Ok, I’ve got to be completely upfront with you….I tried Expert Flyer free for 7 days and after spending a few minutes looking for possible upgrades I left their site and didn’t go back. You know I am a self diagnosed dyslexic and if you are even a little bit overwhelmed by information overload then you’ll probably be turned off by this travel site. That is unless you read today’s article by the Points Guy. He takes it step by step showing you how to check for upgrade availability and how to set up a notification when seats become available in the market you’re searching. I may actually buy a subscription now!
Found another good travel post talking about points for staying at an Airbnb. We rarely stay at a hotel anymore for several reasons…I mean why try to fit 2 adults and one “monster” in a small hotel room when I can get a condo or home for the same price or better! It’s always nice to have a kitchen (I actually like cooking now) and dining room to enjoy a meal or two so we aren’t eating out 3 times a day! If we’re doing a long stay I usually try to find one with a washer/dryer so we can pack lighter. All the pluses of an Airbnb and now we get travel points…that’s a no brainer!
Here’s part of the article from blogger Points Guy and Points & Miles backpacker:
If You’re Booking an Airbnb
Rumblings of an Airbnb loyalty program have been around for a while, but so far, nothing has materialized. However, there are several stackable options to earn a decent return on your stay.
Delta’s Airbnb Portal
All you have to do is go to this link, click through and enter your Delta SkyMiles number, and you’ll be taken to Airbnb’s website. Any booking made during your session will earn you one mile per dollar spent.
Earn one Delta Skymile
Earn one mile per dollar spent on Airbnb simply by booking through this link.
Buying Airbnb Gift Cards
If you’re planning to rent an apartment or home for your trip, be sure to check your local pharmacies, office supply stores or grocery stores for Airbnb gift cards. If you have cards that earn bonuses at any of these merchants, it can help boost your earnings significantly. Otherwise, purchasing Airbnb gift cards through the Mileage Plus X App will currently earn you 2 Mileage Plus miles per dollar spent, plus a 25% bonus, if you have a United card like the United Explorer Card, which you don’t actually have to use.
But if you’re seeking simplicity, Chase codes Airbnb as a travel provider, so you can still get 3x points using the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
We follow the Points Guy to keep a pulse on the latest travel and credit card deals but I kinda feel let down as we didn’t get the notice about this sale until the last day?? If you’re planning on coming out to see us, this might be a cheap way to get here…and of course, see Scandinavia enroute.
I pulled it up and looks like you can still book a ticket, I’ll put an extra Fruh Kolsch in the refridgerator for you!
I just booked my tickets back to the states and found a great sale on UA flights, it was so good in fact that I managed to get a business class ticket cheaper than using miles to upgrade.
See everyone in April!
In our short time living in Germany, we’ve found more celebrations here than anywhere else we’ve lived (Philippines, Hong Kong, Alaska and 5 states in the lower 48). Between Oktoberfest, Christmas Markets, Carnival, and spring Mai-fests there is always celebration happening or preparing to happen. Important to note that these aren’t one day events but rather month long events (Carnival lasts nearly 4 months). About the time Carnival winds down spring Maifests kick in because you can’t just open a beer garden for the summer time. Obviously there should be month long celebration preparing for the summer opening of the beer gardens. The beer gardens keep the celebration rolling all summer which brings us back around to the start of Oktoberfest and it all repeats itself. So pretty much a year round ‘fest’ here in Germany.
We managed to hit 4 or 5 really good Christmas Markets this year so we decided to give Carnival ‘a shot’ (bit of a pun here as you’ll see) as well. I wasn’t sure how people dressed and what exactly the celebration included but we googled some pictures and decided to skip the parades and opening ceremonies (you know how we hate crowds) but instead decided to join a celebration at one of the local brew pubs in Bonn that we had been to before.
I dug through a costume rack at the local Rewe grocery store and found a few things we could make work. We read the crazier the better so crazy we did.
See photos below…(also note these pics were taken around noon, quite a festive crowd so early in the day!)
Here’s what I learned about Carnival, don’t show up if you’re not in costume! in fact half the fun was the subway ride too Bonn and seeing 5 to 10 new costumes boarding at each stop (Hong Kong would be 100 each stop but that’s a different blog story). Everyone is dressed up, it’s like a Halloween party for adults…that lasts 4 days. In the restaurant/ bars, all chairs are removed to allow more room to dance! You’ll need to hit one of the street food vendors along the way as the restaurants are only serving liquid refreshments during Carnival.
You need to know these fabulous people are serious about their Carnival party! Bartenders were walking around pouring shots right out of the bottle into the open mouths of carnival goers. We managed to avoid the bottle but with every beer we bought we were given a shot. The first time these little plastic shot cups were put in our hands, both bartenders raised their shot glasses in a toast. I don’t normally do liquor but not wanting to be rude Woody and I picked up our glasses, cheered and dramatically threw back the shot….nothing….no fire water assaulting the throat, instead just laughing bartenders as we inspected our gravity defying upside down plastic shot glasses. Trick shot glasses?…Nope… Turns out they were Jello shots…yes, that was our first ever! Anyone that knows me KNOWS I hate liquor and I don’t eat sugar but hey, when at Carnival…..
Europe may lose in days of sunshine per year but wins in number of celebration days!
Take some advice from a Dumb Blonde, when in Germany embrace the celebrations, you’re bound to be here during one of them no matter when you come because there’s always one more celebration.
We’re getting ready to head back to the states in April and have decided to get smart on upgrade options. This includes digging through all the credit cards that offer miles as well as figuring out the travel classes that allow you to upgrade.
As self proclaimed Travel Snobs, our goal is always to avoid the crowds! When we started traveling with Woody’s company, we discovered the glorious world of business class! There’s nothing like strapping into one of those big comfy seats and enjoying all that comes with the price of it. Glass of champs in hand, warm towel to clean my hands and a menu with choices of a hot meal to pair with pretty good wines…and yes, less crowds!
Those coveted business class tickets were only issued for house hunting and relocating to the foreign domiciles, any travel back to the states were on us, so to the back of the plane I go. It would take all my will power to walk past those extra large seats with their little pillow and blankets tucked neatly into the reclining chairs.
I don’t wear designer clothes or carry brand name bags but oh those seats! It’s more than just reclining and watching a show, it’s the thrill of sharing an adventure so we’ve decided to figure out how to book not just one upgrade but two!
Here are a few things we’ve learned so far about upgrading on United/Lufthansa
-it takes anywhere from 25k miles to 50k miles to upgrade one leg.
-you can’t upgrade to premium (thats ok with me…sorry Woody 😉 )
-there are 3 categories you can upgrade from, economy B and Y class (35k miles)
Premium economy A class (30k miles) and premium economy O class (20k miles)
The Untied site says you can upgrade from O-class to their new Polaris Business class for 15k miles. I’ve never tried the Polaris Business…wonder what you get there?
We follow a few travel blogs and found Expert Flyer can notify you of upgrades avail. And you can check availability of business class seats there. “God save the points” (blog) says it’s a game changer, we plan on signing up and will let you know how well it works.
We’ve decided to use the Discover Card with 3x the points but might sign up for the Chase MileagPlus card. We just booked tickets for the kids to come out during their spring break and earned some miles…now to figure out how to claim those miles! We’ll keep you posted.
Take some Advice from a Dumb Blonde, traveling Business class without paying the huge ticket price is the only way to travel (albeit I haven’t experienced first and don’t see that as an option after all, how much fun can one person have?).
Your off season travel gurus!
Follow us as we travel around Europe in a rented minivan. We’ll be hitting popular spots at unpopular times….let’s hope they’re open!