Euro Trip Planning 2019: Schedule Change

Euro Trip Planning 2019: Schedule Change

I revealed in part two of the hotel-booking posts that I had eliminated Milan from our itinerary. Today, I want to explain why I made that change in order to highlight why flexibility is important to ensuring that you get the best experience from your valuable travel time.

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Book Review: "Off the Rails: A Train Trip Through Life"

Book Review: "Off the Rails: A Train Trip Through Life"

Off the Rails ends by suggesting that it's not a travel book, but that it's a book about travels. This really captures the spirit of Beppe Severgnini’s writing. I picked it up one day in Barnes & Noble when I stumbled across it on the main display table. After all, it is about rail travel, and because I love train travel, especially in Europe, this looked like a perfect book for me. I was not disappointed.

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Euro Trip 2019 Planning: Booking initial hotels (Part 2)

Euro Trip 2019 Planning: Booking initial hotels (Part 2)

Today’s article will resume the discussion of booking the initial hotel stays for our 2019 Euro Trip. I will address the value of points and miles and why I prefer award nights for this trip. I use Milan as a detailed example and will close with the hotels selected for each city on our itinerary.

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Euro Trip 2019 Planning: Booking initial hotels (Part 1)

Euro Trip 2019 Planning: Booking initial hotels (Part 1)

In the previous installments in this series, I wrote about having a blank slate for this year’s journey and selecting our transatlantic flights. I then discussed how I decided where we would actually go once we arrived in Europe. Today’s article is the first of two which will cover booking our initial hotel stays. I will describe my general strategy for making lodging reservations, along with the short-list of properties that I am considering and why they made the list. I will use Milan, Italy for this detailed discussion though I employed this approach for all bookings for this trip.

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Euro Trip 2019 Planning: Where to go?

Euro Trip 2019 Planning: Where to go?

This is the time of year as I plan travels in the coming months that my thoughts turn toward Europe and strolls along the Seine or dining at a sidewalk café in a charming Italian town. Thanks to points and miles (and a good day job!), my wife and I have been blessed to take an annual trip to Europe, something we plan to continue in 2019. Today’s installment in my series about planning this trip focuses on where we should go once in Europe.

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Euro Trip 2019: Selecting transatlantic flights

Euro Trip 2019: Selecting transatlantic flights

This is the time of year, when it’s cold and gray, that my thoughts turn toward Europe and warm strolls along the Seine or dining at a sidewalk café in a charming Italian town. Thanks to points and miles, my wife and I have been blessed to take an annual trip to Europe, something we plan to continue in 2019. I have written previously about my approach to travel planning, but this year’s trip is different in a few ways which makes the planning process different as well. However, the first step was booking our transatlantic flights.

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Why I will no longer actively accumulate American AAdvantage miles

Why I will no longer actively accumulate American AAdvantage miles

Last week I spent a lot of time researching and eventually booking flights for this year’s trip to Europe. This will be our first visit outside the peak summer travel season I expected to have my pick of plentiful award flight and hotel options. I was partially right: there were far more choices than I typically find during the summer. I was miserably wrong, however, when I searched American Airlines in hopes of using my stash of American AAdvantage miles. But I found no saver-level business class space for the days we are traveling. For me, this was the last straw.

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Fall Break 2017 in Orlando: Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort amenities

Last year, my family and I went to Orlando for Fall Break. My wife did the same trip with the kids the year before and enjoyed it so much, that she wanted to repeat it. So, we loaded up the minivan and road-tripped, Griswold-style, to the real-life Wally World. We stayed at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort and, today, I review the resort’s amenities.

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Fall Break 2017 in Orlando: Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort condo review

Fall Break 2017 in Orlando: Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort condo review

Last year, my family and I went to Orlando for Fall Break. My wife did the same trip with the kids the year before and enjoyed it so much that she wanted to do it again. So, we loaded up the minivan and road-tripped, Griswold-style, to the real-life Wally World. We stayed at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort and, today, I review the condo where we stayed during our visit.

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Debrian Travels YouTube channel updated

Debrian Travels YouTube channel updated

The consolidation of my video travel content onto my “Debrian Travels” YouTube channel is now complete. The back catalog material pre-dates the Debrian Travels blog and covers domestic and international travel. Having a focused channel will better align with the Debrian Travels brand and provide a platform for some additional content I am considering.

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Amex Hilton Honors Business: go for the annual free night?

Amex Hilton Honors Business: go for the annual free night?

Earlier this year, I opened an American Express Hilton Honors Business Card and spent $4,000 to earn the welcome bonus. This gives me a head start on meeting the $15,000 annual threshold for a free weekend stay at a Hilton property. But is this a good use of $10,000 of spending? I take a look in this article.

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Fall Break 2017 in Orlando: Introduction

Fall Break 2017 in Orlando: Introduction

Though students in the Atlanta area have been back in school just over a month, fall break is upon us. Many people who live in school districts that have Fall Break will be hitting the road in a couple of weeks. I thought it would be a good time to review my Fall Break trip last year to Orlando, Florida.

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International travel tips: wireless phones and car rental

International travel tips: wireless phones and car rental

Recently, I received a text from a close friend asking for advice on a couple of European travel issues. While I knew the answers, in general, I checked a few websites to be sure I was giving him solid information. I also realized this could be information that others relatively infrequent travelers to Europe would also like to know.

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The Marriott-SPG loyalty program merger brings credit card benefits

The Marriott-SPG loyalty program merger brings credit card benefits

With the merger of the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programs occurring in August, I wanted to highlight some of the practical benefits of that combination for moderate travelers like me. Specifically, there are some definite benefits coming to Marriott/SPG co-branded credit card portfolio.

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Why I prefer trains to airplanes in Europe

For many, if not most, people, a transportation method is a choice borne primarily of expediency: which options is cheapest, easiest and fits a schedule. For others, getting there is part of the overall travel experience. Personally, I love European trains and I wanted to discuss how they enhance my travel experience.

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The long wait is over! I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve!

The long wait is over! I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve!

That was a long road, but I have finally reached the destination! Yesterday my shiny, new Chase Sapphire Reserve card arrived via UPS! Earlier this week I applied for and was instantly approved for what is perhaps the most popular points and miles card on the market. My excitement level was higher than normal given that I have been waiting to get this card since its debut in September 2016. The card has a $450 annual fee but great benefits. The question begging to be answered is simple: “Is the card worth such a high fee?”

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Rick Steves: enhancing my travel experience

Rick Steves: enhancing my travel experience

The name Rick Steves can elicit a mixed response in the travel world. Some love him, with his devoted followers called “Rickniks,” while others are not quite as smitten. Me, I am somewhere in the middle. and I lean toward liking Rick far more often than not. Today, I will discuss how his variety of media content has greatly aided my European travel experience.

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