US or Guatemala (or another nearby country) at least once every six months and live in Mexico indefinitely without a resident visa. Continue reading

a close up of stamps

Flying to the United States? You’ll Need Proof of a COVID Test (Starting January 26)

Buenos días everyone!

Starting January 26, all passengers traveling to the United States will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test (PCR or antigen) dated within 3 days prior to departure, unless they have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three months (in which case they will need to provide a copy of their positive test dated within three months of departure and a letter from a medical professional saying they are cleared to travel).

This policy applies to all passengers traveling on flights to the US, regardless of citizenship or residency, including passengers connecting onward to a third country. It does not change any existing travel restrictions, including the presidential proclamations that deny entry to most travelers who have been in Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, the United Kingdom, or the European Schengen Area within the past 14 days. Continue reading

a black and white credit card

Keep, Cancel, or Convert: Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card ($450 Annual Fee)

Buenos días everyone! I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me – I’ve got a couple of things in the works, but for now, I thought I’d hop on to Grant’s Keep, Cancel, or Convert? Series with my thoughts on the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card.

The CSR has had a spot in my wallet since it was first released, but over time, it’s been losing its luster for me as other cards have caught up with it. When Chase announced that the annual fee would be rising to $550, I knew its days in my wallet were numbered. Here’s why:

  • I opened the JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Card right before Chase stopped offering the card to new applicants, which offers the same travel protections as the CSR and a better Priority Pass membership.
  • Late last year, I opened a Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, which earns 3x on travel and allows me to transfer my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to airline and hotel partners.
  • Earlier this year, I opened a Citi Premier Credit Card, which earns 3x Citi ThankYou Points on restaurants and most travel purchases.
  • My Chase Freedom Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card now earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards Points at restaurants (though both cards have foreign transaction fees, so I won’t be using them in Mexico).

Continue reading

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Trip Report: Kimpton Glover Park Hotel in Washington DC

I had a one night stay during a work trip to Washington DC, and decided to try out something new since it was less expensive than my usual hotel, the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel.

Location: The hotel is located on Wisconsin Avenue near the Naval Observatory, across from the Russian Embassy. It’s about a 20 minute walk to either Georgetown or my alma mater of American University, and a 10-20 minute drive from downtown DC depending on traffic. Unfortunately it’s not particularly transit-accessible, but they offer a shuttle to the Woodley Park Metro Station and other destinations in a 1-mile radius.

View out the window

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a red and grey logo

Trip Report: JTB Tour from Tokyo to Hitachi Seaside Park and Ashikaga Flower Park

Buenos dias everyone! I recently found this article gathering dust in the vault, and decided to clean it up and share it with you all.

When we started talking about going to Japan last year, it was originally intended to be a trip with friends to see the wisteria tunnels in Fukuoka. That plan eventually fell apart, partially due to the short duration of our own time in Japan, but then my friend E from demflyers pointed out that you can get a similar experience just a couple of hours outside Tokyo at Ashikaga Flower Park.

We were originally going to just go to the park on our own via train, but then E discovered a day trip on that included a trip to Ashikaga as well as a visit to Hitachi Seaside Park and a half hour of all-you-can-eat strawberry picking. She went on her tour the day before we arrived in Japan and said it was worth it, so after arriving at my hotel, I went ahead and booked a spot for the next day – the last day the trip was available.

 Google Maps screenshot showing driving directions from Tokyo to Hitachi Seaside Park, Itigo no Sago farm, and Ashikaga Flower Park. Continue reading